Just Look At This Place, It Looks Like A Damn Pigsty!   4 comments

From Megan and Ann, apparently today’s theme is workspaces… and since I’m busy manually installing three different machines that don’t fit under my normal support umbrella, there’s lots of time to blog between hitting “next”.

Disclaimer – every year, I end the summer season by cleaning out my office in preparation for the start of the fall term, which begins at the very end of September/beginning of October at Caltech.  Once term starts, everything goes to hell until, well… about now.  So what you are about to see is *not* indicative of my normal office surroundings.

I do tend to be more disorganized than Ann, but it’s not usually anywhere near this bad.  Of course, that just means that there’s lots of stuff to look at in the pictures…

Here is my office door, personalized according to geek systems administrator minimal requirements:

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

The comics are a smattering of PhD, Order of the Stick, Wondermark, XKCD, and Dilbert (see the links page).  That’s the Onion article title “Study Reveals Pittsburg Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack” in the lower right.  My favorite Onion article, the Gillette Five Blades, is alas NSFW.

Here’s what my office looks like from the doorway:



You’ll get closeups following.  Here’s my desk:

Command And Control

Command And Control

Pictured: a professor’s new laptop (a 1420, currently being back-ported to XP, see the previous post), my kinesis keyboard, a wireless logitech mouse, and 22″ monitor hooked up to a RHEL box, a logitech web cam that only works under Windows, and my Fujitsu laptop running XP Tablet PC 2005.  The desktop (visible on the lower left) has a copy of When WIll Jesus Bring The Pork Chops sitting on top of Overcoming The Five Disfunctions of a Team.  Carlin’s book is subpar relative to his earlier stuff, but the Disfunctions book is stellar.  That’s a NiCad battery charger right about where my right foot would be if I was sitting at my desk in this picture.

Next up, just to the left of the desk, is a couple of file cabinets covered with stuff:

yeah, this needs to be reorganized

yeah, this needs to be reorganized

Scattered around in this photo: a USB DVD+/-RW drive, a jar of computer screws and jumpers, a pencil jar, spare hard drives, a box of crayons I keep forgetting to take home for Jack, a pile of Communications of the ACM magazines, a spindle of DVD-Rs, a pile of installation CDs that need to be put away, cleaning wipes for LCD flatpanels, a dozen gigs of RAM for various hardware platforms, and a copy of Tom Clancy’s Every Man A Tiger – the story of Chuck Horner, Air Force commander during Desert Storm.  For people critical of the current Iraq war, I recommend you read this book.

The whiteboard, just cleaned this morning coincidentally, with various to-do lists:



Just to the left of that, a machine setup/diagnosis minidesk:

beta quadrant

beta quadrant

Pictured here: a rat’s nest of cables necessary to connect a workstation to that monitor and one of the two keyboards on the desk (PS/2 and USB), a lab machine that’s currently being updated (see the to do list), my labeler, some canned air, and the tail end of my Giants pennant that I’ve had since I was about six.

Then a floor bookshelf:

archives (part I)

archives (part I)

Here we have various photos of my wife and family, a pile of IS-related schoolbooks on top of a broken laptop, more RAM, a hard drive that needs to be shipped back to Seagate, another laptop that needs a basic install, and all my old RPG rulebooks and Dragon magazines that I don’t have space to store at home.  At Caltech, they represent a badge of nerdiness that helps me to interact with the customer base.  Really.

Above that bookshelf, the wall-mounted one:

yes, I have a lot of books

yes, I have a lot of books

Bottom shelf, left to right: Windex and SImple Green (just out of frame) a jar of computer bits and pens, my undergraduate mathematics textbooks, a bunch of Linux and Windows related books, and on the far right a pile of ITIL framework books.  Middle shelf, left to right: delicate task wipes (just out of frame) – great for cleaning your glasses, btw – a collection of books about LaTeX, my old Windows 2000 Active Directory books from Microsoft Press, and about 80 meters of Cat 5e cable (with a bag of RJ-45 ends).  Top shelf, left to right: bins with various bits (these are actually labeled correctly and usefully), a Sega Genesis in the box (yes, it works), more delicate task wipes, and a Planters Peanuts jar full of cable ties.

Next, the corner before you get back to the door:

pandora's box


Here we’ve got a network protocol map (just for color), my minifridge (stocked with Fresca at the moment), a box that has a Nintento Game Cube and a bunch of additional game console crud in it, the computer bits cabinet filled with nice organized trays of spare parts, three dead rackmount servers, a tool kit bag (barely visible at the bottom there), my old 22″ monitor in a box going back to the factory for an RMA, and a CaseLogic binder filled full of driver CDs and recovery disks that I like to keep handy.

Finally, the last bit before you get back to the door:

archive (III)

archive (part III)

Here you can see the incredibly noisy fan I have to run all day in order to keep this office tolerable with multiple machines running, a dead computer that needs to go to e-waste (also on the to-do list), my Saitek joystick that I used to use when I played Battlefield 1942 six years ago, more spare hard drives, a pile of video cards, and hidden in the middle on the floor a quarter sized copy of the architectural drawings for the new IST building.

Needless to say, cleaning all this up is a huge project…

Posted October 24, 2008 by padraic2112 in memes, work

4 responses to “Just Look At This Place, It Looks Like A Damn Pigsty!

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  1. Ha, ha, I have a window! But then, I also do not have my own office. So I guess it balances out.

    That is not at all how I imagined your office…

  2. You’ve got to get ORGANIZED!

  3. Pingback: Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 - Best Day « Pat’s Daily Grind

  4. Pingback: Thursday Themes (N+1) « Pat’s Daily Grind

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