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My technology ecosystem:
Tyler Cowen has an interesting post about what technology he uses. (It is interesting less because it is hugely insightful and more because it is somewhat quirky.) http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/05/my-personal-tech-ecosystem.html

My own technology ecosystem, in case anyone is interested:
- Samsung ultraportable laptop, which docks with printer, keyboard, screen, external hard-drive etc when I am home. It runs Windows 7 and the basic size, weight and power are similar to an 11 inch Mac Air;
- HTC HD Desire smartphone, if choosing again I would pick something smaller and lighter;
- A mobile broadband USB stick, a few years old but it still works;
- Dropbox. This is essential, since I have desktops at the Financial Times and the BBC. (Get yours here: http://db.tt/WNQDqmxK);
- A Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 inch. Very nice and light, works well as a hotspot, but the software and choice of apps is noticeably inferior to those on my wife's iPad. (I find the iPad heavy and am very surprised Tyler carries two around.)
- A small Kindle. It's so light, why not? I often forward long documents from magazines or my own work to proofread on the Kindle.

Some curiosities about the way I use software, if anyone is interested: when I use Facebook (which is not much) or Google +, I do so on a separate browser from the browser I typically use. This is partly because I have two Google accounts, and partly to resist temptation. And I have also deliberately signed out of Twitter on my main computers - I tweet via a bookmarking service (Delicious/Andricious + Dlvr.it) and I read other people's tweets only on the Galaxy Tab. This is purely about avoiding distraction.

In case any of that is of interest. What about you?
Rahul, a loyal MR reader, asks: You seem a very productive person and travel quite a bit too. Are you very cell-phone savvy and does it impact your productivity? Any apps you love or use a lot? (Do yo...
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7 comments
 
Twitter is the worst distraction, I am forever trying to cut down the number of people I follow, and you Tim are one of my worst distractors, because you post far too many interesting links that I want to read. Please be more banal and boring in the future!
 
The most noteworthy features of my tech setup are that I own no mobile phone (because I am seldom anywhere except my desk and when I am I prefer to be uncontactable) and my monitor is a CRT (because I do a lot of graphical work and all affordable flatscreens distort colour and gamma).

I have Twitter and email tabs open at all times, because I see "avoiding distraction" as being a workaround for a symptom of an unfixed problem. Rather like Zaphod's peril-sensitive sunglasses!
 
+Tim Harford, you should consider doing a slot on usesthis.com; there's lots of interesting interviews to browse there.

+James Rae Smith, I found the cure for checking Twitter. Google+. Since getting involved I only read others' tweets through their RSS feed once a day.
 
Macbook Air 11", iPhone 4, iPad 3. Plus an external backup battery for the iPhone 4 for emergencies. Don't really need anything else as the iPhone 4 can be used as a wifi hotspot with its battery topped up from the backup or MacBook as needed.
 
Macbook Air 13" for programming work.
Almost everything else on an iPad 3.
An iPhone 4s for calls and texts.
 
-13" Toshiba Portege,
-Samsung Galaxy S, If you live in China (as I do) and have an interest in learning the language then a smart phone is necessary.
-Kindle, best way to get books in English in country.
 
Nice. I didn't know you dropped the MacBook Air. I like that you also use Delicious. I am so distracted by your Twitter feed that I try to avoid it.

iMac with an iPad 2 have replaced my MacBook Pro a year ago. I don't find the iPad heavy and take it to the office for personal browsing and note-taking. I read books on it, but it's a huge source of distraction, with Flipbaord as a gate to Procrastinoland. A Kindle is tempting me for that reason (and to rest my eyes).

My quirks: no smartphone, just a 7-year old Nokia because I don't get or like phones, so I want the smallest possible. I use 3 browsers simultaneously (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) since sometimes one of them gets slow and some are better at specific functions (bookmarks organization in Firefox). My data isn't backed up even though my computer has a recall for faulty hard drives. My mouse is on the right at home and on the left at the office, to distribute the daily strain. It took a week of adaptation and it solved my carpal tunnel syndrome years ago.
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