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Need some advice with office set up

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, Here is the deal, I recently read a book that talked about how you should spend your money where you are,
example, you sleep 6-8 hours a day, so spend a good amount of money on a quality bed,
and don't spend alot of money on things you never spend time on.


So here is my deal, after some rough times, I landed a decent job, with decent pay, and things are starting to look up for me.

This is the first job I have had where I have my own office, a computer that is not locked down where I can't change anything on it, and ample amount of deskspace.

At home, I have a very nice desk, crazy powerfull rig, nice monitor, nice chair, etc, that I maybe spend 4 hours MAX on if its a weekend, and maybe 2 or so during the week if i'm lucky.

My assigned office computer is an old Dell single core, with a generic dell mouse and keyboard, and an old monitor.

So, I went out and bought me a nice keyboard, ( apple alluminum keyboard ) a nice high end mouse ( rat 7, which i carry to/from home everyday ) and brought my 21" 1080p monitor from home to the office, and bought an older model for home use. ( as well as a razer nostromo for efficiency which i love )

So all my perifirials are pretty well set, all high end

meanwhile, I'm still sitting in a so-so chair ( not comfortable enough for you to say "aww" when you sit down, but not uncomfortable for you to complaine ) just a standard computer office chair.

I have a really nice faux leather office chair at home, which once again, i spend 2-4 hours a day on max, its really nice, plush, high back chair, that I actually snagged for $40 off craigslist.
Anyway, So i'm thinking I should bring it from home, since I'll be using it 40 hours a week vs the 10-15 or so it gets at home.


As far as the computer goes, I was told not to build one and bring it from home ( which i may end up doing a small i3 eventually and just hiding it ) and the office
is not looking to replace them anytime soon ( having problems with some of our windows 7 test computers )
I do cad work, so I upgraded to an old ( but still working ) video card so i dont have to use the intergrated video.
Ram seems to be okay, its DDR2 which is still a bit more expensive than DDR3, otherwise I would just toss some fresh new ram in it.
I'm also thinking of upgrading to an SSD, still not sure If i should toss a $100 SSD into a computer that sells for $50 at any discount electronics store.
I also listen to music with my headphones on at work. I have really nice headphones, but wondering if I should buy an audio card as well, as the onboard
plays music fine, but I can tell it limits the nice $100 headphones I have. and when I have my music going, it helps me isolate myself on my work
and I really get into the zone.

Eventually, I'll just either build or buy an i3 compact desktop ( or possibly a macmini ) and just hide it behind my assigned tower, as it would be plenty of power for the work that I need to do. ( current computer does not meet the system requirements for the program i use lol )


Basically, I'm at a job where I can see myself being here for a good long while, and am looking for tips and ideas to make
my office space as clean and efficent as possible.


Anyway, so for those who have read my above novel, Here are my questions.


- Should I spend $100 on an SSD to toss in my current work computer?
- Should I put an audio card in my office computer?
- Should I bring my nice chair from home to replace the so-so one i'm sitting in now?
- Any tips or ideas to make my desk a nice fresh feeling
- Any other things I should spend my personal money on for the office, as I see it as a bit of investment, and How much money do you guys spend on your office space?


I know most people here just work with what the office gives them, and I'm a pretty active person, and the office is the probably the most time I spend in one spot other than at home sleeping.


Tips, ideas, comments, all welcome.

Thanks guys.
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 3/26/12 at 12:53pm
post #2 of 10
Chair... Do you have cable locks at work? That chair may disappear unless locked down.

SSD... Does the old Dell have SATA connectors? Even then, it's a really high toss-up.

Audio... While it's understood that installing an audio card (with dedicated processor) reduces the amount of time the CPU spends on audio, is it absolutely necessary?


I have not spent any money on my desk at work. I share a massive cube with 3 other guys (all great to work with), however, janitors and the people who are on calls all day are known to make things disappear from our cube. That's why my USB cable to charge my phone with hides underneath/behind the 24" monitor, and I got a key for my filing cabinet. The only other personal affects that I have are print-outs of Dilbert comics and other office humor taped around my workspace.
    
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't think anybody taking anything is a problem, I work with all really nice people, for a very nice boss. And I usually leave my $100 headphones sitting on my desk when I go home, even though I leave an hour early before most other people, as well as $200 worth of keyboards and mice just sitting there, with another $200 monitor, and I've not ever had problems with a pen being taken from my desk.

I know of one other person who has brought their own chair, and as far as I know, no problems, as everyone here is in their late 30's ( except for me ) and respects other peoples things and realises everyone is working on different stuff, so they all keep to themselves. And several people here have their own personal monitors here. And I also lable all of my personal items.

