My latest set up

The following set up profile was recently created for in an “interview” with The Sweet Setup.com and featured here.

Desktop

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My desktop set up is based on around a Retina 5K iMac using macOS Server. This is connected via ethernet to my older iMac which I use the 1TB HDD as a “library” for professional data and information that I don’t need to access frequently. I use the older iMac as a second screen using Display Port to the Retina iMac’s thunderbolt port.

I run Server across my network for my Family’s use and more for controlling file permissions and drive access.

The Retina iMac is connected via thunderbolt to a WD external drive which provides two 2TB drives. I use one of these drives to store documents and my family’s individual documents and the second drive for share music, photos and videos. I have set up iTunes on the Retina iMac but have the iTunes library stored on the external drive to save space. We use Apple TV and the Remote.app to access iTunes anywhere in the house. We also have a significant library of ripped CDs and DVDs and can access those in the same way.

In addition I have a Drobo 5N connected via Ethernet. This provides archive storage and additional server back up via Time Machine.

  • iMac27 Retina 5K, Late 2015
  • 4GHz Intel Core-i7
  • 16GB Memory
  • 500GB SSD
  • iMac27 Late 2009
  • 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 12GB Memory
  • 1TB HDD

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Network

I run a 3TB AirPort TimeCapsule as my main router coming off my incoming ISP router. This network is then “extended” via an AirPort Extreme and an AirPort Express on the other floors of our house. I have a stereo system connected to the Express and a Home Theatre set up connected to the Extreme so that we can wirelessly access media anywhere.

Backup

I use the 3TB AirPort TimeCapsule as the principal back up drive to the Server but also maintain two older TimeCapsules to provide backup disks to the multiple devices in my family from 4 Apple users. These are all connected to the Time capsule router via ethernet and a D-link Gigabit Switch.

I also back up to two external thunderbolt/USB3 drives using SuperDuper! These drives are then stored in a fireproof safe for added security.

Laptop setup

I run a Retina MacBook Pro 13” (2.4GHz Intel Core i5, 16GB Memory, 251GB SSD) for recreation and blogging use. This used to be my mobile platform for my professional work but I now use a 12.9” iPad Pro.

Software

I tend to try out new apps on a regular basis and then I have a distinction between my personal and professional life. In summary,

Personal

  • Apple’s Calendar
  • Apple’s Mail – I have recently returned to Mail from Airmail to make use of it’s integration with Devonthink
  • Reminders (for shared lists with my family)
  • Omnifocus – personal projects
  • Devonthink – my information hub for “everything”
  • DayOne – journaling
  • MarsEdit – blogging

Professional

  • Fantastical – I track my billable time to the nearest 15minutes and the natural speech entry is a time saver!
  • Apple’s Mail – once again to make use of Devonthink
  • Wunderlist – shared project based lists with my design teams
  • Omnifocus – I manage between 20 and 50 professional projects using the Pro features and sync’d to my iPad
  • Devonthink – my information hub for “everything” including note taking
  • SG Project Pro – Gantt chart scheduling
  • SketchUp Pro – 3D CAD modelling
  • PDFPen Pro – PDF management
  • Pixelmator – Image manipulation & presentation

I also use Moom, Hazel and Copied across both set ups – all essential utilities! These are only the main day to day applications.

My employer uses an Enterprise based Windows system and I run a parallel Windows set up using my iPad Pro as the best way to keep all in sync.

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