I recently put a little bit of time into my computer, which I have been neglecting for a while. When your career is based around using a computer it makes sense to have a nice setup that is easy to use and incorporates great software. Plus you have to have a couple nerdy desk ornaments that you can play with!
My main computer is an Intel I7 based Windows pc with 16GB ram and 2TB of randomly assorted hard drives, one solid state, one velociraptor, and the rest all standard platter drives. My video card is an old GTX 560 which should probably be upgraded. As always, I am using an Asus motherboard. The case is a Corsair Obsidian 800D. The secondary computer is a Mac Mini that I shamelessly took from my fiance. 😛
How Many Monitors?
Currently I have two Asus VE248H monitors and an old Hannspree HF259h that I got at Best Buy when I used to work there, which was like 7 years ago( wowzers). I actually have several monitors that I still need to set up for various smaller devices including a laptop with Kali Linux and my Raspberry Pi. The two Asus monitors are connected to my Windows PC and the Hannspree is connected to the Mac Mini.
More monitors means more screens to look at more things at the same time.
Since I do a wide range of computer magic, I like having as many options at my disposal as possible. That is why I have a Mac, Windows, and Linux computer all ready to go. Currently I am using Synergy to work between the Mac and Windows PC using only one keyboard and mouse. If you haven’t used that software, you absolutely should check it out. I realized in the end that I didn’t need three monitors on one computer, especially if I was going to have multiple computers.
Even though at work I probably wont be able to get away with using it (yet) Sublime Text 2 is the IDE that I am growing to love. You absolutely cannot beat all of the keyboard commands and functionality that program has.
I’ve finally started to use version control as well. Thanks to my buddy Issa, I can now fumble my way through making commits and keeping track of the terrible mess that is WordPress development. The GitHub desktop app failed me on Windows so I’m just using the command line which isn’t bad at all.
Now that I am using a VCS the next issue would obviously be deployment. There is where my trusty buddy Beanstalk comes in. It acts as repository to store all of my version control, but it also has the power to do deployments. So now instead of having to use git only to go FTP commando I can now just push the files, and then deploy to the site remotely. There’s even a phone app! All in all I am very impressed with it.
Another aspect of my work environment I’ve started working on is developing locally. For the longest time I was guilty of using the FTP feature in most of the popular IDE programs (I’m looking at you UEStudio/DW). At first I couldn’t see the point in working that way, it seemed like a hassle. The reality is that when you are working on a website you should never EVER be working on the files directly in a production environment, especially if it is something that can impact the user experience or potentially break the site.
That is where XAMPP comes in. It makes setting up my computer as a web-server extremely easy, clicking a few buttons easy. I really wish I could use MAMP but sadly they only have a beta on windows, which works great but only lets you work on one site at the moment.