As a writer my work is about sitting by the computer all day (and some nights ;-). When my back began feeling stiff I decided I needed to change my work environment. The solution was to modify the desk so that I could stand instead of sitting.
I wanted to avoid spending a lot of money. Therefore I had to build it myself. At first I thought I would need to build something from scratch out of wood. Then I came to think of my daughter’s Tongoys. It can be used to build a house, a bed, a castle or whatever one can imagine. Why not a standing desk?
First I started taking measures. My IKEA standard office desk is 120 by 80 centimeters and 80 centimeter high. At 191 centimeters above ground I figured I would need to raise the desk 40 centimeter to have a convenient standing height. Then I measured the Tongoys boards and found that 12 x 18 holes (Tongoys is measured in holes) was exactly 80 x 120 centimeters! Six holes high it would raise it 40 centimeter, but I decided to use seven holes to get an edge stopping things from falling over.
When the measuring was done the fun part began. I needed to design the table. At first I thought of making it as simple as possible with only a flat surface to put my laptop on. With the Tongoys solution it was easy to make it a little more advanced so I added a raised shelf to put my 22 inch screen and speakers on and another one inside the desk to hold my six external hard drives. That way I could make room for other things in the cabinet currently holding the disks. Designing my desk took about an hour.
Building it took another two hours. I made it very sturdy. It can easily hold my weight standing on it (if for some reason I would want that). At the back of the table surface I left an opening so I can have the computer cables out of sight.
Once the work was done I put it on top of the desk to see if the design worked. It did! As an added bonus I got a lot of storage space under the desk. The subwoofer fit nicely in there. I am thinking of also putting my printer and scanner there and get rid of another cabinet.
I admit this solution isn’t the most subtle one. It is made from a toy. :-) It does, however, serve its purpose more that well.Read More
Arc90 has made a wonderful bookmarklet that makes most web pages easy to read.
You can customize the text and backgrund style, font size and margin width to suit your own preferences. When you are satisfied you drag the bookmarklet to your web browser toolbar and it is ready to use the next time you visit a web page worth reading.
If you use Safari web browser you have a similar function built right into the browser. Just click on “Reader” to the right of the address bar. That view has inspired the theme of this blog. :-)Read More
With Joliprints pdf bookmarklet you can make a pdf of any web page in a single click.
If you embed it in the code of your website you can let your users print pages directly to pdf quite easily. Just follow the instructions below. A great service.Read More
Who would have thought that a couple of science interested friends would send a balloon with a video camera and an iPhone into space to take pictures of the world outside earth. That is what Brooklyn Space Program did.
The balloon rose to 100.000 feet before it burst and sent the space craft back down to earth.Read More
Gmail, Googles great web mail service, has been my companion for many years. It has all the right features along with an incredibly powerful search engine, that let’s me find whatever I want very fast. I haven’t really thought that it needed anything more. Not until I saw Sparrow.
In short Sparrow is a Mac desktop client that currently works with Gmail (more services will be added). But it is more than that. They have stripped away all but the most essential functionality and built a gorgeous interface. To be honest, the idea behind the interface seem to be borrowed from Tweetie for Mac.
To the left you find folders such as inbox, starred, sent mail, drafts and trash. At the top you have actions like compose, reply, archive and delete. In the top right corner you see a search field. In addition to that there is a list view and, optionally, a reading pane. The contents of the list view varies depending on what folder you choose. The reading pane shows the currently active email.
Thanks to clever use of empty space and different font sizes the readability in Sparrow is very good.
Sparrow for Gmail is a beta version and it has a lot of issues. I am sure they will be fixed before the final version goes live and then it will be a really good desktop email client for Mac. I already love it.Read More