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What's inside MJF's tiny home office? Too much podcast equipment

Mary Jo Foley lives and works in 650 square feet total in the middle of New York City, and her current full-time work-from-home office takes up about a third of her bedroom.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Unlike a lot of the other ZDNet editors and reporters, my home office is very, very minimal. That's because I live and work in 650 square feet total in the middle of New York City. I've been working at home for about the last 15 years or so. My current full-time work-from-home office is about a third of my bedroom. So that necessitates a compact, clean set-up.

(I store my podcast equipment in a nearby closet most days because I don't want my microphone to become a cat-climbing tree. Plus, I like my desk clean and simple, just like I like my Notepad. On Wednesdays, I pull out and hook up all the equipment and connect to my router in the living room via a long cable. After that, it's back in the closet for all the podcast clutter.)

Here are a couple shots of my home office:


My podcast equipment and personal assistant Sorachi Ace the cat.

MJ Foley

My "normal" setup for daily work.

MJ Foley

And here's a list of the tech-related equipment I use regularly:

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

My dream machine


It took them three tries, but Microsoft finally made a laptop I really like with Surface Laptop 3. Battery life is not so great, but otherwise, it's my dream machine and my only PC at the moment. It's my desktop and my laptop.

I like working on a big screen. I don't game, so this Dell Monitor is definitely good enough.

I didn't go with a Surface Dock because I preferred the ports available on this Dell DisplayLink model. Plus, at the time I bought it (early 2020), it was more up-to-date than Microsoft's only model available at that time.

This was one of my toughest decisions, as far as tech purchases go. I wanted a wireless keyboard that was solid, comfortable and not too ergonomic. (I find true ergonomic keyboards too hard to get used to, as I'm a fussy touch typist.) I was amazed how

TWiT, the home of Windows Weekly, graciously provided me with most of my higher-end podcasting equipment, including the microphone, mount, webcam and audio interface device.

I use my podcasting equipment, including this mount, primarily to record our weekly two-hour podcastathon. I sometimes also use the full setup when recording video for ZDNet.

I sometimes also use the full setup, including this audio interface, when recording video for ZDNet.

This Logictech webcam delivers full HD 1080p video calls with stereo audio.

A nice, portable light and webcam mount for all those Skype/Teams/Zooms/podcasts.

I purchased these recently to help fend off the sounds of our exterior building improvement/renovation. They definitely help. And if/when we travel again, they should be good companions. (I have some other generic wired earbuds I use for my podcast, bu

My nearly 100-year-old apartment building is on a busy street and gets dusty fast. This air purifier helps keep the cat hair and dust at bay.

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