Setting Up Again After the Tornado

10 months ago our home was destroyed by a tornado, luckily our office was one of two rooms spared from destruction. After having our home rebuilt we finally moved back in today. I’d thought I’d share a couple pics of my setup as it stands today.

At 6’6" I don’t like having drawers above my legs as they are knee knockers. My deck is a Jarvis sit/stand desk (their extra tall one) with a custom walnut top that I made. It’s about 6’ wide and 28" deep. I love my desk as it works well and does everything I want. The file cabinets on either side act as my main storage. I’ve had them since college and my desk for many years was just a door on top of those cabinets.

The lamp is a desk lamp my wife has had since childhood.

Nothing special there. The pen holder I made with scraps from the desktop.

The speakers are Mackie CR3. I had Rokit 5 G3 speakers but I listened at low levels while I wrote code and they would turn off every 30 minutes thinking I wasn’t sending a signal. It drove me nuts, so I repurposed them.

The computer is a 2018 Mac Mini with user upgraded 32GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 10GbE network, and the i7 processor. Instead of paying Apple prices for storage I bought a Glyph ATOM Raid 2TB that is super fast and can handle all the 4K video projects I need it to. I love that I saved money and still get killer speeds off of my drive.

I also broke down and bought a Blackmagic eGPU. I used to have a 2016 MacBook Pro that I used a lot in clamshell mode with the LG 5K that I’m still using today. I hated that computer (because the keyboard made me sad) and bought much of my current setup with the money I sold it for. The Mac mini does fine driving the display (as long as you have 16GB or more of RAM), but I’m doing more and more 4K video work and wanted/needed the extra horsepower.

I have an Amazon Basics arm holding up my two monitors.

The vertical monitor is a LG 4k Ultrafine. I bought it used for cheap. I wanted a second monitor but I wanted something that matched the 5K in terms of pixel density and colors. That was about the only option and it was cheap, so why not. The 5K is run off the Blackmagic eGPU and the Mac mini runs the 4K.

There’s also a current generation iPad Air sitting there with a Brydge keyboard. I don’t find myself using it very often. I don’t leave the office much (especially right now) and I rarely use it at home. I don’t know why. Thinking of selling it. Usually the headphone holder has a pair of Bose QC35s. I love those headphones. The only time I use the noise cancellation is on a plane or mowing the yard. Other than that I can’t stand the nauseating feeling I get from them.

Under the desk is a shelf I built to hide cables and house my Blackmagic eGPU. All you can see is black from the front.

Here’s a terrible side shot of the shelf.


Very nice. Thank you for sharing this. The setup looks crisp and very functional. Your family must be greatly relieved to be back in your own home after the tragedy of losing it in the storm.

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I’m so sorry y’all had to deal with that, but the new setup looks great.

How’s life with the eGPU? Is it pretty reliable? Can you hear the fan in it?

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I don’t ever hear the fan in it. Only in the Mac mini do I hear fan noise and only under heavy load. Reliablity is fairly good. Sometimes on a reboot or restart the 5k won’t come back up and I have to unplug the thunderbolt cable to the computer and plug it back in. It always works after that and always works if the computer is running. Overall the eGPU does what I need it to do. I’m not trying to game or anything, so it’s as much as I need. There’s a big difference in FCPX. It can handle much more without slowing down, and that’s all I wanted.

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Wow. We spent 3 months dealing with the results of a septic tank issue (no, I don’t want to talk about it and you don’t want to hear about it). By comparison, it was a mild inconvenience. I can’t imagine being out of the house for 10 months.

Thanks for sharing your setup. Here’s hoping nothing like that ever happens again.

We’re feeling great being back in our home. I like clean setups. The only difference between this and daily life is a notebook I keep on the left hand side.

Sounds like a really stinky issue to wade through.

Too soon, Stephen.

Too soon.


Sorry for your loss. We got hit by the edge of a F2 here in Northwest Arkansas and even after major cleanup efforts there are hundreds of large trees still uprooted and toppled. Roofs are still under repair …most fences have been repaired.

Having a Tornado hit your home is devastating. Being that we are in the same alley that hits Oklahoma all the time has caused me to rethink what in my home is deemed irreplaceable and how do I protect it should something catastrophic hit.

Glad to see your office is back and just in time to be quarantined. Welcome home!

Maybe I missed it, but I don’t think you commented on your Steelcase chair. From the look of it, I think we both bought the same model. My wife thinks it’s too hard, and I have to agree that it is quite firm but I haven’t noticed any discomfort even after sitting in it all day. I like that it is easily adjustable and can make it conform to my body position depending on the type of activity I am doing without much difficulty. What’s your take?

Yes, I meant to comment but didn’t. I first bought the Herman Miller Embody chair and didn’t like it at all. At 6’7" it didn’t land on my back in the right spot and it was too hard. I went for the Steelcase Gesture after reading many reviews. It’s true, that when you sit down it doesn’t feel soft, but I can sit in it for hours and be alright. The ergonomics are great and for me it’s worlds more comfortable than the Embody. I’ve really enjoyed it and hope it lasts many, many more years. Since I work from home even when allowed to go out in the world I splurged on my setup. At least, I think it’s wise to spend what money you can on a setup that works well and makes you happy.