Stuff I wouldn't wanna live without.

Posted on 7/22/2007 @ 12:56 AM in #Non Techie by | Feedback | 5639 views

Okay, I don't have a lot of stuff. I am not quite the gadget head a lot of us are, but there are a few things I cannot imagine life without.

  1. Foldershare: I cannot tell you, how much this one product has made a difference to my life. Moving between computers, repaving machines, travelling a lot and being offline-online, backups, all of these scenarios have been made 200% simpler with this one tool. Wishlist: I wish they would introduce a right click --> Share through foldershare shell extension.
  2. My Windows Mobile Phone: I am not kidding, if it isn't on my schedule, it isn't getting done. And working as a consultant, you have so many priorities, so many things to take care of. Getting all your emails aggregated for you in a single device is quite nice also. Though, I must say that I am quite annoyed by WM5's freezing, and frankly, the iPhone makes my XV6700 look like a pre-soviet machine. I think I will upgrade to iPhone, soon as they fix these downers. But for now, I cannot imagine life without this brick I carry around everywhere. Sometimes I put it in my pocket for attention.
  3. My 4gig RAM laptop: Again, something I cannot imagine life without. Yes I have a honkin' compzilla desktop at home, but you can't beat the portability of a laptop. It is nice to fire up a bunch of virtual machines, and simply RDP to them from my laptop from my backyard on a nice summer day. Also, I carry my laptop with me wherever I go. I have a custom case storage for it in my car, a stand for it in the bathroom, and by the bed. If you think I am sick, I don't have a TV - and people have televisions all over their houses. I think having a TV everywhere in your house is pretty darned mentally sick! Seriously, how much of Paris Hilton do you need?
  4. My iPod: Sorry zune, or whoever else, but iTunes + iPod is a pretty well thought out combination. Frankly, I am not a big fan of iTunes, but the featureset, and the simplicity of both ipod + itunes are very well thought out. I have a 4G iPod going bad on me, and hoping Apple releases an iPhone like 80/120G iPod, consider it sold! iRiver players are quite nice too, but they don't do things such as "rating", "smart playlists", etc. Plus, lets already have a 16 gig flash player please. Oh and get the etymotic ER6 headphones. I've had them for about 2-3 years now.
  5. Virtualization/VMWare Workstation: Again, I blogged about this earlier, this has been a huge timesaver for me over the long run. I've been virtualizing a lot to improve my real life.
  6. MSN Messenger: This, used right can be a huge boon, or evil. Seriously, all lonely hearts are blocked immediately on my MSN. But to the point communication with the right individuals is what it is all about. I have about 150ish folks on my IM, many of them top notch well known professionals, and we have a good time-efficient, symbiotic relationship going on there.
  7. Gmail: I get more emails than I can handle. If it weren't for gmail, and it's searching, and almost 3 gigabytes, my life would be in a complete disarray. Now, Outlook 2007 is pretty sweet, but it is tied to a single machine. I wish there was a way to have outlook 2007 be available on multiple machines without a honkin' exchange server (and sorry, no crazy setups, I like keeping my life simple).
  8. 24" LCD Dual Screens + 30" LCD screen on my main compzilla: See, I don't have a TV. TV is the biggest time drag you can imagine. But having a sweet 3 monitor setup is a rather sweet thing to have. I frequently find myself with an eBook on one screen, and the other two screens for visual studio, and internet explorer/tabbed instances. A huge timesaver and worthwhile investment. Wish laptops did the same :-/.
  9. My office on wheels: Get a good computer bag. Something with wheels, a telescoping handle, that has atleast two compartments for all your electronics, maybe even an overnight tshirt, and another compartment to store a 17" laptop (though I insist on carrying a 15.4" screen laptop, the extra space is good for cables etc.). Trust me, this thing on wheels is a gazillion times better than a shoulder slung anything, or backpack. And make sure it has a cellphone compartment for easy access :-). Going through airport security is a lot easier if this compartment can store your change, cellphone, and your wrist watch.
  10. A business card holder: I have NEVER bought a printer. Why? Because I dislike paper clutter. If you ever hand me a business card, I usually go home and send you an email with your contact info, so you have mine, and I can later on search for you - and then promptly recycle the paper card you handed me. I also don't carry any business cards myself - if you wish to stay in touch, give me your card and I'll electronically be in touch. Frankly, this is much more convenient, efficient, and effective. So WTF do I like a business card holder for? Well, I use it to store QTips. Yes, those ear buds are the same length as a business card :-). And when you travel, 99% of the hotels don't give you QTips. The swankier hotels give you free QTips that have a tendency to come loose in your ear (ouch!). But hey, it is good to give your ears a good cleaning after a warm shower. Makes the travel a bit bearable. heheh :-)

Okay, I'm tagging 5ish of my friends on stuff they wouldn't wanna live without.

Scott Allen

Scott Hanselman

Frans Bouma

Bill Ryan

Andrew Connell

.. and all the codebetter guys ..

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 7/22/2007 3:37:07 PM Speednet said ..
Interesting about the 3-monitor setup. Do you ever wish those were 3-30" monitors, or are you happy with the 2-24's on the side? The reason I ask is that I'm considering which way to go right now. I have 1 30" main, and I am looking to expand.

Also, how are you driving them? 2 cards?

Thanks for the info!

-Todd ("Speednet")

On 7/22/2007 7:13:15 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Todd, I thought I'd never say this, but 2 x 24" + 1 x 30" is about enough. Seriously, how much real estate do ya need :).

I have switched the 24" in vertical mode however.

Oh and I have dual display cards.

On 7/23/2007 12:00:32 AM Speednet said ..
Sahil, I was actually [realistically] looking at two (instead of three) 30" screens, but having no experience with multi-monitor setups -- and not even SEEING many -- makes it difficult to know what's best. That is interesting about the vertical-mode. I can see where that would be useful.

I guess my question was aimed at differences in screen size. Is it difficult (geometry-wise) to have different-sized screens adjacent to each other? Would you have found it easier/better if they were the same size? (Regardless of if you're talking about using all 24" screens or all 30" screen.)

On 7/23/2007 5:30:36 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Todd - then certainly get two of the same size.

Also, then you can get any good Dual DVI Card. I think for two 30" you will need dual cards anyway, but I can't be sure - I built my rig almost 1.5 years ago, and technology might have moved since.

On 7/23/2007 9:41:53 AM Rob Garrett said ..
I didn't make your friend list....... I'm hurt ;)

Here's a similar blog post I wrote:


On 7/23/2007 11:25:53 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Oh man, I thought about putting you on, but I remembered that you already put up a post like that earlier. (Seriously!)

On 7/24/2007 4:50:48 PM Scott said ..
Got a reply coming ...

On 7/26/2007 8:56:58 AM AC [MVP MOSS] said ..
Reply coming...

On 7/26/2007 1:23:30 PM Monitor said ..
Can you post picture of your 3-monitor LCD setup.