The Start

So where do we start should be an easy question but without an easy answer…

My Rig

What is the hardware I run then will look at the software at a later date

Like most of you out there, it is all about efficiency be it cost be if easy of use.
To be efficient we need to know the use case is for me I want it all, 8 cores 16 GB of ram is not good enough and don’t need to be mobile

I know people will say just put it in the cloud but there is something nice about having a tangible bit of hardware to lab solutions and simulations of environments, then intergrade or move to the cloud later so I have and had for over the last two years a fully-loaded HP Z800 workstation (If I had to replace my rig it would be AMD as many logical processors as possible DIY PC using consumer hardware).

But why… I have in the past managed to get a full 42U rack and populated about half of it with an assortment of network equipment a NAS and various compute nodes but there are issues Noise \ power \ heat \ cost without forgetting the upkeep if a part failed how to get hold of a working spare and keeping on-top of Drivers and Operating System updates.

A lot of these are pros for cloud compute and serverless framework so again why… one answer a relative cheap playground to break and fix with enough horsepower to handle most of the projects I want to do.

The Spec

  • Dual-socket Intel Xeon X5675 6 cores 12 threads total = 24 logical processors
  • 192 GB DDR3 EEC PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gigabyte

User Input Devices

As a technologist so I spend most of my time at a desk with a set of monitors and a keyboard and mouse.

When choosing a keyboard and mouse chose wisely these are what you’re going to use day in and day out for the majority of your working life so they need to be comfortable easy to use and again for lack of a better word efficient well improving your efficiency, my keyboard of choice is the Microsoft 4000.

This keyboard is ergonomic but has a mechanical feel and 5 programmable keys for about £40 is improved my efficiency by forcing me to learn to touch type still can’t spell and grammar is horrendous so power typing then fixing later is the way to go.
The Mouse I have not much to say, I love the Logitech mouse MX master 3 but thinking about it two parts improve efficiency with a mouse the fist being DPI switcher so it can move faster and slower at the easy click of a button and page back and forward when web browsing.


Needs to have a mic and comfortable it can spend days, ok hours on your head and you need to be able to forget about it and focus on your work, so to do this it needs to be light needs to have a good fit, there are 3 main choices in-ear on-ear and over-ear and even if you look like your playing the latest MMORPG or landing some commercial aeroplane there is only one real choice that is over ears the rest over time become annoying pushing on your ears or in your ears. my choice is a Logitech G430

other features that are very nice to have are:

  • Noise cancellation
  • Surround Sound
  • Volume control
  • Microphone mute


I currently use two monitors this is not out of choice this is what I have available at time of writing, I have in my time used up to 7 screens did it make me more efficient NO but did make me feel like I was in the movie Swordfish YES and also imparted the perception to none technical directors that I was an elite network ninja with his command centre.

Other personal protection equipment I use is blue light filter glasses this was from back when I was Gaming the majority of my day I was getting eye fatigue so after a lot of research paid for some Gunnars glasses these days there are other vendors of the same thing and one last thing a power ball as a bit of fun and seams to help any feeling of RSI.

Next post Software to follow.

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