1. 55

Feel free to post your current setup/battlestation/screenshots!

Previous threads can be found here and here

    1. 18

      This is my workstation in my home office. I have a Dell XPS 9380 and a Dell XPS 9560 and a 27” Dell display. During work hours, I primarily use the 9380 and turn off the 9560. They both run NixOS. I use i3 and Emacs.

      For input, I turned the stand around so you can see it: a Kinesis Advantage and a Rollermouse Red. They’re placed on a music stand, upside down. This is so I can keep my elbows almost completely straight while I type at my standing desk. Note the lack of a keyboard on the desk. I have fairly severe hand problems. You can see my spare hand on the monitor’s stand.

      That brings me to my next piece of input hardware, my microphone: an Audio-Technica AT2020 cardioid condenser microphone. This microphone ‘s audio feeds into the input of a Windows 10 virtual machine, running Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 15. Dragon’s output is then fed into a program called NatLink, which transfers the keystrokes through some software over to my NixOS host. I do as much work as I possibly can for the microphone, saving my hands for when I can’t. I am new still new to the process of voice coding, and am still practicing.

      Here are some voice coding links to get started:

      If you want to try it out, join the dictation-toolbox Gitter. (Written with Dragon.)

      On the software side I use NixOS, and my development happens in nix-shells with direnv.

      1. 3

        That dictation setup is pretty interesting. Do you have some kind of RSI that prevents you from using your hands for long periods of time? I know you said you’re new to voice programming, but how does your speed compare to typing?

      2. 3

        I just spent half of Sunday fiddling with getting Nixos working on my XPS 9360, but I ran out of patience for hardware-related things like backlight buttons & suspend not working. Did you have any issues with hardware support, and if so, do you have any docs on solving them? (I defaulted to Void Linux, my workhorse distro for the last ~3 years). NixOS is so enticing, but every time I try it out I encounter some N small things that all add up to an unsatisfactory experience.

        1. 1

          Did you check the nixos-hardware repository? seems to have some entry for XPS 9360? Not sure at what stage of completion it is, but here’s for hoping.

          Other than that, I do personally also find NixOS kinda papercuts OS, unfortunately… though also with a lot of amazing stuff… I’m kinda pondering (and trying to experiment towards) a “regular” Ubuntu-based OS, with a NixOS-like layer on top. But it’s still mostly at design/planning phase.

      3. 1

        What do you use for web browsing? Do you do it on the NixOS host or the Windows VM? Do you have some kind of setup where you can speak the name orf a link and the browser will go there? As I think about it, that would be problematic for sites that have many links with the same name, e.g. the links that are common to every story on Lobsters or HN.

        What programming language(s) do you do most of your coding in? When coding by voice, do you have to dictate all the punctuation, or do you have macros that can do some of that for you?

    2. 13

      For two of my three projects, my setup is almost exactly the same.

      Three tmux panes, holding Vim, GHCi, and an Elm compiler. I work from anywhere, and I still use a 13” MacBook Air as I have done for the better part of a decade. I have tried larger setups, but I always revert back to this. I need portability. Some developers say they need external displays for lots of screen real estate, but I actually only have one pair of eyeballs so I can’t focus on much more than what I already have.

      Almost everything is done in nix shells. Sometimes I’ll have other tmux windows containing a psql, mutt, ssh (over nixops), redis-cli, or weechat session. My tmux status bar has a little weather widget that I made.

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        Would you mind posting a non-Instagram link? I blocked Facebook services in my hosts and would love to see your desktop ;)

        1. 8

          I blocked Facebook services

          Very wise :)

          Would you mind posting a non-Instagram link?

          Sure. Hope this works: https://imgur.com/a/Vy3gv9E

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        Vim, GHCi, and an Elm compiler

        Living the dream, I see. :D

        1. 2

          I’ve come a long way from having to build everything in WordPress :)

      3. 5

        Battlestation that inspires Lobsters to achieve the career they love. Ten upvotes. :)

      4. 3

        The 13” non-retina MacBook Air is still my favourite ever laptop, even though I’ve long since moved on. My mid-2011 model is on the shelf, awaiting a fresh installation of Debian.

