My Setup

My Setup 1
My current setup as of Feb 14th, 2020

Inspired by Paul Stamatiou‘s post about the stuff that he uses on a daily basis I thought I would do the same. Not only to let people get an idea of what I use daily but also so I can keep track of hardware/software that I have installed. *Links on this page are likely to be affiliate links.

Services

  • MailGun – Originally I was utilizing Google Suite for everything but it was a bit of an overkill for my needs. The free tier with MailGun allows me to use my domain and set up forwards and filtering to my Gmail.
  • Bear.app – Evernote was my goto note app until they decided to bloat their app with every possible feature.  Bear.app is a minimal replacement for Evernote and gives me the features I need across all my devices.
  • Google Docs – While I do not use Google Docs often it is still needed when it comes to sharing documents with others in an easy to use fashion.
  • NextCloud – DropBox served me well for a long time until they changed their pricing structure. Switching to NextCloud allowed me to more or less have all of the same features while cutting costs and utilizing my NAS and server for this.
  • Zendesk – Cloud-based helpdesk system, works awesome.  They even have a free iOS app which helps when on the go.
  • InvoiceNinja – I was a long-time user of Freshbooks, but when they changed their pricing structure it was no longer cost-effective. I stumbled upon InvoiceNinja and it has been a fantastic replacement.
  • Slack – This is my main form of communication both for personal and work-related topics. I stopped using Skype, Google Chat, etc.
  • Droplr – I really only use this for screenshot sharing. I remapped the default OS X screenshot keys to go through here instead.  Works great for fast, simple sharing.

Software

  • Safari – Ever since the newest release I have switched back to Safari full time, only using Chrome for random site testing.
  • 1Password – I couldn’t imagine daily operations without 1Password.
  • Alfred – This app really boosted my productivity as it allows me to keep my hands on the keyboard instead of using the mouse to navigate/launch apps.
  • Transmit – Simply the best FTP client for OSX
  • TextMate2 – I gave Sublime a couple of tries, but Texmate2 just works how I need it to.
  • Sequel Pro – When you are needing to access MySQL databases all day this is a must.

Desktop (Laptop Setup)

Server

  • Intel Core i7-8700K – I wanted to make sure I had enough power no matter what I threw at the server. Everything is running in its own Docker container and I have plenty of resources left.
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB – Same as above, I wanted to make sure I didn’t run into issues with running out of memory.
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series – 500GB PCIe NVMe – Initially I had a 500GB SSD, but I was still seeing some random buffering issues with Plex. Since installing the M.2 drive the only bottleneck I run into is the network bandwidth.
  • Rosewill 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Card – While the motherboard had a gigabit NIC already I wanted to separate the NAS traffic from the rest of the traffic. The Synology and server are on a private VLAN directly on this NIC.
  • ASUS Prime Z370-A II
  • NVIDIA Quadro P2000 – This was added after the initial build as I wanted to offload some of the heavy liftings to a CPU.  I am now able to transcode up to 23 streams without hitting the CPU.

Network

  • Synology 8 bay NAS DiskStation DS1817+ – Over the years I have gone from a Drobo, homebuilt server, QNAP and finally the Synology. This has been an amazing NAS, I wish I would have gone this route originally.  The only issue is that I wish it was a Rackmount version though that would have increased the price by another 1-2k which is totally not worth it.
  • 8x WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Drives – While I still have plenty of space left, I am eagerly awaiting 10TB drives to drop in price so I can push out an upgrade to the storage array.
  • NavePoint 18U rack – The most recent upgrade, so much nicer than having everything on a bakers rack.
  • Unifi Security Gateway Pro (USG-PRO-4) – I started out with the entry-level USG but after upgrading to Xfinity gigabit internet I figured a higher-end USG wouldn’t hurt.
  • UniFi Switch – 24 Ports Managed (US-24-250W) – This was also an upgrade as I didn’t account for future devices. I started out with an 8 port switch, then 2 and then 3 before finally selling them off and replacing with the beast.
  • 1x UniFi nanoHD Compact 802.11ac Access Point (UAP-NANOHD-US) – Since the office, AP was doing a lot of work I upgraded to the new nanoHD to handle some of the load.
  • 3x Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US) – Being in a multistory house I found that it required more than a couple of AP’s to provide an optimal signal on all floors and locations in the home.

Server in Rack - Open

Site

  • ShortPixel – While I optimize images before uploading them to the site, I utilize the ShortPixel service to further optimize the uploads.
  • WP-Rocket – Even though the hosting via Systm is cached and uses Redis, some of the additional features WP-Rocket has helped to speed up the site further.
  • GeneratePress – is a fast, and optimized theme that has lots of features without all the bloat.