I suppose I could email my HR lady about my chair, but the way i see things around here, sometimes its easier just to do what you want and keeping it to yourself vs asking everyone in the office

as far as the SSD, my system is a SATA2, Obviously a new hard drive will be limited by it being sata2, but will take care of the 10-25 mins its takes to boot up my computer and get into my program to actually start working.
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 3/26/12 at 1:15pm
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaytonGFinley View Post

- Should I spend $100 on an SSD to toss in my current work computer?
- Should I put an audio card in my office computer?
- Should I bring my nice chair from home to replace the so-so one i'm sitting in now?
- Any tips or ideas to make my desk a nice fresh feeling
- Any other things I should spend my personal money on for the office, as I see it as a bit of investment, and How much money do you guys spend on your office space?
I know most people here just work with what the office gives them, and I'm a pretty active person, and the office is the probably the most time I spend in one spot other than at home sleeping.
Tips, ideas, comments, all welcome.
Thanks guys.

I apologize for answering a question with a question, but what do you do? You said you are doing CAD work in the office, but it seems like they have provided you a low end CPU.

I couldnt imagine having to upgrade my work computer because most companies have a policy against upgrading or modifying your computer. If you do make an upgrade are you able to take the parts out when you leave or is that money just spent and gone?

SSD is the best upgrade you can make for an older computer for $100 bucks or so. That is if you are able to put your OS and most used programs on it. I have put an SSD in an old laptop for my brother in law and the computer is faster than anything twice the cost.

Audio Card would be nice if you listen to music constantly, but if your work rig isnt that great you have other areas that need improvement. I would rather listen to an ipod or my iphone than a soundcard I have to pay for an install in my work computer

CHAIR!! YES! you should figure out a way to barter, buy, or steal (jk) a quality ergonomic comfortable chair. I am so thankful that my work has spent the money on quality chairs, desks, monitors, and computers.

I like having a fan, USB Hub, Quality power strip, pictrues of my family, Sports memorabilia, Quality mouse pad, high end keyboard, high end mouse, and buying some of my own supplies. If it makes me efficent or happy in anyway then yes. I spend more than 40hrs a week at my office and some basic things have made a huge difference.

Since starting my job I have purchased Logitech K800 keyboard, Logitech G7, USB HUB, Fan, framed pictures, and various office supplies. If for any reason I leave this job i am able to take anything that I purchased with my own money. I cleared that with HR first.

Make sure that you lock up or take home your expensive items that can temp others. The last thing you want is an item stolen because of a crime of opportunity. I have Dr. Dre Beats earbuds that I used to keep on my desk, but now I lock them up in my drawer. I figured that I wouldnt want to give anyone the opportunity to compromise their standards. rolleyes.gif

Good Luck! New job is always fun, exciting, and challenging
448
This is my work setup! They are really good to us when it comes to anything technology in workplace. Most guys have smartphones, tablets, pc's if they need or want them provided.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, I do CAD work for an architectural firm, and rocking a single core p4 lol,

as far as putting an SSD in the system, I would just pop out the current one on a friday, clone the HD to the SSD over the weekend, and install on monday.

I'm thinking of spending a bit more and getting one that matches the one i have in my sig rig, that way, if it didn't really help anything, I could always stuff it in my home rig.

Although the more and more I think about it, i'm really really wanting to just build a small compact case i3, I could do that easy under $500, and be set for a good while.

It kinda sucks though, a few people in the office have new i72600's, and they are mostly admin people, and i'm cranking out houses 8 hours a day.

At first I was very frusterated with my work machine, but its funny how a nice monitor keybaord, mouse, etc can make it feel like it performs a bit better.
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 3/27/12 at 11:50am
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaytonGFinley View Post

Yes, I do CAD work for an architectural firm, and rocking a single core p4 lol,
as far as putting an SSD in the system, I would just pop out the current one on a friday, clone the HD to the SSD over the weekend, and install on monday.
I'm thinking of spending a bit more and getting one that matches the one i have in my sig rig, that way, if it didn't really help anything, I could always stuff it in my home rig.

I couldnt imagine having a high end rig at home that I use 10hrs a week at most and a crappy rig at work that I am on for 40+hrs a week! I would probably go insane! haha!

Time for them to upgraded their stuff!

