Home Desktop Setup

Here are two images of my desktop computer setup. It took me a few months to get all of the components, but since a large portion of my time is spent here, it was definitely worthwhile. My vision when buying the components was to focus on ergonomics (no cheaping out on this cost) and not buying a cutting edge system (saving some money here). A good chair is very important and lasts years. In comparision, a very powerful computer system is obtainable for around $600 and will be near obsolete soon enough.

Desk Setup

The desk setup specs:

  • Laminate corner desk with three drawers
  • Slide out/adjustable pneumatic keyboard drawer
  • Completely adjustable dual monitor stand
  • An AllSteel Acuity desk chair
Chair

And some of the computer hardware:

  • HP p7-1038 desktop (six-core CPU, 8GB ram)
  • Two 22' ASUS LED monitors
  • Microsoft ergo 4000 keyboard

The setup is great. One thing needs to be done still - a modification of the desk to accomodate the monitor stand pole. I assumed it would fit in the natural desk hole. But it does not. Hence the current makeshift board mounting seen in the first image.

As a programmer, I use my laptop when on the road or when I need a change of scenery and want to work in a different room for awhile. One issue with this is it produces a problem of knowing which machine development files are on and creates work in manually copying/moving files. I have found a nice solution to this, involving git and windows live mesh.


December 2011

A lot has/is happening in the past month. We found out that our good friend Vince is moving to Calgary which is sad but exciting for him. He shall be missed : (

I went to Orange County for a few days to meet with a client, networx online. It was good to meet the people I have been remotely working with for a couple of months now.

Tressa and I started and finished all of our Christmas shopping in two evenings last week. Glad to not have to fight the crowds anymore this year. I am looking forward to spending some time with family this holiday season.

This is also the time of year when music magazines all publish their top album of the year lists. I enjoy creating my own favorite lists of the year and have done so since 2007. So anticipate another one soon. 2011 was an abundant year for good music and so this year was much easier to fill ten slots then last year was.


An Ideal Working Environment

Now that I am a freelance worker, I have much more control over my working environment. This can mean many things such as noise level, distraction, human interaction, daily routine, equipment and clients. The proper atmosphere can make a huge difference. This is something that I know all too well.

Desk Nameplate

Distraction

I have worked for one company which had a very cheerful environment. Music always played, people were friendly and very sociable. That was great, but it was also very hard to get work done. The constant carnival environment provided distractions and led to unnecessary pressure when crunch time came.

I have also worked for a company that had the opposite problem. There was a quiet environment provided, but it was too much quiet. The place felt eerie, sterile, inhumane. It lacked personality.

Naturally, I am striving for something in between. No one knows your ideal work environment and preferences better than yourself. Some people can not work with any distraction, others thrive. Still others like a bit of background music. This is just one metric of office satisfaction. The more people sharing the same office space, the less likely that everyone is or could be satisfied.

Social Interaction

The philospher Sartre said "Hell is other people", while it has been said that "No man is an island". Working by yourself is not for everyone. Though developers are generally fairly intrinsic and introverted, we are people nonetheless. To compensate for the removal of office banter, I plan to attend a few large conferences this year - I went to OSCON in July and it was a very positive experience. I also plan on going to more local events - professional related and non-professional ie) music events, joining a club, going to the gym, maybe try my luck at standup comedy, etc.

It has also been my fortunate experience in the last year to find that remote communication can actually be much more open and cordial than a local office environment.

Ergonomics

I just turned thirty, and have had back issues for a few years. I know that one of the main reasons for this is that I spend many, many hours hunched over a computer. At past jobs I did not always have great office equipment. Sometimes I had downright awful equipment. An ergonomic desk setup is essential to the profession I am in, or any profession that involves sitting at one.

I have dual monitors with an adjustable stand and am getting a good office chair soon (something that I am excited about). Picture to follow in another post.

Some Homebased Work Advantages

I am finding new advantages of working for myself all the time, such as:

  • It is very easy to make a fresh, simple meal at home while working. I have a fridge and oven right by the office. No more wasting 20 minutes in traffic to pickup something to eat.
  • Speaking of lunch time traffic, no more daily commute : )
  • At the same time that I am freed from monotonous local travel, I am free to do more long distance travel. I could ssh in from anywhere and get my job done.
  • No uber-micromanagement.

I firmly believe that I have made a great choice in trying a home based business and am very happy with it so far : )


Great mood

I am in a great mood. Things have been "Coming up Milhouse" for me the last few weeks.

This is terrific way to approach the age of 30, which I will turn on Friday.


Business Owner

I am very pleased to announce that I am now my own boss! I have received a business license to work from home and have two very good clients.

This is something I am very excited about and so is Tressa. I have done a lot of research into tax information, accounting, the whole rigamarole and know that it is not only a viable option, but actually should increase my earnings and flexibility. I know that I have the discipline and skill necessary to be successful on my own business.

freedom

Will keep you posted on further developments.


Spotlight Song
TV On The Radio - Will Do

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Spotlight Album

TV On The Radio - Will Do ()

Really good song off of TV on the Radio's new album Nine Types of Light.  I love the lyrics

 

...Your love makes a fool of you
You can't seem to understand
Our heart doesn't play by rules
And love has it's own demands

 

But I'll be there to take care of you
If ever you should decide
But you don't want to waste your life
In the middle of a lovesick lullaby

Anytime will do
My love
Anytime will do...



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Words of Wisdom

Everyone hears only what he understands.

Goethe

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