My primary computer at home is a 5K iMac with 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, upgraded GPU and a 4.0GHz i7 CPU. I also have a 13" Retina MacBook Pro with a 1TB SSD, 16GB of RAM and a 3GHz i7 processor running OS X Yosemite. After years of editing 10,000+ photos in Lightroom on various laptops, I finally went to a more powerful iMac and have been very happy.
Whenever I'm at my desk I always use my trusty Logitech G500 wired mouse.
I actually have three of them. One each for home, work and traveling. The mouse fits me very well — I think the Apple mice are too flat. And I love wired mice so I never have to deal with charging.
As for my keyboard of choice, it's the new Apple Magic Keyboard. It's more compact that previous models and takes some getting used to with the reduced key travel. However it charges with a lightning cable so there's no more pesky battery swaps. It can also automatically pair to the computer when you plug it in.
Apple Magic Keyboard
After using cheap desks for a decade I thought it was time to invest in a high-quality desk for the next decade. In particular I wanted a sit/stand desk that I could easily adjust. I'm picky when it comes to setting the height of my desk instead of something that was fixed.
elegant and functional
I also wanted one that did not look like it belonged in the office and was 48-inches wide. One with a nice wood top that could fit in with the rest of my furniture and wasn't too long, something like 48-inches wide instead of 60 or 72 like most on the market. After spending a weekend reading about every sit/stand desk, I ended up with this Humanscale Float from Room & Board with a walnut top. It looks great and it very sturdy.
The Herman Miller Embody is my desk chair of choice. I've had it for about 4 years now and it's still as good as the first day, except for some fabric fading.
At over $1,000 it's expensive but extremely adjustable unlike any other desk chair I've encountered. As a reference point, I actually hate the Aeron chair, I find it doesn't provide much upper back support. It's part of what I need to get into The Coding Zone.
Herman Miller Embody
the perfect task chair
The Eames lounge chair and ottoman needs no introduction. I've lusted after this chair since taking industrial design classes in college.
I opted for the classic walnut and Vicenza black leather model.
Eames Lounge & Ottoman
I use the Amazon Echo along with some Insteon devices to control lighting in my house. It's a wonderfully convenient solution and I've found Echo to be handy for other basic things like setting alarms, telling me about the news that day, weather and searching for basic info. Insteon also has a bunch of other devices to control other aspects of your home but I'm just starting with these.
I've been doing this for the last 5 minutes.. 🙆🙌 pic.twitter.com/dmYiV8pJVY— Paul Stamatiou (@Stammy) November 13, 2015
The Amazon Echo is also pretty extensible and can learn new "skills" — integrations from third-party developers or even yourself. I've seen some folks write a service that Echo can use to control their Sonos sound system. I might hack together some functionality like that in the future.
Connects to your router
Insteon dimmer module
for plug-in lamps
Insteon wall switch
dimmer for ceiling lights
smart voice assistant
The Sonos setup
After I got my own place and could invest in a real entertainment setup, I went after the simple choice for audio: Sonos. I don't care enough about audio to require a complex 5.1 or 7.1 setup with tiny little satellite speakers and cables throughout the room. I went with the wireless Sonos Playbar which can utilize two wireless Play:1 speakers as rear surround speakers.
I mounted the Play:1's on Flexson stands behind my couch and also got the Sonos Boost wireless transceiver so I didn't have to wire one of the speakers to ethernet (required when in the surround sound configuration to reduce latency).
As for the TV, I spent a long time researching whether to go 4K or not. I decided against 4K for now — the content is just not there right now. I went with a 65-inch Sony with Android TV. While I enjoy the Android TV OS itself, the new Apple TV with Siri and trackpad remote was a bit too cool to pass up.
TV sound bar
LED, 3D, Android TV
Siri remote, 32GB
I have Audyssey Wireless Bluetooth Speakers for the desk but after I got the iMac I stopped using them. I preferred having a cleaner desk and the iMac integrated audio was good enough. And of course I can play music over the Sonos system. I previously had Audioengine A5s and Rokit RP5G2s which I loved as well but wanted to simplify my setup.
I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones for home use. They're open-ear circumaural headphones (around the ear) that are very comfortable. They do leak sound (the nature of open-ear headphones) so I only use them at home.
While running I use the sweat and weather resistant Bose SIE2i sport earbuds.
I use the Klipsch S4i earbuds with Comply Foam tips when I want great sound isolation — perfect for planes. I previously had the Etymotic hf3 earbuds and loved them but they went through the wash and died.
And finally, while traveling and needing some better audio in hotel rooms, I have the Nude Audio Super-M portable bluetooth speaker. It's water and sandproof so you can listen to music in the shower or at the beach.
I seem to collect mobile devices these days from needing both iOS and Android devices to test designs, prototypes and app builds at work. My main phone is the Nexus 5X but I also have an iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini 3, iPod Touch and Nexus 9.
Google Fi is my wireless carrier of choice, having recently switched after more than decade on AT&T. I plan to eventually write more about my experience with Fi — it's basically two mobile carriers in one (it switches between T-Mobile and Sprint) with cheaper, simplified pricing. It also has the ability to automatically connect to open wifi networks — and use a Google VPN for security — to offload data when it can, thus saving money on cellular data costs.
When traveling, you can never have enough battery life so I always stash the Poweradd Pilot 2GS 10,000 mAh portable battery pack and a smaller Anker Astro Mini battery in my bag. The elago M2 stand is necessary for holding my devices when doing lots of web development and previewing designs on any mobile device.
10,000 mAh charger
Anker Astro mini
Adobe Lightroom 6 is my post-processing tool of choice for my photo workflow. VSCO Keys lets me easily copy and paste develop settings between photos, and enable other keyboard shortcuts that make Lightroom faster for me. I don't get too crazy with add-on filter presets or plugins, I often just tinker manually. Though I will occasionally process HDR images with Photomatix Pro as well as Photomatix Merge to 32-bit for Lightroom.
After I'm done editing my photos and have exported the ones I wanted to use, I move the RAWs to my NAS, which is also backed up to the cloud. Read more about this setup in detail in Storage for Photographers (Part 2).Productivity
I use Wunderlist to keep track of various lists, neat links and to-do items alongside Evernote for general notes, blog post drafts and extended thoughts. I also use TextExpander to save me time when typing out common phrases or pieces of data. Likewise, I can't say how much time 1Password saves me when logging into sites, as well as keeping me secure. I also use the Clear app on my desktop but only for simple to-do items for each day.Development
I have gotten used to SCM Breeze for simplifying common git commands and speeding up my git workflow.Design
I use Sketch and Photoshop CC 2015, but I primarily use Sketch for high-fidelity design and Photoshop for cutting assets or fine-tuning images. I'm also a huge fan of xScope. I also use the app Characters for easily copying and pasting odd symbols (bullets, arrows, pictographs, punctuation, et cetera) as HTML entities.
When it comes time to develop interactive prototypes of my designs, I always turn to Framer. It's a vital part of my design process. Learn much more in these two articles I wrote: Designing Twitter Video and Provide meaning with motion.Misc software & services
iStat Menus, Dropbox, Crashplan, Authy (on mobile for 2 factor auth), Typography.com Cloud, GitHub, Gauges (site analytics)
Coming soon: I'll go into more detail about what I use to build this website. But it's based on Jekyll and hosted on S3/CloudFront with AWS Route 53.