hi, this is av

ava's blog

my new desk setup

My last post on this blog was a little summary about the health struggles I am facing; what I didn't know while writing that was that it would put me in the hospital for a week soon, relying on IV nutrition and a blood transfusion plus a ton of Prednisone.

But I am back and recovering at home, and now I can finally talk about my new desk setup and new laptop! I was just putting the cables and devices together when the emergency hit, and some of the stuff I still waited on to be delivered arrived while I was in the hospital.

For context, I have two desks; one larger L-shaped one (one where you can actually use both sides significantly; so many L-shaped desks barely offer any space on the second side..) and one normal white one from IKEA. They're arranged in a U-shape; I enter from the right side and front, left and back are all desk around me.

Since I work from home most days of the week, I have a work laptop with docking station at home with its own work-provided external screen. My private and work stations used to be separated, one on each L-side (which has its own advantages!) but I missed when my desk only had one screen area while the other spots were free for my studying and my crafts (I have an embroidery hoop holder and a sewing machine and need the larger desk area to cut fabric).

Sadly, with my old laptop, it wasn't feasible to combine the workstations and screens in a sensible way. I tried before, but I was missing some hubs and cable opportunities.

Since I have fully switched to Linux for a while now, I was also fed up with the NVIDIA issues and wanted to switch to something fully AMD. The recent upgrade to KDE Plasma 6 convinced me once again that I don't want to rely on things like optimus-manager to be able to use an external screen. That update forced me to save some stuff not in my latest backup via the USB installer and completely wipe the system because the desktop environment would not load at all anymore and all I could use was the TTY. There was an issue around loading the Breeze themes with both X11 and Wayland with the setup and optimus settings I had. It was working after the wipe, but as long as some things around NVIDIA drivers weren't fixed by the maintainers, I could say goodbye to using my external screen.

So I finally committed and ordered a new laptop. I simply love the portability of laptops and dislike tower PCs, even if I mostly use them on the desk. I love to be able to have a normal desk setup while also being able to take it with me on travels, my girlfriend's place, or possibly the hospital now, I guess!

With this new setup and device, I also wanted to fix the following:

It's a success so far!

My new laptop is the Lenovo Legion S7. It's a full AMD build (surprisingly hard to get in the EU! So many are AMD/NVIDIA or Intel/NVIDIA) with two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports (one of them supports DisplayPort), a HDMI port, Bluetooth and a card reader.

ava's blog

ava's blog

I've realized my dream setup with the screens and other hardware I already had by:

I still keep my old one around as a backup and to transport around.

My next plans for the station are

One known issue so far with the laptop is that the internal sound is broken for (among others) the ARHA17 models - there is a lengthy kernel bug discussion thread about it. It doesn't really bother me though because I prefer listening over headset and at least the external screens work as well, so I don't really wanna bother with the ALSA workarounds :)

#desk setup