Random Thoughts

Setting Up Life in Seattle

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
By Robert S. Donovan

Today my new MacBook Air arrived putting the final touch on my new digital life here in Seattle. It’s always fun to set up a new computer and new digital gadgets. I haven’t owned my own computer in four years using my school issued laptop as my sole machine. So it’s great to get my hands on this new 13 inch MacBook Air and start to customize it. I went back and looked at the software that I started with in 2008 when I got my first Mac computer. Crazy to see what has changed and what has stayed the same. 

So here’s my list of must have software…or is that browser ware?

First Four Downloads:

Chrome – Default Browser

Chrome Canary – Allows you to sign into muptiple accounts. I use this for all my other gmail accounts 

Firefox – Now my backup browser

Opera – Second Backup browser

App Downloads:

1Password: Love this to keep all my passwords safe and synced between all my devices using dropbox

Dropbox: Because I live in the cloud

Google Drive: See above

Pages: Needed to open a document

Chrome Browser Extensions:

TweetDeck: Social Network Client

Bitly URL Shortener: To share things on Twitter and Bookmark them direclty to Diigo

Google+ Page Share: Allows me to share things on my Google+ Profile and Pages

Diigo: My bookmarks

Scribefire: Blog Post Editor that works inside Chrome, can’t blog without it. 

Feedly: RSS Feed Newpaper

Prismatic: RSS Feed Newspaper – new and trying out


Crazy to think that Pages is the only application I’ve downloaded that isn’t Internet based. Guess you know where I’m spending my time. I know I’ll download more but I’ve been working now for 7 hours and this is all I’ve used.


Samsung Galaxy S III

I also purchased a new cell phone for coming back to the States. I bought my wife the HTC One X and I bought the Galaxy S III. I love both of these phones and my wife already knew how the HTC worked so liked sticking to that brand. We bought International unlocked versions (some habits are hard to break) and both phones work on the AT&T Network here in the States. But after talking with Tim Lauer I decided to try Straight Talk and there $45 Unlimited Talk, Text, Data plan…as I still hate contracts. So far I have been very happy with the service and love how Android works perfect with Google Voice.



I decided to go with CondoInternet which services our condo building it was either that or Comcast. But CondoInternet offered 100MBps download and upload for $60 per month and that was just to much speed to resist….especially coming from Bangkok where I paid for 20MBps and if I got 2MBps I was happy.


So…I’m getting all setup here in my new State-Side life and just thought I’d share how the tech side of things are coming. 



I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jeff – and welcome (back) to Seattle! Straight Talk, looks good, hmmm… I’m about to hop on my bike, heading in for my last day of teaching. Looking forward to life on the outside, as I know you are 🙂 Best – Mark

    • Jeff Utecht Reply

      Thanks Mark, I still owe you a drink at some point. Let me know if you’re ever in the City or we can meet up for an M’s game.

  2. Rich Pierog Reply

    Hi, Jeff,

    As always, thanks for sharing. Do you reckon the macpro is useful if you’re doing lots of movie and photo work etc., along with gaming, and that, if you’re not doing that stuff, the air is just as good? All the best, Rich.

    • Jeff Utecht Reply

      Hi Rich,

      Yeah I would agree with that. It depends on how much movie work you’re doing. My Air is handling the movie stuff I’m doing really well…but they’re not major movies. The Retina display on the new MacPro I think at this point really is only worth it if you do a lot of work with images and that’s your job…other than that it’s over kill I think for the majority of people.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.