My Home Office Reaches Its Final Form

My work from home has been going really swimmingly and I’ve continued to tweak and add to my setup and finally got the last piece of the puzzle delivered today so I thought I’d provide an updated post. I don’t really think this is of interest to anyone but writing about this just makes me happy. Thanks endless void of the internet for always being a great audience!

  1. [Unchanged] The central piece for this whole set up is a newly purchased Dell XPS 15 laptop that has some fairly robust capabilities, particularly for the image editing and batch actions I’m doing. It has a Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 0.5 TB SSD, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and Thunderbolt 3. I’ve got it parked on a cheap Nulaxy laptop stand that I picked up on Amazon.
  2. [Unchanged] The Thunderbolt 3 port enabled me to take advantage of the CalDigit TS3 Plus dock, which connects to all of the other peripherals that I’ll list below, as well as delivering power and ethernet to the laptop. Conveniently it tucks right under the laptop inside the Nulaxy laptop stand.
  3. [Unchanged] A friend passed along an old monitor he was no longer using which is attached to the CalDigit dock. It is a HANNspree monitor, though no idea what the model is. This took a bit of trial and error as the CalDigit dock only outputs through DisplayPort and the monitor only receives HDMI. Turns out you need an active display port adapter or cable, not a passive one (as I initially had purchased.)
  4. [Unchanged] My keyboard is an Azio Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Wired Keyboard that is newly purchased and has been lovely so far. It’s a pretty cheap options I just wanted a real keyboard to make this more like a conventional desktop computer setup. The backlighting is nice in the evenings, and honestly as my youth continues to flee, the large print isn’t terrible either. Connects to the CalDigit dock.
  5. [Unchanged] My mouse is an old Anker gaming mouse that was surprisingly cheap at the time and allows a fair bit of customization with enough input options to be useful. Nothing much to say here, I just used the mouse I still had laying around. Connects to the CalDigit dock.
  6. [Unchanged] This is a Nektech 72W charger that I use for my phone. I had originally bought this to have a single charger for both my phone and my old ASUS C302 Chromebook, but as I’ve migrated laptops, this has become a dedicated phone charger on my desk. It has three additional USB A ports for charging of other devices as well which is handy.
  7. [Unchanged] This Epson V600 photo scanner was borrowed from my workplace so that I could do at home digitization projects, in conjunction with Epson Scan installed on my laptop. It has been a dream to stay productive on repetitive scanning at home and is now making me think about getting myself one for my own use. Connects to the CalDigit dock.
  8. [Unchanged] It’s nice not having my phone constantly in use streaming podcasts so I’m using a Nest Hub as my media device, casting from Pocket Casts to the Nest Hub for entertainment during the day. I also have set it up recently as a digital photo frame which has honestly been pretty awesome while feeling rather isolated. Having images of friends and family scroll through helps a lot with that (that’s a picture of my friend Mike, hi Mike!). Also I just like the idea of this being my command center like I’m on the bridge of a spaceship or something, so MOAR SCREENZ helps me achieve that admittedly silly goal.
  9. [New] In continuing to pursue a MOAR SCREENZ level of home productivity, I’ve got a little “cluster o’ screens and things” going on the wall next to my monitor, including the indoor temperature/humidity monitor which has now been mounted to the wall, along with some more goodies described below.
  10. [Unchanged] I backed the original Antsy Labs Fidget Cube desk toy and it continues to live on in this place on my desk. Nice to have something tactile to play with while staring at progress bars.
  11. [Unchanged] I’ve got an ancient 2.1 computer speaker set that I’ve moved around something like 5 apartments. Since they refuse to break I keep using them, nothing much to say here other than they also connect to the CalDigit dock.
  12. [Unchanged] My phone, a Pixel 3a, perched on a Toddy Gear phone wedge.
  13. [New] Well not really new, you just couldn’t see the external hard drive I work on in the previous blog post but the new angle shows it off. It is a Western Digital My Passport USB 3.0 2TB external hard drive. This is what I’m saving all my projects to and is my primary storage mechanism and connects to the CalDigit dock.
  14. [New] Just below the temperature/humidity tracker is an X10 HR12A PalmPad Remote Control. X10, for those of you not familiar, has been producing home automation gear like smartplugs since before this was a commonly understood consumer product. For various reasons I decided to dig out my old X10 gear and set it up again, and it is a shockingly awesome way to control a bunch of lights at the same time, mostly because it is rock solid and has an error rate of effectively 0%. This remote lets me turn lights across my apartment on and off. I have a pad inside my front door and next to my bed, but figured I’d add one to the desk for MOAR BUTTONZ.
  15. [New] My aforementioned Pixel 3a is a relatively new purchase, within the last 6 months, and I still had my old Moto X4 laying around. I thought about trying to resell it, but would likely get no more than a couple bucks for it, so I found the WhatWeather – Weather Station Android app which is meant purely to turn your old phone into a weather display which was exactly what I needed. MOAR SCREENZ.
  16. [New] And the final piece that arrived today, a simple, cheap, storage solution from Ikea that took a hair over three weeks to get here. It was just too tall to fit under my desk, so everything got pulled off, the adjustable legs on the desk went up about an inch, and then everything went back on. It’s wonderful to now have something to hold headphones, stamps, note cards, scratch paper, pens, microfiber cloths, and sundry books. It is the perfect level of compact and out of the way storage.
  17. [New] Again, not really new, but this is a coaster I got at OLC Convention and Expo 2019 at the mixer/party swag bag held at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It’s a cork coaster that PLCH custom made in their makerspace, which I think is just awesome. What a cool design, right? If you have the chance to visit, I highly recommend. In any case, this coaster has been living on my desk so I thought I’d throw it into the new post too.