What I Use: Jerelle's recommended Hardware, Software and Services

The universe of hardware, software and services is extremely vast making it difficult to pick the right tool for the job. I put a lot of thought (maybe too much) into the tools I use and software I install on my computer, with the goal being to only install software that I will definitely use, is not or does not contain crapware, is reliable, utilizes my computer resources efficiently, preferably has an attractive UI and is flexible enough to grow with me as my usage patterns change. Following is a list of my hardware and the software and services I use frequently.

Latest Update: June 12, 2011

Desktop: 

coming soon...

Laptop: 

My main laptop is a 2010 Envy 15 with a Core i7 Processor and 8 GB of RAM. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

Phone: 

My phone of choice is the Windows Phone HTC Arrive- one of the most pleasurable phones I've used.

Media Player: 

When I'm at home, Zune for the desktop is my default media player.

When I'm on the go, Zune 120 is my mobile media player.

Operating System: 
Personal Productivity: 

Microsoft Office Ultimate (minus Outlook) with Windows Live Mail (web-based) backed by Windows Live Skydrive.

Office Productivity: 

Microsoft Office Ultimate backed by Office 365.

Digital Media: 

I personally feel like subscription music plans are the best way to consume and discover new music and I feel that there is no better music subscription plan than Zune Marketplace. For $15 a month, you get all the music you can eat, plus 10 free downloads, effectively lowering the cost of the subscription to around $5/month.

Security: 

Microsoft Security Essentials. Very low resource footprint, it just works and is as effective at preventing infections as any competitors product. Did I mention it is FREE?

Browser: 

While Internet Explorer 9 is my default browser, I also use Firefox (mainly when developing new sites or testing sites), Chrome (for testing) and Opera (for testing). I refuse to install Safari on my computer due to the various unrelated installations Apple's sneaks onto your computer and the unnecessary background services that run along with Safari.

Living Room: 

The XBox is the center of my living room. It pulls all my content from my various laptops and desktops, it extends the Zune service to the living room and I got to give a shout out to Netflix - what more do you need?

Syncing: 

Windows Live Sync works for me. I basically sync the "My Documents" and "Downloads" folders to Windows Live Skydrive, which makes them accessible from any computer. This has the added benefit of helping me quickly transfer/download all my important documents to new computers (or my computers after a fresh install of Windows).

Photo Management: 

Windows Live Photo Gallery

Blog Authoring: 

Windows Live Writer. This is simply the best tool for authoring blog post offline.

Movie Editor: 

Windows Live Movie Maker. Seamless integration into Zune, sufficient features to do the job (I am usually performing very small edits)

Chat and Messaging: 

Skype and Windows Live Messenger

HTML Editor: 

Expression Web 4

IDE: 

Visual Studio 2010

My name is Jerelle. I was raised in Clayton, NC and currently live in Atlanta, GA. I like fishing, hunting, any water activity (though I can't really swim), learning new technologies and developing web and mobile applications. I am the Media Technology Manager at BKV. You could've chose to be on 1 of the 227,225,642 websites on the web and you chose to be on my blog... and I appreciate that.[more]

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