      5. 2

        But you can see the weather out the window ;)

      6. [Comment removed by author]

    3. 7

      My average work position

      I just use the ThinkPad x270 now. It’s a bit small, but actually works well enough for me. I used to have a 24” screen and Filco Majestouch keyboard, but since I moved I ditched it (couldn’t bring it, as I moved from UK to NZ). I wasn’t able to find a decent second-hand screen here and don’t want to buy a new screen for just a few months, so I just went with the x270.

      I use a Logitech M570 trackball.

      Software-wise I use simple stuff: Arch Linux, dwm, st, Vim, etc. I used Void Linux before which I prefered, but I had to reinstall because the musl libc version didn’t support Vagrant/VirtualBox which I needed at the time. I guess I could reinstall, but too much effort.

      I’d use OpenBSD but stuff like Netflix or the occasional game won’t really work on that. Linux is good enough, I guess.

      1. 1

        Nice! What hardware are you using to run plan9? Are you using virtualization for openbsd or vpn?

        1. 2

          It’s 9front running on a ThinkPad X250 (core i7):


          OpenBSD 6.3 is running inside vmx(1):


    4. 6

      Here’s my 2019 take.

      Two big changes since last year:

      1. I bought a nice chair, a second hand Hermann Miller Aeron. Best 250€ I invested in my setup. The benefits are radical, my post long-session back pain completely disappeared.
      2. A Kinesis Advantage 2 keyboard. I have been bad-mouthing fancy keyboards for the last few years, but after hearing some crazy wrist pain stories from my friends/co-workers, I decided to bite the bullet and take a pro-active approach to this whole mess. The thumb cluster and the wells makes it really comfortable. However, it’s all made of plastic, it clearly doesn’t worth 375€, it’s damn overpriced. But hey, they are the only one selling this kind of keyboard, I guess that’s kind of expected.

      Regarding the desk, I still use my DIY hand crafted wooden joined desk. It ages pretty well. I also still use my m-audio 2x2 sound card together with a shotgun mic for the sound/videocalls. I store my music on my server, I mount the music repository using FUSE and sshfs on my machines. A raspberrypi 3 is connected to my audio setup and stream the music from this very same server using MPD.

      I have an arduino nano + some sensors + some custom scripts to display the temperature, humidity and C02 concentration on i3bar.

      Which leads us to software. At this point, I’m pretty much all in in NixOS. I try to setup everything declaratively. I merged all my various dot files/custom ~/.local/bin scripts into my NixOS configuration. Everything is in one repo, the same configuration tree is shared across my machines.

      Other than that, I still use the classic I3 + neovim + ghcid + firefox combination.

      [edit]: I totally forgot to talk about my AMAZING green slide whistle. Great to vent out during some annoying bug fixing session and creating a bit of comic relief during long video meetings. My neighbors hate it.

      1. 3

        What CO2 sensor do you use?

        1. 2

          A Chinese module based on a MG811.

      2. 3

        Shout out to the MX518, I still use mine from over a decade ago

      3. 2

        Aeron is super worth it, even at full price. I have one that is (I think) 19 years old now. Had to replace a wheel one time, that’s it.

      4. 2

        “However, it’s all made of plastic, it clearly doesn’t worth 375€, it’s damn overpriced. But hey, they are the only one selling this kind of keyboard”

        Business opportunity is what Im seeing in this.

        1. 3

          There seem to be quite a lot of custom keyboards brewing recently, esp. with the proliferation of 3D printers. As to ones that appear similar to a Kinesis Advantage, I’m interested in the Dactyl and Dactyl Manuform. Xah Lee seems rather impressed.

      5. 2

        I’m envious of your chair - where’d you get it that cheap?! :D

        1. 4

          I bought a used Aeron with a chrome base back in 2012 from London on eBay, and had it shipped to Sweden. I think the chair was around £300. Companies sell them for cheap all the time in London. I ended up selling it again, at a £50 profit, even after the shipping I paid!

        2. 2

          On a french local advert website (similar to Craiglist for the US).

          In my experience, you often get a better deal from these websites than eBay for this kind of stuff. Not only you cut out the transaction/delivery fees, but the market also tends to be a bit less competitive for the buyers.

