Tools of the Trade – 2009

As the Community Manager for Acclaim Games I have a lot of things that I have to take care of on any given day; be it working the forums, reading and responding to emails or just interacting with the community.

As you can imagine it can be a bit overwhelming but, there are a number of tools I use to help me stay organized and aware of what I have on my plate. And this very long post will cover everything I use. From software to hardware and anything else in between.

The Hardware

1281_large_m1210_1 For the bulk of my computing I’m using a Dell XPS 1210 which has 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB 533 DDR2, 5.1 Surround sound, built in webcam, Wireless, Bluetooth.  and Geforce Go 7400 256mb. So far it has been able to handle just about every game I’ve throw at it. I love the small form factor and the light weight portability. The limited screen resolutions with the built in LCD can be a challenge for some of the older games, since the best it can do is 1280 x 800.

I have a 17 inch Dell wide screen LCD that I use in dual screen. Being able to use a larger resolution there allows me to play those games that don’t like the smaller screen and to be more efficient with my normal daily work.

dell-mini-inspiron-9 For the weekends I have a Dell Mini 9 with an 8gb SDD, webcam, Wireless and Bluetooth, running XP. Man I love this device. With the Wireless and Bluetooth tethering, I pretty much have internet access anywhere I go. Typically weekend issues are limited to things like making posts or announcements and responding to email, but if I need more than what I have on the Mini I can use Microsoft Mesh (more on this later) to access files and remote in to the Laptop at home. I honestly think this is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

In the miscellaneous department I have an Alto Cordless keyboard that includes a laptop stand, a Netgear cordless Skype phone a standard corded usb mouse. I do have a wireless mouse that I use with I travel with the laptop. I also have a Logitech Premium Notebook Headset, this is the one that folds in to a nice plastic case. And finally a 500gb Western Digital external hard drive. Then there is my phone, which I recently ranted about. It does allow me to get my email, which quickly alerts me there are any issues that need addressing. For portable music a Samsung YP-P2 8gb, with a nice set of Bluetooth headphones. And finally a SanDisk 4gb thumb drive.

I’ve got some items for when I travel: A set of Logitech V10 USB speakers, USB powered. A D-link DWL-G730AP which supports multiple operation modes including: Access Point (AP) mode to create a wireless connection; Wireless Router mode to share an Internet connection; and Wireless Client mode to connect an existing wireless network. Easily switch between these modes by using the 3-way configuration switch located at the bottom. This has been extremely useful in hotel and conference rooms with multiple computers but only one data port.

That pretty much wraps up the hardware I’m using. I actually plan on purchasing a desktop next but I’m waiting until Windows 7 is a free upgrade or pre-installed before I commit.



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