Wednesday, December 6, 2023

What’s on your desk, Nathan Edwards?

Nathan Edwards has been at The Verge for a couple of 12 months and a half as senior critiques editor, enhancing critiques and managing a part of the critiques workforce. He additionally works on our purchasing information program. He provides, “Other than a few brief freelancing stints, I spent most of my profession earlier than this at Most PC (RIP), a print journal, after which at Wirecutter, the place I labored for seven years. So it’s been critiques and shopping for guides and writing about client tech just about the entire time.”

He took a while to inform us about his workspace.

That’s a cozy-looking house. The place in your house is it?

Thanks! It’s a research close to the entrance of the home. It will get some good pure gentle, partly shaded by a few oak bushes exterior. They’re presently paving the yard with acorns. Actually going nuts this 12 months. 

I see two desks. Are each yours? They seem like they’re used for various functions.

They’re each mine. My spouse additionally works from house most days, however she is in calls all day, and I like mechanical keyboards and never overhearing convention calls, so we favor to work in separate areas. The larger, nicer desk is my work desk, and the opposite one is for every part else. Aspirationally, it’s for tinkering. Proper now, I’m fixing my sister-in-law’s laptop computer on it; often, it’s simply coated in piles of papers. I used to have my PC on that desk, and if I begin taking part in PC video games once more, I’ll most likely transfer it again.

This Xdesk is the primary work desk, with all of the tech {that a} critiques editor desires at hand.

This hand-cranked Ikea desk is for tasks, piles of paper, and different stuff.

Inform us about your desks and why you selected them. 

The massive one is an Xdesk (previously generally known as NextDesk) Terra. It was the Wirecutter standing desk decide once I purchased it a decade in the past. It’s held up nice. The white one is a hand-cranked Ikea Bekant we purchased once we lived within the Netherlands as a result of we left our desks within the US and wanted desks. It’s nice. Neither has any drawers, so I’ve a rolling cart subsequent to 1 and an Ikea Alex subsequent to the opposite.

The inexperienced one is a Steelcase Leap. It was additionally the Wirecutter decide once I bought it a decade in the past. It’s a nice chair. No regrets in anyway. The opposite chair is a few OfficeMax factor my spouse purchased someday up to now twenty years. It’s a chair. 

There’s additionally an Ikea Frosta stool with an eye-searing orange seat. That one simply makes me comfortable.

Desk chairDesk chair

Ergonomic work chair with wheels.

Right here comes the massive one: inform us in regards to the tech you’re utilizing. There’s a number of it right here!

On my work desk, I’ve my work-issued 2020 M1 MacBook Air on a Rain Design stand and my self-built Home windows 11 PC in a Sliger SM550 mini-ITX case. I really like small kind issue computer systems, however I made a tactical error with this one. After I constructed it in 2019, I reused my graphics card, an Nvidia GTX 1070. I assumed that midrange graphics playing cards would preserve getting smaller and extra power-efficient. Reader, they didn’t! With a purpose to improve my GPU, I would wish to get a extra highly effective energy provide and a much bigger case. Luckily, I don’t want to improve. 


Snazzy stand that raises your laptop computer or pill 5.9 inches greater.

The PC has a ninth-gen i5 and 32GB of RAM; it’s lots quick for what I truly do with it, and the 1070 nonetheless does alright with the little little bit of PC gaming I can squeeze in. 

Each computer systems hook right into a 32-inch BenQ 4K monitor with a built-in KVM swap and never fairly sufficient USB ports. It has three USB-A ports within the again, and I’ve a three-port USB hub plugged into one among them. That provides me simply sufficient ports to keep away from having to make use of a Thunderbolt dock, but it surely’s an in depth one. Right here’s what plugs into the monitor:

  • The Insta360 Hyperlink webcam a number of Verge staffers use. 
  • A set of B&W MM-1 audio system I’ve had because the Most PC days.
  • A few USB-A-to-C cables for keyboards and peripherals.
  • The Stream Deck Mini, which I purchased from Dan Seifert and principally use to regulate the Elgato Key Mild. 
Stream Deck MiniStream Deck Mini


Assign your shortcuts to a single, illuminated button.

A light-weight you possibly can solely management by way of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi? Whose thought was that? The Elgato Key Mild principally simply retains my ZZ plant comfortable. A lot of the different lights within the workplace are Hue bulbs, which I management with a RunLessWire swap on the wall. 

