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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What office hardware do you have?

When you only work on desktop or web applications your office space tends to stay pretty standard as far as hardware goes. Once you add mobile to your list things get out of hand.

I have my main development Win7 64-bit based PC with dual 20" LCD monitors. Attached to that is my wireless Sennheiser headphone base unit. Very happy with that device. I have a MS Natural 400 keyboard which really helps in wrists but does take up more room than a regular keyboard. Mouse mat with a gel wrist rest and a MS mouse. 

Sitting just to the right of all of this is my new Macbook Pro 15". I have an external mouse connected to that. While I like the touch pad it does not work very well when dragging items around and I don't like to use the keyboard and mouse just to open a link in a new window. If I need to do any graphics work the touch pad just does not cut it for me.

Laying about in various places I have my phone for hardware Android testing, a version 2 iTouch and a version 3 iTouch for camera code interaction. Behind the dual monitors there is a mini-hub and I have a power strip on my desk to plug-in the laptop each day. I take the Mac home at night allowing me to work from home if need be.

I have a stuffed Duke (the Java mascot) and a stuffed Android Robot, not sure if has a name? The cast of Futurama in diecast sits atop my mini-tower PC case.

Working in the land of mobile sure has added to the clutter. Previously it was just the main PC, now I have stuff scattered all about and I have to switch keyboards and mice often during the day. I find myself going for the wrong keys from time to time.

This does not even count the clutter of my on-screen desktop. I usually have Eclipse, Paint.NET, Pidgin, Media Monkey, PSPad, File Explorer, Chrome and at least one Android emulator running on my PC. On the Mac side I use Spaces and I have Xcode, IntelliJ, JEdit and Firefox running. Why not Chrome on the Mac? There is an extension for FireFox to handle SQLite files for FireFox that I use. During any given day various other programs and utilities are opened and closed.

I use PSPad and JEdit to keep open various files with code snippets and random thoughts for the platform I am on. If I think of something I need to add to the code late I just type in a note to myself. For PSPad I tend to have about 6 files open some with to do lists others with blocks of code I am experimenting with or code I downloaded from the web I am using for ideas. I just JEdit on the Mac as it was free. PSPad is great when I am experimenting in HTML as you can quickly type something in and run it to see how it looks.

My browsers tend to have a number of open tabs, work email, two personal email accounts, Java Docs, JIRA for bugs and some sites I have recently searched via Google. A few years back this would all have been system overload but now having files open all over the place seems to be the norm. I shut down the Mac every night but leave the PC running, just turning off the monitors as I leave. The Mac starts up plenty fast enough and having it at home is nice.