A few days ago I experienced an epiphany, one that came from chasing my damn mouse and my damn mousepad all over my desk. For some reason, the mouse pad doesn't quite stick to the table that I use for my desk and, because of that, I have to readjust it several times per day. As an added annoyance, I also have a nasty habit of running out of mousepad real estate when editing videos in Final Cut Pro X. Then, like a flash of insight from on-high, I realised the solution to my sorrows.
Now, I wasn't sure if I could get a roll of mousepad material. But, beloved, this is America, and we can buy anything on Amazon so long as it's at least quasi-legal. A quick search later and I'm looking at this result.
I never added anything to my cart so quickly. Not only was it exactly what I was after, it had a painting of a goofy-ass giraffe on it. That giraffe quickly became my patronus and I couldn't wait for him to share my desk. Upon arrival I opened the box, pulled out this massive roll of mousepad, and placed it lovingly on my desk.
It is glorious, dear hearts. My mice work everywhere. They work over here next to the keyboard, they work over there next to the other keyboard. They work up here near the laptop and they work down here near the edge the desk. No matter where I place my mouse, it's on a mousepad.
I heartily recommend it. It's likely the best US$17.00 I've ever spent.
After getting it on my desk and properly setting up everything around it, I decided to take a picture of the wonderfulness to show the Internet that I was goddamned serious when I said I was buying this thing.
Then it occurred to me, I haven't done a "what I use" kind of post in a long time. My desk was due for a spruce up anyway, so I tidied up and posed it for a photograph. If you're curious about how things get done at Cyberpunk Librarian Central, here's your data dump.
- Emerson LC3M0EM3F A 32 inch HDTV - I use this as a secondary monitor. It's not too bad for the job and it almost always functions as a second screen to my MacBook Pro.
- A handmade bead wind-chime from a wonderful friend and colleague. It brings me a bit of spiritual peace when things get hectic with work and personal projects.
- A clay bowl my son made in grade school.
- 32 inch Samsung Essential Curved Monitor - My primary monitor. It's not 4k, but it's a lovely monitor. Besides, I don't know if I can use a 4k monitor until I update my glasses.
- Logitech Z337 Bluetooth speakers - Stereo speakers with subwoofer on the floor. I finally upgraded my computer sound since I now do all of my day-job library work at home. Working from home means music and podcasts and I wanted better quality sound than my old speakers could deliver. The Z337 removed some wires from my workspace and they deliver fantastic sound.
- War for Cyberton version of Optimus Prime. Fun fact: Before he became Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots was once called Orion Pax. He worked as a librarian and archivist at the Cybertronian archives in the city of Iacon.
- Huanuo Three Height Adjustable Monitor Stand - Generic, metallic monitor stands to put both of my monitors at the right level so I'm not looking down at tilted monitors. This little addition saved me a boatload of neck pain in the last few months!
- Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e - This little lappy is pretty snappy even if it's not rolling the latest and greatest hardware. That's partially due to what it's rocking between the keyboard and the base - namely a 120 GB SSD. An SSD can cure a world of sin in a slower laptop and this one does the job. Windows 10 was an absolute failure on this machine and there were always some weird audio problems, video issues, and just stupid behaviour that shouldn't have been a problem. So I upgraded Windows 10 to KDE Neon and everything sailed along smoothly after that. I typically use this thing as a local development platform for various browser-based projects like Innisfree BBS, Signbrary, and so on.
- A Snoopy in Space wind-up toy from McDonalds. Look, when you combine two things I love, namely Snoopy and astronomy, I'm going to buy a toy of that.
- Snoopy went to space, so I put him in between a beautiful set of space-themed glasses another wonderful friend gave me as a gift. Space makes me inexplicably happy, so I keep them nearby for that very reason.
- Dr. Jillian Holtzmann - The brains behind the Ghostbusters. Some people didn't like the new Ghostbusters movie. Those people are mistaken. And Holtzy is one of the greatest characters in science fiction!
