Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Now and The Future

So I guess I should let you all know where my system stands today so that you can when I make any major changes or upgrade my hardware you can tell where I came from.

My current specs are as follows:

Base System:
Lenovo IdeaCentre h405
AMD Athlon x2 255 (3.1Ghz)
3GB (1x2GB, 1x1GB) DDR3 1333
ATI Radeon 3000 integrated graphics
500GB SATA II HDD 7200rpm
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Current Upgrades:
8GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaw series
($40 after discounts on newegg)

I was quite surprised when the system arrived as it wasn't full of a lot of bogus software from HP or some other company. After unboxing I first went through the normal process of updating a new Windows system (3 restarts and I finally had them all installed) then began installing my favorite Free and Open Source Software.  The list is as follows:

Open Office
Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Microsoft Security Essentials
Reaper (shareware/plan to purchase)
ASIO4all v2
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Demo)
CCleaner & Defraggler

As you can see I had a nice little list of programs that I like to use.

I prefer Open Office over the Microsoft Office suite not only because of the cost, but also because of the simple interface.  I don't need any of the special macros and formatting or snazzy layouts are a concern for me, I just need a program that can get the job done.

Chrome is definitely my preferred browser.  I used to be a Mozilla guy, and I still keep Firefox around for a few tasks, but Chrome is quick and light and takes care of my everyday browsing tasks.

VLC is a great little media player, and by installing it you get plenty of codecs which makes playing almost any media file carefree.

Audacity I like to keep around for simple audio editing and tasks such as making custom ringtones.

The GIMP is a great tool for image editing.  I used to do everything in MS Paint or Paint.NET but when I found the GIMP I never went back.  And I actually prefer The GIMP over Photoshop.

IcoFX is a program I recently found for creating/editing icons which comes in handy because I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the aesthetics of my workspace, so creating custom icons is a frequent task for me when installing new programs.

Malwarebytes is a great tool and MSE isn't as bothersome as most other AV programs.

Songbird is one of my favorite media players purely due to aesthetic value.  I found it as a replacement for iTunes and Banshee when I was using Ubuntu as my main OS. MusikCube is one of my possible alternatives in the future.

Winrar is an essential for any system I use.

Dropbox is a great tool that I couldn't live without.  I use it to back up and share all kinds of files.

Reaper is a great DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).  It has a free trial version, but it is fully worth the $50 to purchase the license.  It has full VST support, a new piano roll for VSTi, and is extremely fast and light when paired with ASIO4all.

LoL I probably won't keep for long.  A friend told me I should download it and play with him, but I doubt I'll have time for that.

Amnesia, I've never had a system capable of running it so I was REALLY hoping this new box could, and to my complete satisfaction the integrated graphics chip is able to run the game quite smoothly on medium settings.  This is a great game to scare the crap out of you, and if I am man enough to make it through the demo, I will purchase the full version to get the full experience.

As with any computer I've ever owned, I don't plan on sticking with this list of programs for long.  It will be extended and you will here about it here.  But for now you can see these planned upgrades and software additions.

Planned Upgrades:
Add an extra 500GB internal SATA II HDD (for UbuntuStudio)
Install the SATA II HDD from my laptop for a 32-bit Ubuntu installation
When funds permit, a decent graphics card

Planned Software:
Additional music production software that is referred to me or I find while browsing
Possibly Thunderbird or another mail client
Classic games like Diablo II: LoD and StarCraft


  1. I am awaiting the adventure.

  2. well, I have half of the software mentioned here, other half is kinda useless for me :)

    but nice stuff going on here, following!

  3. what do you use your computer for strokeheroes?

  4. very interesting keep up the good job

  5. sounds like you know what you're doing

  6. can i suggest CCleaner to clean out your cookies

  7. YES! Total forgot to put CCleaner on there!

  8. Is the IcoFX something similar to Inkscape?

  9. -M- not at all. From what I know Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, IcoFX deals purely with .ico and .icns(Mac) files

  10. I'm still using Vista with 2 gigs of RAM D:

  11. I'm sorry Zip, that sounds horrible. I could barely stand running Vista with 3 gigs