ErgoDox EZ Users

Joseph Schacherer-Jaramillo

Co-Founder & CTO
Joseph Schacherer-Jaramillo

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jose Schacherer-Jaramillo. I am a co-founder and CTO of Squakr, a data science company in Portland, Oregon. Despite the title, I spend most of my days working on the backend systems that power our work. While I tend to dislike the term, I am what is commonly called a “full stack” engineer, having worked on everything from the software that powers our operation to hand-assembling servers, putting them on racks, and connecting the backend networking hardware.

Beyond work, I am newly married, and I like to think of myself as a geek’s geek. In my off hours I’m either playing Destiny 2, tinkering with some new home automation contraption, or otherwise playing with something electronic. I have also have two dogs and a cat.

What hardware do you use?

Setup

My primary workstation is a PC I built. It triple-boots Windows 10, macOS, and Manjaro Linux. Most of my work gets done in macOS or Manjaro, and Windows is there for games. It starts with a Phanteks Enthoo ATX case, and consists of Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 motherboard, Intel Core i7-8700K CPU, 64GB DDR4 RAM, a Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD, and an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti FE. I have two monitors, an Acer X27 for my primary, and an Acer XB321HK in portrait to the side. It’s a weird setup, but it works for me. Nestled between the two displays is a Blue Microphones Yeti in the Blackout colorway.

I recently upgraded from an ErgoDox EZ Shine to the new Glow model. I installed O-ring dampeners on the keys shortly after receiving it, and am thoroughly happy with it. I hadn’t tried Kailh switches before, and was a little nervous jumping in. They have turned out to be a delightful upgrade from the Cherry MX Blues I’ve always used. My pointing device is a Kinesis Gaming Vektor mouse.

While at my desk I am almost always listening to something on Apple Music or Spotify. My headphones are Audeze LCD-2 Classics powered by an entry-level Schiit preamp/DAC setup. Of all the upgrades I’ve put into my workspace over the years, only the ErgoDox can rival these cans for the upgrade in my day to day computing experience.

All of this sits on a Massdrop Lift Sit-Stand 2.0 desk that I really like, but don’t recommend. It’s my first sit-stand desk and I easily spend more than 90% of all of my computing time on my feet, which is great. The problem is the quality control is lacking and it took quite a bit of effort to get it assembled and working. I stand on an Ergodriven Topo, which does a great job keeping me moving while at the desk. When not standing I use a Steelcase Gesture chair.

In addition to this, I use a 2016 MacBook Pro with TouchBar, and an iPad Pro.

And what software?

Running three OSes, the list is probably a bit too long to fully cover. I use Firefox as my web browser, Visual Studio Code for text editing (with vim bindings), and can get work done almost anywhere I can get a bash prompt, although I prefer zsh (with oh-my-zsh) where possible. Most of the time I am staring at one or more panes in Code, flipping to the terminal on whichever platform I’m running at that moment. Historically that would have been macOS, but I am really enjoying Manjaro and the Arch way of doing things, and am surprised by how much “real work” I can get done on my iPad Pro lately.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

Physically, I like to place my mouse between the two halves of the ErgoDox EZ. This is great both for ergonomics and for gaming, where I can pivot the right side farther away to give myself more space.

Keyboard Layout

I use a customized version of the “Ordinary” layout, primarily to rearrange the layout of the thumb keys. I recently updated it to support the new Glow functionality. Right now my ErgoDox EZ has the keycaps it came with, but I just ordered a set of shine-through keycaps from Massdrop that I am hoping will light up nicely.

What would be your dream setup?

I am almost embarrassed to admit that I am using it. When I was a kid I always dreamed of having a setup like this, with essentially as much computing power as I could ever want. I could always ask for a second GPU for SLI, or perhaps more monitors, or maybe even one of those crazy cockpit-inspired desks, but that all seems very unnecessary. I am content.