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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Messy Desk

As prompted by a friend (Gene, a studying architect at the New Jersey's Institute of Technology's NJ School of Architecture), I decided to pick apart my workspace.  It's nowhere near as nice, but it's got some good points.

Last year was miserable.  This photo comes from about October 2008, right around when I started this blog.
What the heck was I thinking?  No organization whatsoever, stuff piled on top of my keyboard, an Xbox controller and PSP within an arm's reach, and a generaly messy desk.  This did eventually get cleaned up, though, and I was able to fly through my classes.

This is the upgraded, 2009 model.  New room, new dorm, new desk, new laptop.
My trusty old desktop, a custom-built PC I inherited from a friend, gave up the ghost when it failed to output any video (not even a BIOS screen), so its been replaced with my old Dell Precision M60 laptop for any Windows tasks.  It also serves as a desktop, since I never move it.

A whiteboard, even a small one, is great for managing tasks.  Keep one in a highly visible location, like right over your monitor, and you'll constantly reference it.  It can be quickly and cleanly erased as tasks change.

My desktop may have died, but running the MacBook with a second monitor is absolutely awesome.  Mini-DVI to DVI adapters cost $20, a but much for a dongle, but well worth the expense.
I'm considering getting a new desktop, either an iMac or MacPro.  I love OS X too much to go back to Windows, and a Mac Mini is just too little hardware for what I need.

A coffee mug for drinks both hot and cold is a great tool to have around.  My room is excessively dry, so not drinking something for an hour usually leads to either dry mouth or a nosebleed.  The stack of papers and notebooks next to it is my to-do pile, sorted by priority.  The black Moleskine datebook on top is my main planner.
Not the greatest photo, but this is an alarm clock with radio.  Sometimes headphones aren't comfortable anymore, and sometimes there's something happening you want to hear live, like a sports event.  Also functions as my morning wakeup.

Keyboard and mouse.  Necessary tools for any computer.  The keyboard is a Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000, coming highly recommended from blogs like Coding Horror.  There's no major learning curve to get used to it, and its damned comfortable to type on.  The mouse is a Logitech TrackMan Wheel, which is currently on special from NewEgg.

Finally, my headphones: SteelSeries 4G.  I got the pair off woot at the end of 2006 at a dirt-cheap price, and they've served me well for two solid years and a little more.  They cost ~$15 without shipping, so they've paid for themselves several times over.  As an added bonus, they have a mic that can be hidden inside one of the coconut halves.  I didn't get them specifically for the mic, but Skype conversations with it are a thousand times easier to set up (even if my friends say it makes me look like a "WoW nerd").

Not the greatest post, but a quick rundown of what's around my desk at the moment.

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