Technology

What’s on your desk, Alice Newcome-Beill?

As Alice Newcome-Beill describes herself, she’s currently the “commerce / deals writer for The Verge, 35 years old, a Scorpio, and a chaotic neutral.” With the other members of the commerce team, she helps handle The Verges daily deals posts and newsletters in addition to maintaining the “best deals” announcements and other buying guides across the site.

Tell us about the two desks in this space. Where did you get them, and where in your home have you placed them?

The desks aren’t anything special, really. They’re both identical versions of the Alex desk from Ikea and an attached drawer. They could stand to be a little more durable, but they get the job done for the most part. The secondary desk was my fiancé’s workstation before she got a job that required her to be largely on site, so it currently serves as something of a junk repository.

Tell us about your chair(s).

My chair is an older model of the Secretlab Titan Evo that has accumulated its fair share of cat scratches over the years. While I’ve wanted a slightly more luxurious chair for some time, I’m often reminded that we live with several animals that will happily destroy or shed on any available surface.

A variety of science fiction characters look over a hi-tech workspace.

A custom-built desktop computer.

A custom-built desktop computer.

Stream Deck, mouse, clock

A Stream Deck to control lights (and other tech).

Okay, here’s the long one: we’ll want to know about tech that you’re using. Let’s start with the computer itself.

Oof, ok. yes The desktop is a disgusting custom build that I put together a couple years ago. The short version is that it’s an NZXT H710 case with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card. Naturally, it’s decked out with a ridiculous level of RGB lighting, which I’m convinced helps it go faster.

And those impressive displays?

The displays are a pair of 34-inch curved gaming monitors from Gigabyte, specifically the G34WQC. I bought them right before I started working from home. They might be a bit excessive, but I consider them a solid investment given how much time I spend planted in front of them each day. Frankly, these displays have ruined all other monitors for me, which all appear tiny and crowded by comparison.

And then there’s the keyboard and the Stream Deck. And your audio equipment. And all the rest — could you give us a rundown?

The keyboard is a riff on a model that I reviewed earlier this year, the Mountain Everest Max. Apart from the mix of aftermarket keycaps, I also replaced the switches with my own set of Kailh box silver switches that I’ve modded myself to be just a little quieter.

The Stream Deck isn’t something I use terribly often but still occasionally find some utility for, even if it’s just controlling the lights around my house. Currently, I have it set up to quickly swap between my different loadouts in destiny 2.

During work hours, I use the Razer Nommo Pro speakers, which provide a decent sound profile and come with their own dedicated subwoofer. I also keep several different headsets and headphones on hand due to my tendency to forget to charge them. Currently, my go-to set for private listening are the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro… with cat ears, of course.

Razer Black Shark V2 Pro

The wireless version of Razer’s aviator-style esports headset is lightweight and comfortable. This model also features a detachable boom mic and volume knob.

For Zoom calls and other fun stuff, I use the Razer Seiren Elite microphone and recently upgraded my webcam to the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar.

With all that technology, I see you still use paper notebooks and post-its.

A bit ironic, I know, but sometimes the best way to remind myself of the important stuff is to just put pen on paper, which has led to a borderline unhealthy collection of notebooks. I’ve attempted to migrate some of this to digital mediums, but in the end, I’ve found there’s very little that can take the place of physically crossing items off a list or just keeping a Post-it in plain view.

Headphones with cat ears.

Headphones with cat ears.

Post-its hanging from a monitor

Post-its can still come in handy.

You have an amazing number of books and figures and toys on your shelves. Are there any particular genres you’re into? How did you acquire such an impressive collection?

Hah, I can’t take sole credit for the collection in our “study” (yes, it’s a home office, but study sounds cooler). The collection belongs to me and my fiancé, which provides us with a fairly eclectic assortment of reading material. Most of my collection consists of concept art volumes from video games, graphic novels, and some essential science fiction.

The majority of her collection consists of art reference books, and an assortment of books and memorabilia centered around Jim Henson’s labyrinth other The Dark Crystal.

And don’t forget the Lego figures of famous astronauts.

Yeah, just a little bit of a self-identified space nerd. Those models are specifically from the Lego “Women in NASA” kit with Mae Jemison, Sally Ride, Nancy Roman, and Margaret Hamilton (not pictured). I even have a tattoo of a portion of the plaque that was placed on the pioneer probe.

LEGO Woman of NASA building set

Features four LEGO builds illustrating the areas of expertise of the four featured women of NASA: Nancy Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison.

That is an absolutely beautiful compass.

Thanks! It was actually a gift from The Verge‘s own Victoria Song many years ago. I can’t recall what the sentiment was precisely, but I like to keep it on my desk as a reminder of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Are there any other important (or just plain interesting) items that we’ve missed?

Lol, ask me about the green coffin.

Shelves filled with books and figures and toys.

Shelves filled with books and figures and toys.

A golden compass and a green coffin.

A golden compass and a green coffin.

Lego astronauts and shuttle

Honoring the astronauts.

Okay, what’s with the green coffin?

Hah, I’m glad you asked. That’s the box that my fiancé built to hold my engagement ring when she proposed. The spider inside is a placeholder ring while we pick out some slightly fancier rings for each other. She proposed on Friday the 13th, which is basically our entire vibe.

And, of course, you have to tell us about the cat and the dog. (And how does the cat get up into that shelf?)

The dog, Lu (short for Ludo), as seen in his natural state, lives in the corner of the office while I work. I often joke that we should’ve named him Elmer just because he sticks to you like glue. The cat, Ted, sometimes makes his presence known throughout the day. Since adopting Lu, we’ve had to provide Ted and his brother, Bill, with some out of reach places to give them some respite from the dog. They still seem to surprise us with where they’re able to get to, though.

Black cat on leather shelf at window

Ted on his perch.

Dog asleep on the floor

Lu (short for Ludo) rests in the corner of the office.

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