Saturday, January 26, 2013

New stuff, a lot of work

I managed to acquire quite a bit of new stuff in the past couple of weeks.  So much so, that it's been keeping me from getting work done.

One of those items is a Kindle Fire HD.  I knew I wanted one as soon as it had been announced, as it fixed many of the annoying things about the original.  I received a couple of Amazon Gift Cards for Christmas, and this seemed the perfect use for them. My first impression of the new Fire was that it was sleeker than the old one.  I got the 32 GB 7" version, since I liked the 7" form factor of the original Kindle Fire.  But in comparison to the new one, the old Fire is clunky and boxy.  I'll do a more thorough review later, once I peel myself away from Final Fantasy III for the Kindle long enough to experiment with some of its other capabilities.  Now I just need to figure out what to do with my old Kindle Fire.

The other thing that arrived this week is a desk.  I ordered the Versa Center from VersaTables and spent some time this week putting it together.  I got this desk because I was buying a desk treadmill from Lifespan, and needed a standing desk to use with it.  The Versa Center isn't really a standing desk, but each and every shelf is adjustable to any height, so I was able to make it into a standing desk.
Treadmill and Versa  Center
From the treadmill, I have a good view of the television in my living room, which is hooked up to one of my computers (the one I mostly use for gaming).
The view of the television, and my wireless keyboard.
I really liked the Versa Center's flexibility, but I'm reluctant to recommend it to others.  There are no fixed mount points--all the shelves clamp onto the poles on either side of the desk, and it took two people, a measuring tape, and a level to get the two sides of each shelf lined up. Nor was there any indication of the angle that the components clamp on, so getting them parallel was an iterative process of  eyeballing it, bolting in the shelves and support bars, and then adjusting so you could get the other side bolted in. And even then, I don't think the tolerances were quite right--I still wasn't able to line it up well enough to get all the screws in.  But I think I'm at the point where it's good enough for now.  I can now walk on the treadmill while writing this post on my laptop (I suppose I could use the computer connected to the television, but that's for games).     I haven't quite decided whether I'm comfortable with the distance, or whether it's worth going through the expense and trouble of installing a keyboard arm.

I like having a treadmill desk, but I still miss by old treadmill.  I got rid of it when I moved into my previous apartment.  The old treadmill was significantly bigger, and wouldn't have worked with a desk anyway, as its lowest speed was 2.5 mph, which is too fast to comfortably write.  Right now I'm walking at 1.2 mph, which works for me, and I may pick up the pace a bit more, but I doubt I can comfortably type above 2 mph, and certainly not while running.  But at least I could run on my old treadmill.  The new one only goes up to 4 mph, which is just a light jog.
My old treadmill.

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