Office v4.0

Panorama

Office 4.0 is now complete(ish)!

Due to a friend moving in, I’ve moved my office into the front bedroom. It is smaller but, as it turns out, is the best to happen for functionality.

I had several main goals for the office which I really wanted to accomplish:

1. Mount my LCD onto the wall for watching NetFlix, Hulu, monitoring various processes, etc…

2. Hookup the 5 monitors onto my main computer and have a very big desktop for working on multiple things at once.

3. Setup a Mac station where I could sit temporarily while working with my MiniMac and the various “i” devices I own.

4. Two broadcasting stations for David and I to set during the show, they should include room for mics, lights, cameras, and even feedback displays for David to monitor incoming callers, video feeds, graphics, etc… These stations should also include a back-screen of various colors and even have the capability to use Chroma-key screens for effects.

5. A system to use for security surveillance and easy monitoring from my “command chair”.

After much thought I came up with the following Visio diagram which lays out everything:

Office v4.0 Layout

As you can see everything is within reach or a slight scootch of my chair. Not displayed are the microphones and my mixer board which sits on the left side of my desk in the center.IMG_0827

It is hooked up using various lengths of cables to the following systems:

Input:

  • Main Workstation
  • Second Audio Card for Skype 1-Caller
  • Skype 2-Caller Computer
  • BigScreen Laptop
  • Primary Studio Microphone
  • Secondary Studio Microphone

Output:

  • Main Workstation
  • Second Audio Card for Skype 1-Caller
  • BigScreen Laptop
  • Skype 2-Caller Computer

See my Web Casting article on Sound for more details on how this is hooked up. (http://danielheth.com/2011/11/08/how-to-produce-a-webcast-part-4/) It’s a little out of date but gives you the main idea of how input and output is setup.

For this iteration of the office, I went about building additional broadcasting equipment for the web shows… and hopefully/ultimately the revival of RootSync.  The items I ultimately constructed involved a specialized mounting system for two screens immediately behind the two broadcasting stations and a special lighting rig to hold our Indie LED Lighting fixtures.

Read more about my Indie Broadcasting Screens here

Read more about my Indie LED Lighting Rig here

An interesting configuration of my monitors is that my main computer is actually powering all 7 monitors on the desk.  Using simple 1-2 VGA cables, the two outermost 15” monitors are also duplicated on the other side for my second broadcasting station.

I use Display Fusion to handle the desktop backgrounds and configure the little tweaks I like for my windows. 

I also use Input Director to shift between my main workstation, the big screen on the wall and my surveillance system to my right.  I like the way it works regardless of UAC.  And since my Non-Windows systems are accessed remotely, it’s never a problem.

IMG_0841Within the closet I have a few powerful systems.  One is my main storage server (bottom far right).  It has (4) 1.5Tb hard drives setup in a RAID-5 array, (2) 1Tb hard drive setup in RAID-1, and (2) 250Gb Server Quality hard drives also setup in RAID-1 for the OS.

It provides storage via a separate SAN network to my Hyper-V core server right next to it.  That server has a powerful i7 processor with 16Gb of RAM and makes for the perfect virtual host server.  It is setup as a failover cluster but lacks a second node.  Eventually one will be built to provide me with always on virtuals.

The system in the far left bottom is a much older XP system used for testing software.

Above that from Left to Right is my Work Laptop, HP Home Server for backups, and another older XP computer not being used.

IMG_0842A fan on the floor sucks cold air into the back of the rack while the fan displayed in the above picture takes hot air from above and behind the rack and pushes it out of the closet.  I have to leave the closet door open, but air temperature is maintained nicely.  I’m working on designing an exhaust system which attaches to the exhaust fans of my servers, and hosed up and into the attic.

If you’d like to see all of the pictures for my new office visit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielheth/sets/72157628816737811/

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below… I will personally read each one and respond.

10 comments on “Office v4.0
  1. [...] can read all the details of this high-tech workspace at Daniel’s blog or view more photos on his Flickr [...]

  2. [...] keep all the servers and systems cool.You can read all the details of this high-tech workspace at Daniel’s blog or view more photos on his Flickr photostream.Office v4.0 [Daniel Heth's Blog]Tags desks featured [...]

  3. [...] can read all the details of this high-tech workspace at Daniel’s blog or view more photos on his Flickr [...]

  4. Benjamin says:

    Cool! What software do you use for broadcasting and handling incoming calls?

  5. DanielHeth says:

    I use VidBlaster to handle the LIVE aspects of the show. It is a very nice product though a bit limiting with the module restrictions they have. I built my own media (picture/videos) handling application i use along side VidBlaster. My app display’s on the far right monitor (replicated for my co-host). And use one of VidBlasters screen-capture modules to stream into the show.
    I stream live to our free ustream.tv account and record it to my HD. Then i can do post-processing and such afterwhich I upload to youtube and convert for our podcast streams.
    My computer is powerful enough and i use skype on it to call into our other co-host in california.
    for a second caller, i have a black magic HDMI capture card and a second much less powerful computer with an HDMI out video card to have a second instance of skype for the other caller.
    See my writeup on webcasting. It’s old and needs to be updated but does contain many of the details you are looking for… http://danielheth.com/2011/10/18/how-to-produce-a-webcast-part-1/

  6. snappy316 says:

    Where did you get your monitor stencils for your Visio diagram? I’m trying to come up with a couple diagrams for server room layouts at work, and haven’t found anything as nice as yours!

  7. DanielHeth says:

    I made them myself. Here’s the Visio so you can simply copy/paste them into your own diagram.
    Office 4.0 Visio Diagram (ZIP)

  8. [...] written about working from home before, but this guy has taken the home office to another level. This is a command centre style setup with 5 monitors [...]

  9. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog
    before but after going through a few of the articles I realized
    it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

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