          If you’re not in a hurry and automate your search process with some web scrappers, you should get some pretty good deals :)

    5. 5

      My work area. Just a plain MacOS desktop, nothing fancy. I’m waiting to see what jcs posts :-)

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        The link doesn’t seem to work

        1. 1

          Thanks, I guess something expired with the Google Photos share link.

      2. 1

        Tell me about the pig, inquiring minds must know.

        1. 3

          I used to have two pet pigs. Unsurprisingly, over the years this has resulted in quite a few pig-themed gifts. Xiaozhu was the first, I think, a crudely-carved little jade pig we picked up in a market.

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            I always wanted pet pigs, but my wife shot that down. Says “They never stay that small”.

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              Your wife is correct! Don’t get pigs unless you’re ok with looking after a full-grown one, as even the smaller breeds are still medium/large dog size :-)

          2. 2

            My brothers had a pot-belly pig as a pet. They said they act pretty much like dogs if you have them in the house. Dogs with some behaviors specific to pigs that anyone can find online. Back to dog analogy, theirs would great them at the door, like being petted, and jump on their laps when they sat on the couch. Loved playing outside with them. Also liked to flip the children’s pool over its head to run around with it for some reason. It sounded like a trip.

            Curious what yours was like since I don’t run into that many people with domesticated pigs.

            1. 2

              They are rather like dogs, yes. Ours were only indoors when they were very young, and by the time they were a year old they were living outdoors in the yard with their own pen. They loved basking in the sun, would snooze slumped against each other and would come running whenever they thought there was a belly rub in it for them.

              When they were little sometimes they would argue/fight and we discovered the best solution was to throw a blanket over them (it calmed them immediately). A few times this would happen in the middle of the night, and we grabbed one each and put them under the bedcovers by our feet, where they immediately calmed down and went to sleep. Bit odd waking up and wondering for a moment why you can feel a piglet against your feet.

      3. 1

        I need to login with a google account?

        1. 1

          Sorry about that, I used the Google Photos sharing thing and didn’t realise it wasn’t public (my quick test in an incognito window this morning worked fine, but something has apparently expired somewhere in the meantime). Should work now.

      4. 1

        That giant clothespin is awesome

        1. 1

          I like it too :-) I bought it in a charity shop many years ago for pennies, and I’ve used it to collect scrap paper and receipts on my desks ever since.

      5. 1

        I bought that same keyboard but for the life of me I can’t stand it. I used it for a couple days and had to go back to my unicomp. Just really wasn’t comfortable for me.

        1. 1

          It’s worked out completely the opposite for me: I love the laptop-style layout.

          1. 1

            It’s like a better Happy Hacking Keyboard. Just wished the Race had a similar bezel to the HHKB.

    6. 5

      My battle station is high velocity. I use xmonad for my window manager and I use all the desktops. Each desktop has a theme and purpose, normally 1 is web, 2 is email+todo, 3 is chat/social, 4 is coding, 5 is coding, 6 is coding, 7 is coding, 8 is coding, 9 is coding. I try to stay away from 3 and 1 as much as possible, but often fail.

      1. 2

        You so goofy haha.

      2. 1

        Slightly curious: what does the “Personal” in the Firefox address bar indicate?

        1. 3

          He’s using containers in Firefox, “Personal” is the name of the default one. Info about the Firefox feature https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/containers

          1. 1

            Thanks! I didn’t know about this. I essentially achieved the same effect by setting up different profiles and creating key-bindings for them.

            1. 2

              Right. Benefit of using containers is that they share settings, preferences, about:config, addons, saved passwords, history, sync etc. :)

    7. 5

      I’m at my family’s home, so the setup is a little spartan yet cluttered https://imgur.com/a/XHdQidI (and I apologize for the uneven framing)

      1. 3

        Ah Agricola, nice.

    8. 5

      When I’m at work, I use my MacBook - which I plug into a big monitor on one of the hot desks there sometimes. We have sit/stand desks there in some of the ‘break out’ areas. I switch between them depending on who I’m talking to, how tired I am, etc.

      This is my home workstation.

      o Sit/stand desk from Ikea. I only stand, so far - mainly because I don’t have a chair.

      o Extremely cheap hackintosh - £35 for the box with bits - I added some spare RAM to give it 16GB - and a £20 (!) Crucial SSD.

      o Filco keyboard, Apple trackpad.

