With gadgets of every size and shape flooding the market, and with my friend writing this little post, I thought this would be a good time to talk about the electronics I use on a regular basis.
First, a little background: If you have been reading my posts for a while now (welcome back!) you will know that I just finished my masters degree in astrophysics and I am about to start my PhD (if not, welcome!). While my thesis did require quite a bit of programming, it wasn’t too intensive. And I will have a separate office desktop for running simulations etc. for my PhD, and my laptop will be used mainly for personal stuff. I also prefer to have fewer items of good quality and use it for all it’s worth, as opposed to having to buy replacements every year or two.
The laptop: I have a 13” Macbook Air, which I bought a couple of years ago. As I tend to travel about a lot, I wanted a lightweight laptop that I could carry around without breaking my back, but at the same time was fully functional. This machine fit the bill perfectly and I have had no regrets. While the flash storage means that the laptop is very fast, the storage capacity isn’t that great; but it was easily remedied (see below). The size/weight also means I do not need a tablet, as I have a proper laptop that only weighs a little more.
The phone: Earlier this year (around the time of my graduation) I upgraded from an iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 5. While the earlier iPhone was functioning perfectly well, the software upgrades meant that it was getting quite slow. Having had the previous phone for almost 3 years, the upgrade was quite welcome. However, I still run my iPhone 5 on iOS 6 as I don’t particularly like the look of iOS 7. As is the case with most people, I use it to make calls, send texts and emails, stay connected via various social media and hurl birds at thieving pigs.
The camera: While I am no professional, I enjoy taking photos and have been told I am not too bad at it. So before I went on my tour of Europe, I got a DSLR to be able to take some good images of all my travels. After some research, I found that the Canon EOS 1100D is a good choice for a beginner, so I went with that. I use it with a standard 18-55mm lens. Most of the photos I post on the blog are taken with this. For any minor editing (which is the only kind of editing I do) I use iPhoto.
The storage: The aforementioned issue of my laptop having a tiny amount of memory was exacerbated once I started taking photos with my DSLR, since each image is a few MB (and I take A LOT of photos when I travel). The easiest solution to this was to export my iPhoto library onto an external hard disk (and it was a lot easier than it sounds). I use a 500GB seagate portable drive for this. I also use a separate HD to back up the contents of my laptop in case it ever gets damaged/stolen.
The nice extras: While not absolute essentials, two things I really love are my Kindle and my Bose noise cancelling headphones. The Kindle is the no frills, basic e-reader version. While lots of people prefer the feel/smell of actual paper, I am not too fussed, as long as I can read what I want. With my kindle I can travel light and still have my entire library with me, and I can get a new book at 2am without worrying about the opening times of the book store. That being said, not all books are available on the amazon store, but I just get the paper copy of those. My headphones are the Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise cancelling headphones. These are very pricey, but absolutely worth it. The sound quality is amazing, as can be expected from Bose, but what really amazes me is how good the noise cancellation is. These get the most use when I am in a plane, and the all the noise is driving me insane. I pull these on and Voila! Engine noise, snoring passenger, crying babies are all drowned out and I can enjoy some classical music as I fall asleep.
Well, that was long! But I hope it was helpful in some way. What are your tech essentials?
Until next time, Love, Me 🙂