Is it a small business?
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
- Should I spend $100 on an SSD to toss in my current work computer?
- Should I put an audio card in my office computer?
- Should I bring my nice chair from home to replace the so-so one i'm sitting in now?
- Any tips or ideas to make my desk a nice fresh feeling
- Any other things I should spend my personal money on for the office, as I see it as a bit of investment, and How much money do you guys spend on your office space?
  1. I wouldn't get an SSD. First, I'm not sure if your computer has SATA2/3 ports.
  2. I wouldn't upgrade the audio card unless you're a SERIOUS audiophile. Although you know what? You can get something relatively decent for like $20 nowadays. So your call. I usually bring my Walkman Mp3 player and plug that in.
  3. Get a second monitor. I can't imagine working without multiple screens now. Get some hanging organizers (like the ones that go on the wall, it will make it look cleaner)
  4. As for your chair - make sure that the one you have at home is in fact an OFFICE chair. True office chairs are actually crazy expensive because they're constructed better - enough for 8 hrs of everyday use. Most personal chairs aren't as well built. If the shape is nice, you can always get some cushions and a backrest to make it more comfy.
In general, my advice to you is not to cheap out, and don't let your company cheap out either. If they're a decent size / quality company, they should let you order your supplies and reimburse you for them.
I think if you politely write an email to your boss saying that your current machine does not meet your program's minimum requirements, he will be forced to take action. If possible, attach some screenshots of your machine freezing up or giving you errors to prove that it's a POS.
If it's a small company and they're very worried about costs, mention to them that you build computers for yourself, and you have a $1000 machine at home. Tell them that you will assemble this yourself, but want them to reimburse you. Give them a quote - something around $400-500 should be reasonable.

Conclude the email by saying that you're not just asking for new things, but that your work performance will have a huge boost due to this upgrade, and you would really appreciate having it.
    
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester435 View Post

I couldnt imagine having a high end rig at home that I use 10hrs a week at most and a crappy rig at work that I am on for 40+hrs a week! I would probably go insane! haha!
Time for them to upgraded their stuff!
Is it a small business?

Yes, Its a bit stressful, Occasionally i'll bring some work home to work on, mainly because I'd rather work overtime at home on my machine than stuck here at the office ( which in my case, OT means we are pressed for time on a major project ) so its nice to blow through work with ease without having to click..... * wait for computer to calculate *..... click, vs my sig rig, thats boom instant.

I would not say its a small business, we have about 40 people, which is quite large for the type of work that we do.
I often daydream about bringing my sig rig to work, and saying " this is what a cad machine is, this is how fast it is, and this is how much time/money you will save "

unfortunately, i'm probably the 2nd most computer nerdy person here behind our IT guy, and i'm a very quick drafter, so often times, with my slow machine, I can punch in commands faster than the computer can process them. vs about 80% of the people here have to hunt down keys on their keyboards, and type in long strings of commands over and over, vs me, who I have a one button marco for everything that I use.



Quote:
Originally Posted by j0zef View Post

Quote:
- Should I spend $100 on an SSD to toss in my current work computer?
- Should I put an audio card in my office computer?
- Should I bring my nice chair from home to replace the so-so one i'm sitting in now?
- Any tips or ideas to make my desk a nice fresh feeling
- Any other things I should spend my personal money on for the office, as I see it as a bit of investment, and How much money do you guys spend on your office space?
  1. I wouldn't get an SSD. First, I'm not sure if your computer has SATA2/3 ports.
  2. I wouldn't upgrade the audio card unless you're a SERIOUS audiophile. Although you know what? You can get something relatively decent for like $20 nowadays. So your call. I usually bring my Walkman Mp3 player and plug that in.
  3. Get a second monitor. I can't imagine working without multiple screens now. Get some hanging organizers (like the ones that go on the wall, it will make it look cleaner)
  4. As for your chair - make sure that the one you have at home is in fact an OFFICE chair. True office chairs are actually crazy expensive because they're constructed better - enough for 8 hrs of everyday use. Most personal chairs aren't as well built. If the shape is nice, you can always get some cushions and a backrest to make it more comfy.
In general, my advice to you is not to cheap out, and don't let your company cheap out either. If they're a decent size / quality company, they should let you order your supplies and reimburse you for them.
I think if you politely write an email to your boss saying that your current machine does not meet your program's minimum requirements, he will be forced to take action. If possible, attach some screenshots of your machine freezing up or giving you errors to prove that it's a POS.
If it's a small company and they're very worried about costs, mention to them that you build computers for yourself, and you have a $1000 machine at home. Tell them that you will assemble this yourself, but want them to reimburse you. Give them a quote - something around $400-500 should be reasonable.
Conclude the email by saying that you're not just asking for new things, but that your work performance will have a huge boost due to this upgrade, and you would really appreciate having it.

My current computer runs a SATA 2 HD, and maybe this weekend i'll go pick one up and clone the HD and see what it does, worst case senario, i'll stuff it in my GF's macbook or in my desktop.