      I mainly use this machine to Get Stuff Done (practical things on the web) and work on personal projects - or projects I’m incubating for work.

      Normally I get home and plug my work MacBook into the monitors and use its keyboard and trackpad, but it’s pretty locked-down so it’s nice to use a machine without restrictions for a while occasionally. Switching keyboard layouts in my head is painful, though - so I might pull out the Apple keyboard I have somewhere and plug it into this hackintosh.

      I initially got ‘up to speed’ with admin / dev while using a few dozen variants of UNIX, so I’m most comfortable with a terminal and vi. I used IDEs for a long time too, so I can drive Visual Studio / IDEA. I do use VS Code for my (mostly Elixir) coding but keep forgetting to open it and use vi(m) instead.

      Music goes through USB to an FiiO DAC (it’s meant to be used as headphone amp) … then line out to the Rega amp and some spare speakers which will do for now…

      On the floor is a ThinkPad T430s, running Linux. Dropbox syncs to this - and then CrashPlan backs up to an external drive and its cloud.

      I’m looking forward to getting a higher res monitor or two, but they’re too expensive. 1080p at 23” is painful when you’re used to your Macbook’s screen all day. I’d also like to have zero noise from the desktop machine, but unfortunately there’s no way to replace its PSU, which is where most of the fan noise comes from. I’ll move it under the desk some day.

    9. [Comment removed by author]

    10. 4

      …we just did the annual screenshot thread three months ago.

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        I consider screenshots to be exactly that – screenshots, the digital content displayed on a computer screen. I consider battlestations everything ELSE around it, chair, desk, other gear around it.

      2. 2

        Yeah, but it’s oscar season now….

    11. 4

      This is where I get all my work done: https://m.imgur.com/a/dlsdFEB

      I can’t recommend a large resolution monitor enough. The only downside is that you won’t ever again be able to work on smaller screens (even two fullHD displays feel small).

      1. 2

        What’s the monitor you’re using?

        1. 3

          It’s an Asus PB287Q I bought circa 2014.

          I use it exclusively for coding, and it’s absolutely fantastic for that. That said, I think the monitor would not be the best option for all other usages (including browsing). It might be the fact that I never got graphics drivers to work properly, but I feel a noticeable cursor lag on it. If I used a mouse, it would drive me crazy. The more recent MG28UQ seems to be a better option nowadays.

          1. 1

            Thanks. I’ll see if I can see one in real life.

    12. 3

      This is my current desk set up - I’ve put map links to the Beagle Bone Black, Raspberry Pi 3, X41 and Zaurus that are all running OpenBSD. The main monitor is linked to my Toshiba Portege (also running OpenBSD) which is on the desk behind my main desk.

      Currently the image is being hosted on the Raspberry Pi 3 that is underneath the monitor.

      1. 2

        “and the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone Black are not running X”

        You heard any good things about the Rasp Pi 3 running OpenBSD well?

        “My seat is a gym ball 8~)”

        Well, that sounds fun. Might even be a nice, stress reliever or let little movements while still sitting jolt the mind into more action at times. On top of being a chair.

        1. 1

          I’ve run OpenBSD on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and the Model B+, they work, the Model is better as the ethernet is recognised. The Raspberry Pi 3 does work with OpenBSD but I wouldn’t particularly recommend it.

          The gym ball is much better for posture than a normal chair, partly as sitting still tends not to happen :~)

    13. 3

      I have a sensitive neck, looking down at a laptop for even just a few hours will have me in pain for days. This meant that until recently I basically didn’t work while mobile. The setup I am using now raises the screen between 9” and 13” off the desk, takes up 17” inches wide (no additional space needed at all because of trackball) and 13” deep. This means I can work in most anyplace I could work with just a laptop, but with no neck pain. I am really excited by how well this configuration is working for me, actually spent hours working in an airport productively the other day!

      Currently playing around with finding the best 84 silent keyboard to go with it, so that keyboard is sort of a “for now” one. They keystone to this build is the tiny tower: https://tinytowerstand.com/ which I adore! Currently running ElementaryOS.

