Behind the Scenes Part I - Aaron's Hardware

By Aaron Stockdill - 01 May 2015

Aaron's Setup


Clean and tidy, just the way I like it. I work from my desk most of the time, with my Retina MacBook Pro perched atop a Belkin aluminium laptop stand, attached to an external HP 1080p IPS monitor, a 3TB Western Digital hard drive set up as a Time Machine backup, August Bluetooth headphones, and a wireless Apple Keyboard and Magic Mouse. Not pictured: my iPhone 6 and a fourth generation iPad, as well as a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet for graphics work. When out and about, it's just the MacBook, the iPhone and I. Sounds like a bad parable.

This setup took several years to put together (I am a student, after all), but it is serving admirably. I can view websites in retina and non-retina resolutions at the same time, and can feel how they work on a large range of screen sizes and devices (even more than you'd think thanks to emulators). The IPS screens on everything mean that I see colour as it is meant to be seen, and all are carefully calibrated -- well, mostly.

I suppose those out there keen on the spec's will want to know what MacBook I own. Well here you go: Retina MacBook Pro 15", mid 2012, 16GB RAM, Intel Quad Core i7 processor at 2.6GHz, with a 512GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB graphics card. It's quite fast, although not a gaming machine. This is possibly a bit much for web design, but when it comes to some of the programming I do for University, it is a bit more reasonable. Some days, you just want the simulation to go fast.


For the office equipment lovers, I used to use a Jinhao X450 with J. Herbin Pearl Noir, seen here. This has unfortunately had a rough life being thrown into a school bag (although it was just $15), and one of the tines has sprung. Now I'm using some more stock standard Pilot rollerball pens. For those wondering why a five-cent Bic is no good: it's perfectly fine. However, I find a ballpoint hurts my hand after a few minutes use. Other types of pens don't hurt nearly as much, they just tend to cost a bit more. I have yet to go full-nerd and get a nice notebook with proper high quality paper with minimal bleed or feathering, and I'm yet to choose another fountain pen (we do not speak of a horribly expensive off-brand faux-pas) to replace my Jinhao. I'll admit to eyeing up a nice Namiki Falcon or Sheaffer Valor, both in black and gold of course, but at the moment they're a bit out of my price range (read: f@$&ing expensive). Maybe next year.

I have unfortunately forgotten the brand of desk and chair I use. The chair is lovely, purchased from Warehouse Stationary for not that much -- no more than about $300 anyway. It is exceptionally comfortable, and supports the body well. The arms are not quite in the perfect spot, but it's damn close to perfect so I don't care.

The desk is much older, and I can't even remember where I got it. I simply cannot recommend it. It looks 'meh' at best, and has shiny and dull patches. And the wobble. Oh dear god that wobble. When I write, the desk starts to wobble side to side. Not only is this very distracting, it's harder to write on. And the worst part of all: it sits next to my trash can (which I cannot move due to limited space), and starts tapping it, so every word I write I hear tap tap tap. I need to replace it. End of rant.

Hopefully someone found that interesting. It was quite nice to nerd out on all my equipment. Up next, Kaleb goes to town showing off his gear.

P.S. My glasses are Country Road. They aren't really work gear, but they certainly help me work, so get this honourable mention.

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