Real Geeks Don't Read Dwell

Like a lot of geeks (but not all) I love good design. That I'm a sucker for well designed tech goes without saying; the iPad, the Fuji X100, La Clie Hard-drive Cases all float my boat. But outside of tech, Fender Stratocasters, Pininfarina cars and Eames furniture are also a turn on. I want to live a Jetson-esque house that Architectural Digest want to feature, to wit, I read a few interior design blogs for inspiration and also for the voyeuristic thrill of seeing how other people live.

Which is how I came to read this article: 10 Steps to a Home Office You'll Love. Let me give you the executive summary: hide all your tech and buy expensive, designer office furniture. In other words, if you're a geek, be ashamed, send your toys and action figures to Goodwill, and compromise what you need to work and create so that some architect wannabee in stupid glasses will approve of your work-space.

We take it as read that the iMac looks amazing in the Apple collateral when it is photographed in a staged office that is devoid of cables, peripherals, paper or anything personal. When we get it home, if you're anything more than the most casual of users, it doesn't look nearly as clinically clean once you get it connected to the network, and hooked up to a couple of backup drives, and connected to a second monitor, and your Wacom tablet. If you're a digital creative these things are not tech clutter you can just hide away; they are daily necessities you need to work.

When you dive deeper into digital multimedia creation there are other things you can't live without that are hard to sweep under the designer carpet. If you're into music creation (as I am) and you don't live in the elite world where you can afford to have a dedicated studio, there are mixers, microphones, keyboards, guitars and rack mounted effects. If you have to hide these things away in the closet after every session to maintain some zen ideal of what your work space should look like, the next time inspiration strikes, you face so much setup and breakdown time the barrier to starting creating is too high. If these things are setup and to-hand, when inspiration strikes it's a simple matter of flipping a few switches to get from the point of inspiration to getting that idea recorded.

Likewise, if you podcast or make videos and you don't have a dedicated studio, with all your equipment broken down in the garage how much more motivation do you need to create your next episode or masterpiece if there's all that setup to go through before you can even start to create?

Real geeks also need more than one computer. What are you going to do while your code is compiling or your video is rendering on your main work station if you don't have another machine to work on? Real geeks don't use laptops as their main workstations: laptops are great but we need the power and flexibility only a tower provides and when was the last time you saw a hulking tower workstation in any of the offices featured as role models on Apartment Therapy? For real geeks technology isn't static - we are constantly switching in and out hardware; cycling external hard drives; changing out network hardware; bringing a new laptop into the room for testing or review. Real geeks keep their cables tidy but accessible and that doesn't mean hog-tied to the back of a cabinet you can't get to without a flashlight, crawling on the floor and banging your head on furniture.

This is one geek who has had enough of trying to live up to some Hollywood interior designer's idea of what my work space should look like. To do so is to deny my geekness and inhibits the creative process. There are no action figures anywhere else in the house other than in my office. I still need some very uncool looking paper manuals to get some tasks done. I love my Nerf gun and I need a guitar close at hand to bang out some frustration on. I need the speed and reliability of a wired network and if the router and network switch are in  the basement how can I read the status lights when something periodically goes wrong?

I'm tired of apologizing for my man-cave. We keep the rest of the house pretty grown-up and tidy so I'm going to put a sign on my office door: "Interior Designers: Keep Out!"

23 comments:

  1. Ok, so first. It is not a man cave. But a geek cave. Let's be clear. I have more monitors than I can shake a stick at. What i really want is two, triple-head displays. And a comfy chair.

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  2. I also own two computers, and I am having a hard time on how to fit them into my new house for rent in makati . Good thing, I’ve read your blog and gave me an idea on how to fix things up.

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  3. Awe-inspiring bequest! Your blog is attention-grabbing. I feel affection for it.

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  4. We have big plans for the backyard once the kids are a little older, like take out all the grass (what little there is), add a water feature,

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  5. Looks like that office of yours could sure use a hand from those manila real estate designers; that quite a mix up.

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  6. I read this post completely concerning the difference of latest and previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

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  7. This is something that I could do with my place after fixing my jumbo mortgage rates massachusetts. At last my home office will be finished!

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  8. As I can see, your office is pretty neater than mine. With all of those allegro semiconductors scattered and monitors' bodies open, keeping them all in place is an issue to me.

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  9. If you try to get an apartment for rent legaspi village, perhaps your perspective will change. There are many things that you will need to think of before you let your things scatter all over the place. Of course you're just renting the place so taking care things (especially if not yours) is as important as brushing your teeth and taking a bath everyday.

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  10. Hi, I desire to subscribe for this web site to obtain most up-to-date updates, so where can i do it please help.

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  11. What I want is for this thing to not just apply to home offices. Sometimes people who do the nine-to-five thing have already gotten used to these kinds of stuff; redecorating will only worsen things. Sometimes it's better to keep things intact.

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  12. One look at that desk setup had me thinking. With all the stuff you got on there, I'm surprised it's still holding up. Then again, the place doesn't seem to have much space, so I guess you had to make do.

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  13. The logic here is if your space is limited, have your furniture maximized. If you can find a two way furniture, say a sofa bed, then make plans to get one. We cannot do anything with the house "in the meantime", but we can find a lot of possible furniture for our chosen lifestyle.

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  14. The desk setup kind of reminds me of my own desks back home. I got a lot more stuff on my own though, and I'm honestly surprised it hasn't fallen down on me, even with all that weight.

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  15. Man, your desk setup is even better than mine. I was already thinking about buying a new desk set from the local store because all my stuff are stuck on top of a rickety cabinet.

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  16. I can see a lot of work and stuff there, actually my office room also looks like this one. The difference is my table is full of extensions like masking hooks where I pin my post it reminders, it’s definitely useful to me not to forget about other things.

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  17. This is a nice home office idea, minus the clutter of course. People who work at home usually have less time in managing clutter, so a good home-office would mean a clutter-free working space.

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