Thursday, September 15, 2011

design: my geek lair

Today's post is just a quick glimpse into this geek's / blogger's lair.  My setup is based on modern contemporary design combined with technology and the idea of sharing my technology with guests.  Keep on reading for the walk through pics and setup!

I'm a geek and love technology.  I also love sharing these passions with others.  Within the last year, I finally gave in and purchased my dream condo; right next to the Light Rail Transit line in Minneapolis, 10ft high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows and a very nice modern layout.  Today I'll just give my readers a quick tour of my new 1 br condo and technology setup. P.S. I still need to hang art on the walls.


One of the first things I bought was a digital peephole for my door.  Its a Brinno electronic peephole (link to amazon product page) and works pretty well.  It prevents the use of reverse-peephole tools and can zoom in.  Quality is webcam like and given the proper lighting looks pretty good.

Living Room Area:

Most furniture you see here is from IKEA (i live 5 blocks from an IKEA store). I used a book shelf turned on its side for my main entertainment center.  The fact that you can add boxes is very nice. I use the lower left one for my power cables, surge protector and a USB hub w/all my Rock Band and wireless Singstar mics plugged into. Also being from the 90s, I somehow couldn't resist the black chairs (and my cats love them too, unfortunately).

My PS3 is my main media hub. Its connected via a powerline ethernet network to my router.  I also have my DirecTV HD DVR box connected to the powerline ethernet adapter (3 total LAN spots, Rocketfish brand).  Main reason is that wired was the only real option for DirecTV box (wtf, no wireless yet??) and I like having a faster connection locally for my PS3 in case I do want to stream to it. I also have a soft-modded Wii hooked up for when we just wanna bowl.

The lights are connected to a remote controlled power outlet. Very handy and cheap! Only about $20 at Target and uses an RF remote (so no, you can't program it into your Harmony).

Kitchen/Dining area:

Nothing too special here, got some retro coffee mugs on for really cheap.  Usually leave a geek toy or two around for visitors to mess with and get impressions of. Created cheap ambient lighting under the storage area by just mounting some rope lights under.

Desk and Guest Music/Charge area:

Previously, I had owned a nice big glass L desk however after moving realized it was time to go less cluttered and more minimal. I bought 2 identical desks for my office / guest area.  My desktop pc is a custom built, 6-core AMD storage beast (5TBs of total storage at the moment). I, for one, still value a great desktop machine with the dual monitor factor helping.

Being a fan of technology, I always like to try to be accommodating for my not-as-techie friends and allow them a piece of the edge at the same time.  My guest area is setup to allwo you to easily charge your phone (micros usb or iPhone/iPad), play nearly any song in the last 20 years on the headless pc using the iPhone or iPad, play some retro Atari on the iPad and iCade or just sit down and work on a laptop.

I utilize both my iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS as remotes for a headless computer I have setup running Windows 7 and iTunes.  This PC is a super small form factor one and only has external speakers connected to it to play back music from iTunes.  I use Remote for the iPad and iPhone to control it.  I also have the PC setup for remote desktop so I can modify settings if needed or add more media.

These lights are also controlled by a similar remote outlet. I plan to eventually do the full home automation thing but at the moment am just 'jimmy-rigging' it together. :)

Bedroom area:

Lastly, my bedroom. I love watching movies and falling asleep to them.  Being a previous hardcore HTPC (home theater pc) junkie, I built a cheap HTPC for my bedroom.  It runs Win 7 and has around 200 m4v movies on it and can stream Netflix and my DirecTV DVR'd shows from the living room.  An HP IR receiver and Media Center remote control it. Again, more IKEA furniture repurposed.

Well, hopefully I didn't bore you too much with the tour of my man-cave/geek lair :) Keep it geeky.