Computing hardware setup

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I like smaller 13“ laptops for personal use. In August 2022, I bought a MacBook Air M2 with maxed out RAM and 1TB of storage. I like almost everything about it and haven’t found it lacking in any way. A ThinkPad X270 is available if I want something to try out Linux on.

For longer bouts of work, I attached a BTOD VertDesk v3 frame to a Fully Jarvis desktop and sit in a Herman Miller Aeron chair. I’m not sure it was totally worth it to design my own adapter between the frame and desktop, but it is a very stable desk, and I was worried that the Fully frame would be more wobbly. On the desk, I type with a ZSA Moonlander keyboard and point with a Logitech MX Master 3S mouse due to its excellent magnetic scroll wheel and soft-click buttons. The laptop connects to an HP Z27 monitor.

Underneath the desk is a hand-me-down Micro-ATX PC with circa 2019 components for playing Windows-only games on the TV. It works well enough that I might upgrade it to a smaller form-factor and make it a permanent fixture.

Other server tasks are handled by two Raspberry Pi 4s, one in a Flirc case and another in an [Argon 40 case][]. The Pi in the Argon case is connected to an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad drive enclosure with two [8TB Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD][]s. The FLIRC Pi is connected to a Rainforest Automation EMU-2 to monitor electricity usage.

There’s also an OWC ThunderBay 4 drive enclosure with a 16TB Seagate Exos HDD for hooking up to the Macs, but the network-attached storage devices are much easier to use from laptops, so it doesn’t get much use. It’s also formatted with APFS, which is not ideal.

My networking hardware is a Netgear CM700 cable modem and a MicroTik RB4011iGS+5HacQ2HnD-IN-US wireless router. I used to use Ubiquiti UniFi devices, but their security practices scared me off. The MicroTik works well, but it does run hot.

Taking up the other half of my desk are two pen plotters: an Axidraw SE/A3 and AxiDraw MiniKit 2. I control them with a Raspberry Pi using The tmux terminal multiplexer to keep them running when my laptop goes to sleep.

For reading, I use a Kobo Libra 2 with its OverDrive library integration. Occasionally, I’ll take notes on a reMarkable 2, but it’s disappointing it’s not a better e-reader.