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 HS8 studio monitors, a desk mat with mechanical 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 Apple has got their hardware game back, and the ARM transition is pretty exciting, so it won me back for now.

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. The laptop itself is tucked behind the monitors in a TwelveSouth BookArc vertical stand.

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 operating systems, I of course run macOS primarily, but on my non-Apple computers I generally stick to the latest release of Fedora Workstation.

For getting work done, I use Microsoft Edge 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 begrudgingly pay for Apple Music for easier syncing between my devices. On Linux I sync music with the rest of my files through Nextcloud, and use the lovely Lollypop music player.

Cloud infrastructure is generally on Microsoft Azure with some secondary stuff in Linode and Scaleway. 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.