I’ve been through a few computer and workstation set ups, even giving up the mobility of a laptop and anchoring myself to a desk with an iMac for a few months in 2013. Going from a 21″ iMac with a second 24″ ips display down to an 11″ Macbook Air wasn’t as hard as you’d think (I’ll blog about this soon), but it has taken a few iterations to find a set of tools that made me happy.
Before we get to my current setup, here are some images showing two of my old work stations.
Above shows my office space around 2012 – 13, when I was working mainly from a 13″ Macbook Pro, and using an old G5 for file storage. I also had a low powered dell running lubuntu and set up to monitor my live servers. At the time I was really into having a full office space, but looking back, I see that it was all totally unnecessary.
After spilling coffee on my Macbook, I purchased an iMac. This tied me down to my desk (now located in a new apartment). I had consolidated all of my work into one computer, but sacrificed my mobility.
It only took a few months before I finally had enough of this desk life, so I sold the iMac and bought a Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook and started 9 months of fighting to get a productive workflow going with linux. Fortunately, for my sanity, this laptop died and allowed me to move back into the loving arms of Apple and OSX.
After considering my next laptop purchase for awhile, I settled on an 11″ Macbook Air (with an i7, 8GB of ram, and a 512GB ssd). I’d always been into netbooks, using an Acer Aspire One for travel a few years ago, and spending some time with one of Acer’s Chromebooks more recently. Neither of those had enough power or flexibility for my workflow, but Apple’s 11″ Air is an amazing balance of size and power.
My current kit now consists solely of this 11″ Macbook Air, my tablet, and a notebook. The above photo is of my workstation today, set up on my front porch so that I could enjoy the first warm weather since last fall.
I can’t really imagine going back to a 13″ or larger laptop. This ultralight setup is currently perfect for me.