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Tools

I've added this page to give you an insight into the tools (both hardware and software) which I use for my web design work on an everyday basis. Really, I've set up this section to give more computer savvy users of the website a deeper insight into me and the tools I use.

Please do not worry if you don't follow all the language. The tech world is full of jargon. You don't need to understand this page to follow the rest of the website, but if it gives you that bit of interest to find out more, then that's great too.

Hardware

Currently I use a Toshiba Satellite Pro L870-18R laptop as my main design machine. This is a modern laptop PC released about 3 years ago, and offered a very good tech spec for the price at the time I bought it. It is basically an entry-level gaming laptop with a large and well-lit 17.3" monitor screen, along with a decent hard drive, a good amount of memory, and an AMD Radeon graphics card.

Along with this I use a Logitech Hyperion Fury gaming mouse as my main unput device. Like most programmable gaming mice, the sensitivity can be configured down to a really fine level for precision work, and it comes with extra side buttons, which can be really useful for working with photo manipulation or vector image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

I know that a lot of people are fans of Apple Macs, and the impression I get is that they work better 'out of the box' as it were. However I prefer the flexibility and lower prices offered by the x86/PC market.

  • Processor / CPU: Intel Core i5-3210M 2.5 GHz
  • Graphics Card / GFX : AMD Radeon HD 7670M - 2 Gb
  • RAM Specification: 8Gb RAM DDR3 SDRAM PC3-12800
  • Hard Disk / HDD: 500GB 7200RPM
  • Screen: 17.3inch 16:9 aspect ratio, 1600x900 pixels
  • Input: Hyperion Fury G402 Programmable Gaming Mouse
  • Operating System / OS : Windows 8.1

In the near future, I plan to upgrade my main development system to a new tower PC with strong graphics and video editing capabilities, as this is an area I plan to move into in the near future.

Software

The Adobe Suite (including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and more) is massively popular in the design world. I use a copy of the Adobe Master Suite CS5.5 for much of my graphic design and photo / image manipulation work. I occasionally use GIMP, which is a free graphics program similar to Photoshop.

For web coding (HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP, XML, etc), I almost exclusively use Notepad++, a wonderful freeware source code editor. I have previously developed sites in Dreamweaver, but just use it occasionally now.

I do a little programming in other languages (like C++ and Python). For this I use NetBeans or CodeBlocks. There are also many good Python distributions available.

Also important are a local server (for developing sites before release) and an FTP client (for transferring your site to the web). I usually use XAMPP as my development environment and FileZilla as my FTP client.

Lastly, for site testing I run a website through the major browsers. These include Internet Explorer / Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. I test for mobiles and tablets with mobile phone simulators including Chrome Developer Tools and ANDYroid.

  • Adobe Creative Suite CS5.5 (Includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and more)
  • Notepad++ Source Code Editor
  • NetBeans, CodeBlocks Compilers
  • FileZilla FTP Client
  • XAMPP Local Server + Test Environment

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