Bill of Materials for my home office

Alex Ellis
Mar 25 · 7 min read

Whenever I share a photo of my workstation in my home office, I tend to be asked things like “What’s that keyboard?” and “What brand of microphone do you use?”

Given that interest, I wanted to write up a bill of materials (BoM) so that I can point folks here and so that you can get a configuration that works well together. I’ll include links where possible and some of them will be using Amazon affiliates.

The desk

My desk is a sit/stand with a built-in motor. It’s made by Ikea and comes with 3–4 different colour tops, but the base unit and legs are the same.

It’s easy to set up, but takes up more space than a traditional desk, mainly because of its depth. You also don’t get any drawers or storage.

The keyboard and rest

This is a bit of a mix and match. The keyboard rest is a Filco, from the Keyboard Company.

The keyboard is a much coveted Durgod K320 in the tenless configuration. I think I got mine from AliExpress, Banggood, or eBay.

https://amzn.to/2wrtqBB

Trackpad

I’m very happy with the Apple Magic Trackpad, and if I bought again, I would get the space gray.

Here’s a link to a “renewed” version, I bought mine second-hand too and cleaned it before use.

https://amzn.to/3bmNQdC

Monitor

My monitor has a HDMI input, DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort, which is enough connectivity for my use. And no, you don’t need USB-C input to get 4k @ 60Hz (read-on).

BenQ PD2700U 27 inch 4K IPS HDR Monitor

https://amzn.to/2xsK7fN

I then use a USB-C to DP cable to plug in my Mac Mini or Macbook Pro. It happens to support 4k 60Hz, unlike the official Apple Adapter.

https://amzn.to/33Ofy0u

Monitor raiser

I always thought monitor raisers looked old-fashioned, until I saw what Navaris had to offer and bought one. It helps lift up my monitor without fully extending the stand, which makes it more stable.

https://amzn.to/2xmGKY0

All the USBs

Anker 10 Port 60W Data Hub with 7 USB 3.0 Ports and 3 PowerIQ Charging Ports

https://amzn.to/3duGO8E

I use a powered Anker USB Hub, which allows me to plug in a number of USB devices and then a single cable into my computer. It also has fast charging ports.

The microphone

My microphone plugs in over USB which means it does not need a microphone port and appears as a recording input for easy selection in Zoom or QuickTime.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

ttps://amzn.to/2UyIO77

Speakers and Subwoofer

My current setup is very old, but still great quality when coupled with a decent DAC. The subwoofer adds warmth, but does take up quite a bit of space on the floor. Here’s an equivalent setup to what I have

Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System, 2.1 Speaker System

https://amzn.to/2xkfyZZ

Webcam

Logitech C930e 1080P HD Video Webcam

https://amzn.to/3dm4SKG

Stepping-up from the webcam

If you’re live-streaming or want to create the highest quality videos, then you should consider buying an SLR and using a HDMI input to turn it into a webcam. You’ll get a background blur and silky quality.

This is the Elgato Camlink which can capture 1080p via USB

Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vNECbj

You’ll also need a compatible SLR, I have the Fujifilm X100F

Link on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vMuAXO

USB sound / DAC

I’m using the “Schitt Modi”, for a high-quality USB DAC which plugs into my amplified Logitech speakers.

Light

I am using an LED key light from Elgato. They cost around 199 USD and are fully adjustable. The difference in quality is remarkable, especially when paired with an SLR for video input.

See here for a sample video I recorded shortly after receiving the equipment

Let me know if you’d like to know how I produce videos in a follow-up blog post? My contact details are at the end of the post.

Elgato Key Light, professional studio LED panel with 2800 lumens:

You’ll also find a “lite” edition of this light which comes in cheaper, but which is less adjustable. I’d recommend getting two of the lite panels or one of the main ones.

Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/33IpN6i

Whiteboard

I find it useful to have a whiteboard on my office wall, with anything I need to achieve over the short-term. For longer-term goals, I’ll use Trello or pen and paper to track that.

You can also use your whiteboard to draw quick architecture diagrams and then share them with the community or your team.

VIZ-PRO Magnetic Whiteboard/Dry Erase Board, 48 X 36 Inches, Silver Aluminium Frame

https://amzn.to/3bqryYm

For pens, my favourite brand is Pentel Maxiflow, and I only buy the fine bullet point markers, anything else feels clumsy. The best colours are Black and Blue.

https://amzn.to/2WLwPpp

Here’s a quick example of the two in combination

Mugs and t-shirts

I like the size and quality of the mugs in the OpenFaaS store, they are perfect for coffee and for tea.

V60, or Kalita Wave today? Therein lies the question.

The store also stocks hoodies for both projects and a number of custom t-shirts. The brand is American Apparel and they are lined with a super soft fleece. I like wearing them when coding and working from home.

All GitHub Sponsors and subscribers to my Premium Newsletter get 20% off in the store until the end of the month, and everyone else gets 10% off.

These are difficult times, and if you got to keep your job and your clients despite the shake-up with Coronavirus, then you’re very lucky. Perhaps you could consider how you can support those who were not so fortunate?

Did I miss anything?

My setup doesn’t change that often, but if you have questions, feel free to ask. I also wrote up a more detailed post on creating a Linux Desktop that actually works, for daily business use and I cover some of the software and tools I use as a consultant.

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Alex Ellis

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CNCF Ambassador. OpenFaaS & Inlets founder — https://www.alexellis.io

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