What I use


Recently, I migrated my PC into a small form factor case, the Silverstone SG13. It is really small and weighs only 5.4kg. It is not shabby at all when it comes to its performance, with its overclocked quad core Haswell chip and GTX 970 card, although there is more room for improvement without putting on weight. (eg: upgrade the GTX 970 to a reference GTX 980 Ti) 

The main reason why I wanted to make it smaller is so that I can carry it inside the checked in baggage when flying back to my country. Or maybe even in carry on luggage, because it is well below the 7kg limit, though I have to count the weight of the bag and might have to get rid of the all-in-one water cooler. Checked in baggage it is then.

This is my first PC without any internal mechanical hard drive. And I do not plan on installing any in the future. This does not mean that I do not have mechanical hard drives. I have two, and I use a external USB 3.0 case to hook them up to the PC when needed


CPU:Intel Core i7 4790K @4.5GHz / 1.20V
CPU Cooler: Antec Kuhler 620
Motherboard:Asus Z97I-Plus
Video Card:MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G @1500MHz/8000MHz
SSDs:Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
HDDs:Western Digital Green 4TB WD40EZRX (external)
Display:Qnix QX2710 Evolution II 2560x1440 @96Hz
Case:Silverstone Sugo SG13
PSU:Silverstone SX500-LG
Mouse:Logicool G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse
Mouse Pad:None!
Keyboard:iBUFFALO 107-Key US Layout USB keyboard
Headphones: AudioTechnica ATH-AD500X
Speakers: Logicool Z623
Webcam: Logicool C910


I had an Asus UL20A laptop earlier and I sold it to get the 2011 MacBook Air. I did not have to pay the whole price, because I bought it with a new internet connection. I got a JPY35,000 discount. It's a pretty big deal. That was about $435 back then. It is a different story now.

We also had an Asus T100TA tablet, and when I had it I hardly used the MacBook Air. But now that I do not have it anymore, I use this when my wife uses my Desktop PC - especially feeding my kid, as he won't eat his meals without watching cartoons. My wife uses the MacBook Air

The specs (given below) are still decent for a Ultra Book class laptop. It used to get hot and noisy even when watching a YouTube video, however after several OS updates, the fan doesn't seem to spin up as aggressively as it used to. However, after 4 years of usage, the battery is showing some serious wear. I can replace it at a cost of JPY 14,000 or so, though I am not sure if I should spend that much money on a 4 year old laptop. On the other hand, the only reasonable upgrade to this laptop is a MacBook Pro Retina 13.3 inch model or a 15 inch model.

This is currently running the latest version of OSX, El Capitan. I also have Windows 10 Pro running using Bootcamp and I use it to test the Insider Previews. 

I did not use a protective shield or skin on the laptop, however the body has held up very well. There are couple of tiny scuff marks on the edges and that is about it. There are no scratches on the body nor on the screen. It probably is because we hardly took it out of the house.


Dimensions:    H: 0.11-0.68" (0.3-1.7cm)
W: 12.8" (32.5cm)
D: 8.94" (22.7cm)
Weight:2.96 lbs (1.35kg)
CPU:           1.7GHz dual-core Core i5
Graphics:      Intel HD 3000
RAM:           4GB DDR3-1333
SSD:           128GB SSD
Display:       1440 x 900
Ports:         Thunderbolt
2x USB 2.0
SDHC slot
Composite audio in/out jack
OS:            Mountain Lion


After using an iPhone 3GS, 4S and a 5S, I finally moved to Android at the beginning of 2015 due to the stability issues experienced with iOS 8 and also to experience something new. The phone I chose was the 32GB Google Nexus 5, which has since been discontinued. Both my wife and I switched phones, and weirdly enough, my wife hasn't been too annoyed with Android.

The phone is unlocked and we had to switch carriers (from Softbank to AU to Y-Mobile) to get this phone. We could have bought it from Google Play Store but setting it up with the existing Softbank connection would have been complicated. Plus, we received a decent promotional offer in the process as well.

The phone originally came with Android 4.4.3 and I manually upgraded it to 5.0.1, 5.1, 5.1.1. Thanks to being Nexuses, the both phones received Android 6.0 updates soon within a couple of weeks after it was released to the public.

Both of us use cases as we do not intend to upgrade phones in the near future. Both cases were bought from eBay but they are not identical. I use a rugged, black case where as my wife uses a slicker, pink case.

Although I expected that switching from iOS to Android would not be a smooth transition, luckily I haven't had any major issues to regret that decision. Sure there have been issues, but those don't outweigh the benefits.

※For a brief period of time, I switched to an iPhone 6 using a Campaign. I was able to test iOS 9 on it as well. Sadly, the state of the OS had not improved from iOS 8. Even though the iPhone 6 flew with iOS 8, it was brought down to its knees with iOS 9 - performance wise as well as stability wise. I do not have the iPhones with me anymore. Sadly the camera on it was way superior to the one on the Nexus 5, which is terrible.


I recently bought a Canon EOS 70D-W DSLR with the 18-135mm IS STM lens kit. I used to have a Canon PowerShot S95 camera and loved it for the compactness, but it wasn't doing anymore.

For me, there have been two issues with DSLRs. First one is the size and the second one is the need for change lenses. The first one is pretty hard to avoid. There are a lot of compact DSLRs coming out, but they are not as good as the big guys when it comes to the feature set and the image quality. But I could avoid the second issue by going with a zoom lens that has decent range. Eventually I might want to get another lens or two. But I don't see that happening anytime soon. I can manage with this 18-135mm lens.

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