1.) What is your name and where in the WWW (Whole Wide World) do you live?
Chris: My name is Chris Sasse and I live in New Jersey.
2.) What do you do for a living, what pays the bills? And what is the thing you do when you are not doing the thing that pays the bills?
Chris: I am the Director of Admissions for a for-profit continued education facility. When I am not at work I love to spend time with my daughter (also a Mac enthusiast at the ripe old age of 6). I also assist my wife in operating her Modern Dance Company. And when I am not doing either of those things I both play in, and help operate, a rough touch football league in Southern NJ.
3.) How much of what you do, personally or professionally, gets done at the work space featured?
Chris: Everything creative for my wife’s business including website design, photo editing, generating marketing materials, music editing, and creation gets done at this desk. I also do a healthy bit of work related research – recruiting candidates and searching for new clients interested in IT staffing and solutions. I maintain a total of four websites from home as well.
4.) Typically, what time of the day do you normally find yourself at this desk, and for how long? Night owl, early bird?
Chris: I can be found in my home office in the early morning and later in the evenings. I typically have a lot going on during the day. Maybe 2 to 3 hours a day total.
5.) How much of what gets done at your desk is for work, how much is it to scratch your own creative itch?
Chris: Hmmmm…. call it 20% work, 80% creative. My job is mostly off-site so my home office is used for creative projects related to family, my wife’s company, general Internet related surfing, and building and maintaining a few websites.
6.) What are the essentials that can be found on your desk more times than not? How about those items just out of reach or out of sight? If it’s not on top of your desk what are the things you most often grab out of a top draw or cabinet?
Chris: Copies of MacLife and Wired Magazine always seem to be around my desk. Pens, pads of paper. A new thing for me is organizing my projects using colored 3x4 note cards. It helps when I am working on multiple photo or music edits. I added a cork-board backing to my desk’s hutch. I hang the note cards from there. It has really helped from a productivity standpoint. Not shown in many of my set up photos is an M-Audio Keyboard that I use from time to time. What I am ALWAYS getting up to find are blank CD’s, DVD’s, labels and photo printer paper. They are stored in various cabinets and drawers that are just out of reach.
7.) What beverage/food/snack can one usually find at your desk, and why?
Chris: A glass of water, bowl of cereal, or a bottle of beer - all on a coaster!!!
8.) Do you have any reasoning or anecdotes that lend some insight into why your desk is setup the way it is, or the thinking behind certain item(s)? How about the things around your desks? Decoration, wall art, figurines, statues, etc? Any particular reason behind those?
Chris: Well, the first question I typically receive is “why two computers?” Initially I ran 3 monitors off of the G5 Powermac, two 24” Gateway HD Monitors and the 19” Viewsonic arranged vertically. Though I was originally looking to upgrade the G5 with a new Mac Pro I purchased the 24” iMac about 2 months ago because the deal was, quite literally, too good to be true. It was an end-of-life, out of box display model at Best Buy – no keyboard or mouse for $699! I’m sure your readers would agree that at $699 for a big screen Intel iMac is a steal!
As it stands now I have too much built in storage, containing documents, photos, music and applications, on the G5 to eliminate it from my day-to-day so I kept it in the revised setup and networked the two. Seems to be working out fine and I really do appreciate the style and beauty of the iMac – though I do wish it was more upgrade friendly. There are some items that I possess that I don’t use as much as I would like – the Podcast Factory for one. I would like to generate a podcast but I have not had the time – or, quite frankly, interesting material.
The Superman collection started years ago. I’ve always appreciated the character of Superman but I wasn’t any type of avid comic book collector or anything like that. My freshman year in High School I was the third string quarterback for my school’s football team. When our first and second string senior QB’s were both injured during a pre-season game I had to step in, with no prior game experience, and takeover. Turns out that I had a really good game. My coach addressed the team and said I saved the day like Superman. The captain of our team, to keep my confidence up and team morale high, came in the following week with a Superman T-Shirt that he wanted me to wear under my pads, a tradition that I continued even when I played football in college.
From then on I have always received Superman related gifts from friends and family. I started collecting the figures in the mid 90’s. It’s grown to become one heck of a collection, actually. The items that are displayed in my home office represent only a small portion. I am particularly proud of a photo I just received of George Reeves and Noel Neill which she addressed to me and signed. Very cool!
