Home Project: Shelf as Workstation

Made in LA, online since '89.

It’s Labor Day weekend, and that means it’s time for some house work. This weekend, I focused on my quasi home office room. I got wood flooring and paint, which I’ll use later. For today, I upgraded my workspace.

Here’s what it looked like before

I got this desk probably a decade ago and used it for writing/drawing in addition to computer work. Now that I’ve got my own home and considerably more desk space elsewhere, I don’t need all this desk real estate anymore. So, I set out to build a shelf after seeing such a set-up on Apartment Therapy.

Naturally, I set out for IKEA when I decided to build a desk/shelf hybrid. And naturally, it didn’t cost me much. I got the shelf, brackets, slide-out keyboard tray, and a cable organizer, and got to work.

Some drums helped hold it up while I installed it in the wall. Very helpful drums, they are! The coolest part of this shelf stems from a problem I had: I didn’t realize until after I’d purchased all the materials and unpacked them that the slide-out keyboard tray was much too deep for the shelf.

I fixed that problem like so: I drilled holes into the wall so that the slide-out keyboard tray slides into the wall.

What it looks like now….

I haven’t hooked up the computer and routed everything neatly through the cable organizer just yet, but it’s looking good already. The massively increased space from using this little shelf as a workstation allows me to pull my keyboard in closer, and much more room for my drums, making it this much easier to turn my workstation into a quasi recording studio.

More photos to come on my flickr photostream.

I’ve seen the future of the web, and it’s right here in this video below. The web used to be static. Then, it got filled with dynamic information, and “web 2.0” brought all this dynamic information together with web-based services. That was cool for a while, but Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity prototype shows us the next step. Forget about words, just watch this video. Be amazed.

Now, I was thinking: drag-and-drop might be one of the most important functions to the user since the GUI, or multiple windows. Making the drag-and-drop function ubiquitous was probably one of Windows 95’s greatest contributions to the GUI. You might scoff, since drag-and-drop is rudimentary; well, that’s because Windows made it ubiquitous, mainstream.

Think about it: Want to open something in Photoshop? Before drag-and-drop, you had to a) open Photoshop, then b) locate and open the file(s) from within Photoshop. Now you locate the file(s), and drag them to the Photoshop icon to open the program and files with a single action. Want to attach a file attachment into an e-mail? Drag it into the e-mail window.

Ubiquity aims to make the web that simple. This user-focused simplicity does not exist on the web…yet. Ubiquity aims to change this. And I can’t wait! For a much more in-depth post on how this works, check Aza Raskin’s blog (he’s the dude behind this project).

Next time you get a message from someone you don’t recognize with the word “trout” in their name, expect to be confused while confusing a third-party. See, there’s a flood of AIM bots running around lately.

What these bots do is troll for AIM screennames, then send apparently send a message to a random AIM user from its list. When this user responds, it sends that response to another random AIM user from its list. Neither “victim” will see the screenname of the other person—each will think they are talking to one of the trout screennames. Much confusion or anger will then ensue. And then people will post memorable conversations on LiveJournal.

So, what was my conversation like? Once I realized this was not a person I know, I started telling them to fuck off and blocked them. Perhaps I was impolite.

P.S. If you think this whole “trout” thing is more annoying than humorous, you can send the code $optout to opt-out of communications with them.