TMO Workspaces: Bryan Chaffin

Welcome back to another edition of TMO Workspaces, a new weekly segment in which we highlight a user’s workspace, provide detailed information on equipment, and give tips on what is useful and what isn’t. Our goal is to go a bit deeper than what we’ve found elsewhere and to give both TMO staff and readers a chance to brag about their amazing setups.

This week, we’re taking a look at The Mac Observer’s Co-Founder and Co-Publisher, Bryan Chaffin.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

All of Bryan’s articles, analyses, and creative endeavors take form on his primary workstation, a 2008 8-core Mac Pro running at 2.8GHz with 18GB RAM and an upgraded Radeon HD 5770 GPU. Two displays are connected to the Mac: a 27-inch Cinema Display and a 23-inch “Cinema HD Display,” which has served Bryan well since its release in 2002, but is finally starting to show its age with a failed backlight strip.

To interact with the Mac, Bryan uses a wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and Logitech MX Revolution Mouse which, sadly, has been discontinued. No other desktop mouse can compare to the MX Revolution, so Apple had better hurry up and get Siri working on the Mac before this one breaks!

On the left of Bryan’s desk is a 22-inch 1080p TV from Vizio perched on top of a DirecTV receiver and Sony Blu-ray player, which lets him enjoy television and movies while he’s supposed to be editing articles.

On the right of the desk, in front of the 23-inch Cinema Display, is Bryan’s 64GB third-generation iPad. The iPad is protected by an Apple Smart Cover and is propped up in an Anvil stand from Hub Innovations. The Anvil is so awesome that it won a TMO Editors Choice Award at this year’s Macworld | iWorld.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

Back on the left side of the desk is Bryan’s 64GB iPhone 4S, protected by a Third Man case made from recycled 7-inch vinyl records. Bryan keeps his iPhone and iPad fingerprint-free with a handy microfiber cloth from the fine folks at Smile, sitting just in front of the iPhone.

Next to the iPhone is a pair of Shure SRH 940 headphones for everyday use. Not pictured are Bryan’s Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones, used for monitoring.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

Flanking the displays are two sets of speakers: the Audioengine A5 desktop speakers (on top), which Bryan has set up to play back audio from iTunes and the television, and the Rokit R6 studio monitors (bottom) for mixing music which, while discontinued, are similar to the KRK Rokit 6 speakers. The R6 are passive speakers, so Bryan uses the Audioengine N22 desktop amplifier, located next to the television, to power them.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

On top of the Mac Pro is the M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB audio interface that handles Bryan’s headphones, microphones, and instruments.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

Speaking of microphones, Bryan’s primary mic is the Heil PR40 that he uses for podcasts, Skype, and shouting marching orders to his underlings here at TMO. He also has a variety of other microphones off camera that he uses for recording music.

Attached to Bryan’s desk are red and white Ergorest Arm Supports, adjustable supports for a user’s arms that help to prevent injury. For Bryan, they’ve saved him the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. If he types without them for any amount of time, he experiences wrist pain. Anyone who spends more than a few hours a day typing should check them out. Also on the topic of ergonomics, Bryan’s desk chair is a Herman Miller Aeron.

TMO Workspaces Bryan Chaffin

When he’s not covering technology news, Bryan picks up one of his two guitars, a Gibson SG 1963 Reissue and a Phantom 12-String 1964 Limited Edition Reissue, and makes sweet musical love.

As a bonus, on the floor to the right of the guitars, is an original painting by Nancy Carroll Gravley, who also contributes to TMO.

Have questions for Bryan? Ask in the comments below! Meanwhile, if you have a sweet setup that you want to share, send high-quality pictures and descriptions to with the subject line “TMO Workspaces” and we’ll be glad to share your creativity with the world!

Previous TMO Workspaces:

TMO’s Dave Hamilton
TMO’s Ted Landau
Jason “aftermac”
TMO’s John Martellaro
TMO’s Jeff Gamet