The people who use our boards.

Ash Furrow

Senior Staff Developer

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

Hello! I’m Ash, and I am a software developer. I just started a new job at Shopify, and before that I worked at Artsy.

Outside of work, I do a lot of things! Open source contributions for sure, but I also try to cultivate non-computer related hobbies as well: playing guitar, taking photos on film, learning to run. Anything to balance the time I spend on the computer.

Ash Furrow's photo of Amsterdam
Ash has gotten all the way to Amsterdam with his camera

What hardware do you use?

I’m a Mac person. I started building iPhone apps in 2009, and Apple’s had me hooked into their ecosystem ever since. When I worked in an office, I liked using a laptop; now that I work from home full-time, the desktop lifestyle appeals to me more. I have a Mac mini and a work laptop that stays closed all the time.

Ash Furrow's setup
A setup optimized for recording

As a hobby photographer, I really value a nice monitor. I currently use a 22” LG UltraFine display, for the sake of Apple compatibility. I’d like a bigger one someday. Communicating effectively is a huge part of my job, so I use a dedicated webcam and a fill light, with a RØDE NT-USB mic on a boom stand. A friend gave me a pair of Sennheiser HD 58X open-back headphones, which I fell in love with. Acoustic foam covers the wall around my computer, to reduce echo and to make me feel like a badass. My Herman Miller Aeron chair is aging quickly (I bought it used on Craigslist) but replacement parts have been easy to find on eBay. I use an Apple Magic Trackpad and, of course, an ErgoDox EZ keyboard!

Ash Furrow's light and webcam
A dedicated webcam and fill light make video calls more pleasant
Ash Furrow's mic with pop shield
A good mic with a pop shield helps Ash communicate clearly

Having recently moved home to Canada, my home office setup is still New York apartment-sized. In a regular-sized house, my office equipment all feels tiny. It’s a work in progress. I use a sit-stand converter, but that doesn’t even fit on my small desk. I’ve just ordered a new Jarvis sit-stand desk, and can’t wait for it to arrive. Once it does, I can start improving everything else.

Ash Furrow's setup from left, medium view
Think how much more stable this will be with a sit-stand desk

The latest addition to my setup has been a bit frivolous. I actually hesitate to admit that I even purchased this, but I’ve fallen in love with the Ember smart mug. It keeps my coffee (pour-over V60, naturally) at the perfect temperature: 56.5ºC.

Ash Furrow's setup from right, close
Boom mic, a nice screen, and the ever-important hot coffee

And what software?

My roots are in iOS native app development, but I’ve been a polyglot for some time now. Most of the mobile software I write nowadays is in React Native, so I use Visual Studio Code and iTerm 2. OmniFocus has been my TODO app for nearly a decade now. When I’m not coding, I’ll edit photos in Adobe Lightroom.

Ash Furrow's photo of New York
Lightroom helps with Ash's photography hobby

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

I wish I could say that I had a sophisticated keyboard layout, but it’s fairly basic. I got my ErgoDox as a way to help combat RSI (which it has!), but this was a big leap for me into the expansive world of keyboards. Learning the new layout was already taxing enough without making things complicated with lots of layers and macros and whatnot. I adopted the layout from my former keyboard, a Vortex POK3R. I’m mostly happy with my layout, but I’ve been meaning to revisit it.

I use Cherry MX Blue switches because that’s what the ErgoDox EZ configurator recommended. So far, so great! The tenting kit and wings are a must. My keycaps are blank because I wanted each row to have its own sculpted slant more than I wanted other people to be able to use the keyboard. My spouse…well, she uses her own computer.

Ash Furrow's keyboard from above left
Slanted keycaps make touch typing more reliable

What would be your dream setup?

I want to see as few cables as possible, and I’m hoping I can mount nearly all the computer hardware under my new desk. The monitor will also be on an arm, floating in space. Bliss.

More and more of my desk hardware has become black, or at least very dark. The standout is my Magic Trackpad, which is stark white. I’m just waiting for it to die so I can justify replacing it with a new one, in black.

Ash Furrow's setup from left
Maybe that white trackpad stands out a little, but there's no rush to replace it

I would love to get a set of the Astrolokeys keycaps to match my favourite text editor theme. But I worry that buying one set of custom keycaps will lead to a second set, and it’ll be a slippery slope from here.

Ash Furrow's photo of Iceland
But Ash, what if custom keycaps aren't a slippery slope but a beautiful road, like the one in this photo you took in Iceland?

© 2022 ZSA Technology Labs, Inc.