Currently Using

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


I ride a 2006 Honda CB400 SF motorbike – a nice simple naked 400cc bike which is great for getting out and about in Japan, seeing things and meeting the people. I currently ride on Michelin Pilot Road II tyres, though the rest of the bike is stock, except the ETC unit. I do have a full ‘oogata’ license for larger bikes, but have not gotten around to actually sorting one out!

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 have a 2015/16 Flow Blackout all-mountain style snowboard and some 2015/16  Union Contact Pro bindings for the days on the mountain. Yes, after almost 15 yrs, I bought a new board – the old Nitro is going to be used as a shelf. I sometimes ski a bit, on some 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 (in order of use)

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

2011 Apple MacMini – [Base unit bought Sept. 2011].  Dual Core i5 2.5GHz (Sandy Bridge), 8GB RAM, AMD HD 6630M,  1TB  Seagate Hybrid SSHD (May 2013), OS X 10.11.*

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: Gigabyte HD7770 OC 1GB (Jan. 2013), 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  [May 2013]  CPU: AMD A6-5400K, with a Scythe Shuriken B cooler (May 2015) RAM: 8GB Corsair XMS3, Mobo: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4M , Graphics: On CPU (headless), Sound:  onboard, PSU: Antec Earthwatts 450 Platinum PSU, Case;  Fractal Design Define R4 case. Discs: Samsung 840 120GB SSD for OS, 4 * 2TB WD Green HDD (in 2 disc pools for 4TB * 2)  OS: Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS.

Backups are handled with Crashplan.

Software:  Most of the things I do are  text based, so I try to keep it simple,  such as editors like BBEdit or Notepad++,  Scrivener for longer works,  and even 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 iMovie, and I tend to use YouTube and Vimeo for web 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, but uses Rackspace Mail as a backend.  There are free equivalents for email, and of course webmail, but these work well , I can easily use alts for things easily, no ads in sight and costs 10USD/month.

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  with Raspbian & Arduino Uno Board (Feb. 2013)
  • Raspberry Pi 2 (Dec. 2015)

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 HD HERO 2 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 BD & media player), 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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