This page is inspired by usethis.com, which is a site that profiles various people and describes their productivity tools. People sometimes ask what I use as well, so I thought I’d put my tools here in the usethis format.
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Daniel Miessler, and I am an information security architect out of San Francisco California.
What hardware do you use?
I have a Bretford Liquid Workstation desk, which I purchased in 2003, and a Herman Miller chair I got at the same time.
I run a 2012 Macbook Pro as my main workstation at home with two Thunderbolt displays combined with the built-in display, and I take it with me as my laptop when I’m mobile.
For my home servers I have two high-end HP Workstations running ESXi and HyperV. On these systems I have a combined 152GB of memory and 44 functional cores, which I use to run a few different firewalls, multiple Linux servers, and a whole ecosystem of Windows boxes–including a 2012 domain with three DCs–plus whatever seems interesting at any given moment.
For internet servers I use Ramnode for my website, which is an SSD-based VPS that I’m using while Linode gets their SSD house in order.
For my mobile phone I’m using an iPhone 5s. I’ve been on iPhone since 2007 when the first one launched.
My internet is through Webpass, which provides bi-directional 100Mbit connections for $38/month. Very pleased with them.
I also use an AppleTV as my home media system, but it only gets turned on every few weeks. I’m using it mostly to rewatch Dr. Who.
I use a DS410 NAS from Synology for local file storage, and I have a couple of WS-C3560CCisco switches for networking.
What software do you use?
My main apps on my Mac are CS6 for most photo-related work, VMware Fusion for running Windows 8, Backblaze for offsite personal backup, Alfred for thought-based-computing, and Moom for controlling window size and location.
I use Droplr for file sharing.
I also use Alfred for my main shortcut interface. It’s hard to describe, but you basically replace spotlight with it, and invoke it from cmd-space, and then just type whatever you’re thinking. It can search Amazon, Google, put your computer to sleep, change the song you’re listening to, whatever. It’s the first thing I install on OS X.
What would be your dream setup?
My long-term dream setup is fairly ambitious, but a more contemporary configuration would be something like the following:
- An 8-bay Synology NAS with 8 4TB drives
- A regular sync of the NAS to the cloud, using some ridiculous bandwidth
- A bi-directional 1Gbps internet connection
- The ability to host my site at home instead of online (stability-wise)
Ultimately I’m pretty happy with my current configuration, but I’m looking forward to coming improvements.