Workplace

Software

I’m a long-time Linux user. But after 2020, as WSL2 matured, I finally decided to switch to Windows 10. Primary reason for this being second-class vendor support, in both software and hardware. Which I find to be a rather sad state of affairs.

I do still use Linux at home for hosting my “cloud services”, since that’s the area where I believe Linux still shines. And the software I work on usually runs in Linux, and as such a lot of tooling that I use is Linux-based.

  • KeePass has become my go-to solution for credential management.
  • zsh is my shell of choice since about 2014.
  • [[ Visual Studio Code ]] is my editor of choice since 2020.

TODO add more software TOPUBLISH dotfiles

Hardware

I have two primary PCs at home: for work (a laptop + dock) and for personal use (a desktop). But I have both attached to the same desk and to the same set of peripherals for my “home office” to be just as comfy as my “enthusiast corner”.

Peripherals

Specific

Some things are only used with one of the PCs, but not the other. VR headset and game controllers only get used with a desktop, for instance.

For a long time the eye tracker from Tobii was also in this category, until I found an interesting use for it on my work computer.

Switchable

USB peripherals, that are connected into the monitors’ built-in USB hubs and these all feed into a single USB switch. Now, a USB switch is not exactly a common occurrence. It’s a device that connects a set of peripherals to multiple hosts and allows switching between the hosts by pushing a button.

Thus literally all of my peripherals connect via USB, including speakers, a webcam with a mic, an external sound card with a phantom power supply, keyboard, mouse, trackball, desk lamp (?!), eye tracker (for facial recognition) and a printer.

Amazingly, this gang of devices works fine through a single USB 3.0 port. I have hit its limits a few times, but I never manage to reproduce it… A USB 2.0 port would most certainly be long since overwhelmed.

Simultaneous

Monitors, three of them, that are connected to respective PCs through different ports. In this setup it’s very convenient to have monitors that can automatically switch to active video inputs. I screwed up there and I have to switch one of my monitors manually. Things could be worse I suppose, but it’s still far from ideal. Also, the don’t benefit at all from being simultaneously plugged in.

Network cables are also separate for both and run simultaneously. It would certainly be possible to use a single USB network card and have it switch between PCs, but having both connected to the network at all times allows using one PC while the other is downloading something over the network (e. g. updates) and bandwith could very well become an issue.

I would not recommend anything that uses Bluetooth. Sure, there are devices that can switch between hosts by themselves, but that’s one more thing to remember to switch, when there are two already (USB switch and one of the monitors).

Prospective improvements

  • It would be best to make a single button switch everything between PCs, monitors and peripherals at the same time. There are KVM switches on the market that do that, but most of them are only designed for a single USB port (that’s fine) and a single monitor (I have three, though only one actually requires a manual switch…).

Mobile office

It just so happens sometimes that I take my office with me.

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