Photogenic Header
Kevin Connolly's Home Office

Kevin Connolly's Home Office

I work as a Solutions Architect for a small software company which extends me the perk of working from home full time. One of the many benefits of this is that by using my own hardware, I can decide exactly what hardware I work on!

With all the Visual Studios, Remote Desktops, notes, and documents, in addition to E-mail, chats, online meetings, etc., I tend to have dozens of windows open at any given time. I really don't like it when they hide behind each other. This leaves me two options: Make the windows smaller, or get more pixels. Some windows don't scale well, so more pixels it is.

I also day trade Foregn Exchange in my free time. Just watching four currency pairs (which is a low number) on three timeframes requires 13 more windows (12 charts and the account overview). So yeah, I needed more screens if this were to be allowed to continue.

Overview

Overview Left rear corner of the central pivot.
Overview Right rear corner of the central pivot.
  • Two generic whiteboards and the microphone are mounted on LCD VESA mounts which I had leftover from a previous experiment.
  • Serta Big & Tall Cantilever Executive Chair with lumbar control
  • Only put your flag out on sunny days. Flying it in the rain is disrespectful unless it's an all-weather flag.
From Behind Right front corner of the central pivot.
  • The screens all line up horizontally to provide a "video wall". Each screen is 1920x1080, totalling 7680x2160. When I enable Eyefinity, I can watch video in native 2160p. That is, if I can find any 2160p video.
  • The top row of screens is angled down about 30 degrees to center them on my eyes and reduce the limitations of viewing angle.
  • Overhead lighting is ideal for meal times. Otherwise it stays off.
VESA LCD Mounting How the screens are mounted.
  • 2x Quad LCD VESA desk-clamp mounts
  • Rudimentary cable management. I can't see the cables behind the screens while I'm seated, so this is good enough.
  • I cannot stress enough how much cable I had to buy and route to make this work. Not much for a datacenter, but a crap-ton for a home office.
VESA LCD Mounting The screens are mounted as high as this VESA solution allows, maximizing usable desk space and minimizing clutter. This is also why I put anything I can on VESA arms. Also pictured: Reese's Pieces.

Wiring

Cabling Signum cable trays.
  • I'm too lazy to screw them into the desk, so they're just crammed in between the frame and the desk surface.
  • Here, on the far left of the desk, the only cable that needs routing is the rear-left speaker.
Cabling and Power Cabling and power.
  • Satechi 12-port USB Hub
  • 2x Monoprice 12-port, 3420-joule surge protector with USB power ports
  • Here you can see where the main cable bundle comes in from elsewhere and starts its way down the main "cableway".
  • Again, I'm too lazy to measure and screw the power strips and USB hubs into the underside of the desk, so I just staple some velcro on there and call it good.
Cabling and Power Cabling and power.
  • Main cable bundle transitions from floor to cableway
  • You probably assumed this by now, but the video cables have extensions to get here all the way from the computer.
  • The cable (internet cable, not cord cable) comes in at this wall, so the coax also has to be routed away from here. Everything else is going the other direction.
  • Cable management isn't pretty here, but it stays out of my way. I have all the legroom I could ask for.
Cabling and Power Cabling and power.
  • Identical power strip and USB hub on the right corner.
  • Cable coax incoming
Audio Subwoofer.
right Right side.

Extras

Whiteboards How the whiteboards are mounted. Yes, they're topheavy.
Microphone How the microphone is mounted. My webcam is in the top left corner, mounted atop the bottom left screen.
Left Corner View from the front left corner. Screens aren't lined up perfectly, but doing so is a huge pain in the ass.
Right Corner View from the front right corner.
Fridge Refrigerator, ottoman, whiteboard supplies, and dog bed. No home office is complete without these things.

Storage

Storage I accumulate spare parts. I can't even begin to count the number of times I need something and already had it.
Storage USB cords and extensions, internal power (e.g. molex), and "other" (i.e. badge clips from when I used to go into physical offices).
Storage You can never have too many spare power supplies.
Storage Power cords, computer and non-computer
Storage Ethernet cords
Storage Boards and cards. The video plugs are there because they go with an ATI All-In-Wonder 9800.
Storage Video cables. One bin for VGA, DVI, and HDMI; another bin for everything else.
Storage Internal parts, cables, and fans. Who doesn't have a big bag of RAM?
Storage Really Big Cables
Storage Large parts and devices

The Closet

The Closet Cables run under a rug so I can close the door and not trip over them.
The Closet Cables then disappear into a walk-in closet.
The Closet You've probably been waiting to see where I keep all the mess. Right here. These cases used to be mounted in a 42U server rack, but I got sick of lugging it around, so I got rid of it. Currently in the market for a half-height rack, around 20-24U or so.
The Closet Bottom machine is the server. Web server hosting the page you're looking at right now, and file server.
  • Intel Core 2 Quad
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Lots and lots of hard drives
The middle machine is the main workstation hooked up to all eight screens. Top machine is the secondary workstation. Primarily used for sandboxing; considering making it a VM host. Core 2 Quad, 8GB.
The Closet Network stack. Gigabit rackmount switch, old wireless router, and DOCSIS 3 cable modem for 105-MBit goodness. I've clocked it at 118.
The Closet Printers still work, I just don't have any reason to print or scan anything right now. Laptop for those rare days when I have to go to the physical office at work. Crash cart for the server. Spare printer paper, old notebooks, small part storage bins, and a guitar that I told myself I'd learn to play but never got around to doing so.
Poster What's on the wall behind my chair:
  • The Constitution of the United States (I'm a Libertarian)
  • An F-15 (I was a 2A353A (F-15 Crew Chief) in the Air Force)
  • Common Japanese candlestick formations
Yes, I play games. My current favorites are Planetside 2, Game Dev Tycoon, Prison Architect, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Though XCOM: UFO Defense was much better).
Blog
Archives
Office