9.) How much of what you do, or aspire to do, influences your desk setup, tangibly and intangibly.
Chris: Good question. Truthfully, I have been a home computer user since 1981. I had a TI99 with a ton of added peripherals. My parents bought me a beautiful computer desk for my room to house all of that stuff. In 1981 that was really unheard of. Most home computers were more advanced game machines set up at the living room TV.
I was using my computer for word processing and desktop publishing almost as much as I was for games so the space needed to be functional. I’ve designed my workspaces that way ever since. In 1990 I purchased a Mac Classic and set it up in a neat computer desk in my dorm. I actually built a desk and hutch at one time. As I am not a carpenter I can tell you that it was practical and functional – but it didn’t look all that great. The Superman fetish… well, that’s another story.
10.) Are you a Mac or are you a PC? What machine(s) are setup and used at your desk? If you are a little bit of both tell us why. How about any other tech gear that can be found at your desk or in your home?
Chris: I am a Mac who has always used a Windows PC at work. I prefer Mac and now with Parallels I can do both. On my setup is a G5 Power Mac tower, a 13” MacBook Pro and a 24” Intel iMac that runs Max OS X 10.6 and Windows XP. Sometimes you will spot an IBM (Lenovo) Thinkpad hanging around.
11.) What’s the one piece of gear you could not live without?
Chris: The G5 – it’s been a workhorse for me for the last 5 years. I have my entire digital life on that machine. Too much to transfer to the more powerful Intel iMac.
12.) What piece of gear cannot be found on your desk, but you wish it could be?
Chris: A new Mac Pro. I love upgrading my systems with video cards, memory, storage and other internal upgrades. The iMac is not the machine for that.
13.) Software; what do you use more often than not. What helps you get the job done? And what do you not use, but hope one day to incorporate in your workflow?
Chris: I’ve been using Adobe products since Photoshop version 1.0. I currently have the Adobe Creative CS3 Suite and CS5 is on order. I prefer Microsoft Office to the iWorks programs but I own both. I am a big fan of the iLife suite. Some people call the apps dumbed down versions of Apple’s more powerful programs but I appreciate the simplicity. Although I am starting to use Final Cut Express more and more. I really just started to use Parallels to run Windows XP, which I may upgrade to Windows 7 in the near future. I’ve been dabbling in logo design lately – I got my hands on some logo design software, such as Logo Creator and Logo Design Studio Pro.
14.) If you could change one thing about your desk, or the room it is currently in, what would that be?
Chris: Nothing right now. I have it just the way I like it. Although I am considering purchasing a new chair eventually.
15.) Workspace Breakdown;
Think of as many things as possible that comprise the setup of your office or workspace, anything from the paint on the walls to the floor mat your chair rolls on, and list them out. Who makes your desk, how about the cabinet next to your desk, your lamp, the overhead light fixture? Anything and everything you can see in the pictures shown, give as much color and background on these items as time and memory permits.
- iMac 24” 2.66MHz
- Viewsonic 19” wide screen
- Power Mac Dual 2GHz G5 Tower
- Gateway 24” HD Display
- 13” MacBook Pro on a twelvesouth BookArc
- Wacom Bamboo Tablet
- Logitech Dinovo Edge
- Logitech Revolution Mouse
- Apple Wireless BT Keyboard
- Apple Magic Mouse
- Canon LIDE Scanner
- XBox 360
- M-Audio iControl
- Comcast HD Cable Box
- M-Audio Podcast Factory & Mic
- iPhone 3Gs 32GB
- iPod Shuffle
- 2nd Gen iPod
- CoolCase RAID HDD Enclosure holding four 2TB Hitachi HD’s
- WD MyBook 1TB Studio External HD
- WD MyBook 1TB USB 2.0 External HD
- Logitech Z-2300 Speakers
- Not Pictured: Canon 6000iv Inkjet and HP LaserJet 5MP Printers
- The desk is actually comprised of two Bush Computer Desks that are no longer available. I purchased them from OfficeMax in 2000 and 2001. Sorry, can’t find the item numbers.
If you would like to learn more about Chris Sasse, his workspace, or his work, you can find him at the sites listed below;