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. I also write short stories, and maybe some day an actual novel. You can find those here.

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?

These days I completely work from home, thanks to the great COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

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 27" 144hz Dell gaming monitors for plenty of screen real estate. One of my favorite things is my Razer Hunstman Mini keyboard. I was skeptical about not having arrow keys, but now I’m not sure I can go back. I’m so much faster on this thing since I don’t have to move my hands to reach most things. It’s more clicky than I’d like, but I’m definitely never going back from the 60% format.

For podcasting, I used to use a physical mixer, but I’ve since found that the Voicemeeter Banana software mixer does almost everything I need with just a few drawbacks. To connect my XLR mic, I use a Focusrite 2i2 which is working great as an 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 as my daily driver. That being said, I do most of the real work SSH’d into my work laptop on my desk. In a sense, I definitely use Fedora, it’s just that I don’t use the GUI all that often. I use the Visual Studio Code SSH extension so that I can use my Code install on Windows, while actually working with the code on my Linux box.

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 …