Monday, May 30, 2016

Transitioning your work station. Why suffer?

In my past life when I was a production supervisor, I always had a mix of walking around, working, and desk work.  As the transition happened and working from home on the computer became the norm, it was a knee jerk reaction to set up my work space for use.  I bought a small desk, used a couple monitors I had sitting around and grabbed a "good" chair from a local office store.  In my mind, everything was set.  Now, fast forward 5+ years and here is what I have learned and changed.  

First change for me was my computer itself, but the main change was the tower.  At first I didn't have a laptop and when under load I would hear the gentle hum of the fans.  I decided to build out a new computer with a mix of power and minimum noise level.  This meant a nice a Antek Quiet Case, only SSD drives, and the most silent fans I could find.  In build this, I was also taking into to consideration my next move that would eventually be a transition from multiple monitors to a large 4k tv/monitor. 

The second major change was finding a Samsung 40" 4k tv on sale at B&H Photo for a crazy good price at the time I bought it.  Since 4k hadn't been the scene long at the time, it was kind of a leap of faith as to whether it would be a good monitor.  I figured since I didn't really game on it, might as well try it since it didn't seem lag or ghosting would be a factor of the refresh rate.  This wound up being quite nice after hours of adjustments in what was then Windows 8.

The third change was one of those things you usually have half a dozen of, but usually only gravitate to one, the keyboard.  After years of an old Dell keyboard, IBM keyboard, and an Azio kb505u from Amazon, it was time to move on.  The latter was to replace the others and was actually quite terrible.  Almost unusable sticky keys even after trying everything known to man and actually made my fingers quite sad when using it.  After researching, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a Corsair Strafe RGB quiet keyboard and honestly, the thing is awesome.  

My latest addition was a Autonomous mechanical adjusting desk.  At just under $400 when compared to others costing over $1k, I bit the bullet.  So far so good and I am impressed in the quality of the desk for the price.  It's sturdy and looks quite awesome too.  Yeah, it's a little more than the cheap desk I originally had and has literally no storage, but the ability to stand, adjust it to my exercise ball, and line it up with my crappy chair, it's a win!

All in all I have come to realize, when I worked in the warehouse and I would spend $100+ on a new pair of work boots around every 9 months, yet somehow I was too cheap to pony up for anything when I transitioned out of that environment.  I would buy the cheapest thing I could find that had decent reviews and go from there.  The reality is and was that a lot of these reviews weren't from users who used them for their career, they were casual users at best.  My next step is to replace my computer chair.  I am on about my 3rd cheap one in 5 years and am particularly rough on my chairs because I like to shift around to all kinds of crazy positions throughout the day.  I cringe at the thought of buying an expensive chair, but the reality is that I've basically done it when I combine all the chairs I've bought and they break down quite quickly.  Most decent chairs have good warranties and the office store 8 hr chairs are really more like 4hr every other day chairs.  Hope this helps someone who was debating on biting the bullet for items in their work space, don't be scared, your body and mind will thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Internet outage got you down when using Chrome?

Yeah, I know, when you are trying to work, surf, or whatever and the internet is down, it's quite a bummer.  I found this Easter egg that Chrome put in, when you are on the "There is no Internet Connection" screen, press the space bar and enjoy a simple browser game to pass your time.  Maybe after a few games you'll have service again....maybe.