The people who use our boards.

312 interviews since 2018

Adam Ranjo

One Who Listens

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

My name is Adam Ranjo (it’s like banjo but with an R). I’m a former addictions and mental health therapist who now has a fantastic job working in a public library. It’s everything I want in that it lets me help people daily and flex some of my listening skills, while also keeping me more active, as I’m not trapped behind a desk anymore. I’m back in a master’s program for the second time. I have a Master’s in Counseling and am currently in my second semester at the University of Tennessee for a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences.

Outside of work and classes I am a run-of-the-mill nerd. I play Magic: The Gathering with friends both in person and online, I go to conventions with my wife—primarily Dragon Con in Atlanta, which is an absolute blast—and I love to read. I primarily read fantasy books but also pick up fun autobiographies, the most recent being Baggage by Alan Cumming. My favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, among many others. I prefer character-driven story over epics or drama, but I do like to mix it up as well.

Adam Ranjo at Dragon Con
Adam participates fully in conventions, garnering many ribbons

When I’m not doing any of the above, I’ll probably either be listening to records, playing video games with friends, or obsessing over coffee. I dabble in roasting coffee but my current setup for it doesn’t allow for as much experimenting as I would prefer, so I mostly do it when I need more and don’t feel like making a stop at the local coffee shop that I love.

Adam Ranjo's setup
Adam's setup is easily folded into different forms

What hardware do you use?

I’ve been building my own PC since I was a teen after a friend showed me how easy it was to do (provided you aren’t impatient like I was and wreck your CPU because you just wanted to get it in there). So I am, and always have been, a desktop person. My current rig has 2TB of storage, 32GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 4060 graphics card. I have a Logitech G502 X mouse, an Elgato Facecam, a Blue Yeti microphone, and a Sennheiser Game Zero. I also use a foot pedal for Discord and in-game chat so that I can keep my mouse and keyboard free.

Most importantly, I have a Herman Miller Mirra chair (so comfortable), FlexiSpot standing desk, a long arm for the microphone, and an Ergotron monitor arm for one of my two monitors (the other monitor needs to be upgraded in the near future, and then that too will get an Ergotron). I value those pieces over most anything in my setup because they pair so well with my Moonlander. I do so many things at my desk that I wanted the ability to move everything and create as much space on the desktop as I needed at any given time. Sometimes my monitor will be completely turned to the side, others it will be at the back, and sometimes it’s right in my face. My microphone needed the same flexibility, which is why it also has a swivel arm.

Adam Ranjo's keyboard
Adam takes advantage of the split keyboard when he needs to use pen and paper

I really value that flexibility, which is one of the many reasons I landed on the Moon…lander. I started looking into ergonomic keyboards because of wrist and elbow pain. I never thought about split keyboards at first, but the better shoulder width along with the ability to move the sides apart or only use one side, such as when I’m gaming, made it an easy choice. The ZSA culture was the clinching deal. It’s been a complete game changer. I feel better and more comfortable, and I have a better setup as a whole.

And what software?

Bitwarden is my most-used software, and it’s been well worth it. But there will never be a piece of software that I talk about more than YNAB (You Need a Budget). It may not be for everyone, but it has been a godsend in terms of helping my wife and me to better discuss where we’re at and where we’re we are heading. It’s taken almost all of the stress out of finances for us, and I don’t think I will ever stop singing their praises.

Outside of that I’ve been trying to get more familiar with Gimp, Inkscape, and Silhouette Studio, as they are all programs that feature heavily in the Makerspace at our library and they are tools I want to use more frequently. Steam and Discord obviously feature heavily in my usage. I’m currently joining the rest of people playing Baldur’s Gate 3 and will eventually jump on to Palworld when I get more time to do so.

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

My Moonlander setup is fairly basic. I chose the Kailh Silver and I love them. They have the exact sound and feel I wanted. I don’t have any custom keycaps. I love the stock caps these came with and if I ever went custom, I’d feel the need to do the whole board for consistency’s sake.

Adam Ranjo's keyboard with desk mat
Adam feels comfortable keeping his keyboard mostly at defaults

As for my layout, it’s fairly stock as well. I paid attention to the zen typing guides and found the ideal spot for my Space (left hand cluster closest to the keys), Backspace (next to space), and Enter (right hand cluster closest to keys). I made some minor alterations to punctuation, but outside of that I mostly used the training tools and got familiar with the stock layout. I did turn the left and right arrow keys into copy and paste functions, which is a nice convenience to have, and I have one layer added in for playing Valorant with my buddy, but that isn’t as much unique as it is making sure anything I need from the right side of the board is accessible or otherwise turned off. Mostly, I bought this keyboard for its physical comforts and design, and I have yet to take advantage of its impressive software to the level it deserves.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would mostly be to the physical space, as the room my computer is in not only doubles as the guest bedroom but also my wife’s craft room. None of this is an issue, but it leaves me with less space for as many personal touches as I’d like, such as more shelves and things hanging from the wall. As for the computer itself, I’d like to get a better camera arm, as the one I have works but doesn’t provide as much flexibility as I’d like. I’d like to upgrade my second monitor, and I’d like to get better lighting in the room as a whole. If I had a babbling brook outside the window that I could listen to at times, well, that would just be pure perfection. Better speakers are also a desire, as I don’t like using headphones for long periods of time but my current speakers were pretty cheap. Finally, my ideal setup would probably include someone who would do cable management for me because it is a skill I severely lack but strongly admire.

Adam Ranjo's vinyl collection
We hope you get that bigger office soon, Adam. This vinyl collection will surely grow!

Finally, I’d like to leave everyone with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Everything Everywhere All At Once: “Please Be Kind, especially when we don’t know what’s going on.”

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