- Push-button clicky selector for a KVM switch hidden behind the Lenovo. The Lenovo is hooked to the Emerson HDTV via the KVM switch. So I can pop this switch and go from a dual monitor macOS display scheme to a single monitor macOS and single monitor KDE Neon display scheme.
- 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro - One of the finest computers ever made and one of the best to roll off the line from Apple. This is my daily deck, my workhorse, my media creation, podcast editing, music composition, blog writing, book authoring, code writing, tune playing joy machine that handles everything from my library job to my personal projects. It's loaded with 16 GB of RAM, 250 GB SSD, and a retina display. Obviously I stickered it up with Snoopy sitting and reading a pile of books, and then it went on from there. I especially like my Usavich sticker which showed up in a random pack of stickers I ordered from Amazon.
- Phillips SHB8750NC Bluetooth noise canceling headphones - I've got these plugged directly into the laptop because I've been working on a bunch of training videos, podcast editing tasks, and so on. While you can edit audio and video with Bluetooth headphones, nothing beats wired when it comes to avoiding lag and latency.
- 500 GB Samsung Portable SSD (USB 3 and USB C) - It's full of Final Cut libraries. Also, if you need a speedy storage solution that you can pop in your bag, this is your device. Good lord this thing is obscenely fast.
- The volume control for the aforementioned Logitech Z337 speakers. It's a smooth turning dial that controls my music and podcasts with such fluidity that I rarely touch the volume controls on my keyboard.
- Windblade - Child of the Titan Caminus. Cityspeaker for the last city on Cybertron. And a badass Autobot in her own right.
- Asus 16x USB 3 External Blu-Ray Writer - Typically used for making quality archival backups of various media.
- Teemi 1D Barcode Scanner - So, I'm a librarian and sometimes I need to scan some barcodes. This was an inexpensive little device and it's doing a perfectly good job. I didn't plan on getting an entirely blue light colour scheme for the right side of my desk. It's just something that kind of happened.
- Seenda Low Profile wireless mouse - It's a bit hard to see because it's almost the same colour as the mousemat, but this little mouse is paired with a wireless keyboard (25) through a USB dongle. Once again, an inexpensive solution to a tech problem I used to have.
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro - This thing isn't always sitting on my desk, but it's usually somewhere nearby. I use the hell out of this device for notes, research, and as an occasional third screen for those times when I need some serious visual real estate.
- Apple Pencil - Because writing notes in GoodNotes is freakin' awesome. Also, making art in Procreate is freakin' awesome.
- Auxiliary HDMI cable plugged into the second HDMI port on the Emerson HDTV. Comes in handy for Raspberry Pi projects and stuff.
- My mousemat. It is wonderful and glorious.
- Seenda Low Profile wireless keyboard - Currently hooked up to the Lenovo ThinkPad. I doubt I'll ever be completely free of wires, but I'm trying my best.
- Original Apple Magic Keyboard - This is paired to my MacBook Pro and typing on it is wonderful. I don't care about clicky mechanical keyboards. I just want to type, and I want the key presses to feel good. This keyboard absolutely delivers on that.
- Goofy-ass, stoned looking giraffe and I love him.
- Apple Magic Mouse - Also an original that doesn't plug into anything so I have to change batteries every so often. The touch sensitive surface on this device is what does it for me. When I'm editing video or audio or scrolling through pages of text, running my fingers over the smooth top of the this thing gives me a one-to-one relationship with what's happening on screen.
I use other tools and tech here and there, but this is a pretty good representation of what's going on at my desk at any given time. Seeing as how I'll spend hours at this desk every week, I try and keep it organised and tidy. I can't stand feeling cooped up at my workspace and I've been known to stop in the middle of a project to clean up the place, going so far as to wiping down the monitors and keyboards. It's a mental cleaning too because, every time I'm done and I sit back down to a fresh workspace, I'm far more productive than I was beforehand.
* He's hard to see, but behind the barcode scanner is The Question (Vic Sage), one of the greatest detectives in DC comics, and likely the greatest theorist. Now, if somoene would make a Question toy based on Renee Montoya, that'd be lovely.