Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Standing Desk Experiment

I’ve had a few friends using standing desks for sometime. I first heard about Greg Gonzalez (sqlSentry | Blog | @SQLSensei), fellow runner and one of the smartest SQL people using a treadmill desk. I saw it in his office at SQLSentry a few years ago, and was intrigued, but I never tried anything. Then I saw Buck Woody (Blog | @buckwoody) build a standing desk at home, and still didn’t do anything. However a few weeks ago I ran into Buck in San Diego and we talked about it.

And I decided to start.

Photo May 16, 4 34 58 PM

I bought a 4 monitor stand that clamps to a desk. I have been working with 2 monitors, but I had 3 set up for awhile and when I moved my desk I didn’t hook the third one back up. I’m actually tempted to add the 4th, so this was a good purchase.

However I didn’t look at my desk. It has no rear lip. I tried clamping it to my wife’s desk, which backs up to mine, but it didn’t work well. The weight and torque were a little much. I was slightly stymied, but then decided that I could experiment with my desk in the basement. I use that one for podcasts, and it has a lip. So I started moving things downstairs. I started with my spare monitors.

Photo May 26, 3 25 34 PM

Once those were up, I shut down my desktop and dragged it downstairs, along with monitors and assorted cables. I hooked everything up and was ready to go when I remembered one thing. No Internet.

We don’t have cables run downstairs, and I didn’t have a spare wireless adapter. Or did I? I “borrowed” the one my son uses for the XBOX, forcing him to deal with the built in one in the slim, which lags at times. However priorities matter, and I told him it would be a week or two and then I’d move back upstairs.

Photo May 27, 4 35 10 PM

No digital cables, or digital to analog adapters handy, so I’m with two monitors for now. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I decided to just order a few DVI cables so I can actually test this well. I have 2 19” monitors on top and 2 23” ones on the bottom, but I may need to reverse things. I’ll experiment over the next week or so.

I did a little minor work, including a podcast edit on this setup over the weekend, but it was like 30 minutes at a time. Today I added another box of books so the keyboard is above my elbows about an inch or so. Books are nice height adjusters for the test, so I can experiment a bit. I also raised the mouse as well, so it’s level with the keyboard.

Today I’ve worked a few hours, and it’s definitely more work than sitting. I hesitated getting going this am, both because I’d be in the basement, and because I was tired, but once I got started, I actually liked it. Definitely tired, and I need to get some shoes for the afternoon to see how it works, but for now it’s a good setup.

I’ll post more and add a few more pictures. It’s definitely a little out of sorts for me as I don’t have everything from upstairs. No speakers (headphones), limited power outlets until I move my other power strip down, and no office companion Sad smile

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