Saturday project: to the standing desk!
Posted on 2014-02-15, 22 comments, 124 +1's, imported from Google+/Chainfire

NOTICE: This content was originally posted to Google+, then imported here. Some formatting may be lost, links may be dead, and images may be missing.

About a year ago I decided I needed to give standing desks a try, after hearing good things about it from various well known developers, such as Romain Guy. Though the office at my house isn't tiny, it's not exactly Google HQ either, and I have a fairly spacious sitting desk. As such, I don't have the room to add a standing desk. I didn't really feel like shelling out big bucks for a switchable desk either, nor do those seem to come in the size I've grown accustomed to. Today I finally put in the effort to make it work (about time, you slacker).

The setup

When I'm sitting at my desk, behind my chair is a wall. Spanning the entire width of that wall is a large IKEA Ivar System ( ), with space for my phones, tables, cameras, lenses, printers, the diskstation, the safe, paperwork, storage boxes, etc. It's a highly configurable, extensible, and relatively cheap system. As a potential drawback, it is made of unfinished wood.

In one of the columns of this system, I've cleared out the top half, and put in two shelves. On the bottom shelf is a keyboard (Microsoft Natural) and a mouse (MX518). I put a piece of laminate on the shelf as the wood isn't a good surface for the mouse.

The top shelf holds an older 24" widescreen monitor. Of course, having a shelf at the height of your shoulders doesn't work that well, so I sawed half a circle out of it. And by "I" of course I mean I had somebody else do it, as nobody in their right mind would trust me with a saw. At my sitting desk I'm used to having (at least) two monitors, so this one monitor is not ideal. The space isn't large enough for two though, but if this all works out well I am considering getting one of those 29" ultra-wide screens, which fits exactly, and gives me some extra screen real-estate.

When I was thinking this up, I wondered how I would connect everything. I didn't want to dedicate a full computer to this (I gave away all my old computers recently anyway). I had considered using the Chromebox I got at I/O last year to remote desktop to my main machine as well. Ultimately though, I opted for a pretty darn long DVI extension cable and an extra USB hub. So my main box powers both my sitting and standing area, and now has an extra monitor, an extra mouse, and an extra keyboard attached. I was a little worried that the latter would not work seamlessly, but it certainly does.

Note that I did have most of this stuff lying around from old computers, old places of employment, etc. So I didn't actually spend any money to set any of this up, aside from that DVI extension cable.

Screen real-estate management

Of course, having all the screens active at the same time is not very handy, as the windows would be all over the place, and having to turn around to find and drag over a window from one of the desk monitors would be a drag. The obvious answer is to use monitor profiles - sounds easy enough, right? 

As I used to be an avid gamer (and still like to play now and then) and Adobe doesn't believe in Linux either, I run Windows 7 on my box as host, and various of my development tools run on either the host or in one of several Linux (Mint) and OS X virtual machines. 

Windows 7 does not include a monitor profiles feature, nor does the nVidia driver. One might expect UltraMon to come to the rescue, but its profile function has stopped operating since I hooked up an Oculus Rift (first world problems...). Luckily, there's a hack for nVidia's nView driver which does have this functionality. With this hack it also runs on "normal" GeForce cards (as it used to out-of-the-box years back) instead of only the Quadros.

Using it

After setting it all up this morning, I've been using it for about 5 hours now. I'm clearly not used to standing around this long - my legs are plotting bloody murder, and my feet shall be willing accomplices.

However, the health benefits are clear ( "I'm feeling lucky" hit from Google: ), and if I end up using it only one or two hours a day instead of sitting in my (ergonomically sound) office chair, it already should be well worth the effort (and potential cost) in the long-term.

If anyone is interested in this stuff, I'll report back in a few weeks about the experience. This turned out to be a rather longer post than I had intended, so if you read this far, then kudos to you.

Marius Dalacu commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:09:

Just post a picture!

Chainfire commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:20:

+Marius Dalacu

Not much to look at. I'm not picturing the entire wall with all my stuff disorganized on all the shelves ;)

Walter Francis commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:24:

Many people where I work have a standing desk but I'd have to guess they only stand about 25% of the time. Maybe that is normal, dunno, but I per personally like to sit back in my chair and ponder solutions, standing would distract me I think. Long term you should consider one you can use for either position.

Jason Busby commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:28:

+Walter Francis you should force yourself to get used to it though, just for health benefits alone

Walter Francis commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:29:

+Jason Busby Maybe I should have asked for one, but my current desk is a sit-down. I figured I would save the company money and not have the extra expense for something I didn't figure I would use. Plus cable routing is a challenge ;-)

Alim Naizabek commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:30:

What's point of having monitor above head?

Chainfire commented on 2014-02-15 at 18:35:

+Walter Francis Yeah I can't really see myself using this all day, though it does feel strangely good standing while working (so far) !

+Alim Naizabek It isn't above my head. When standing in front of the setup, my eyes are an inch or 3 below the top of screen, which is fairly ideal.

Adrian Lee commented on 2014-02-15 at 19:58:

+Chainfire, you are seriously one highly skilled individual! +99999! Thank you for all of your amazing contributions to the community.

Tony Merrell-Jones commented on 2014-02-15 at 21:42:

Am I the only one who believed Chainfire must levitate whilst working? ?

Johnny Myers commented on 2014-02-15 at 22:50:

Defiantly get a mat to stand on and some shoes with a good arch and ankle support might not be to bad of an idea either.

Smity Smith commented on 2014-02-16 at 12:35:

Nah get a sand pit and have bare feet :-)

Chris Taylor commented on 2014-02-16 at 23:06:

+Chainfire Thanks for the info. Yeah keep us posted. Like you say if it only gets you out of your chair for a couple hours it's well worth it.

박시훈 commented on 2014-02-17 at 10:28:

Are you really Triangle Devloper?????

David Jones commented on 2014-02-17 at 16:17:

Not sure I'm in right place..if I'm not i apologize. Please re-direct if needed. Rooted my droid 4 about a year ago use TBup SU. My phone had a system update and it installed ok. Just recently phone had another sys update and fails 1/2 thru. Tried install many times-no go. Any help would be deeply appreciated, cause i'm just a clueless noob! Thanks!!

eulises ruiz commented on 2014-02-17 at 18:57:

Same here, sorry... I rooted my htc one using one all in one tool kit but it seems like the super user is not working. Need help

TONIREAL HUMPHREY O commented on 2014-02-18 at 06:47:

+eulises ruiz Please download superuser zip from chainfire website and flash it through recovery. This would solve your problem.

David Jones commented on 2014-02-18 at 07:06:

Many thanks to all who commented! Greatly appreciated! All help taken with gratitude! Sorry about jumping into thread..don't know procedure/protocol! Usta think i was somewhat intelligent...the more I know,the less i know. Thanks again!!!

Gourav Sharma commented on 2014-02-20 at 17:49:

i love ur apps please can u make triangle away for GALAXY S4 I9500 plzzzz

Christoph Mehlhorn commented on 2014-02-20 at 23:57:

Amasing, great Workstation looks verry ergonomical. Chears...

Jaime Raúl Dominguez commented on 2014-02-25 at 06:04:

:o ojala logren tener la solucion para nuestro s4 i9500

Angela Sanders commented on 2014-02-26 at 00:20:

I'm still looking

Kevin Holinde commented on 2014-02-26 at 07:10:

Sorry, I guess I can't be to judgemental, huh!

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