I can sort of see why some people would find it benefical, but being nagged to sit 10cm closer to the screen all the time would just drive me to throwing the monitor out of the window.
Office equipment invariably goes through years of abuse and is often consigned to landfill only after a strategic coffee spill brings about a lethal end to a troublesome or antiquated device. In more enlightened environs, the idea of a kit refresh from time to time isn’t an alien concept, but there is an inclination for simply …
I can see how this would play out...
Monitor moves closer to user, who is startled by the sudden movement and sits back in their chair. Once again, the monitor moves to reach the optimum distance from the user... inducing a mild panic that the machines have, indeed, started rising up against their human masters. The user runs and the monitor, still trying to achieve that optimum distance, trys to follow - until it extends itself too far over the edge of the desk and topples to its death on the floor below.
"I can sort of see why some people would find it benefical, but being nagged to sit 10cm closer to the screen all the time would just drive me to throwing the monitor out of the window."
...and as the monitor plunges to the ground the last thing it ever displays is 'well that is the *opposite* of what I asked for'
I paid £90 for a Das Keyboard. But then, I spend eight hours per day, 5 days a week using it, and hope it will last for quite some time. I don't want this to come across as preachy, but it's so much nicer to use than a £5 budget keyboard, and I feel the amount of (ab)use it gets more than justifies the cost.
Just because it's not as popular as a £15 mouse doesn't mean that there isn't a market for it (I spent £25 on a laser gaming mouse, but £265 seems a bit of a stretch for my needs).
>An average mouse - £10-15: a reinvention of the mouse - £265.
A lot of ergonomic kit is highly priced; there just isn't the volume of sales to divide the R&D and manufacturing costs.
Anyway, are you comparing its price tag to another mouse (in which case it is expensive), or comparing it to the cost of surgery on your wrist tendons (in which case it is a bargain)?
A cheaper way of avoiding wrist complaints is to vary your input method... for example, switch between mouse, trackpad, stylus and touch-screen on a regular basis - and learn some keyboard navigation / short-cuts too. Another trick (YMMV) is to train yourself to be ambidextrous with the mouse... some people can use a mouse with either hand after about a week- then just switch hand every twenty minutes or so.
Look after yourselves : D
You'd be lucky to find a Model M keyboard on eBay. I spent 8 years looking for one and the only one I could get was bundled with an IBM PC XT 286. Cost me £80, but it was the best £80 I ever spent. I use it at home for doing coding project, have considered bringing it to work but it's far too valuable for me to bring it out of the house. Not because of the price, but because of the length of time it took for me to get one.
A couple of reasons:
1. They are loud
2. if you drop one on your foot, it's a reportable accident possibly involving A&E.
3. The original ones only have two keys which makes them pretty difficult to use effectively on a Mac.
4. They need some significant work to adapt them to work on USB. I know they can plug into PS/2 ports, but USB requires soldering stuff onto them or something like that.
5. Did I mention they are loud?
I had four of them that were sitting gathering dust in the cupboard, all pretty mint, brought for £5 total off a car boot sale. In the end I gave up trying to make them work on my Mac and gave them away to a friend. I had to wipe a tear from my eye.
I use a PS/2 -> USB adapter from Lindy for my original MS Natural keyboard. Works fine on my iMac.
I love theold Model M, although my alltime favourite is the original DEC VT100 keyboard.
I don't think I've bought a mouse or a keyboard for under 50 quid, ever. At work we have Cherry XStream with the cr*ppy laptop style keys, they cost us about 5 Euros as a reseller, but I find the quality awful. I much prefer the G81, but it still isn't a real keyboard.
I tend to swap back and forth between the Natural, when I get sore arms, and a normal keyboard. I'd love to get an M for work, but I don't think I could swing the 130€ they are asking for.
I much prefer the G81, but it still isn't a real keyboard.
At work I use a Cherry G3000. No Model M, but for my amount of typing an acceptable compromise between the downright craptastic HP and Dell ubiquitous free-with-every-PC stuff, and the Only True Keyboard. It is accompanied by a Logitech Trackman Marble FX.
Contrary to the 'extra' style of items that are listed here, some basics for me:
1. Decent keyboard. By decent almost anything with Cherry keys. No Chiclet syle here for me thank you very much. Though I think they are great if you are learning to play Jazz chords on the guitar.
2. Trackball. Personal preference but I certainly prefer these now.
3. Extra monitor. Working of two monitors is SO much easier. Things like running a virtual in one screen whilst having the host in the other is *very* useful indeed.
