Categories
Automattic Life

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!

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