This is my current setup at work–since starting there last October, I’ve gradually advanced from working solely on my battered white Macbook to a laptop-and-monitor setup, then to a Mac Mini-and-monitor when my laptop got stolen, and now at last to the glorious panopticon you see above. I’m trying the portrait screen for my email client, SQL client, terminal and (mostly) IDE, and so far I really like it. I got the idea from some interview about a high-ranking Google engineer’s setup that I can’t be bothered to find now. Ben (the boss) said he thinks it originated with Flight Simulator junkies.

You can just barely see my tiny, mighty computer and a box of rejected business cards peeking out from under the right monitor stand; on the left are various plastic utensils, half a bag of snack chips, and a ceramic dish Kara gave me for reheating leftovers in the work microwave. The latter contains the Magical Neverending Napkin Supply. I never request or grab napkins from lunch places anymore, I just take whatever they throw in the carryout bag and put the unused ones in there. At this rate, I will never exhaust it.

The headphones are the stupidly expensive ones I bought from a DJ supply shop down the street, where the DJ supplier looked at me askance when I explained that I would be using them for web development. Like all headphones, they still annoy me with trapped ear-heat and weight, but they provide good isolation and I can stand them a lot longer than anything I’d tried before. I would have paid the whole price just to have the padded cups that go around (as opposed to pressing directly on) my ears.

Uh, what else can you see in there? Venerable iPod sitting on the Mini waiting to be plugged in, sexy aluminum keyboard that likes to shock me if I scuff my feet too much, expensive Logitech mouse with the click-and-lock free-scrolling mouse wheel that is fun but not actually that much of a productivity enhancer. Don’t tell Ben, he paid for that too. The little gray wrist cushion doubles as a stress ball / fidget toy. The books in the right corner are copies of the Ruby Cookbook and Mastering Regular Expressions, both of which I will go to great lengths to avoid cracking open. The shadow on the left is my hat.