Over the summer I was lucky enough to get my home office re-done.  I don't really have any before pictures but you can see it's quite nice now.  I like being able to use my nice, fast computer for work!  I like that I have dual monitors, software, and a good chair!  Sometimes the simple things can make the work place a lot more comfortable and that has a tremendous affect on my output as a programmer.  If I am not comfortable I don't work as fast!  The irony is that I am writing this while at work in a cold, noisy, dusty warehouse! I suppose the sad part of that irony is that I'll probably never get a real office nearly as nice as my home office.  Hopefully I'll be able to work from home sometime in the future!



Front Office 
Image 1:  Office Entrance.  Oh, I love my dual flat panel monitors.  My computer is also pretty flashy.  I'll post specs below.


Guest Desk
Image 2: Guest Desk.  This is place where a friend can come over and have a space to work.  This office chair is pretty cheap though -- It doesn't recline!


Image 3: Office Sofa!  This is nice when it's late at night and I am waiting for a query to return or an import to run, etc.


Office Storage
Image 4: Storage & Mountain Dew for Phil when he comes over to work.


Product Reviews

I got those cabinets from Ikea and it is very much a love/hate type of thing.  They weren't too expensive as far as shelving but I'm still not convinced of their value. I had to drill a hole in the side to get some cables into the cabinet for printers and such and got to see what was inside.  Most people at this point say "Oh no, not particle board!" and I usually laugh.  Here is what it is really made of:

  1. Laminate (no surprise)
  2. 1/8" particle board
  3. Corrugated Paper & Glue
  4. 1/8" particle board
  5. Laminate (even on back surfaces -- it's load bearing laminate)

To my surprise it is more sturdy than it sounds and very light!  The limitation is that it's vulnerable to squeezing.  You can actually squeeze the wood (including the desk) with your bare hands.  I think that the shelves will wear just fine, but I am skeptical if the desk is going to stand up to any wear. 

My other gripe about the cabinets is that they weren't very easy to hang.  They are meant to hang from a wall like this but the screws and brackets are woefully inadequate and the holes provided are not on 16" centers so you can never hit more than 1 stud.

I got the sofa from Ashley Furniture and I LOVE IT!  It's extremely comfortable and was inexpensive.  The cushions do not come out so it's nice not to have to worry about pushing them back in before sitting down.  I plan on getting new & bigger whiteboard and some artwork and I can call it complete! 

Computer Specs

My computer is about 18 months old.  It's a Dual Core AMD64 with 2GB RAM (soon 4GB) running Windows Vista Ultimate. I have a RAID 1 array for speed (makes the biggest difference in speed than anything else) and dual flat panel monitors.  The monitors were purchased a few years ago and so they have a relatively low resolution of 1280x1024, but they are the same exact model in with consecutive serial numbers so the colors match exactly!  I also have a USB TV/Video capture device.  I use this device with Windows Media Center to record HDTV.  My XBOX 360 can then connect to my computer as a Media Center Extender and play the recorded shows.  It works pretty good though I need to get up in the attic and adjust my HD antenna.  I also have a 2GB Thumb Drive that runs ReadyBoost for better prefetch performance (makes things go fast)!  I hope to upgrade the core to a quad-core AMD when I get some extra money, but it's still the fastest computer I've used.