🎵 The song for this post is Paris, Texas, by Gotan Project. 🎵
YouTube, sobbing: You can't just log in to the greatest trove of content in the history of the world and listen exclusively to "lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to"
For most of my time working on computers, I just used my laptop, hunched over like a gremlin. Then a broken Apple laptop keyboard in quarantine had me pulling second-string equipment to more closely resemble a "real setup," mostly because using an external keyboard while looking at a laptop monitor a few feet further away is odd. About a week and a half ago, I did an upgrade, using my gaming hardware on it:
- The mouse is now a gaming mouse; I got a nice one for StarCraft back in 2013.
- Keyboard is the same!
- Monitor is much bigger: I took a month off between ClassPass and Lyft (2017) and upgraded my gaming PC; part of that upgrade was a 4K monitor. Turns out the Macbook can handle it!
- Got myself a vertical stand for the laptop.
- Snowball microphone: while I prefer the gaming headset, when Karen and I host Jackbox games or join social calls, we need an external mic; this is better than the webcam one (barely lol), which we had it from a previous art project.
Yesterday, I upgraded again with new hardware: got an adjustable standing desk and a monitor arm. Here are some build photos, and we're working with now:
I've had standing desks at Adobe and Lyft; I've liked them both, it makes it easier to lean in to my workday, without my energy sinking into a chair with me. When I've got good music going, I can bounce and dance a bit. That said, it matters to me that it's adjustable: at some point on most workdays, I get tired of this and want to sit for an hour or two.
Other costs: by taking all these from my gaming PC, I'm not using it for games anymore. I experimented with an AV splitter in the past, but with this many peripherals it can be hard to have a single switch so I can say "use the laptop" vs. "use the PC."
I've always liked working from home a lot more than going into an office; while I imagine we'll be forced to stay home for a fair bit longer, I might invest in this setup with the hope that I don't go to offices five days a week even after the initial COVID spike.
- Additional monitors on other arms. I've always wanted a "code-only" vertically-aligned monitor. If I turn this massive monitor on it's side 🤤
- At one point I considered a treadmill bottom, so I could walk while working, or during meetings. These are… not cheap (on the order of the desk itself), so a bit hard to experiment with. But since I've lost almost all my physical activity to the pandemic anyway, I might get desperate enough.
- Going overboard on the A/V for remote meetings or media making. I'm using a webcam and either the snowball mic or the gaming headset; a post like this one by Chris Coyier (that links to many others!) do things like use a DSLR as a webcam, with additional lighting, and better microphones.
Additionally, using interesting A/V effectively with videoconferencing software is a challenge of its own. Even if you have a great mic, if you want to make it sound professional on Hangouts or Zoom by running it through noise reducers and compressors, and software for that is a game of its own.
Most of these are significant money sinks, and I'm a tired from yesterday's build and have a job lol, so there might be some time before I do another chunk of this.
Also, if we can have competitive lumberjacking (no shade, it looks cool!) can we have "competitive cardboard box-breaking for city sanitation codes"? Give a bunch of dudes a bunch of boxes and see how quickly and well they break them down? I deserve a medal for the amount of cardboard I did strike for lol.
I saw this a week or two ago, kept the tab open to share. Now I can finally close it:
Learn about beatboxing! Hear some names to Google later! BOOTS AND CATS AND BOOTS AND CATS AND BOOTS AND CATS AND BOOTS AND CATS
Fire Emblem update
I beat the game this weekend. I married Petra. I started a New Game+, thinking "alright! Time to play on the hardest difficulty setting," and got wiped the fuck out, several times, in the second battle. Looks like they heard the feedback loud and clear: Maddening mode is not fucking around and to survive it you have to do a lot of counterintuitive things and be more of a masochist than I am. Back to Hard mode for me; I might give Maddening another try if I complete this run and do a third.
Also, the romance in this game is mad off-putting given that your avatar didn't ever present a personality. Byleth legit has the presence of a gym sock, so hearing a talented voice actor profess their deep and burning love to them is like watching a good friend have a hallucination: they keep cooing at a dog they insist is the cutest thing they've ever seen but you can't see the dog. idk, I watched the marriage cinematic just felt wrong.
Now it's Golden Deer, with Claude. He's a cutie.
Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you 😄