My Setup

Many days of my life have been lost in pursuit of the perfect workstation. I love reading about and looking at other people's desks and workspaces, taking inspiration wherever I can. Hopefully this breakdown of my own helps others in the same way.

Two Dell monitors flanked by Yamaha HS5 studio monitors, a desk mat with a Leopold Topre-switch keyboard and Trackpad sits in front.

Hardware

My "daily driver" computer is the Macbook Pro 14" (2021, M1 Max, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD). I've been a "Linux on the desktop" person for most of my life, but I was lured back to the Mac with the fantastic new hardware that came with the ARM transition. Plus unlike Linux on the desktop, it works reliably when being used by humans.

Centre-stage are two Dell Ultrasharp U2415 24" 1200p displays. Generally I have preferred having two discrete displays over one larger one because it helps my brain separate things, and can make window mangement/fullscreen apps easier.

For input, I use a Leopold FC660C with Topre Silent 45g switches. This is the best keyboard I have ever owned; the extra tactility and premium softness of the topre keys is heavenly. The wood wrist rest in front of it was custom-made by a friend and matches the keyboard dimensions exactly.

For pointing, I use an Apple Magic Trackpad 2. Whenever I have used Macs, I have loved using Apple's wireless trackpads, going back to the first one in 2010. I do also have an original Logitech MX Master which I keep around mostly for games.

For music listening, I have a pair of Yamaha HS5 monitors, powered by an Audient iD4 audio interface. I also have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pros (the 250Ω variant) which plug into the same interface. Finally, I have a pair of Airpods Pro which I use for listening to stuff around or out of the house.

Working remotely means a lot of video calls, and so I use a Blue Yeti microphone bolted to a shock-mount on a matching Blue-branded arm. I found a generic furry pop filter cover for it, which works well and looks hilarious.

Everything mentioned above is connected to my laptop with one thunderbolt cable via a Caldigit TS3+ dock.

Software

Probably the best resource for the details on my software setup is my dotfiles and the ansible playbooks that set up all my machines.

For getting work done, I switch between Microsoft Edge and Safari for web-based things, neovim for text editing, kitty for terminal emulation, Docker for containing, and Todoist for managing my life with lists. Email, Calendar, and most other things all happen in the browser these days.

I maintain my own semi-local music library which I play with Music.app and supplement with Apple Music, which also helps with syncing between my devices.

Cloud infrastructure is generally on Microsoft Azure with some secondary stuff in Linode and OVH. Cloud resources are automated with Terraform, and all servers are configured using Ansible playbooks.

For myself and my family I run or manage a few services, including Nextcloud for file syncing and storage, Fastmail for email and workgroups, Tailscale for a mesh VPN and secure traffic tunneling, and Azure AD for secure identity management and SSO.

Furniture

My desk is a near-death Ikea Bekant motorised sit/stand model. It barely survived moving across the country and is literally falling apart. It's still sturdy enough for now, and gets the job done.

For sitting, I have a "fully loaded" Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair. It is incredibly comfortable, perhaps too comfortable as I often forget to stand during the day.