Stuff I use

Inspired by Harry here’s the beginnings of a page about stuff I use to do my jobs – day job and night job! – and my hobby (music). This page isn’t complete, Ill update it when I get time.


Lenovo Y510P
My main workstation. I bought this about 3 years ago, and other than slow start-up times (it doesn’t have an SSD drive) it’s still pretty fast. Probably the 12GB RAM helps. Battery life is OK, and the screen is quite good. I run Windows 10 on it.
Dell XPS L702X
My multimedia laptop, dual booting to Ubuntu and Windows 10. I use this for watching Netflix and DVDs (my wife and I have box-set obsessions) and for guitar effects using Guitarix. Bought second-hand off eBay several years ago, but still runs really quick because of the SSD drive. Downside: it weighs as much as a small car.
IKEA chair
Nothing special, but it has small arms which makes holding a guitar while seated easier.
Logitech M-UAG120 mouse
Having a mini mouse with a short lead is great, as it can travel with me (although I don’t take my laptop out of the house often). A mouse is a must as I find trackpads unbearably fiddly.
Grado SR60 headphones
I wanted headphones that were the best sound quality for a very limited budget, and these delivered. I have to be honest: they aren’t comfortable to wear for long periods, but the sound quality is fantastic. If I were to buy some new headphones they’d almost certainly be from Grado as well.


Visual Studio 2015
For my day job I’m rarely out of Visual Studio. It’s still the daddy of IDEs, but it’s huge footprint and – frankly – overwhelming number of features is often overkill. I’m still on 2015, but will be upgrading to 2017 very soon.
Visual Studio Code
For my own personal coding I’ve fallen in love with Code. It’s a great text editor, and the wide range of plugins means it can turn its hand to almost anything. It’s meant I haven’t opened Netbeans in months to do PHP development.
MySQL Workbench
For WordPress work this is invaluable to run queries in the database.
I’m constantly in about 4 or 5 Slack teams and run the desktop and mobile apps.
As I’m on Windows 10 Home edition I need a little extra help running docker images. Kitematic makes that easy, hooking into VirtualBox.
Who doesn’t use Github these days? The desktop app is open most of the time as I’ve been lazy and not learned the command line tools!
Testing APIs would be a million times harder without Postman. And the environments feature makes a great tool even better.
I don’t listen to music all the time when I’m working, but when I do this is what I’m running.

Music Equipment

Line6 Variax 500
My trusty axe for over 10 years, it still astounds me regularly with the range of sounds it can produce. The Martin D28 acoustic sample alone is worth the price.
1978 Fender Precision bass
This is my pride and joy, a classic instrument. More modern basses may come and go, but I’ll own this bass forever.
Roland GR-09 guitar synth
This is a pretty old guitar synth which I bought from a very dear friend who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. The sounds on board aren’t great, but I often plug the MIDI in to a laptop and use more modern, and much higher quality, samples. It never fails to amuse me when I plug my guitar in, strum a chord, and people are startled to hear a piano come out the amp!
Line6 Pod 2.0
While I don’t use anywhere near the full capabilities of this box, it’s always in my rig. Coupled with the Line6 Shortboard for volume and wah control it’s invaluable.