      The key thing about my desktop config is just a nice standing desk and a 43.3” 4k monitor. Currently running Kubuntu. I am absolutely in love with this monitor, https://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-43UD79-B-4k-uhd-led-monitor and I use an ultra-light press Plum Niz keyboard: https://www.nizkeyboard.com/product/plum-niz-84-45g-ec-keyboard-front-print/

      1. 2

        How are you liking ElementaryOS? I just started checking it out and it’s been nice so far!

        1. 2

          It is – extremely impressive to me. It really works well on old hardware, shockingly well. To the point that I used it to sort of rescue a few old laptops (2012 macbook pro with spinning disk). So far, I don’t like it as much as KDE because of a few small missing features, but it is 90% there out of the box. I am even considering making contributions to fix the small things that drive me crazy.

          • In the all windows screen (meta-a), you can’t filter windows by typing, this is my #1 wanted feature right now.
          • The default dynamic desktops drive me crazy, but two quick console commands fix it to be a standard 9 virtual desktops.
          • Would be nice to be able to bind keys directly to windows like you can in KDE (Meta-K brings me to Google Keep window).

          Those are the only three things that really drove me crazy, I loved that despite being a lean OS it had capslock to escape as easy selectable option, I like the picture in picture mode, I like being able to set windows to fullscreen easily. All in all – it is the OS I probably will be using going forward once I fix a few things on it (probably via contribution). Also, the Vala code is very clean.

      2. 1

        That tiny tower stand looks pretty neat, looks like it provides more space to put the keyboard closer (possibly underneath) to the laptop so the screen isn’t as far away. Looks like some folks are using it with tablets like the surface too.

        1. 1

          Yeah, if your keyboard has little flip up feet, it can go all the way under it. It is an amazing little product. A little wobbly (unavoidable cause foldable and light) but not horribly so, and if you have a sensitive neck, it is incredible.

          1. 1

            Interesting, perhaps the top aluminum area could be partially cut-out to allow a trackpad to be dropped in / use with a split keyboard on the sides.

            1. 1

              Hmph, from looking at it I think that would totally work, my only concern would be the lightness with that weight removed from the bottom, but maybe you could find a way to move some weight to the areas still there.

    14. [Comment removed by author]

    15. 3

      I’ll update later with my home battlestation, but here’s my desk at work and a screenshot. I work at a company that does live light performances, so I’ve got a MIDI controller and some form of LED controller on my desk pretty much always. The desktop is a half-decent custom build; the keyboard is a Kinesis Advantage and the mouse is an Evoluent VerticalMouse 4, which together have made it possible for me to be a software engineer again; my RSI has all but disappeared thanks to these little dudes.

      Software-wise, it’s a pretty standard awesomewm config, and I spend most of my day in (space)emacs, because vim and the world’s greatest text-based operating system are a match made in heaven. I don’t use the shell much, but when I do, it’s cmus and neomutt in tmux. The work computer is pretty new so I’ve been scp-ing my music over bit by bit.

    16. 3

      My desktop

      This is my debian machine, but I generally run the same software on any Linux or *BSD system.

      I’m running StumpWM, Emacs, tmux with zsh. Clementine for music, but lately I mostly listen to albums on Youtube and SoundCloud. I’m trying to use Next-Browser more, but the lack of ad block is frustrating, so I’m still using Chromium for now.

      Not posting a picture of my actual desk because it’s pretty cluttered and messy right now.

      1. 1

        I’m trying to use Next-Browser more, but the lack of ad block is frustrating, so I’m still using Chromium for now.

        Why not get something like a Pi-hole?

        1. 2

          Because proxy based ad-blocking isn’t very good, and it’s inconvenient vs in browser blocking.

    17. 3

      This is just the “personal” desk - there’s a separate “dayjob” desk with a mess of electronics and things. I don’t consider myself anyone with a slick emacs or vim setup. For code, I usually use xcode or sublime with a mess of plugins (terminus, anaconda, betterfindbuffer, etc.). No fancy window tiler, just bettertouchtool for window snapping and liberal use of mission control & trackpad gestures.

