Article 18: Home Workstations

 Building a Home Workstation

Working from home has become more and more popular with the interconnected nature of technology. Sometimes you can be just as productive with or without the commute. This week I’d like to share a few tips and tricks this week for building a workstation for home that will put all of your devices to good use, and you’ll have a powerhouse machine to give you another reason to skip the commute and sleep in a little bit.

A Leg to Stand On

This is the part where I state the obvious. You need a desk. But depending on your computer, your desk matters quite a lot. There are several schools of thought about where to place a desktop tower, and I’m of the opinion that placing your tower on the floor increases the amount of dirt, dust, and possibly pet hair that could get into your machine. If you have a larger desktop tower, consider a lower shelf or other arrangement, but a larger desk could accommodate this. What you really want to shoot for enough space to use both a keyboard and mouse and do regular paperwork at the same time. How you arrange your desk can affect your productivity, so pay attention to optimizing your workflow.

More Displays, More Power

If you think that you would benefit from more screen area to work with, then consider connecting another display to your system. Most graphics cards that have multiple outputs don’t require any more setup than plugging in the second monitor. However, if you are on an older setup, or don’t have the monitor, consider taking your laptop, and setting it on your desk. With one keyboard and mouse setup attached to your main computer, you can control any number of peripheral computers.

The Magic Jumping Mouse

Keyboard and mouse sharing over a network connection can be accomplished very simply with a program called Synergy. Synergy is an open source, free program that lets your keyboard and mouse move from one screen to another simply by moving it to the edge of the screen, and their variations have gotten more reliable and more stable over a few generations. You can even copy simple text to the clipboard and paste it on the other computer. Just search for Synergy through your favorite search engine.

Networking Printers

If you don’t have desk space for a printer, or simply don’t want it in the same room as your computer, there are plenty of networking solutions that allow you to relocate it. If your printer has built-in wifi, it can be moved to any location in the house and connected wirelessly. If that doesn’t fit your hardware, connecting it to a different desktop computer that is always on, or on most of the time, you can share that printer over the network so all you have to do is select it from your workstation to print. This can be a wonderful space saving solution to a desk that has limited space as it is.

 

With a router and a few neat networking tricks, you could build yourself a neat looking and functional home office, which makes for great working from home if necessary or desired. Thanks for reading everyone, and be sure to keep checking out the Computer Fixer if you need any technology help or repairs. See you next week.

 

Aaron Krick
Blog Contributor at the Computer Fixer
www.thecomputerfixer.com
aaron.krick@gmail.com

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