“Hey, since you’re here, can I ask you a question about my stuff at home?” or “Well, what do you use?”
You would be amazed at how many times I get asked these questions. Or maybe if you’re one of the people who have asked me, maybe you wouldn’t. Oh, and it’s not just me either. I know Jamie Warmbir, Dan Woodman, and the service team at Mavidea get asked all of the time.
As a matter of fact, I just got asked again last week. Kelly and I were lucky enough to spend some of our vacation time at the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand all of last week. As part of that experience, there was a lot of shuttling back and forth from hotel to convention center, which exposed us to all new people from around the world, especially since traffic in Bangkok makes Chicago looks like it has Bloomington woes.
This particular gentleman was from Queensland, Australia. As soon as he found out I was CTO for a technology company, the questions started flowing. It happens all of the time, and it amuses me, so I always try to answer. Apparently people are really interested in what stuff I own, and use. So I thought today I would throw out a quick list of what technology I have a home. Maybe I’ll be able to talk Chris Nichols, Dan Woodman, or Tony Brook into following suit.
In my office in the basement I have:
- Windows 7 desktop – a home built tower designed to play video games (I am the Chief Geek, right?). It has an Intel Core i7 2600k processor (zoom zoom!) and an nVidia video card (with more memory on it than my first 7 computers added together had).
- Windows Home Server 2008 – It’s nice because it gives Kelly and I a centralized place to store all of our music and pictures (and it gives us 1 place to back it all up from).
- Dell PowerEdge server – it’s an old one, but I use it to spin up virtual machines to test out new software on so I don’t have to mess up my PC.
- (2) Samsung 23” monitors – Black Friday sales for the win!
- Comcast cable modem
- Linksys wireless router
- Netgear 8 port gigabit switch (to all my stuff into)
In the kitchen:
- MSI Wind all-in-one touchscreen system with Win7 on it. It is mounted to the wall. We use it to pull up recipes for cooking, and to stream Netflix or Pandora while cooking/cleaning.
In the living room:
- Sanyo 35” TV – This is an old tube model that Kelly bought right before we started dating, and it weighs a ton. It has crappy connection options, with s-video being the best, but I can’t see getting rid of it until it dies.
- DirecTV services with the whole-house DVR – I have to admit I am not a fan, but I’m stuck in a contract until next year. I really miss my Tivo, and I am seriously thinking of building a DirecTV Tivo DVR.
- Roku Streaming Media player. Roku is awesome, and I have gotten many friends hooked on it. Basically, it’s a little box that connects to your TV and lets you stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It lets you get modern services on older TVs.
- OPPO DVD player – No use putting a blu-ray player on that old TV, and Oppo makes the best DVD players around.
- S-video switcher box.
In our bedroom:
- Samsung 27” LED backlit TV – we just upgraded from the old 19 tube from Kelly’s dorm room because it died.
- Roku XD – this newer XD model has wireless built in so I don’t have to run any wires to the bedroom.
- Dell Inspiron 17” laptop in hot pink – Kelly’s laptop pretty much stays in the bedroom all the time. 99% of use is to watch Dowton Abbey streaming from PBS or check on Facebook.
When we bought this house, we didn’t realize the attic didn’t have any insulation in it. By August it was 102 up there, and in January it was -10. So when we decided to insulate it, I installed a home theater up there. I won’t bore with details, but here is the high level overview:
- Epson high definition projector
- Denon receiver with USB streaming (for iPad or cell phones)
- Klipsch speakers – the last American made speakers, plus they rock
- APC home theater surge protector – it would be dumb to have all this gear and not protect it
- Playstation 3 – I got this first mainly because it was (and still is) the best blu-ray player on the market. I also use it for Netflix, and of course for games.
- Xbox 360 with Kinnect – just got this for Christmas, mostly because we wanted to play with the Kinnect. Kinnect + dancing games + distilled beverages + Mavidea techs = fun!
- Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 – love it!
- iPad 2 – love it but I’m not going to buy the new iPad.
There you have it! I know we have more tech stuff than most people do, but I can’t help myself. No matter what, the result is that I would be a geek regardless of whether or not it was my job. I’ve been buying and playing with these sorts of electronic gadgets since I got money from walking beans and detasseling corn in high school, and I love it.
I can say that I’m at least better than some of my friends….
If you ever have any questions about what any of us using at work or at home, just ask. You know us- we love to talk about technology!