My Home Office, 2022

Feb 9, 2022 • Extra Ordinary

Following David Sparks, Casey Liss, Jeff Benjamin and Jason Snell, this is my current home office desk. Over the next year or two, everything must go from the computer to the desk to the chair to the peripherals. Let’s dive in.

My desk

The Mac

My Mac is the mid-2015 MacBook Pro long deemed the “last good MacBook Pro” before the redesigned model debuted last fall. It was heavily upgraded at the time with a Quad-Core Intel Core i7 “Haswell” chip, 16 GB DDR3 memory, 512 GB storage and the AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2 GB graphics chip.

It is no longer effortlessly fast as it once was. Drafting this article in (which is not a particularly intense activity) the fans are spinning at a third their maximum speed; opening the smallest of app projects in Xcode or the simplest of video libraries in Final Cut Pro will spin them up to maximum speed.

The MacBook Pro is elevated on an mStand to raise it to eye-level on my desk. A nondescript Acer display from around 2009 sits to the right. The secondary keyboard and trackpad at desk level are a standard Apple aluminum keyboard circa 2008 and an original Magic Trackpad with a hairline crack in the glass surface—neither of which are great, but neither of which are worth spending money replacing since most Macs come with them included.

For Time Machine backups and mass storage, I have the LaCie d2 desktop hard drive in the discontinued 3 TB size and silver finish. This will likely carry over to my new Mac for a while until I get a proper Thunderbolt 4 hard drive.

What will replace the keystone of the setup? It is highly contested between two computers that do not exist: the high-end iMac and Mac mini with Apple silicon. I like the simplicity and elegance of the all-in-one iMac, a staple of the Mac throughout its entire history. On the other hand, its greatest benefit could also be the deal-breaker: one cannot buy an iMac with a cheaper display than whatever Apple puts in it. If rumors are to be believed, the new iMac could be an incredible one-of-a-kind piece of engineering with a 120 Hz variable refresh rate, 1600 nits of brightness and billions of colors—specs never before seen on a display of such a size and resolution—but that would probably be outside of my price range. I may end up opting for a Mac mini and an LG display of some kind, if any are available.

The Desk & Chair

The desk is a totally unremarkable four-drawer desk I bought from a thrift store years ago for $25. Most of the drawers are filled with the kinds of computer crap one accumulates over years: USB peripherals, cables, 5W power bricks, etc. One drawer haphazardly attempts to file important documents in an organized manner.

I would like to replace this desk with a standing desk. The problem is that nearly every standing desk is motorized. I find this troubling. I prefer my computer, external storage and especially my furniture to remain stationary. The desk surface should be an anchor upon which items can be placed in security.

The proper solution is a desk tall enough to stand at with a chair equally tall enough to sit at. All you need is a chair that is exactly as tall as your butt to have a hybrid sitting/standing setup with no moving parts and no risk.

Finding a standing-height chair is easy; minutes of searching on Amazon lead me to this one. After many hours of searching, I have found a suitable desk as well: it’s actually a kitchen table.

What about the contents of the drawers? A better storage solution would be a proper steel filing cabinet. And, maybe, throwing away a bunch of old crap I don’t need.

Check back to see what actually happens

How much of this will be implemented a year from now? Stay tuned to find out. I would never simply drop a post without any updates like that.

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