Ruin The assorted ramblings of Brendan Tobolaski

My Desk

A photo of my desk

I recently made quite a large change in my life, I moved 1400 miles. I thought that it would be good to document the way my workspace was setup.

Ikeas Signum wire management


I chose the nextDesk terra as my desk. It comes highly recommended by a couple of other people as well. Its an excellent desk. The price is somewhat obscene though but, everything about the desk is great. The desktop is beautiful and seems quite durable. the one downside that Iʼve experienced is that the table top rocks a little bit when you are doing things like typing. Iʼm not sure if this is because I had the desk on carpet or if its a common problem. If you are looking for it, its quite visible while you work but, i havenʼt been bothered by it much in practice. As for options, I selected the power management as well as the keyboard tray. I would recommend that everyone gets the power management, it’s really handy and really helps you keep the cord clutter to a minimum. Although I didnʼt get it, the vanity cover would have been very helpful. I ended up getting the Signum from ikea. It’s worked out really well. It’s really handy for cleaning up cord, there’s all sorts of places for you to wrap cords around. It also is a handy place to strap hard drives to. As for the keyboard tray, it’s either desperately needed or not at all depending on what else youʼre getting with your desk.

A photo of the ergotron monitor arms


From the description, I found next deskʼs monitor arms to be very disappointing. At the time, they could only hold 2 22″ monitors next to each other. Furthermore, the positioning was it adjustable. It looks like they have upgrade the option considerably since I last looked but, I still don’t think that I would I order them. I like the ones that I did order much better, I picked the Ergotron LX Dual Stacking monitor arms. While they do say stacking, they work just as well side by side and they give additional positioning options. As you have probably noticed, I donʼt actually use two monitors, I use one monitor and then position my MacBook next to it. The laptop tray to make this happen is included with the monitor arms. In order to maintain proper ergonomic positioning, youʼll either need the keyboard tray or have monitor arms.

As you can probably tell, I use an Apple Thunderbolt Display. I have strongly mixed feelings on it. It is extremely expensive for a monitor but, getting a 27″ color calibrated monitor from another vendor is only $200-$300 cheaper. While that is a meaningful difference, the Thunderbolt display also acts as a dock for your Mac. Given the severe shortage of ports on Appleʼs recent products, its really handy to have all of the extra ports available. On the other hand, the Thunderbolt display is covered with an extremely reflective sheet of glass. If you are in a room lit by sunlight and the room is painted with a light color, its likely that youʼll have a significant issue with glare. This is much more pronounced when it is displaying something dark. For this reason, I have a special profile for iTerm when its running on the Thunderbolt display, I use the Solarized Light theme to cut down on the glare. Overall, I really like this monitor.

My inputs


For input devices I use an Ergodox and an Apple Magic Trackpad. The Ergodox is the best keyboard that Iʼve ever used or seen. It certainly isnʼt elegant (although I think it has a certain nerdy charm to it) but, it feels great to type on it. As for the Magic Trackpad, OS X has so many gestures built in, it just feels natural to use a trackpad with a Mac. Since the Ergodox is a split keyboard, the best way that Iʼve found to position it is to place the two sides of the keyboard a shoulder width apart. That way, Iʼm able to hold my arms and wrists straight while typing. This leaves a gap in between the two halves which I use to put my Magic Trackpad. Iʼll be writing a full review of the Ergodox soon. Purchasing an Ergodox is a little bit difficult but Massdrop has kits available occasionally.

Iʼve been very happy with my desk and setup. Given the rather large life change that Iʼve taken, I think its likely that Iʼll have to make some changes to my setup.