My comfort option: Headphone amp. That allows me to plug into a lead so the controls and ability to remove/plug in to hand far more useful.
Decent Keyboard (the less extras the better)
sat here typing this on an original ibm ps2 keyboard (still has its sticker on the bottom showing 1988)
I have tried and tried with wireless mice and find that they always go to sleep, leading to a couple of seconds of shaking it to wake it up, or worse having to press a button to wake it (which of course registers on the pc wherever the mouse happens to be)
currently using the Logitech H800, simple / basic PC & bluetooth headset, 6 hour battery life and usb charging.
Why stop at 2 screens?
I run 3 22" screens and didnt realise how much more they allow me to get done until one failed and had to be replaced (under warranty).
My only gripe with a triple monitor setup is that if you have the center screen set as primary windows messes up the background image (XP / 7 ultimate) since it uses top left of the primary screen as 0x0 for the positioning of the background meaning that the image stretches across the right screen before wrapping onto the left screen
>I have tried and tried with wireless mice and find that they always go to sleep, leading to a couple of seconds of shaking it to wake it up, or worse having to press a button to wake it (which of course registers on the pc wherever the mouse happens to be)
Seems odd, I haven't experienced that with any of my Logitechs. I would say that not all optical or 'laser' Logitech mice are created equal - one of the cheap Laser models can't track for toffee, causing inefficiency, frustration and wrist pain. The 'LS' range seem to behave, and the 'MX Darkfield' models are blissful; though pricey at their RRP of £90, they can occasionally be found for around £35. The battery on the Darkfields only lasts a couple of weeks (though they give you a rechargeable AA battery, a microUSB charging cable and a wall charger), compared to over a year for the plain laser 'Marathon' mice.
The 'Hyperscroll' wheel is also very nice to use when scrolling long pages - it's a weighted scroll whell mounted on ballbearings, so continues to scroll after an initial flick. This can be switched to rotate in discrete 'clicks' like normal, if the application benefits from scroll wheel staying put.
I haven't used a Microsoft mouse for years so can't really comment on them, but I'm sure they're perfectly good.
However, Top Gear is probably a good go-to test of streaming video... most episodes feature similar scenes (in terms of panning and editing style, fast cuts between scenes etc) of a car travelling around a track... the sort of stuff that can be affected by slow bandwidth.
The BBC output that always looks bad over iPlayer are scenes of flocks of birds in nature documentaries- a whole screen of avians flapping around an estuary or tree always results in blocky footage for me.
: Contour Design Roller Mouse Re:d
Comforts shouldn't be bizzare reinventions or cost 10x the price of the original.
In it's place should have been a decent cordless mouse.
:Dragon Dictate for Mac
Ok, first very few offices have Macs so anything Mac specific is pointless.
Second in an office environment VERY few people use dictation software. A manager with little time and a secretary to tidy up the resulting text maybe but that's it.
:Griffin PowerDock 5
Handy for the multi-tablet home or IT department but not an office.
Very few people will have 1 tablet pc let alone 5.
:Kensington SoleMate Plus
Finally a winner.... I don't bother with a foot rest but plenty of people swear by one !
:Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam
Also accepted but at a stretch since if you need a cam at your cubicle desk then the "ConferenceCam" might be a bit OTT
:Luidia e-Beam Edge
Meh... as above, accepted but it's not a cubicle/desk thing really unless your cubicle comes with a whiteboard & projector.
:Octa Tablet Tail Monkey Kit
Ok, it's neat and cool but tablets again which few people have at work.
:Philips 231P4QRYES ErgoSensor monitor
Another neat & cool thing and ignoring being nagged by the monitor as far as I'm concerned if it's not 1200 deep then it's not good enough. A res of 1080p is for movies/tv and not work.
:Plantronics Blackwire C710M
Another win since I'm seeing an increased use of headsets in the office thanks to remote sites and greater use of Lync.
:StarTech USB3 Dock
The Dell under my desk has plenty of ports thanks, also please see my earlier note about Macs not showing up in the work place very often.
One thing I find very handy.... music.
An ipod is great for filtering out background noise in the office.
Looks like you didn't read the article.
That thing is not just a USB hub, it's a USB Ethernet adapter, and USB video card.
Which makes it the one thing on the list that I am very interested in, because it would give me a third monitor and second NIC.
It would do so very neatly given that the current Dell laptop docks have USB3 ports.
