Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Aaron Markie, an Iteration Manager, proponent of KWOW and major contributor on the #mtb Slack Channel at Kablamo.
What hardware do you use?
Prior to remote working I had a very basic Dell Inspiron 15" in blue (to push me out of my comfort zone).
WFH I have an MSI desktop that my son built about 7 years ago as a young teenager so it's got a lot of LEDs and sounds like an airport. I have a 3 monitor ghetto setup, they are all different brands, sizes and resolutions.
- Left - wide monitor mounted in portrait: Zoom Gallery view when screen sharing, Spotify, Calendar, Email and Timesheets
- Right - comms screen: Slack, Teams, Family Chat, secondary browser
- Centre - main screen: where I work from, and also my presentation screen. When I'm presenting I move my taskbar to the right screen so I can do all the off-presentation production I need (see software)
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard - I had to retire my old (off-white with blue media buttons) Microsoft Natural Elite Keyboard because it was too loud for the rest of the family. I also recently had to retire my beautiful leather backed Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse - both of which had survived from the noughties. I now have one of those wiz-bang Logitech jobs with a scroll wheel that has its own momentum.
RIG 800 Headset - It's nice and light and the mic arm mutes when in the vertical position
A chair that's in a permanent racing position with beaded seat cover. An Aldi plant that lives on a piece of volcanic rock.
Lots of mountain bike maps... lots. Air Conditioning (for the win). And a Gilfoyle Pop Vinyl.
And what software?
- Chrome: I spend almost my entire day on Chrome so I'm pretty obsessive about my setup.
- I make very good use of Chrome Profiles so I can separate my Personal bookmarks/accounts from Work and sometimes I even have specific profiles for individual clients (if I need to use a client supplied Google account). It also means that the Work Profile Chrome screens get closed when I down tools, allowing me to unplug from work.
- I bookmark everything so I can get to all my project links in a split second, so my bookmark structure is well organised and I'm fairly obsessive about it
- I also have specific start-up bookmark folders that open all the stuff I'm going to need (or need to remember) in the opening hours of my day (so mostly stand-up and project management stuff)
- Jira, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Google Slides: that's my job in 4 apps
- Zoom: Definitely my VC tool of choice. Oh and a very nice Google Calendar plugin that will add a unique meeting link instead of a Google Meets link.
- Slack: One eye is always on slack, but depending on the client, MS Teams might be running too.
- FB Messenger: There's 4 of us WFH so the family chat is a live discussion. "Aircon is going on", “Who's stuff is in the washing machine?”, "I'm at Aldi, is the Keep List up to date?"
- Microsoft PowerToys - Fancy Zones: A really cool way of dividing up screens into a custom grid so you can snap applications to a specific size. Very handy when you have 3 monitors.
- Monitor Profile Switch: A little utility that enables me to switch which screen is my main desktop with 2 clicks. This way I can move my taskbar to the non presenting monitor and have full control of every app I have open without interrupting the presentation (handy when watching the sportball too).
- DroidCam: an application that allows me to use an old phone as my webcam (mounted on my monitor using a cradle made of Lego)
- Evernote: my note taking app (or Notepad++ if I'm just dumping something quickly)
What would be your dream setup?
- Three of the same monitor. At least the same brand with the same colour profiles. Probably some more/bigger monitors too for when I'm cutting video.
- Someone to mount the Mountain Bike print they gave me for Christmas.
- For my setup to be in Whistler Canada, but I will settle for Jindabyne, Rotorua or Maydena.