Currently Using

On this page there’s just a bit on what equipment I’m running right now:


I’ve been a keen motorcyclist for a number of years now, and currently ride a rather nice 2016 Yamaha MT-09 Tracer (aka Tracer 900) – it’s an 847cc sports touring bike which is great for getting out and about in Japan, seeing things and meeting people. It has Dunlop SportMax D222 tyres, though the bike is still stock, except for the ETC unit. As this is over 400cc, it requires a full ‘oogata‘ license as a larger bike.

In 2011 I picked up a Trek Kaitai 700c bicycle which I also like to get out on, and in Dec. 2014, picked up some Ortleib waterproof rear panniers which are fantastic.

To enjoy the mountains, I now have a 2015/16 Flow Blackout all-mountain style snowboard and some 2015/16  Union Contact Pro bindings for the days on the mountain. I also have some Burton Concord boots I got cheap in a sale in late 2016 as they were last year’s model (shock, horror).

I sometimes ski a bit, on some cheap Head Cube 10 ski boots I picked up in a sale a few years back, and an old pair of carving skis I got from a friend. It’s very much a second place to snowboarding for me, but still fun.

I have an assortment of camping gear, mainly sized to fit in the car / back of a motorbike for family camps.

Computing Hardware:

Linux Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad E440 – Core i3-4100M (Haswell), 8GB RAM, SSD running Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS. [August 2014]

2011 Apple MacMini – Dual Core i5 2.5GHz (Sandy Bridge), 8GB RAM, AMD HD 6630M,  525GB  Crucial MX300SSD (Sept. 2016), macOS Sierra  [Base unit bought Sept. 2011].

Desktop PC:  CPU:  Intel Core i5 3470 (Ivy Bridge – Jan. 2013) with a Scythe Shuriken B cooler (Dec. 2013), RAM: 16GB Corsair DDR3 (Dec. 2011), Mobo: Asus B75M-PLUS (Dec. 2013), Graphics: Zotac GTX 1060 AMP (October 2016), Sound: Asus Xonar U7 (May 2014), Misc.: Antec EarthWatts 650 Green PSU (Jan. 2013).  Drives: OS/apps on a Crucial 256GB m4 SSD (Sept. 2012), and data on a 2TB Western Digital Green drive. (April 2014). Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (July 2013) OS: Windows 10 Home.

Home Server:  CPU: AMD A6-5400K, with a Scythe Shuriken B cooler (May 2015) RAM: 8GB Corsair XMS3, Mobo: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4MGraphics: On CPU (headless), Sound:  onboard, PSU: Antec Earthwatts 450 Platinum PSU, Case;  Fractal Design Define R4 case. Discs: Samsung 840 120GB SSD for OS, 2 * 2TB WD Green (LVM2 disc pool for 4TB) & 1 * 4TB WD Red HDD (Sept. 2016)  OS: Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.  [Mostly May 2013]

Backups are handled with Crashplan.

Software:  Most of the things I do are text based, so I try to keep it simple,  using as editors like GEdit, BBEdit or Notepad++ for day to day, Scrivener for longer works, and RedNoteBook for journalling. As I move machines, I tend to keep work in progress on SpiderOak and I still use Evernote quite a bit.  Video editing I do in Premiere Elements now, and I tend to use YouTube (and previously Vimeo) for video availability.

Hosting:  This blog is housed on some space at Pair Networks where I also keep some personal projects and experiments.  All of my e-mail is run via my own domain names, using Pair again as a back-end.  There are free equivalents for email, and of course web-mail, but this work well, I can use alts for things easily, no ads in sight, and costs 6USD/month for the hosting and mail.

Random gadgets in frequent use:

  • 6th generation iPod Classic 80GB (~2006)
  • Kindle PaperWhite 2015  (Sept. 2015)
  • Nexus 5 32GB phone on Y! Mobile (August 2014)
  • Asus Nexus 7 tablets (October 2013 & November 2012)
  • Samsung N145Plus Netbook (March 2011 – running Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS 32bit)
  • Raspberry Pi 1, 2 and 3 with Raspbian and LibreELEC for various projects.
  • Arduino Uno and other electronics kit (2013 onwards).

The Audio and the Visual

I have a Nikon D3200 dSLR which I bought in October 2012, having sold my trusty old D40 (from 2006).  I have 2 lenses for it (a 35mm and a 55-200mm zoom), and a GoPro Hero 5  (Oct. 2016) which I like to play with on the board, bikes and beaches. I also have a Zoom H1 audio recorder, as sometimes I just want to capture the sounds, and not the sights.


I do a lot less gaming nowadays,  though we have a Wii U and a PS4 (mainly as a HTPC), and a few 3DSs in the house. I also play a few games through Steam on my desktop PC and my Linux laptop.

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