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Benjamin Blais

Software Engineer

Gear

Here's the stuff that I used for my day-to-day development. Hardware, software, etc. I will update this periodically as things change and my schedule allows.

Software

Editor - Visual Studio Code

Like many developers these days, VSCode is my editor of choice. I have all my plugins and dotfiles available on my dotfiles repo (below).

Visual Studio Code Dotfiles

Terminal - Hyper™

Hyper is a terminal emulator built using electron, and it's just fun!

hyper™

Video Recording/Streaming - Streamlabs OBS

This is an electron app that is based on the popular OBS studio. It has better twitch integration as well as a much better UI. Those familiar with OBS Studio will recognize the ability to select windows, screens, and configure scenes.

One thing to note is that this is more heavy-weight, so if your machine is chugging to keep up, I would go for OBS studio instead. A weird, but not uncommon issue I did find was VSCode and other electron apps won't record properly. I suspect this may be due to using hardware encoding while using hardware acceleration on electron apps makes it harder to capture a window.

Since I have used OBS studio recently I have also included a link to it at the bottom.

Streamlabs OBS OBS Studio

Hardware

Headphones - SteelSeries Arctis 7

Probably not the best sound quality, but better than what I am used to. They are wireless, can be charged in less than 2 hours, and have battery life for days. Comfort-wise, the pads feel good and I sometimes forget I am wearing them. Software is rather lightweight and non-buggy, the seperate "game" and "chat" audio channels are nice but I hardly ever use them.

One of the drawbacks I have found is the battery indicator will not reset after charging unless the headphones are turned on and plugged in via usb into the computer. So if you have these and you are wondering why they are still blinking red after being charged for 7hrs, there's your answer.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

Keyboard - Code V3 104-Key (Cherry MX Brown)

Many high-end keyboards on the market like you to install some bloating software for them to work. This one does none of that. All the features (including switching the CTRL and CMD keys for Macs) is done through switches on the back. Cord is detatchable so if the wire breaks you can simply replace it instead of cracking the whole thing open and soldering a new one on.

Cherry MX Brown because it's more quiet when you are around other people.

Code V3 104-Key

Mouse - Razer DeathAdder (Left-Handed)

Anyone who knows me has probably heard me complain about the lack of ergonomic mice for left-handed persons. This is honestly the only mouse that even comes close to doing what I would want. It does a hardware switch of the buttons, so games and software behave exactly the way they would with a traditional mouse, it has decent DPI.

Only complaint is it's not wireless and the cable gets in the way.

Razer DeathAdder (Left-Handed)

Monitors - Acer G246HL

I have three of these that I attached to my mounting bracket, they have served me well these few years and provide good color, resolution, and contrast. They are are 1080p (not 4k or 2k) so they will not provide that sort of resolution. These are good for both gaming as well as development and using them with f.lux has probably saved my eyes.

Acer G246HL

Desk Frame - Fully Jarvis Standing desk

This is probably one of the best desks I have had, nice and wide, not too deep, moves up and down fast, and has the usual presets for a sit/stand desk. I did not purchase one of the Fully desktops, but rather I bought a countertop from IKEA (below).

One complaint that I have about this is also a complaint about the uplift desk: the memory button is right next to the fourth preset button. What this means is it is very easy to accidentally hit the memory button and change your 4th preset. This is a mistake I have made so many times I have lost count.

Fully Jarvis Standing desk

Desk Top - IKEA HAMMARP (countertop)

Your basic butcher's block counter top, I would recommend doing a round of beeswax before putting this in use in the event (if you are like me) you bring a drink to your desk and spill it, it will leave marks.

IKEA HAMMARP

Monitor Mount - SLYPNOS Triple Monitor Mount

This mount is fairly sturdy, has good movement and can be fairly customized. While some arms only allow you to move screens forward and back, this one gives you 3 dimensions of movement.

There are a few downsides to this mount, the arms are not wide enough to hold all three of my monitors in landscape orientation, this is not a problem for me, since I like to have my right-most one in portrait, but it is a thing to be aware of.

SLYPNOS Monitor Mount