Part 1: The Furniture

I’ve always believed that investing in yourself is important.  That goes all the way back to my time in engineering school, where I found myself in an apartment with a full lab of non-virtualized hardware (anyone remember and nowhere to put it.

Enter the Anthrocart.  This desk is nearly 20 years old now, and thanks to quality tubular steel construction, a steel bar along the front of the desk, well made castors, and the ability to easily take it apart and put it back together, it is in it’s third location, and will be the center of my home office for years to come.  It used to have a top shelf, which held those aforementioned servers, but with the advent of the 24″ iMac years ago, I gave up and removed it.  It was just too tall.  Antrho, to their credit, still supports this desk, and I could still buy extensions to raise the shelf, but as computers have become smaller, and laptops more powerful,  it just hasn’t been necessary.  Besides, I’ve gone vertical.

Working as a sysadmin, screen real estate has always been important to me.  I’ve never been happy using books to get monitors to the right height, and with 2-3 monitors on a desk, you run out of room fast.  This year, I found the Ergotron LX dual monitor arms, and have added two of them to my setup.  The one on the right holds a pair of monitors, and the one on the left holds a pair of laptops.  It works really well, and frees nearly the entire desktop for lunch :)

Behind my monitors, is a lamp with a Philips LED bulb pointing at the window.  It makes working after the sun goes down so much more comfortable on the eyes.

Finally everything is plugged into a pair of 5′ power bars from Harbor Freight.  I couldn’t find anything that came close to touching the price of these power bars.

I don’t have a fancy Herman Miller chair, but do have a solidly built chair from Global.  I actually purchased it at my last job to replace the sub one hundred dollar chair they provided.

In my next post, I’m going to document the hardware in my environment, and then start diving into the OS X goodies that help me work at a high level, every day.



OSX – Why I use it and what I use

My First Unix BookI’m a fan of OSX and have been using it personally since 10.0 and professionally since 10.4 or so. I went as far as bringing my own Mac to work 7ish years ago. At the end of the day, I’m a Linux Systems Administrator. I’ve held numerous job titles, but most of them were at smaller companies where the titles were inflated. OSX gives me the power to use powerful GUI and command line tools to get my job done. These are often Free and Open Source tools, but I’ve never been afraid to throw money at the problem either.

My Desk

I’ve been lucky enough for the past year to work remotely for Rackspace as a Linux Systems Administrator, and starting next month as a Support Systems Engineer (aka Lead Tech).  What this means is that I control my work environment and am happy to invest in my tools.  In the coming posts, I’m going to walk through my environment, both hardware and software that make doing my job enjoyable, and also make it easy to balance those non work tasks that need to get done, too!

For the first time, I’m actually excited about (re)starting this blog.  I’ve had this domain since 2002, and have probably started 5 blogs on it during that time.  I think this one just may stick!