Been there done that as far as offering to build computers for the office vs buying new OEM machines, and even went to the boss man to ask if I could spend my own personal money to build a computer to leave here at the office, but still no go. I hate to say it, but the office is going to have a major system collapse soon. I'm on my second assigned computer ( first one was a 2.4 p4 with 1 gig ram, which I basically complaned about it so much they gave me a some-what newer one ) and several other people here in the office are working on similar machines, I think there are only 2 or 3 machines here in the office that would be qualified as quality drafting machines. and I've even gone to the extent of writing down how much time is wasted due to 10-20min boot up times, time lost to BSOD's and system crashes and restarts.

And i did end up bringing my chair from home. Its a high back executive chair, Probably won't last as long as a true office chair, but its much more comfortable, and I can lean back and work vs hunching over. so its a win in my book.


I dunno, I suppose I am being a bit winy, as i'm sure everyone just looks at me and thinks i'm a punk who does not want to wait on anything and thinks he can come in the place and start calling the shots.

But i do understand the cost of upgrading 40 computers at $750 each is not cheap, plus the office downtime of setting everything up, making sure everyone understands their new systems, but on the other hand, i'm 99% sure i'm the least paid person here, and my hourly pay that goes to me when i'm not doing anything because of computer downtime, would easily pay for itself in a year, if not a few months.


Here is my current set up here at my desk, Its nice and clean, and basically everything you see has come out of my pocket. ( and the blue tape is my weird note taking thing i do, as well as painters tape makes excelent mousepad )

I don't think I need another monitor, as the 1080 is plenty of screen space for my work, and I rarely do anything other than draft. So no need to have another $200 monitor just to watch me get my 1-4 emails a day and for itunes and OCN ofc. ( and i personally don't like dual monitors, trip monitors I love, but my office system could not push them, and I would have no use for them )

359
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 3/27/12 at 12:27pm
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaytonGFinley View Post

But i do understand the cost of upgrading 40 computers at $750 each is not cheap, plus the office downtime of setting everything up, making sure everyone understands their new systems, but on the other hand, i'm 99% sure i'm the least paid person here, and my hourly pay that goes to me when i'm not doing anything because of computer downtime, would easily pay for itself in a year, if not a few months.
Here is my current set up here at my desk, Its nice and clean, and basically everything you see has come out of my pocket. ( and the blue tape is my weird note taking thing i do, as well as painters tape makes excelent mousepad )
I don't think I need another monitor, as the 1080 is plenty of screen space for my work, and I rarely do anything other than draft. So no need to have another $200 monitor just to watch me get my 1-4 emails a day and for itunes and OCN ofc. ( and i personally don't like dual monitors, trip monitors I love, but my office system could not push them, and I would have no use for them )
359

Setup is very clean right now.. I am all for reducing clutter. My desk is a mess because I do accounting, so I deal with lots of paper, checks, reports, etc.. I am all for storage and organization files.

40 computers @ $750 a rig is expensive, but they can do it in phases or can run servers with PCoIP http://www.teradici.com/pcoip/pcoip-technology.php

40 employees is considered small business by US definition, but an investment of technology in your company can go along way. I do understand that it is hard to be the new guy and start calling shots on how the company runs. I was an accountant for a small roofing company while I was in college and I presented some very simple business ideas to the owner and he was very happy. Pretty soon we were upgrading to dual monitors and got a new machine to do the CAD in our metal shop.

Good luck in your quest to enjoy your place of work!

[update] This is the model I use at work.. It is ridiculously fast, responsive, and great resolution.
http://www.teradici.com/pcoip/pcoip-products/products.php?pid=36
Edited by Jester435 - 3/27/12 at 1:20pm
White Night
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ONKYO 2.1 Soundblaster X-Fi MB3  Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 802.11 A/B/G/N Wireles... 
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White Night
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My Office/Setup
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Sager NP8250-S
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i7-4700MQ 780m 16gb RAM Crucial 128GB M4  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
750GB 7200rpm SATA3 Hybrid Hard Drive with 8GB...  6X Blu-ray Reader/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Mult... Windows 7 Ultimate 15.6" Full HD LED-Backlit Display featuring 95%... 
AudioOther
ONKYO 2.1 Soundblaster X-Fi MB3  Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 802.11 A/B/G/N Wireles... 
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
yeah, its easy for paper to build up, but the only papers I have on my desk are the plans that i'm working on at that moment, everything else stays in filing cabinets.

I hate mess desk, and am honestly a little embarrassed that I have that many exposed wires showing, But IMO wireless devices usually don't fare well in an office setting.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Computer Room / Office › Need some advice with office set up