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commit a5fc212362ccbdab6e378bae1141ab918acb3fd9
parent a0f882a426345ebbafd196dfe799c7a1c6dde17c
Author: Jake Bauer <>
Date:   Tue,  9 May 2023 23:04:34 -0400

New blog post: Computers as Workspaces

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diff --git a/content/blog/ b/content/blog/ @@ -0,0 +1,91 @@ +Title: Computers as Workspaces +Author: Jake Bauer +Date: 2023-05-09 +Summary: Using different computers as different physical workspaces. + +# [%title] + +**Author:** [%author] | **Published:** [%date] + +I came across a page on [Dave Gauer's site](, about +how he treats different computers as [different physical +workspaces]( That, +along with Josh Ginter's post on [keeping a separate creativity +computer]( +and Alexander Cobleigh's post on making a [social media +computer]( helped me to put +words to the habits I've found myself falling into. + +Like Ginter, I seem to have a kind of mental block when it comes to +being able to easily dive into and stay focused on things like writing, +long programming sessions, or reading long-form content on my "primary" +computer and it's hard to articulate why. This mental block doesn't +exist at all when I use my laptop, leading me to use it instead for +those tasks. + +My desktop computer, with its large 4K monitor and recent CPU and GPU, +feels great for doing stuff that fits well on a large screen such as +podcast editing or graphics work, but when it comes to concentrating for +long periods of time on text-based tasks I find it awkward and tiring. +I also tend to use the desktop extensively for entertainment—playing all +manner of video games, socializing with friends, and watching various +shows, conference talks, and videos—which might be a reason why it feels +difficult to concentrate on the kinds of tasks that don't provide +a constant dopamine drip while using it. + +Not to say that I can't use it for those "more productive" tasks; it +just seems to take some outside pressure (like an imminent deadline) for +that mental block to become less of a force compared to the need to get +the task done, and it's not a very comfortable or enjoyable process as +a result. + +On the other hand, my laptop, despite it's smaller screen and more +compact package, doesn't seem to cause me the same level of fatigue, +even when working at the same desk; sitting in the same chair. I've +found myself much more able to dive into long-form tasks and stay +focused on them when using it. For example, I've been able to wake up +and immediately get right to work on my laptop without any sort of +spool-up period, but that would always seem to be a struggle with my +desktop. I've also been able to sit in front of it for a near six hours +straight working on something that I'm passionate about, which I could +never bring myself to do on my desktop. (Also, I've come to prefer the +snappy feel of my laptop keyboard, especially when writing lots of +text.) + +And, even when I do take longer breaks while using my laptop, I can +actually re-focus easily after taking those breaks instead of going down +another YouTube rabbit hole like I used to on my desktop because I just +couldn't bring myself to get back into long-form work on what is +ostensibly my "entertainment device". + +So, there seems to be something to this idea. That, much like having +some kind of clear separation between physical "work" and "play" +environments leads to being better able to keep the two separate with +both mental health and focus benefits, I've found the same to be true +when it comes to using different computers for different purposes, even +when the actual physical environment around me doesn't change. + +Plus, setting up those different computers with different environments +optimized—or at the very least tuned—for some particular set of tasks +makes it easier to concentrate and stay focused on those tasks when in +that environment, and provides even more of a separation between +a computer that is used for play and one that is used for work. + +As Gauer mentions, this idea might seem a bit extravagant and wasteful, +considering that there are many who can hardly afford one computer, let +alone several. He mentions that relatively powerful computers are quite +inexpensive these days, especially on the second-hand market, but I'd +also like to add that a separate physical computer might not even be +necessary. If you are strapped for cash or simply don't want another +_thing_ in your life, a separate user account with a different set of +programs installed and a different look and feel on the same physical +computer might also work. + +If you've noticed the same trouble getting or staying focused on tasks +using the same device you commonly use for entertainment, perhaps give +this a try and [let me know]( how it works +out. If you have any tips to share about using computers this way I'd be +happy to hear them too. + +Until next time,<br> +~jbauer diff --git a/content/blog/ b/content/blog/ @@ -21,6 +21,9 @@ year old—may not match my current views or practices. <button type="submit">Search</button> </form> +[Computers as Workspaces](/blog/computers-as-workspaces)<br> +<span class="date">May 9, 2023</span> + [OpenBSD on the Dell XPS 13 9380](/blog/openbsd-on-the-dell-xps-13-9380)<br> <span class="date">March 17, 2023</span>