My 2012 computer setup

(This started as a Google+ post, but since those words are wasted, I decided to blog it instead)

I do all of my work on a laptop, which I recently repaved for the new software Microsoft released last week. I thought it might be interesting to share the configuration.


At the moment I survive on the single LCD monitor plus laptop screen, though when I return to Australia I'll add a second 22" monitor. I've used more expensive keyboards from Logitech in the past but the Microsoft Wired Keyboard has a very nice feel to it when typing.

Here is my WEI rating. The graphics performance is normally much higher, but I'm only using the built-in Windows 8 driver instead of drivers from the graphics vendor because, well, they seem very crashy.

Windows Experience Index


Although I'm using Windows 8, I spend all of my time in the desktop, and haven't installed any Metro Windows 8 style applications from the application store yet.

So far I've managed to avoid installing SQL Server or any older versions of Visual Studio. I think if that time comes I'll set up a virtual machine using VirtualBox.

What does your 2012 hardware/software configuration look like?

A picture of me

Welcome, my name is Paul Stovell. I live in Brisbane and work on Octopus Deploy, an automated deployment tool for .NET applications.

Prior to founding Octopus Deploy, I worked for an investment bank in London building WPF applications, and before that I worked for Readify, an Australian .NET consulting firm. I also worked on a number of open source projects and was an active user group presenter. I was a Microsoft MVP for WPF from 2006 to 2013.

20 Aug 2012

Paul - Thanks for sharing.

Boy, that Primary hard disk subscore is insane. I am going to get one of those!

A while back I shared my toolbox here.

20 Aug 2012

Have you specifically avoided installing the various bits of SQL server that come with VS2012?

Adrian Clark
Adrian Clark
20 Aug 2012

Are there any particular reasons why you would choose VirtualBox over the built-in Hyper-V support in Windows 8?

20 Aug 2012

@Adrian I always avoided hyper-V on my laptop because it used to break sleep, but your question prompted me to check and it sounds like this is no longer an issue. I'll give it a try!

20 Aug 2012
20 Aug 2012

@Mehdi, New MacBook Pro with Retina = 7.6 / 7.9 / 5.2 / 5.9 / 8.1 (run in Windows 8 under parallels with a bunch of stuff running. Probably faster in bootcamp).

20 Aug 2012

My dev setup is:


  • An oldish Dell Vostro 220, 500Gig HD, 4Gig Mem
  • A Mac Mini
  • 3 x 22" Monitors, two for the PC, one for the Mac
  • Cheap Dell Keyboard + Mouse
  • iPhone 4S
  • WP7 HTC Trophy


  • VS 2012
  • Office 2010
  • Xcode
  • Chrome (and Opera on the Mac)
  • WinMerge
  • 7-Zip
  • TortoiseSVN
  • TortoiseGit (I hate command-line!)
  • SkyDrive
  • Synergy

Synergy is very cool. It allows me to plug my keyboard / mouse into my PC, but use it for the Mac also. I can move the mouse right off my 2nd PC screen onto the Mac screen. It feels a bit like magic!

My head is starting to get a bit confused between C#, Java, JavaScript and Objective-C these days - but I am just about coping ;-)

Regards, Colin E.

20 Aug 2012

CADbloke's 2012 Computer Setup

  • HP 8560w i7 2720QM 32GB
  • Storage: 240GB OCZ Vertex3 + 500GB Seagate Hybrid HDD: DVD drive in the docking station
  • 3x 24" External monitors, 2 of them on Displaylink USB-DVI, one in Portait.
  • Also a HP 8530w C2D 8GB with a 20" & (sometimes) 24" monitor + 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 & 750GB HDD. DVD in dock.
  • I do most of my CAD drawing on the 8530w - AutoCAD isn't multithreaded.
  • Also an (ex-PDC) Acer 1420P 8GB with Windows 8 RTM on a 120GB OCZ Vertex2 + 32GB SDHC card.
  • I stick with HP Elitebooks because their 3 yr on-site warranty support has always been good for me.
  • There are 7 screens (including 3 laptops) on my desk.
  • Windows 7 x64 on the HPs because...
  • AutoCAD 2013 (8560w), AutoCAD 2012 (8530w) won't run in Win 8.
  • AutoCAD changed quite radically internally with v2013, hence the 2 dev environments. Most dev is on the 8560w
  • VS 2012 Ultimate RTM + VSCommands + PowerCommands (Dark theme, menus in CAPs)
  • Resharper 7
  • Jetbrains dotpeek
  • Nunit (I wish I could say I used it more :/)
  • Atomineer Docs (getting old & forgetful so I document my code)
  • Beyond Compare
  • Linqpad (need to use this more))
  • TortoiseHg + Kiln tools + HgSccPackage for VS
  • msysgit + Github for Windows + TortoiseGit + Git Source Control Provider for VS
  • Fiddler2
  • DropBox
  • Google Chrome + Lastpass, Xmarks, Instapaper, Pinboard, Search Center, AdBlock, Neat Bookmarks.
  • Firefox as a life-support system for Firebug (I know about FB for Chrome)
  • Internet Exploder for MSDN downloads.
  • NotePad++, 7-zip, PDF xChange 4 Pro (Good Generator for AutoCAD & Reader), Foxit for printing really complex PDFs from CAD.
  • Paint.NET, Irfanview (+RIOT), VLC, Inkscape (vector editor), ImgBurn
  • Excel 2010 (no Outlook, Word etc - I use Google Docs) + Excel compare
  • VirtualBox
  • FileZilla
  • Acronis True Image 2010 on bootable USB sticks / HDDs
21 Aug 2012

WEI for MBPr under bootcamp 7.9 / 7.9 / 7.1 / 7.1 / 8.1 yum