My Perfect Desktop – Day 0

Today is an exciting day. I have in my possession a brand new custom built computer to use exclusively at the office. I currently use the laptop for both home and office work, but since the laptop is getting a bit old and computer components are so cheap these days I decided to build a work station just for me to use at the office. The best thing is that as it is custom built I can put whatever I damn well want on it – no pre-installed Windows or anything else. I can make it absolutely perfect for me.

I’ll be documenting here in my blog exactly the steps needed to take it from a tabula rasa to my perfect desktop system.  Apart from the system being obviously Linux based, there will be a number of things to consider before I get started. If I want it to be perfect, I need to think about what it is that I really need and want from a work only system. So, after a brainstorm this is the breakdown of what I require:

  1. Keyboard Friendly

    I am becoming less interested in using the mouse. This is for a number of reasons, firstly it is quicker to keep your hands on the keyboard rather than always having to find the mouse and point and click. Secondly, using the mouse greatly exacerbates RSI and all that jazz. As such a system designed for maximum keyboard usage is important.

  2. Great Web Development Tools

    As a web developer this is a no brainer. I need to be able to have the tools for developing websites, testing (at code, server and client level) deployment and client side version control.

  3. Base system should be small, quick and light

    Due to point 2, I can see the need for being able to have virtualised instances of Windows running, each running a different version of IE. As such, the base system should be as small, quick and light as possible so it doesn’t get bogged down when I have one (or more) windows running for testing purposes.

  4. Communications

    I have to be able to email, chat, and talk with people via my computer

  5. Music and sound

    I need to listen to music at work!

  6. Must get on with others

    Some strange people out there still use propriety software. My system needs to be able to read Word and Powerpoint and all that stuff.

  7. Not be rude

    This is a strange request, but over the weekend I had a friend staying who is an IT administrator for a large international company. He had to do some work on their Windows based infrastructure, so he powered up Vista on my laptop (which I never use*) to log into their systems via the Remote Desktop. Half way through he had to make a couple of calls. When he came back Vista had rebooted and he had lost everything. We narrowed it down to the fact that Vista had updates, installed them and rebooted without even asking for permission. IMO, that is really fucking rude.

  8. Stable

    Last, but by no means least, the system has to be solid. I can’t have it crashing on me every hour.

And that is pretty much it. Follow me over the next week or so whilst I sort out my ideal perfect work station.

* I just had to make that point

Building My Perfect Desktop