Sep 04 2013 0

Workplace Modifications

Since we have moved to our new apartment I started to make several modifications to my workplace. The reasons for me to start drilling and sawing into my desk are twofold.

The first reason is that I just have too much gadgets that I want to keep near at hand, second reason is that although there is a lot of stuff I still would like to keep my desk tidy.

So far I have added the following items

Power Cables

With all the equipment on my desk there are a lot of power cables all of the place. Instead of putting additional power outlets on top of my desk, I mounted two power extenders below my desk. Additionally I drilled two holes to fit grommets into, one in the top of the desk and one in the divider (see Shelving).

To hide some of the bigger power bricks I inserted some hooks into the underside of the desktop, so I could hang them out of sight underneath the desk behind the divider.

Upper GrommetUpper Grommet Hanging power bricksHanging power bricks

USB Ports

Since the iMac is just a couple of centimetres from the wall plugging in USB cables is a pain, I usually ended up dragging the Mac forward so I could get behind the Mac to see what I was doing. This I found very annoying and due to the fact that when I need to plug in a USB cable, the Mac is up and running having to move the Mac constantly is a bad idea.

After a bit of searching I found the following in-desk USB HUB from Delock, with 4 ports and power supply (so it can be used with USB HDDs as well). They also have two other models, one with a card reader and another with a mic and headphone jack.

In-desk USB HUBIn-desk USB HUB

Additional Storage


With all the Apple devices I have and assorted external USB devices I have collected a large number of cables and other little pieces that need to be stored somewhere. First I had these either on my desktop or littering my desk drawer.

While shopping at IKEA for other home furniture I found the Variera, it is meant as an accessory for IKEA Kitchen furniture, but you can fit it anywhere :). And voilà, more than enough space for all those cables and gadgets… IKEA Variera


In our old apartment the Drobo could stand next to my desk underneath a side table and the XBox stood next to the television set in the living room. In the new apartment the office is a bit smaller so the side table had to go and I didn’t want the Xbox visible in the living room (not using often anyway).

Putting these large units on the desk itself is obviously no option, but putting them directly on the floor I didn’t like either. Both for the space these units require and the amount of dust that will settle down.

With a shelve added to the inside of the desk I created additional room to place both the Drobo and the Xbox and still have more than enough room to comfortable sit at my desk.

Shelve with Drobo and XboxShelve with Drobo and Xbox

Time Capsule

Initially I had placed the Time Capsule on top of my desk serving as a stand for the second monitor. I didn’t like that setup very much, because every time I had to move the monitor a little bit I had the feeling I was scratching the top of the Time Capsule, and besides that it was taking up additional space on the desk as well.

H-Squared has several mounts for Apple products, I already had one for a Mac Mini, so I decided to get the Air Mount. By using the wall mount for the Time Capsule I was also able to connect the Mac to the network using a shorter cable.

Mounted Time CapsuleMounted Time Capsule

I might get a proper monitor stand for the second monitor but for now I am satisfied.

There is still room for improvement, but for now it is fine…

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