So yes, I want one of those.
is a monitor stand that stands on the floor and works like a balanced arm lamp. That way I could get rid of my desk, and work either in a low chair xor standing up.
Second best would be one that clamps to a desk, but like the lamp, can stetch *below* its mount point.
My money is waiting.
red swingline stapler for TPS reports
Big post-it notes
Yea bunch of geek toys and gadgets. That's going to make long days at work more tolerable. No, not really.
The only cubicle comfort I require is a nice ergonomic chair with lumbar support and all kinds of armrest/height/angle adjustments and my PC standing vertically under my desk to double as a foot rest.
... right up to the end.
..this...will get visitor laptops talking over Ethernet so you don’t have to give out the company Wi-Fi details to every waif and stray that pitches up at the office.
If you are going to offer network access to visitors, do not put them on your corporate production network! Wireless or ethernet: it really doesn't matter. Give guests their own parking spot and VLAN.
One day "They" gave me a new PC, ooo goodie, squeels of delight my 5 year old Dell (Core 2 duo) was swapped for a HP i5. They even made sure to move the extra graphics cards (4 screens, 1280x1024). It was delivered to my desk with the usual service, it has Windows and Office. Wonderful! Now I can spend 2 days installing software.
What did become apparent, within about 2 hours was my right wrist was beginning to hurt (no sniggering at the back!). Along with swapping out the PC the keyboard and mouse had been swapped. Until that point I hadn't given the previous one much thought. After 5 years it was looking used, the silver paint on the buttons had warn off and the beige plastic was visible underneath, but it was still usable.
This new fangled HP mouse must have been the cheapest mouse on the list. Some quick googling led me to a reasonably ergonomic Logitech jobby (M500) with a funky wheel that could go click-click-click or at the press of a button it could just spin wildly and my wrist was much happier.
Whilst I appreciate, that delivering stuff for a price is king and I could have argued about the mouse with HR / Occupational Health / <insert relative dept here>, I just invested 35 GBP of my own money and bought what I wanted. When I relocated, my mouse came with me, no arguments or bother.
Given this, if I found the need, I would willingly swap out anything I found particularly annoying. The human-computer interface is the one you need to have working. It doesn't need to work for HR or the IT dept. Fine if they can help, but you're the one in pain.
Azathoth, what a load of useless tat to clutter a cube with!
Not only that, thanks for all those noise polluting suggestions. Bad enough that I have to listen to the unwashed clueless yelling into their phones all day and using speakerphones set on (what else) maximum volume, now I'm going to have to deal with the endless "training" speeches needed to get Dragon humming (I know whereof I speak here). And good luck getting any of those Dragon installations working properly with all that ****ing noise going on around you too.
Nowhere do I see cubicle skirts to raise the wall above the nose level of prying management and prevent the appearance of managerial Mr Chads in the middle of otherwise productive time.
Nowhere do I see a selection of glass panel fogging appliques to turn one's company-supplied fishbowl into somewhere one can work in peace.
Nowhere do I see a set of cube-friendly locking bookshelves so a valued copy of Bach or Vahalia doesn't go walkabout or a copy of the official DTRACE manual get grubbied up by pizza-scarfing knuckle draggers while one is out of one's cube.
Nowhere do I see comparisons of the best value in single cup coffee makers. If nothing else this shows how seriously the article misses its audience's core values.
Nowhere do I see a suggestion for the best antiseptic wipes to remove the crud left by those drooling slobs who use my cube when I'm not there.
Nowhere do I see anything that will "pimp" up a cube at all, just a bunch of expensive this-month's-thing electrotat for those with bottomless pockets.
Dual screens at a minimum (16:10 dammit, 16:9 is for youtoob), trackball to get rid of mouse, trackpad and the ridiculous little red button pointer, although I DO use the little red button pointer when I need to keep fingers on the keyboard, just that a trackball does much better on visio.
Chair. Lumbar support and *very* tall. I have a short torso and looooong legs. About 40% of office chairs just plain don't go high enough. And armrests that can be tilted forward to line up with the keyboard area.
I have chewed through at least 12 bluetooth headsets in 7 years -- mostly due to internal batteries going south after several thousand discharge/recharge cycles, and a couple due to a gallivanting 4 year old deciding that daddy's headset was cool. Currently -- Creative WP250's that took about a week of twiddling about with to get the in ear positioning right.
