Thursday, February 10, 2011

What I Use: Chris Kenst's Gear @ Work

I really liked the Lifehacker series What We Use where Lifehacker's editors write about the hardware and software they use on a regular basis, so I thought I'd do it myself. Only I’ve split it up into two sections. What I Use: My Gear @ Home and What I Use: My Gear @ Work. They really are two separate and interesting places. At work I’m a software tester. At home, I’m a technology enthusiast, blogger, scuba diver and well still a software tester!



At work I've got one regular desktop computer and a number of servers and virtual machines to do my testing.
  • dell_precision_t3500Dell Precision T3500: with 2.4GHz Xeon, 4GB of RAM, 256MB Graphics, Dual 20" Widescreen monitors and 500GB HD. It’s due for a few upgrades including an SSD. I’m running Windows 7 Professional x64.
  • msnaturallaser6000graspMicrosoft Natural Wireless Mouse 6000: I use a conventional keyboard at work but when it comes to my mouse I love having the flexibility of wireless. The design of the Natural Wireless mouse keeps my hand and wrist from hurting after long days. I love it!
  • Linksys 5 Port Switch: I never know when I’m going to need to figure out a problem with a wired device. Most of the time it sits at my desk doing another but every once in a while it becomes a useful tool. 

I test our company’s software in many different environments, emulating a number of possible network designs. Having a lot of hardware that can quickly be configured for various purposes is a must have!
  • My Quality Assurance Lab contains:
    • A varying Dell rack mount servers running Windows 2003/2008, SQL Server 2005/2008 with varying configurations.
    • 2 KEMP Load Balancers
    • 2 Dell PowerConnect switches
    • 2 APC UPS units: You never know when the power will go out.
  • 2 VMware ESXi servers: For quickly cloning and building test machines or consolidating Production servers.
  • 1 VMware Server server: For older, less power intensive virtual machines. Mainly for browser compatibility testing.

Main Browser: Don't have one. I use IE 8, FF 3.6 and Chrome almost evenly. I also have Safari installed and have a bevy of virtual machines capable of running IE6, IE7, FF2.0, FF3.0, FF3.5 on a variety of platforms. I'm a software tester so all the bugs are in IE, Firefox has lot of good extensions and Chrome is super fast and has application shortcuts.

Extensions: For Firefox: Selenium IDE, Web Developer, Hack bar, Firebug, Greasemonkey and User Agent Switcher. For IE: ieHTTPheaders and IE8 Developer Tools.

Windows Apps:
  • VMware Workstation: Pretty much a requirement for creating and managing VMware based virtual machines and servers. You can’t run a ESXi or VMware Server without it.
  • RoboHelp: The standard for creating and maintaining our help system. Used in coordination with our Technical Writers.
  • Utilities: Notepad ++, Paint.NET, KeePass, Snag It, Zune Music Software, OneNote, CrashPlan, Outlook, Dropbox, WinMerge and WireShark to name a few.
  • Other VM stuff: VMware vSphere, Windows Virtual PC, Oracle VirtualBox.
Mac OS X:
  • Safari on Leopard and Snow Leopard for compatibility reasons.
Mobile Apps

  • We don’t do any mobile application testing right now.


Anonymous said...

pictures are broken

Guest said...

pictures are still broken