My computer setup

I don’t blog about technology tools too often, but I thought I’d share my computer setup at home (my setup at work is quite similar):

Scott McLeod's computer setup

I have no data files on my tablet PC, just software. The key to my system is my portable hard drive, which contains all of my data files. It’s just 3.1 in (8 cm) x 5 in (12.6 cm) x 0.6 in (1.5 cm) and weighs 0.4 lbs (180 g). It comes with a USB 2.0 cable and a drawstring bag.

Scott McLeod's portable hard drive

Every time I plug in my portable hard drive, it automatically backs itself up to a larger external hard drive. It also automatically backs up files on the fly as I edit them.

Basically, my computer-driven life fits in my pocket. I can carry around the portable hard drive, plug it into any other computer, and work with my files. It requires no power cord, instead drawing its power from the USB port. This is the same idea as a flash key, only the portable hard drive holds more files.

In addition to my tablet PC, I also have a second desktop computer (Dell Dimension 9200) that I use for digital audio and video.

What’s your setup?

[I use Launchy for everything. What are the four icons on my desktop? Well, one’s my curriculum vitae; it’s amazing to me how often I need it. The other three are my department’s electronic letterhead file, Computer, and the Recycle Bin.]

12 Responses to “My computer setup”

  1. Is it just an illusion, or do the icons in your system tray extend halfway across your taskbar?

  2. same setup with the passport! that holds everything with backups, except my backups are done at home, offsite location…

    pcAnywhere to get back to the office machine from any browser.

    i also carry a Soyo Cigar, 20GB, for my critical docs..(size is about 4-5 credit cards–thumbdrives are at that size too)
    also, a thumbdrive that is encrypted with a reward program if lost and someone returns ++ it has a free online backup setup too)

    I LOVE IT.. no need to carry your heavy laptop around..
    my work machine is an HP tablet that weights under 4lbs… this machine i use Flash memory with an SD card that i can pop out anytime and stick in my wallet.. (MacBook Air uses Flash)…
    i love the portability, plus i can plug into a machine in the schools, at home on either a Mac or Windows or Linux… U3 thumbdrives any more.. you can carry your own OS.. (Google’s Chrome is offering an Online OS)
    LOVE THE IDEA Scott… no need to be tied to a ‘Machine’.. all about getting your data!!!

  3. I may have to imitate your set up. Thanks for the clean, organized system. It’s helpful.

  4. Slick setup. I’ll post mine this week as well. Of course it’s not a Mac, but nobody’s perfect.

  5. Can I just say SWUUU-EEEEET

  6. @Rich: Yes, I just had to create a new Windows profile (ugh) so the taskbar items hadn’t hidden themselves yet. Good eye!

  7. Back @Scott – I just asked because “Grossly High Number of Tray Icons” is a pet peeve of mine that ranks right up there with “Grossly High Number of Different Toolbars In Your Browser” — when I sit down to use a friend’s or relative’s computer and find that far too much real estate, or far too many resources, are eaten up!

    I was confident, however, that you likely didn’t operate under such conditions on a normal basis.

  8. Back @ ya, Rich: Well, I probably shouldn’t confess this but I am a utility junkie. So I guess I might be guilty as charged…

  9. Haha, well it’s your RAM, not mine, so no complaints here! If those utilities help you out, then just keep on building that mega-system tray.

  10. And by the way, although I may seem to be picking on the tiniest of details — your overall system looks great and I particularly admire your automated backup setup. That makes a rare user indeed!

  11. I started keeping all of my files on an external hard drive (also WD) about a year ago when I got tired of carrying my laptop home from work every night!

    It is indeed so nice to have all you need on a pocket (or in my case, purse) sized piece of hardware.

    I did learn the hard way to get a padded case to carry it in, though. Fortunately, I, too had a larger backup hard drive at home and didn’t lose my files.

  12. @Heather: My padded case arrived last week!

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