WFH Setup

Now that I’m officially working remotely, and have had some questions about my setup, I figured I’d do a write up so everything was in 1 place. So, let’s start with a picture…

… and I’ll tell you that my setup consists of a Desktop (not shown) and the Laptop you see in the photo. Also included in the photo are the microphone and camera. The Stream Deck shown in the lower right (as well as shells, rings, and baseball) is optional 😊.

Now, how it all works together… The main monitor (with the rings at the base), keyboard, and mouse are controlled by the computer KVM which determines if I’m working off the Laptop or the Desktop. Essentially, the computer KVM takes “in” the keyboard, mouse, and HDMI from both the Laptop and Desktop, and sends “out” to the shared keyboard, mouse, and main monitor. A simple double tap on “Scroll Lock” + either “1” or “2” switches between them.

I also use a USB Switch to toggle peripherals between the Laptop and Desktop. This allows me to switch between the computers but make the camera and microphone potentially “stick” to the backgrounded computer (i.e. be on a call/meeting on one computer, but switch to the other briefly as needed). Setup is as simple as the USB Switch taking a USB “input” from each computer, and having the peripherals tied into it. Switching between does take a press of the button on the USB Switch.

So, what about the other monitor and laptop monitor you may ask? The full monitor (upper left) is tied into the Desktop using a DVI output on my graphics card (but could be tied into whatever additional output you may have) so that when the Desktop is active I’ll have the 2 monitors. When I switch to the Laptop, the laptop and main monitor act as my 2 monitors.

And finally, you may be asking, how do you tie all that stuff to the laptop if it only has a USB C and maybe a standard USB? For that, I use a USB Dock. The dock allows me to connect to my wired network (better reliability and throughput of signal), the computer KVM, USB Switch, and a few other USB peripherals (mostly for charging things). All that junk stays connect to the dock, and I simply need to unplug or connect the 1 USB C connector!

Of course, if you don’t need to switch between multiple computers and just want to connect multiple monitors and an external keyboard and mouse the USB Dock is sufficient (and is how my wife’s work setup is configured).

As to the Stream Deck, that’s probably a post for a different day, but suffice it to say when the Laptop is active the aux monitor (upper left) is rotating through a number of browser tabs running on the Desktop and I can use the Stream Deck to control that (refresh, volume, mute, etc).

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