The headphones are Sony’s WH-1000XM4.

The mouse is a first-gen Logitech MX Grasp. I preserve having to open it as much as repair the scroll wheel, but it surely’s hanging in there. It’s on a mousepad one among my youngsters made in preschool. 

The opposite desk has an eight-year-old Dell UltraSharp monitor, Blue Yeti mic, and 10-year-old Lenovo Yoga 2 Professional laptop computer I’m going to place Linux on. I purchased a number of Wirecutter picks, seems. It additionally has a Ploopy trackball, which I really like however which doesn’t have the MX Grasp’s scroll wheel. My iFixit toolkit is there — yet one more factor I’ve had for a very long time as a result of it’s match for function.

I’ve a number of Subject Notes notebooks hanging round.

I see you’re a keyboard fanatic — at the least, I see a number of keyboards, together with a extremely unbelievable previous typewriter!

For a very long time, I had one mechanical keyboard, and I used to be proud of it. Then, in 2016, I purchased a smaller one with completely different switches and a few fairly keycaps to go along with it, and I fell into the rabbit gap. I’ve three or 4 I exploit recurrently and a number of other extra that I ought to most likely promote. 

The keyboard on my desk within the photographs is a Leopold FC660C with Topre switches. Over the previous six years, I’ve swapped the controller board for one with USB-C and VIA compatibility, added silencing rings, re-lubed the stabilizers, swapped the keycaps, and put a few MX sliders on it. And since somebody will ask: the domes are inventory.

A modded and cut-down 1993 IBM Mannequin M keyboard alongside a Nineteen Fifties typewriter.

A MurphPad quantity pad that has Bluetooth added.

Entrance to again: Grid 650, HHKB Studio, and KBDcraft Adam.

The quantity pad is a MurphPad that I constructed with a pleasant!nano so it has Bluetooth. I additionally put MillMax sockets within the PCB so I can swap out the switches. The keycaps are principally SA Dasher.

Other than the Leopold, the one I exploit most frequently is a Grid 650 with the Array module. Proper now, it has Kailh Deep Sea Islet silent linear switches — that are pretty near the superb switches within the HHKB Studio — and CRP Tulip keycaps.

The brown one close to the typewriter is a modded and cut-down 1993 IBM Mannequin M keyboard from my brother. It has a Yacobo controller he designed.  

The typewriter is a Nineteen Fifties AZERTY-layout Hermes 3000 my spouse inherited from her grandparents. It wants a brand new ribbon and a great clear, but it surely’s practical.

The artwork on the desk with the typewriter is nice as properly.

Thanks! The portray is by my sister Naomi, and the postcards are from my pal Steve Schaberg. He’ll ship you a screenprinted postcard for 5 bucks each month. 

You’ve got an enormous variety of different fascinating tchotchkes in your workplace. Are there any others that you simply’d wish to name out? (The timer, for instance?)

The timer is for pomodoros once I keep in mind to do them. I’ve a Flipper Zero and a Beepy as a result of my self-conception is of an individual with much more time and laptop engineering information than I even have. Ditto the Raspberry Pi tucked away someplace. And the “intro to electronics” package in a drawer. 

I’ve a Dwelling Assistant Inexperienced right here that I must arrange. I preserve working into issues I’d like my good house to have the ability to do, and invariably, the best way to do it appears to be Dwelling Assistant. Or simply return to a dumb house, which is equally tempting. 

Writer John Joseph Mathews wrote nonfiction and fiction about Osage historical past and tradition.

You recognize that you simply’re the rationale I spent 20 minutes of firm time trying up writer John Joseph Mathews, proper?

He was a fascinating and sophisticated dude, and he was my great-grandfather. I grew up listening to tales about him from my mother and her sisters, although I hadn’t learn lots of his books till comparatively just lately. Nonetheless engaged on the massive one. I even have some language and cultural assets on that shelf; I’m taking a (very) newbie Osage language class and studying a ton. That shelf additionally incorporates a Strandbeest, which is unrelated.

My nemesis, the HP OfficeJet printer, lurks within the nook. Additionally, I moved a number of bins and piles of papers into the hallway to take these photographs, and the cupboards and drawers are completely jammed filled with cables and dongles and previous arduous drives and miscellany. Please don’t think about that my workplace often appears this tidy. Though now that it is tidy, I’m making an effort to maintain it that manner.

Images by Nathan Edwards / The Verge

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