      As far as the desk setup, it’s just…

      • A old 2013 15” macbook on a roost stand
      • An even older dell 30” monitor with various device/battery chargers on the side. On the back there’s various cable holders, dongles, and a lightpack.tv velcro’ed together.
      • A Kinesis freestyle2 blue, force touch trackpad, and an some ikea silicone trivets with coasters underneath used as wrist rests.
      • An ergoergo stool (paired with a muji cushion) and a swopper stool used at the other desk.
      • A Kangaroo sit/stand adjuster.
      • All sitting on some mass-produced ikea desk.

      Also find myself sitting at a coffee table with just the laptop on a zafu cushion.

    18. 2

      4 things I want on a computer to be happy: i3, tmux, Firefox, and a music player (i.e. Spotify) https://timetoplatypus.com/screenshots.html

      1. 1

        On which machine are you running your setup?

        1. 1

          I normally run Arch Linux

    19. 2

      Current screenshot featuring my WIP desktop environment inside Wayfire, my terminal emulator Galacritty, and Firefox Nightly.

      As for the physical appearance, you can see a bit of it on this one year old photo — not powered on so you can’t see the RGB lighting, but you can see the janky DIY individually sleeved PSU cables, the Accelero Twin Turbo GPU cooler covered in plastidip, and the expensive Hall of Fame DDR4 sticks :D

    20. 1

      Just like 3 years ago, I still live in Emacs XMonad T430s coreboot Debian Stretch.

    21. 1

      I hate laptop. pgUP and pgDown keys are very complicated

      1. 2

        well, thinkpads had a sane keyboard.

        1. 1

          The new ones aren’t as bad as everyone claims them to be, speaking as someone who owns one.

          1. 1

            But, the first redesigns after they got purchased were fairly bad? Then they came back to a more nominal setup.

          2. 1

            well, it’s a matter of taste i guess. i just really don’t like chiclet keyboards, and why on earth they moved the keys from the top is beyond me: https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/thinkpad-25-keyboard-comparison-flat.jpg having the brightness controls somewhere i don’t have to look was amazing. fn + space for keyboard light is ok, but i liked bottom left + top right better :)

    22. 1

      My current desktop at home. A second hand 2012 MBP on a 3d-printed stand, a cleaned-up and adapted IBM Model M over USB, a Logitech MX Pro I recently resoldered a failing switch. Standard IKEA table&chair.

    23. [Comment removed by author]

    24. 1

      Here’s my work desk, and a tour of what you see!

      My computer is a MacBook Pro (2017) 15” with the dumb screen-bar-thing. It’s generally been a good computer, though it has been plagued by keyboard problems (the keyboard in there is the third keyboard it has had in two years. I use an apple Magic Mouse, mostly for the gesture support, though I try to limit how much I use the mouse. Typically, the MBP flips between two screens - one that is all communication (Slack, Hangouts, IRC) and one that is a Terminal (iTerm 2, zsh).

      Left hand monitor is an LG 5K Ultrawide monitor. It’s by far the best monitor I’ve ever had. Crisp, clear, delightful. You can see some PyCharm and WebStorm windows open on it - I use the JetBrains IDEs. They are well worth it.

      Right hand monitor is an AOC 4K. I think it’s probably a good monitor, but next to the 5K monitor and the MBP display, it looks pretty garbage. That’s got email, documentation, and any browsers that I’m using for testing.

      The Ryzen box beside the monitor is the “superficial dive” box. It’s full of post-it notes, sprint poker cards, sharpies, and dry-erase markers, which I use when we’re starting a project. You can see some post-its from a project to the left, along with some art-work by my son. Further to the right, you can see a tray of dry-erase markers (and envelope with 20% off coupons for a local diner) and the edge of my 1m X 2m whiteboard. My current daily bag is a Blizzcon bag from last year (which a friend procured for me - I’ve never been). I usually have a brown leather messenger bag, but it’s currently getting repaired. The speedcube is a Valk 3, the “coffee” is from Tim Hortons, the water bottle is a BOZ and it’s actually pretty great (I bought 6 from amazon once when they were on sale).

      Here’s my home setup though I’ve actually updated it since this picture. The printer is a Creality CR-10S, the computer is windows desktop that I mostly use for 3D modeling and for playing video games.