Monday, July 26, 2010

Inside Look - the GeekTonic Office Part 1

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years showing off the home media setups of many GeekTonic readers through guest posts, but I’ve never taken the time to share what’s going on behind the scenes at the GeekTonic home.  Starting today, I’ll begin showing off a little of what things look like at the GeekTonic home (good and bad) as well as some of the tech I use there.

Hopefully this will interest some of you or at least satisfy your need to know where the GeekTonic writing and research is happening.  First up is the office.

At our current home I'm very fortunate to have a room designed specifically to function as an office and not a bedroom.  Here’s what the desk looks like:

Click Photo for Full-Size

This photo was actually taken back in January of this year, but mostly is true to how things look today except that it gets a LOT messier most times (I had to put that in there so MrsGeekTonic wouldn’t out me on the messy factor.)

The Desktop PC – HTPC and More

The server PC handles all Home Theater PC (HTPC) tasks powered by SageTV including TV (Live & Recorded), Movies (Blu-ray & DVD – both ripped and physical discs), Music and Photos.  It also handles some basic web browsing and heavy-duty testing I do for various blogging tasks – SageTV, MediaCenter, MediaPortal, etc.  Behind that server PC is a battery backup which is very nice to have – I just need to remember to replace that aging battery in there…

Workspace for Two

You’ll notice that the desk is large and has two seating areas.  This is for those times when MrsGeekTonic wishes to talk to me when I’m either spending too much time on the blog, on tech stuff or on day-job work stuff.  She does her share of teacher-tech work on the right hand side of the desk and you’ll often find her Dell laptop there as well.

Mr GeekTonic’s Desk

On the left side is where I spend much of my time.  I’ll have my work laptop set up in the middle with a docking station and the monitor with keyboard for the HTPC.  Lots of reading material (Note Wired Magazine – my favorite) is found around here and tons of “junk” hidden in the drawers and cabinet.

VOIP Phone – Ooma


The phone system runs from this room and PC as well.  Note the Ooma Telo VOIP phone where we can retrieve our messages among other things.  Ooma is a service we’ve been very happy with and once you pay for the hardware you can stick with the free (read: no monthly cost) service for basic phone.

The Gadget Stash

Way up on top of the desk you’ll find hidden a plethora of cords, a power strip, Cable Modem, Gigabit Router, Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR Recorder, Time Warner Crappy Cable Box (serving the HD-PVR), Firewire to change the channels on that box and a few super secret pieces of hardware I’m reviewing.  More on all of that later.

I’ll get into the hardware lists along with a mini-review of most everything in the room in future articles as well as photos of the other rooms with tech.  In the meantime let me know what questions you have if any.