iCalvin

WWDC ‘19 Plans: Remote Edition

It seems like everyone else is talking about what they’re doing all week, and just because I’m home during WWDC I don’t wanna miss out on all the fun. My plans are essentially to lock myself in my office for the bulk of the week, and try to immerse myself with new APIs and the week’s session streams as much as possible. I’ve been warning my wife that I’d be little to no help around the house this week, and so I took the last few days to clean up to a fresh state before my week of neglect.

Monday morning I’ll be heading into Cambridge to meet up with CocoaHeads Boston at MIT, where they’ve booked a room to watch the Keynote and the State of the Union. It’ll be fun to have people there to react and be excited about stuff during and in-between the events.

For the rest of the week aside from a few walks or lunch trips I’ll probably be in my office for the bulk of it, so while everyone else was traveling to San Jose this weekend I’ve been cleaning my office and prepping my workstation for a week of learning and tinkering. I haven’t yet settled on a a desk configuration that I’ve stuck with for more than a month, but fingers crossed this new one satisfies me long enough to get through Dub Dub.

Wide view of office

I’ve been using a spare bedroom as my office since we moved to our new house last fall, and bit by bit it’s been coming together into a really confortable space that I love spending time in, which is great considering I work from home these days and spend a lot of time in here.

Front view of desk

I got the Jarvis standing desk in January, which gave me a much needed bigger desk space. I use it standing when I’m doing podcasts and sometimes when I’m working, but most of my programming happens seated, so I tuck away the standing mat. Repainting was the big job I wanted to tackle before I started working from home, and my main goal was to brighten up the naturally dark room, which pretty much everyone I’ve video-chatted with has confirmed worked. The bright orange walls experiment thankfully haven’t overwhelmed me, and I’ve really enjoyed playing around with the color scheme.

MacBook Pro w/ many, many stickers

My primary machine is a 2016 MacBook Escape (13” non-TouchBar model), which I got soon after launch. I’ve lucked out and never had any keyboard issues and actually really like the butterfly keys, but I primarily use it in clamshell mode which may color my opinion. This was the first machine I’ve ever covered with stickers, and it definitely started a bit of a habit. Right now it’s backing up to a Samsung T5, which is an impresssively cool little drive. I’ve got a second one all ready to run the macOS beta, assuming it works fine booting from an external drive.

Display view

Keyboard & Trackpad view

I’m really pleased with my single-cable workstation. I have the 21” LG UltraFine 4K which I got with the laptop in 2016 when Apple was discounting all of their USB-C accessories, and I’ve been all in on USB-C ever since. I keep a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad wired with extra long Lightning to USB-C cables, which allows me to easily swap the computer part of the workstation with a single USB-C cable and not have to re-pair the input accessories. Turns out wired accessories are pretty nice after all 🤷‍♂️. Most of the time I’m swapping between my personal and work MacBook Pro, but I can also plug in my iPad Pro and use the external screen and keyboard (and hopefully after tomorrow the trackpad!) with iOS, which is helpful when doing lots of writing.

iPad Pro

Otherwise I keep my iPad to the side in a Viozen Stand with it’s own Magic Keyboard. I’ve been saying since I bought this device in November that I bought it in hopes of a great iPad update in iOS 13. As much as I love it today and use it for lots of day-to-day stuff that isn’t Xcode related, I can’t wait to see what it’s able to do come tomorrow.

Microphone on arm mount

H4n Pro Audio Interface

For audio I have an Audio Technica mic and a use a Zoom H4n Pro as a USB audio interface to the workstation. My only gripe with this set up is every time I connect to a new computer I have to go through the menus on the interface to enable USB mode with the new computer, but otherwise it’s been working great.

Charging Station

To the right I have a little charging station with an inductive charger and a Lightning stand. This is also where I have the only USB-A connector on my desk, where I have my USB-C inductive charger powered.

Secondary desk view

Smart Keyboard Folio and many more stickers

In the window nook I keep a secondary desk, where I keep my 2017 iPad Pro and another small charging station. This desk is usually covered with mail and other papers, but I’ve made sure to clean it off for the week so I can keep spread out a bit if I need to.

Sonos Shelf

Finally, behind me I have a little table for my Dungeons and Dragons books and dice, where I also keep my Sonos One. My friend Bob won this at the ATP live show last year, and once it was updated with AirPlay 2 I picked it up for my office. I’ve kept a HomePod in here for music before, but I actually found myself wanting to be able to say “Hey Siri” to my iPhone rather than the HomePod, and I preferred just having a simple AirPlay 2 destination for my iPad where I control music or podcasts, rather than a “smart speaker” I had to use my voice to control. I’m pretty certain I have never once used this for anything other than as an AirPlay destination for an iOS device, and for that it works perfectly!

Side view of desk

So that’s the environment I’m hoping to keep my productive and sane this week while I dig through all the new goodies Apple is gonna drop tomorrow. I’ve got a laundry list of projects I can work on that I’ll be picking from once we see exactly what happens tomorrow, but hopefully I’ll have more to share here later this week!