My current hardware

What can I say.    I'm a classic geek in many respects.

My priorities are disk IO speed, including the speed of the IDE connections and RAM.  CPU comes in last.   An ergonomic keyboard is extremely important as well.

Tonys workplace setup

The screens are very dim in this photo as I work with only a 60 watt bulb on a gooseneck lamp.   Once I setup my laptop when I first arrive in the morning, to handle personal email, the main office light goes off.   A number of people have remarked on how strange it is to walk by an office with the light turned off, two monitors glowing and the lamp. Well, hey, I seldom use paper so why do I need bright light.

Left to right

UPS - off screen
Surge protector
Toshiba 2410CTX laptop
Palm M515 cradle
Targus PAU70 port replicator so I can plug my DIN connector keyboard into my USB only laptop
Dual 19" monitors
Fellows ergonomic keyboard
Custom wrist rest
Two meece.  One for laptop, other for tower system.  (Haven't gotten around to hooking up one mouse to the KVM switch)
KVM switch (They've nicely dropped in price so they're quite affordable.)
Development system - off screen

Development System

Abit KT7-RAID motherboard for the ATA-100 hard drives to maximize hard drive throughput..
Matrox G450 dual head video card
2 19" NEC monitors to maximize desktop space
Just installed 2 - 512 Mb SDRAM sticks as 256 was too low and 512 would've been been adequate maybe.
DVD reader
CD burner.  (I'll likely be purchasing a DVD burner quite soon.)


I was maxed out on my old laptop with RAM at 384 Mb and getting very full on 10 Gb hard drive space so I purchased a Toshiba 2410 CTX with 256 Mb RAM and a 40 Gb hard drive.  I then added 512 Mb of RAM and a wireless network card.   What really makes the big difference though is the hard drive IO speed.  It's an ATA 66 whereas my previous laptop was an PIO 4 I think.  Whatever it was the speed of the hard drive was one quarter my current laptop.  The Toshiba 2410 also has a built in CDR/DVD/CD burner which is very handy for many things especially backups.

Palm M515

Along with the desktop software this keeps me organized so I never have to worry about missing appointments.   If an email comes in with a meeting, be it at a client or a Microsoft chat, then I just cut and paste the details into the Palm desktop software.  Next time I synchronize the details go between the Palm and the laptop.

I had a Vx for a number of years but purchased the M515 as it's active matrix screen is better in low light situations.

Dual monitors

Matrox G450 dual head card.   This adds greatly to my productivity.  This way I can see the form or report I'm working on on the left hand screen and see either it's properties or code on the right hand screen.  I also run it at something like 2300x900 combined so that I can put my toolbar on the left hand monitor and have enough room for the extra menu bars that are visible in development mode.   I can also see twice as many fields of a query in both design view and data view.   Folks who do a lot of work with Excel or Word might also want to consider this setup.

Ergonomic keyboard

I have seven or eight of the exact same Fellowes ergonomic keyboard on hand with the extra in storage.  These are such an old style that they have the old large keyboard connector.   They have an attachable "lip" on the front which I just throw out.  Thus I can put my wrist rest right against the edge of the keys.  Unlike MS and other keyboards where I'd have to use a bandsaw to remove that "lip"  Also the MS keyboards have screwed up the arrangement of the keys between the typewriter and numeric keypad.  I've been touch typing that basic keyboard for about fifteen years and see no reason to change now.

About the only reason I need a new keyboard is when I spill too much coffee on them repeatedly.  I'm told I have a delicate touch on the keyboard though.   So this supply of keyboards should last me quite a number of years.

One on my tower system, one at my clients I hook into the laptop, one in the motel room I also hook up into my laptop. Well, along with the 18" LCD monitor.

Each keyboard wrest rest cut out of a 2x6 to match the curve of the ergonomic keyboard and extends to the mouse area.  They are foam padded and covered with a suede like material. I'm quite grateful to the local upholstery shop person who choose that particular fabric as it's the perfect covering.

This keeps my wrists quite level at all times. I notice quite the difference if I spend a weekend typing on just the laptop.

The best non computer hardware I've purchased in years

A Brother P-touch 1750 label machine.  Look what's attached to your power bar.  Taking up two and half power sockets.  Yup, bricks.  Those darned power bricks that supply 5, 7, 12, 15, 17.5 or whatever power to various peripherals.   The label machine lets me put labels on those bricks so I now I know exactly what goes with which should the electronic device get separated from it's power source.   I likely have ten or fifteen power bricks in active use with another twenty or thirty in various boxes of stuff.

I chose to use gold on black tape as those bricks are all black.   I think there might be They've been on my laptop power adapter which is in and out of my laptop bag two maybe four times a day without showing any signs of wear and tear.  I'm impressed and quite happy.

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