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Ask HN: What is your workstation setup?
2 points by jnar 1504 days ago | hide | past | web | 9 comments | favorite
Hi all, i'm a grad student finally moving into his first real apartment. Since now, my workstation setup was: my laptop. As a result, for the first time since years i will have a proper desk. So, i'm in the exciting moment when you have to organize your own workstation. More importantly, i have a budget!

Assuming: - money isn't an issue (i see this as a long term investment as a high quality working environment will pay back over time) - that i plan to keep my old-but-still-awesome laptop - i hate computers. I love what you can craft with them, but i hate the piece of hardware stealing desk surface. I want to keep as much as possible the desk free so that i can freely write and read on it.

So far, this is the set-up i came up with: - Laptop stand: BookArc - External Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2410 - External Keyboard and mouse: Apple stuff. - Chair: no idea yet. I was thinking an ergonomic chair would be an investment for my back. - Desk: no idea, i couldn't find any real desk i liked

Which piece of forniture and gadget do you suggest to buy? How is your workstation organized? Is there any life-changing purchase you've done recently?

PS: I'm a developer and i will work lot of time from home.




Just some suggestions.

Big desk. Something like an Ikea Galant corner unit with extension. I have one at home, I've been startup that cluster these desks. Better than your usual Ikea setup.

A good chair. Herman Miller, Steelcase.. Spend $800+. My steelcase cost me about $900 6 years ago, and it still looks and functions like the day I bought it.

Consider 1 large monitor vs multiple monitors. Jeff Atwood got me on the triple monitor things years ago, but am now seriously considering scaling back to a single 27 or 30". I few friends have gone for duals to a single large and are better off. Gives you a cleaner looking desk as well.

I'm a remote worker and appreciate having a real desk IP phone, with a quality call center type headset. Something like Jabra. I'm clearer on conference calls than the people in head office (or so the other remote workers tell me).

Good headphones if working in an office environment. I wouldn't get something that shields out too much office nows. But I get spooked easily :) So I'd suggest an "open" style headphone. Checkout gradolabs.com.

I've stuck with wired keyboard (kinesis advantage - I have RSI issues) and wired trackball. Back in about 2000 I had the batteries die on a wireless keyboard and had no spares nearby. That sucked.

About the only other thing I have on my desk is a Fujitsu ScanScap (the S300M). Invaluable device if you want to convert all your paper stuff to digital as it arrives.


I went from the 30" Apple Display to the 27" Thunderbolt Display to dual 27" Thunderbolt Display. I agree one large screen is probably better than multiple smaller screens but for my own purposes, I prefer dual large screens. Triple if my computer could have support it and maintain three 27" screens. The dual setup is much better for me.


Do you have any suggestions on a real desk IP phone?


Polycom and Aastra from my experience. Well built and great speaker phones.


In my opinion, the first thing you should consider investing in is........a good pair of headphones (surprise!). This is assuming you do listen to music while you work (which I do all the time) and it was 'life-changing' for me :)

With that being said, my suggestions would be:

1) Sony MDR-V6 - costs <$100 (Beware of fakes, buy from a trusted place like Amazon or somewhere)

2) JBL Tempo Headphones (~$50) (For bass lovers)

3) Pioneer SE-A1000 (Elite sound quality, Open type, so others might be able to hear what you're listening)

4) Pioneer SE-MJ591 (Top of the line SQ you will find only with $1000+ headphones). Price approx:$199-$300

Cheers :)


I didn't even consider headphones! The funny thing is... i do listen to music all the time as well! It's just that i'm so used to my cheap in-ear earphones that i didn't think about that. Thanks for suggesting, i'll probably get a JBL Tempo Headphones as i'm a bass lover ;)


Great! Pl. Keep us posted :)


At the moment:

1. Large Monitor -- I wish I had seen this article before I bought the one I have: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/07/the-ips-lcd-revolut...

2. Grado sr80i headphones

3. Laptop

4. Kitchen chair

5. IKEA desk

I'm probably going to add a better chair and mechanical keyboard to the mix.


Right now this is my set up:

27" Cinema Display

2010 MacBook Pro

5' writing desk

Apple wireless keyboard

MX518 wired mouse

I am trying to sell my MacBook Pro so I can build a new pc but even after do that only the MBP/PC will change.

My suggestion is to go ahead and buy a nice ergonomic chair if you have the money.




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