It’s Not Perfect

Iterate better, friend and fellow author Dorothy Grant keeps telling me. If something isn’t working, make changes until it does. I started doing that several weeks ago when I moved the desk off the wall to the center of the room. This afternoon once I’d shut down the work laptop, I cleared it off the table I’ve been using as a desk, moved all the monitors and cables, and slid the new desk into position. A gift from a friend, it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s huge. I have so much room! 

Did I mention it’s pretty? That doesn’t affect the function, I realize, but it makes me happy when I look at it.

Wood grain is endlessly varied, and this desk has a gorgeous finish.

I have room for both monitors, both computers, a freestanding keyboard – which I am typing this post with – and various external gadgets. It will take me some time to get everything reconfigured the way it will work best, but that’s the thing. It’s continuous improvement, iterating better, rather than trying for perfection on the first attempt and giving up when you inevitably fail. 

I’m using an old rolltop desk insert as a monitor stand.

I may wind up with the monitors on arms, although I cringe at the idea of bolting anything to the wood top of the desk. Right now the cables are managed with Velcro strips (so handy!) and will probably stay that way because again, I’m not putting holes in this desk. Will see, after I’ve used this setup for a while, what I need to do to make it more comfortable for working at it. Might not have to do much at all at this point! I’m pretty happy with it. 

Now, I have got to start disciplining myself to write more. Use the muscles to get comfortable with this keyboard – it’s annoying me currently as I try to type on it and make innumerable typos. 

Switching posture and putting my wrist pad in front of it isn’t helping much. Going to take time to relearn how to type. Or something. Like a different keyboard. I’m used to the chiclet keyboard on the laptop and this one isn’t a full mechanical but it’s the tighly-arranged but deep keys that keep tripping my fingertips. 

Enough of the warm-up exercises! On to the real deal… 

Setting up for work.

16 thoughts on “It’s Not Perfect

  1. It’s always wonderful to innovate and re-engineer one’s environment — it’s a shot in the arm to creativity, I find. A setup that doesn’t work is endlessly distracting to one’s concentration.

  2. Congratulations! it’s almost as much fun squirreling a new desk as it is getting office or art supplies!

  3. You know those little firework thingies that you throw on the floor and they explode with a miniature bang? If you insert a few beneath random keys on a deep-strike keyboard, it produces interesting reactions in the typist. (At least, so I’m told.)

    Oh, Sanford… Johann…

  4. I think that a little Pi computer could listen for the electromagnetic signatures of each keystroke, then transmit the sounds of old mechanical typewriter letterstrikes on paper to a stereo, or even a surround-sound set of battery powered mini speakers, nesting in deftly hidden spots outside your office… Or each keystroke could send a virtual surround sound mouse running across the floor, walls, and ceiling…
    A really inventive person would create the sounds made by an old fashioned hand-crafted twig broom flying along the ceiling, then sliding down the wall, to crunch by the door.

  5. If you’re interested in building your own keyboard, check out drop.com. I’ve got one, Jurrel has several. He even has a ‘sample’ thing which contains every type of key-switch they make so you can figure out what type of keys you want on your keyboard.
    And on top of that you can get key-sets in all sorts of colors and designs. Even backlit ones.
    Yeah, they’re not exactly cheap, but most quality keyboards aren’t all that much cheaper. And with these you can replace keys if they break.
    If you’re interested, the next time I come to the Saturday dinner, I’ll bring mine plus that ‘sample’ thing he has so you can check it out.

    1. I was captured by IBM Selectric ==> ThinkPad-with-touch-stick typing tech from college years on and WILL NEVER SWITCH unless I can’t buy the current incarnation ever again.

      Anyone who plays a musical instrument understands that muscle memory is a very important consideration in ease of use. You wouldn’t own violins with differences in neck lengths, or pianos with variable-width keys. Your typing environment (incl. stick mouse if you use one, as I do) is very much a muscle memory investment. I simply don’t understand people who don’t seem to mind the shifting location or setup of fundamental or supplemental (e.g., Number-Pad) key layouts and key-action feedback.

      That sort of thing drives me nuts. All other considerations are secondary for me, though I do care about all the usual computer capacity/power issues. Happily, these are not mutually exclusive requirements.

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