Stuff I Use

I spend a lot of time thinking about this junk. I figure I might as well tell y'all about it.

Last Update: 2021-01-17



On My Desk

I think we all learned during the pandemic that a proper workspace is a really important thing. I'm fortunate to have a home office, which is a true luxury, and work very hard to keep it well kept and ready to do work at all times. My desk is rarely cluttered. These items help me keep focused and to get my work done.

M1 MacBook Pro 13"

M1 MacBook Pro 13"

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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I try to update my computer every 3 years to keep current. I had my previous computer for nearly 4 years because I knew that Apple was going to be coming out with new Apple-made silicon Macs. I ordered this computer the minute it was available and have been generally blown away with it's performance. There are some downsides. It only has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. There are M1 specific bugs that are littered throughout macOS. Lots of third party apps were slow to update to the M1 architecture. All that said, this machine is incredible. It's so much faster at so many things I do daily. I'm so happy I waited for it.

iPad Pro 12.9

iPad Pro 12.9

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Until the M1 MacBook Pro was available this was my favorite computer I'd ever owned. I did as much as I could on it. I love iPadOS and working on an iPad in general. If it had all the same software that macOS has, it would be a very difficult choice for which device to use daily. Using this with the Apple Pencil, even though I'm not much of an artist, makes it even more delightful. Pairing it with the Magic Keyboard made something great even better.

Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9

Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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It's pretty rare for a hardware device and software update to make another piece of hardware *that* much better. This product has made the iPad Pro so much better in so many ways. The cursor support is better than any other computer I've ever used and the design of the keyboard is a marvel. I enjoy writing on this device more than any other keyboard I've owned. It's likely this will go down as one of Apple's best designed products in a very long time.

Dell P2415Q 24" 4K Monitor

Dell P2415Q 24" 4K Monitor

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I'm convinced that this is the best value monitor available today. If having a high end monitor with retina quality is important to you, there are shockingly few choices available. This is not the best monitor in the world, but it's 4K and at 24 inches, doesn't distribute the pixels to far to make it non-retina quality. I'd like to upgrade, but I haven't been convinced that other similar monitors which are 3x-5x in price are really worth the extra cost.

Heckler Cliff Display Riser & Desk Drawer Organizer

Heckler Cliff Display Riser & Desk Drawer Organizer

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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Unfortunately this product is no longer available. I found out about this product when I went to a random co-working space and every desk had these. I use it as a stand for my monitor and to route cables from power to my dock and to my computer. It's often a rats nest of messy cables inside, but it keeps my desk clean.

Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk

Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I bought these SmartDesk DIY standing desk legs because I already had a simple wood top from IKEA I planned to use. Eventually though, I bought a butcher block wood top and stained it with tung oil. I love the rich look and it's waterproof in case I spill anything. These legs are very simple but work well. I'd estimate that I stand about 30% of the time when I work.

Autonomous MyoChair

Autonomous MyoChair

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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After enjoying the Autonomous standing desk, I decided I'd look into their desk chairs. I've never purchased a costly desk chair until this one. What I most liked about this chair was it's ability to lean back so far. I use that feature as a way to break up the day and do some reading while reclining. This is not the most adjustable chair, but it's very comfortable and seems like it's well made.

Mahabis Flow Slippers

Mahabis Flow Slippers

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I've become a slippers person nearly 100% of my waking hours at home. These seem like they are durable, comfortable, and don't stink too much as long as I wear socks.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad 4-Bay RAID Enclosure

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad 4-Bay RAID Enclosure

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Being a serious photographer means that I have pretty serious requirements for data storage. I've sort of patched my storage together for years with smaller RAIDs and had a mostly good setup. I always knew that. I'd eventually upgrade to a larger RAID and this was what I ended up choosing. I have a bit of an odd setup, I have 2 volumes in this enclosure. One mirrored RAID setup for my photos and other data to backup or use as a workstation. And another striped RAID array for Time Machine backups. This setup works well for me because it allows me to use one cable for both volumes.

CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock

CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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The M1 MacBook Pro I bought only has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports which was a problem I solved by purchasing this dock. I believe I use between 5-6 of the ports at any given time and it's worked very well for me. I like the build quality and how small the dock is. It fits very well into my desk organizer.

Logitech MX Vertical Mouse

Logitech MX Vertical Mouse

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I have RSI issues in my right hand that flare up from time to time. Purchasing this mouse was an attempt to lessen that pain. I compared this to the MX Master and to be honest, the build quality is worse in a few ways. But, most importantly, it is way more comfortable in my hand. I also found the MX Master's scrolling to be very fidgety. The MX Vertical is simple, straightforward, and good. I'm hoping this will end up being my primary input device.

Wacom Intuos S

Wacom Intuos S

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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Whenever my RSI issues flare up I have to retreat to using a Wacom tablet. About every 3-4 years I buy an inexpensive, newer model they have available and mostly works fine. Sadly, the Wacom drivers are not very good. I think they've contributed to several crashes and small headaches over the years. The drivers for this device worked better than previous models, which was nice. I wish these were better, but I'm mostly just happy that it makes my RSI go away.

Samson Q2U Microphone

Samson Q2U Microphone

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I bought this and a boom arm as a way to improve the audio setup for video calls. People often comment on how it sounds like they're listening to a podcast when I speak on a video call. 😂 Since getting the newer MacBook Pro with improved microphones, I use this less and less. I was surprised at how inexpensive this was for how good of quality you get.

HomePod mini

HomePod mini

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I bought two of these the instant they were ready to pre-order. I replaced the, Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III which I had for many years because I wanted a simpler setup and a smart speaker. The audio quality is more than adequate for my needs and having the smart speaker in my office is very convenient.

Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO

Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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In another life I was trying to be a professional musician. These headphones have become one of the industry standards for studios and podcasters and it's easy to understand why. They sound wonderful, crisp, clean, and have incredible low end without feeling hyped. They're also built to be worn for hours at a time.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

Beats Studio3 Wireless

  • Category: Desk
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I'd never owned noise cancelling headphones until these, and they do the job well enough. These are very good all around, but aren't exceptional at anything. Sound quality, battery life, noise cancellation, all done very, very well.