If found

Most of us have at least one USB memory stick in our possession at any one time. And most of us will have lost at least one of them too. They either disappear mysteriously or are left in the USB port of a computer in some far away land where nobody can return it, because after all it is just a generic USB stick.

To help improve the admittedly  slim chance of its return, I always add a simple text file in the root of the USB stick called ‘if found’. In this file I put my contact details so at least this way there is some hope that it will be returned:

Please contact me, Zak Mensah at tribehut @ gmail.com to return this stick that I have clearly forgotten.

Thank you!

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

Zak

I was wondering what software and equipment a friend was using on a regular basis and thought that I would share my personal learning environment (PLE) here. I don’t require much stuff but feel I have everything covered with my use of the below.

The hardware

At the office we do not have a say about the computer at our desk – it is a Windows XP box and Samsung 2243 WM monitor which is currently turned on it’s side so that I can read lengthy webpages.

Being a digital media team we do have shared access to a range of kit to enable full digital media creation and support including macs, video, camera and audio kit. Most of which I never use so I won’t go into any detail save the fact I sometimes use the Nikon D50.

Personally, I own a Apple Macbook which my other half detests for its trackpad and my use of ‘spaces’ which moves things around on-screen depending on which corner the cursor is placed. I have a magic mouse which is terribly suited to my hand so never gets used and a Apple remote. The laptop is plugged into a pair of unforgiving Mackie MR5 speakers, which have made me realise that 192kbps MP3 recordings are too low quality!

I use my Xbox 360 mainly for watching DVDs and occasional spurts of online gaming.

I have a borrowed Apple iphone first generation which has hardly any apps on it and none of which are worth mentioning.

Software

I use quite a bit of software but only on rare occasions.  I pretty much live in Mozilla Firefox,  thanks to cloud based services and extensions for web development such as firebug and the web developer toolbar. When coding I use Coda (or 1% of its functionality anyway). I use Tweetdeck for twitter and skype for synchronous chat. For client work I use Google Documents and ExpressionEngine for content management.

Web services

Dropbox sits in the background and is used for all of my file management so I use it pretty much solidly – though it is banned at work so I pretty much curse about this fact at least once  a day when I cannot find files or have to duplicate them. I find so many useful items via Google reader that I need delicious to keep track of it all and it works seamlessly across my work and personal computers too.

5 Websites that I always check for

  1. I am a fan of f1 fanatic which doe’s a great job at making me love the detail of the sport more and more
  2. Subtraction, an inspiration in many ways
  3. Techcrunch for tech news, though really I only check for Paul Carr
  4. 5by5 podcasts, the site that got me listening to podcasts – great while cooking
  5. Alistapart for people who make websites BUT many of the topics resonate with e-learning

Then about 100+ daily RSS updates covering web design and e-learning

Reasonable Doubt

I keep meaning to put my thoughts down. However my boggle has always been that I saw my main interests (Designing for the web, motorbiking and music to name the core) as conflicting together too much. But having used my twitter account for some time now I have decided to shrug off any such concerns. People can follow this or not – its that simple – i need this blog for me first.

Lots of the blog advice is to keep it super focused on “your brand” but I don’t see myself in that box so here is to throwing caution to the wind.