Most of this -- other than the footrest -- is not in my territory for "right" -- and especially if it doesn't ship with linux based management tools or applications -- there are more and more offices going linux
Up-voted for the 16:10 screens. At my previous job I was in charge of IT purchasing so quickly sorted a couple of nice 16:10 screens for my desk - much better than horrible 16:9 ones. I did also try to buy these for users too mind you where I could! At my current place, that's not possible, so I've gone for 3 19" 4:3 screens instead. Not quite as good, but still nice enough! One guy opposite went the whole hog and brought in two 27" screens from home for himself.
My favourite desk gadget is a USB coffee warmer that actually works! I've seen so many that are crap, yet the one I have does a great job of preventing my coffee from cooling down to "yuck" temperatures - handy if I get called away from my desk for a bit, and it was only a tenner from IWOOT.
The trackball isn't my preferred pointer device - I like the isometric-joystick-in-keyboard type, like the IBM TrackPoint. But if I couldn't get one of those, a trackball would at least let me keep my hands on the home row, provided it was positioned close enough to manipulate it with my thumb.
Any mouse or alternative thereto that requires removing my hands from the home row is a time-wasting annoyance, even though I avoid the pointer for most purposes.
(Damn WIMP UIs. Mutter mutter. PARC kids leaving their toys all over my OS. Where's my shaking cane?)
Where exactly are these proposed office cubicles??
I dont know anyone who works in a cubicle type environment who could even afford the £50 options mentioned on the list. The article should have been entitled, "Shit to buy if you have far too much money but sit in a cubicle for fun"
Come on El Reg, hows about something we can all afford?
I like Plantronics headsets, especially the phoneplug type. The USB versions are useful for eliminating a lot of the ugly squeaking artefacts from international Skype calls. They make the convo clearer at both ends, which reduces the likelihood of distortion and missed nuance. And they're flexible enough to not give my huge skull a pressure headache. Simple things done well.
Wouldn't put any of that near me desk.
It's bad enough the local intelligentsia going off with my pens, coffee, sweets etc. They have that lot in seconds.
Gadgets I'd need
-EMP pulse generator for over the partition's mp3 player.
-Cattleprod (BoFH calibre) for "just a minute" guy
-A button my phone to explode whoever's calling me.
-Something to hold office supplies that only I can access- preferably doing something nasty to thieves.
-A gizmo that keeps my coffee warm and on my desk.
-Something nice and pointy to throw at /use on "management".
If you had that lot of tat in your cubicle, people would think you were a spotty masturbating teen boy. They'd probably be 50-75% right too.
Here's what you need in your cubicle apart from your desk and chair.
- 1 x iMac, the biggest and newest you can get.
- 1 x Apple wireless keyboard.
- 1 x Apple wireless trackpad.
- 1 x Dock for iPad.
- 1 x iPad Air (or 1 x iPad Mini if your cubicle is small).
- 1 x Dock for iPhone.
- 1 x iPhone 5s (never the 5c).
And that's it. Don't bother to switch any of this stuff on; a thoroughbred like you doesn't need mindless distraction. Go Alpha person, go!
i really miss my touch keyboard from the company that was bought by apple and then sold no more products....
need icons for whether things work with linux. penguin (works), line through penguin (doesn't work), penguin on a roasting spit( doesn't work with a vengance)...
You get the idea...
....as OS X comes with it built-in.
Using the online dictation in Mavericks, here's how Pages + dictation recognized my reading of the lyrics, no training involved:
"Pardon me boy is that the Chattanooga choo-choo track 29 boy you can give me shine I can afford to board a Chattanooga choo-choo I've got my fair and just a trifle to spare
"You leave the Pennsylvania station about a 3:45 read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore dinner in the diner nothing could be finer than to have your ham and eggs and Carolina
"When you hear the whistleblowing to the bar then you know the 10 that Tennessee is not very far shovel all the coal and got to keep it rolling in Chattanooga there you are
There's going to be a certain party at the station satin and lace I used to call funny face she's going to cry until I tell her that I'll never roam so Chattanooga choo-choo choo-choo me home Chattanooga choo-choo choo-choo me home"
Gotta love that "3:45" when I spoke, "a quarter to four."
That Griffin charger dock is pretty decent, but it's the best part of £100 on amazon, I'm not sure it's worth £75-£90 to replace a 4/6 way power point under my desk and a few charger cables poking out here and there.
I can't remember the last time i've had to charge every gizmo and gadget I have at the same time either.
Talked myself out of one quite quickly.
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