Setup Changes 210131

Oh look, a blog post, though admittedly I’m mostly writing this for my own documentation. Back in the day I used to change my setup a lot and subsequently I used to post about it a lot. In the beginning I moved things around as I crammed in more stuff, but later I moved things around as I threw out more stuff: either way the setup clearly got better because I altered it less and less. In fact, I hadn’t really made a significant setup change since 2015 when I built my first passive USFF machine.

I used the USFF desktop as my main workstation for a few years, but during this time I also used a mini gaming setup on the side: this turned over very often as evidenced by my numerous posts on the matter, but I eventually settled on an uninspiring desktop. I also began to use it more and for other things: I found the extra performance useful for video editing, and I found the space around it useful for setting up my Cintiq. Soon, it replaced the USFF machine as my main.

During this time, I slowly got rid of more and more stuff from my main shelf block. Some of it I tossed, some of it I sold, and some of it went into boxes under the bed. That space perfectly fits a 6 x 3 grid of 10-ream paper boxes – about 18” x 12” x 9” – which I frustratingly could not outright buy, and which I had to slowly accumulate over time. This eventually allowed me to migrate the side setup from a dedicated table onto the existing shelving, eliminating some of the clutter in the room. 

The side setup still required a smaller table, but I had always had two tables in this configuration, even back in the eBay trading days. Back then I took less issue with the clutter since I used both tables regularly, but now I really wanted to eliminate one. At some point I realized I could free up enough space on the shelves for both setups and share my large table – which I already built with casters – between the two.

Not only would this remove a desk’s worth of clutter, it would also remove a “dead” corner behind the big table, which I previously could not access without pulling the table out and climbing under it. I could also manipulate the window and the curtains without climbing onto it. Also, I would also have easier access to the shelves and drawers currently behind the side table. Furthermore, I thought that the room should feel more open with the window ridge emptied and the open space more concentrated. 

A year ago the flooring got replaced – again – due to water damage, and I had to move everything in and out – again – to let the contractor work. I wanted to implement my new idea then, but I got mired in some of the details and ultimately implemented the old setup – again. Still, as I moved toward using the side setup as my main setup – Covid accelerated the process as I started making regular videos for the Nonsense Wars Youtube – I thought through said details, discovered solutions I liked, and recently made the switch.

In the current implementation, I dedicated the entire middle row of shelves to non-storage things: the computers, the monitors, etc. I had discovered that the heat from these devices will warm the space above them, so I placed thin buffer shelves there in which I could also store papers and peripherals. Still, I tried to move as much LEGO as I could behind the desk in order to avoid any risk of long term heat damage.

In turn, some things had to leave that space: the files went into a different rolling cabinet doubling as a bed stand and the tools went into an added open organizer cart under the bed. This made both much easier to access, rolling table or not. I had previously been reluctant to hide all of the 10-ream boxes behind rolling organizers, but now I had fewer qualms as I moved the more accessed boxes into the newly opened “dead” space. Finally, I have more room on the big table than before because my laptop lives on the file cabinet instead.

Why did I keep the USFF setup even though I didn’t use it much? For one thing, that computer still hosts this website. For another thing, I want to use at least one of the monitors for work. If I ever need to have two people using computers, the second person can use it with a folding table. Overall, I’m very happy with this now – happy enough to write about it apparently – but we’ll see if it remains that way in the future. Until then, have a nice day!

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