How I Work

One of my favorite posts that I see in personal blogs and elsewhere is the “How I Work” post. The posts where someone expresses the tools they use, the software they can’t live without, and the music that is blasting into their ears while they create. I’ve always thought my stuff wasn’t cool enough to even bother posting about, but I’m also sure that these people think the same thing.

I’m hijacking the questions from a site I really dig called UsesThis. Seriously, go check that stuff out because it’s awesome.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Stephen Adams. I’ve been a computer nerd since I got my first box when I was eight in 1993. I’ve worked my way through several different jobs in my career. Help Desk, Network Admin, System Admin, System Engineer, and now I do Development. It’s been a fun ride for sure. On the side, I’m a podcaster and video game streamer on Twitch for the 2DorksTV channel that my friend Ashley and I started. Our main show is Horseshoes & Hand Grenades.

If you want to be a part of the crazy community we’ve formed around this stuff, head on over to our Legion of Dorks home page and click some links, get the Discord, subscribe to the podcast, and have some fun!

What hardware do you use?

I mainly operate from my work laptop which is a Lenovo T480s. It’s running Fedora 31 and I’m really digging it. I thought I’d never be able to look back once I started using a Mac years ago, but I’ve become less interested in the aesthetic and more interested in getting things done.

At home I have a beastly machine I built in 2019. My older machine was a great box and lasted for a long time, but it was time to upgrade. This time I went with AMD Ryzen because Intel has really fallen behind. Here’s the pertinent stuff:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • nVidia RTX2080 Super 8GB
  • 32 GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Running on all NVMe drives (crazy fast!)

I also have a couple 23″ Dell Ultrasharp monitors that I bought years ago. One of my favorite things on my desk is my WASD Keyboard. I custom built it on their website and using Inkscape to do the lettering and symbols. It has Cherry MX Red switches with O-Rings to silence it a bit so I don’t drive co-workers nuts.

For podcasting, I used to use a physical mixer, but I’ve since found that a software mixer does almost everything I need with just a few drawbacks. To connect my XLR mic, I use a Blue Icicle which is just a simple XLR to USB interface.

I also finally broke down and bought the El Gato Stream Deck! I cannot overstate how useful this thing has been to streaming and podcasting. I should have bought a bigger one.

And what software?

As for OSes, I’m on Windows 10 and Fedora 31. I need all three for different reasons. Windows for gaming and Linux for work. I installed Fedora on a secondary NVMe drive so I can boot to it, but I generally just attach directly to the drive with Virtualbox and run it alongside Windows. I love this work flow because allows to me fiddle around on Windows things but also have my work computer right there.

When I sit down, these apps are always available:

I use these for streaming and podcasting:

What would be your dream setup?

I’m pretty much good to go on my setup. I think I have everything I need to get work done. Now if I just had some of that motivation …