We just moved into a new place and I added a few more touches to my home office setup. I use a motorized sit/stand NextDesk Terra Pro, so I can move the whole desk up or down with the touch of a button. I can’t say enough good things about that desk – it’s still rock solid, and survived a few moves.
I wanted to up my minimalism game, though, so I mounted some of my gear underneath the desktop:
The thing with the bright sticker is the NextDesk motor controller, and that’s always been mounted under the desk, and same with a power strip. Here’s the new stuff:
StarTech 1U wall mount rack bracket ($20) to hold my Blackmagic Design 4-drive SSD dock ($550) – fast storage for in-production videos and virtual machines. You can daisy-chain more Thunderbolt peripherals off it, too, like monitors or cameras. I’ve tried a lot of cheaper USB3 storage arrays over the years and been disappointed with them dropping offline under heavy loads. This thing is designed for the video industry and it’s bulletproof.
Rocstor Rocmount under-desk Mac Pro mount ($95) – brilliant design, but really crappy wood screws included. I broke the heads off four of them before eventually getting more from Home Depot.
I wouldn’t recommend that people buy a Mac Pro today because the bang-for-the-buck isn’t there anymore, but it’s served me well for a few years. The thing with Apple gear is that if you buy it at the right point, it has a really long lifespan and great resale value. This one has 6 cores and 64GB RAM, and it’s even upgradable to 128GB RAM and newer CPUs.
Here’s another angle of it from directly under the desk:
I got my Nextdesk with the optional aluminum cable tray and two through-desk grommets, and everything routes through there. I’ll go back and clean up the cables more after a couple of weeks – I wanna make sure I’ve got everything right first.
The end result is less cables and gear on top of the desk:
The technical stuff left on the desktop:
- Monitors – older BenQ 32″ 2K and ASUS 24″ on a dual-arm Monitors in Motion Boa mount. I keep looking at newer, higher-resolution monitors with longing, but this setup still works fine.
- Audioengine A2+ speakers – great sound, USB and headphone inputs. No bass though.
- Parrot Zik headphones and wireless charger – for rocking out before Erika wakes up.
- Logitech C930e webcam, but the new Logitech Brio 4K is en route.
- Electro Voice RE-20 microphone, mounted on a Rode PSA 1 boom arm, wired into a Scarlett 2i2 USB audio input. I’d rather have the Scarlett’s cable clutter under the desk, but I frequently need to watch & tweak the audio levels.
- Apple Magic Trackpad 2 and Microsoft Ergo Sculpt keyboard – my recent experiments with the Ergodox-EZ keyboard were a failure. Like I wrote back then, it was just too awkward to switch back and forth with my laptop keyboards on the road.
- CowboyStudio light – only one is up in that photo, but all three are up now.
Miscellaneous small stuff:
- Fidget Cube – because I know somebody’s gonna zoom in and ask about this, and it’s awesome. It’s a knock-off of the successful Kickstarter, which just took forever to ship.
- Nova – eye covered in Swarovski crystals by my favorite artists (NSFW), Sas and Colin Christian. (Their sites (and some of their art) are not safe for work, but I have a bunch of their SFW stuff.)
- Playmobil Porsche 911 Targa – to tide me over until I can get the real thing.
- Uisge Source Speyside water – a gift from a SQLbits pre-con attendee, this water is meant to go along with Speyside whiskey. I need to go back to Scotland and spend more time there.
Back to the tech stuff – the end result is that only a single power cable goes from the desk to a CyberPower sinewave UPS on the floor. Everything moves up and down at the touch of a button, and I don’t have to worry about rearranging cables. I can sit when I work on code or blog posts, then stand when I present or meet with clients. The easier it is to switch from sitting to standing, the more I find myself doing it – I probably switch 4-5 times per day these days.
Next up: unpacking pictures and decorating the walls.