Personally it bugs me that the paper is blank, I don’t have a single sheet of paper on my desk undoodled, unsketched on. I would add opened envelopes as they could add something destructed a little, so the scene isn’t in “Mint Condition”. I would add visible wear to the chair as I live at my desk and my chair is worn.
Something which would really move this piece into a whole new class would to add exterior lighting from a window etc… and get rid of the artifical lighting other than the screen.
Example morning light coming in through a window, ability to see a little of the dust spects and a reflect of the room on the computer glass. Right now if looks like ambient occlusion with another harsher source layered on top.
I do not feel that your piece is in the wrong direction, I honestly can greatly appreciate your detail for antique technology, as some are to young to have ever even seen this in person.I am also not sure the perspective gives the best view. I feel a camera angle closer to the table, with objects right up close, and then others visible further back would give greater depth.
Thinking in the eye of a photographer, it just isn’t interesting, but if I am seeing right over the pen, and the computer screen is in the back tucked behind the keyboard and disk reader and I can see the markings then I become amazed.
I think your subject matter is terrific, I think your models are extremely accurate and close to the genuine article, you just need stronger lighting and a better angle for your render to do your work more justice.