A technical tour

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been setting up my new home office. Along with numerous trips to a certain Swedish furniture store, this also involved a major overhaul of my IT set-up. For two years now, I’ve been working on my laptop – and while I love the flexibility this gives me to work wherever I want, it definitely felt like time for a change – something more substantial, more professional, you might say.

My new home office

My new home office

So what have I gone for? As you can see from the picture, I’ve joined the two-screen translator club. I’ve now got two 24 inch LED screens with my desktop expanded over both of them. What a difference! I can also ‘snap’ programs to half the screen, so I can be looking at four different things (email, TO3000, web browser and Trados, usually) at the same time. I never realised before quite how much time flicking between tabs / views was taking up! Apparently (according to the man in the shop – I am no expert) most computers now can take at least two screens, so I would definitely recommend giving it some thought! Even if you work on a laptop, it should be possible to add a larger screen.

The screens are plugged in to a HP CPU – I wanted one with 8 MB RAM and this one, a 500-263ef, is great value for money. Apparently it’s only available in France, but I’m not sure about that…

I was a little worried that setting everything up would be complicated, but it’s pretty much been plug in and go! In no small part thanks to Emma’s blog posts on how to transfer translation programs, I have to say – they came at a perfect time for me, and I would definitely bookmark them if you’re thinking of changing computers any time soon!

One thing I really tried to pay special attention to was ergonomics, as I will be spending a lot of time sat at my desk, but I have to say I’m not convinced by the ergonomic keyboard. At the moment it’s taking me forever to use it, but I guess that’s true of any new keyboard – thankfully my brother was kind enough to send this one from England so I only had to use a French one for two days, or I would never have finished typing this post! I also have a footrest which will hopefully improve my posture and keep away the dreaded back pain. It seems to be doing the trick so far!

I really think it is worth investing time and money setting up a good home office – I’m already so glad I’ve done so!


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