From time to time I am asked how I do my charts. I have answered this question at length on my other blog. In this post, I want to focus a little more on the hardware side of things.
Currently, I use a late-2012 iMac with a 3.4 GHz processor and 16Mb of ram. This is my third Apple Mac computer. The previous two were MacBooks. Before that I was a Linux/Ubuntu fan. (I still use Linux occasionally to manipulate data on the Parallels virtual machine).
Connected to the iMac are two Apple Thunderbolt Displays and one generic 27 inch monitor. The generic monitor connects through a J5 Create USB3 to HDMI adapter. Often I use one of the monitors as a TV with an Elgato Eye-TV tuner.
For sound, I have two floor-standing speakers (at each side of the picture) and a sub-woofer (under the desk), all driven by a Denon 2113 AV Receiver (on the filing cabinet). The remote control for the Denon is on the desk. I use a Toslink optical cable to get the sound from the iMac to the AV Receiver.
On the desk you can see a DVD drive, a blu-ray drive, a silver 2TB USB3 back-up hard drive (time machine), and an orange 256MB Thunderbolt SSD drive (where most of my charting software lives, so I can take it with me when I travel with the MacBook).
Also on the desk there is a Microsoft wheel mouse (my preferred pointing device), an Apple magic mouse and an Apple track pad. Harder to see is an iPhone 4S on charge and a USB2 hub.
Just visible on the bookcase to the right is an Apple Airport Extreme (there is an Airport Express elsewhere in the house that ensures WiFi coverage from the front of the House to the rear). Hiding behind the left desk monitor is an ADSL modem. Behind the AV Receiver is an 8-port hub that distributes internet to other rooms in the house.
What's not in the photo? Behind me is a network printer and a windows machine (only used occasionally). On each side are six bookcases (three a side) spanning my eclectic interests: politics, economics, mathematics, computer science, anthropology, and sci-fi/fantasy fiction. On top of the bookcases are boxes of computer parts (from many years of building my own machines, something I no-longer do). Also not in the photo is my iPad (which gets used every day).
This is where I prepare my charts.