Time for an office facelift…

Kind of. I’ve been at Automattic now for over 3 years and my home office has remained much the same. Thanks to COVID-19 I’m stuck here even more than usual, so I thought it was time to spruce things up a little, clearing down a lot of the clutter and adding new items that will provide to be useful for my day-to-day. Oh, and lots of dusting and general tidying.

And the picture above is the result!

First of all, let’s cover off what’s new here…

  • Pop filter – the old one was bulky and just got in the way
  • An Apple HomePod – replaces my existing stereo speakers (which I only had problems with due to Bluetooth issues). John Lewis had them at a bargain price, so it was hard to say no to.
  • Desktop fan – This is a lovely one made by Muji
  • USB Hub – not sure if you can see this but it’s behind my monitor stands and actually connects to the edge of the desk, keeping it out of the way. It takes 4 full size USB 3 and I have it connected to my monitor with a USB-C adapter.
  • Plant pot – the succulent isn’t new (although it’s a cutting from one of my existing ones) but the pot is – a lovely ceramic pot on a bamboo base.
  • External backup drive – Sitting under my laptop stand, there’s a Seagate SSD for all my backup needs!
  • Cable Tray – Out of sight is a rather splendid cable tray that screws to the underside of my desk – all the adapters and cables which used to hang loose from my desk and now in the tray.
  • An under-desk headphone stand along with 3 USB-A charging ports. It just makes charging things so much easier when you have a load of dedicated ports at the edge of the desk!
  • Hanging off that headphone stand is a pair of Beats Solo3, which I got on a special offer recently. Their AirPod-like pairing with the iPhone is really handy. My only issue is how tight they feel when worn – something I hope will get better the more I use them.

That’s the new stuff. Let’s look at what I already had…

  • My MacBook Pro. This is the 2018 model, 13″. When I’m travelling, there’s a magnetic Kensington Privacy Filter on it. It’s sitting on a Rain Design mStand, with a USB DVD drive below.
    Apart from a USB converter cable plugged in the side of the MacBook, you’ll notice there’s just one other cable – this plugins into my monitor which has its own USB-C hub and also provides power.
  • A black mesh pen pot. For all the stationary. And, yes, I have a matching waste bin too 😉
  • A Hydra mug coaster. Hand-made, in multi-layered perspex, I picked this up at a Comic Con.
  • ShuttleXpress video jog/shuttle. I like video editing but this can actually be configured to control any app, so it’s great for simple shortcut keys, etc.
  • The beast-like LG 5K monitor. Has a USB-C hub around the rear and built in speakers. I use the internal speakers for system sounds but everything else is pipped into the Creative Bluetooth speakers.
  • Rain Design mStand for iPhone (and iPad). These are really good quality stands, which are also nicely padded.
  • Apple Magic Keyboard. It has a really nice feel to the keys but I wish they’d come out with a new one with the Touch Bar integrated.
  • Apple Magic Trackpad 2. I prefer this over the mouse (yes, I do have one).
  • A Blue Microphones Yeti USB microphone, paired with a boom arm and the aforementioned. I’ve used these in the past for video voiceovers and work very effectively.
  • My rather splendid sit/stand desk, with adjustable height controls. This is the DeskRite 300, available from Posturite.
  • My chair is the rather comfy Humanscale Diffrient World. All mesh and very simply built, I’d recommend it.
  • Who still uses a landline, in this day and age? Me. And Panasonic make the best landline phones, imho. This is one of their DECT models.
  • A Dymo label maker because, well, who doesn’t like labelling everything?
  • An Ember mug. App controlled and self-heating it keeps tea always at hand during the day!

Out of sight of the picture, I also have the following in play…

  • My Samsung CLP-415NW colour laser printer recently gave up the ghost. It’s now been replaced by the HP LaserJet Pro M254DW.
  • With a battery-powered laptop, the biggest single-point-of-failure in a home office is the power taking out your internet connection. So, I have an APC UPS to provide power to my router in case of such an eventuality.
  • A scanner is a handy thing to have. I have the vertical standing Epson Perfection V39. Again, I’ve swapped the cable for one that uses USB-C and, these days, keep it in a cupboard as it sees little action.
  • An Amazon Echo Dot. I have the updated version, sat out of the way and really just still present (since I started using my HomePod) for the family to drop-in on me with it.
  • Google WiFi is my router of choice. I have 4 in total, making up a mesh network across 3 stories and a rear extension. It doesn’t include the modem, so it’s paired with an old (but still one of the best options) BT Openreach model.

Talk to me!

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