Stuff Brian Uses

I’m always curious what software and hardware other people use, so I thought I would leave this out here as a reference.


  • 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • 2.6GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16GB DDR3
  • 1TB PCIe SSD


  • ASUS P8Z77 WS Motherboard
  • Intel Xeon E3 1245 V2 Processor
  • 4 x 8GB DDR3 1600M MHz Memory (32GB Total)
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 960
  • 1 x 120GB Intel X-25M SSD
  • 2 x 2TB Hitachi 7200RPM HDDs
  • Philips BDM4065UC 40″ 4K Monitor (in Picture by Picture mode with DisplayPort, MiniDP, HDMI, and HDMI-ML inputs for 4x monitors on 1 screen!)


  • VMWare ESXi
    • I use ESXi 5.5 and 6.0 for my test lab.
  • VMWare Workstation
    • I use Workstation for my local VM’s on my Windows workstation.
  • VMWare Fusion
    • I use Fusion for my local VM’s on my MacBook Pro.
  • Veeam Backup and Replication
    • Used for backups of my ESXi-based test lab.
  • SQL Backup and FTP
    • Great little back-up utility for really simple automated SQL Server backups.
  • DropBox
    • Doesn’t everyone use this?
  • UltraEdit
    • Probably the best text editor available.  It has a great tabbed interface and will open files that are many GB in seconds.  I use it on both my Mac and Windows boxes.
  • Notepad++
    • If you don’t want to spend the money on UltraEdit, Notepad++ is the next best thing.  The downside to Notepad++ is that there is no Mac version.
  • Remote Desktop Manager
    • There are a lot of options for remote desktop management.  I’ve tried a variety of them, but I still prefer RDM the most.  It has a great tabbed interface and stores passwords in a local encrypted file.  It also has a Mac version and an import/export that works between Windows and Mac.  While there is an Enterprise version with a client/server setup, I just use the regular version.  It interfaces with Dropbox so that I have all of my connections on all of my computers.
  • Splashtop Personal
    • RDP works at some clients, but often times its blocked.  Splashtop has yet to fail behind a single client firewall, though I’m sure I’ll eventually find a place that blocks it.
  • SnagIt
    • If you see a screenshot on this blog…it was taken with SnagIt.  It has really simple tools to add annotations and borders.  It also does a great job for Webinars.
  • Rufus
    • This is a great tool for creating bootable thumb drives.  I won’t say I use it all the time, but if you are setting up a new server or reloading a laptop, it does a great job of creating bootable thumb drives in a hurry.




  1. You should look into Nextcloud for self-hosting cloud storage.

    Can you do a build guide on a mail server? Preferably something virtualized and linux based.

    • Brian Marshall
      July 16, 2018 - 10:10 pm

      There are a lot of guides out there on doing a mail server. The biggest problem is that if you are hosting it at home, virtually all home ISP’s are blacklisted from e-mail hosting. Too much risk for spam if you didn’t configure your relay correctly.

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