WANTED: trackpad keyboard, laptop riser, IPS monitor

It’s time to update my home office. My back, neck, and eyes can’t handle the semi-cheezy setup I currently have for typing on my laptop & monitor to one side. I need some simple upgrades to fit onto my existing glass-topped desk; suggestions?

Keyboards, keyboards, keyboards! I need a new one. I like the MS ergonomic ones, with the curved keyboard and a slight break between the keycaps on each half. However I really want a keyboard with a trackpad in the middle – even better, with a little red IBM Thinkpad style pointy stick. But virtually no-one seems to make these; one of the few companies that does has totally bad reliability reviews on Amazon. Any suggestions? I actually would prefer a wired keyboard – it just stays on my desk – but either way is fine.

I end up hurting my back because my laptop screen is too low. Once I get a proper keyboard, I can raise the laptop up somehow to the correct height. But how to raise it up without having those dumb legs underneath that always get in the way of your keyboard? Should I just spring for one of those swing-arms that attaches to a laptop shelf? Or is there some sort of simple rigid holder that will keep my laptop maybe 10 inches up off the desk, with completely open space below the laptop itself?

Oh: and while I hate to spring for yet another monitor, keeping my eyesight (and thus my sanity) is probably well worth it. Anyone have personal recommendations of a good 21 to 24in widescreen, mostly used for code editing, occasionally used for streaming movies? The last time I looked for a monitor I looked for a deal on a multi-input one with speakers and HDMI and everything for a TV-replacement; now I realize I don’t really use any of those features much…

I was briefly debating investing in a Mac, but one of the key programs I need doesn’t live on Macs. So it’s not really worth the extra investment, given I’d have to do one of the VM solutions and I’d have to learn a new damn keyboard style. Plus, how the heck do you really get around on a Mac with only one mouse button?

Oh, and do Lenovo mini docks for W5xx series (not just port replicators) really cost you over $100 even used? I guess a full docking station really is only ever a business class expense, not a personal one. I hate to pay for the convenience (and the extra monitor port), but I suppose… it may be that or my sanity, and even what little is left of that is worth more than $100.

In any case, happy spring all!

I will not run alloy wheels in winter. I will not ..

.. run alloy wheels when it’s snowing. I will not run alloy wheels during pothole season, especially in New England. I will not ignore the advice of my mechanic, my body shop, my car friend: to never run alloy wheels in the winter. I will not let vanity get the best of me; I will be content with plain black fixable steel rims in the winter.

Oh great gods of winter; of snow; of New England; of potholes; of wheels and tires and cars; I beg you to forgive me my vanity; nay, my hubris, of running my (previously four in number), very pretty and light 5 open spoke O.Z. Racing alloy 15in wheels for the past two winters.

I have heard your clarion call, er, thunk, as I pass over your signs: potholes, frost heaves, uneven pavement, gravel in the road. I have felt the soft squishy drive of a flat tire. I have suffered the shakes, shimmies, and shudders of wheels that are no longer round, nay, of wheels that are ovals. I have dreaded being late for everything as I see the bulge of a slowly leaking tire.

I hear and feel your call; now I understand. I am but human: vanity is in my nature; hubris is my kind’s unavoidable curse. I beg to be forgiven my past transgressions. I pray that my remaining three Blizzaks – wondrous tires of snow – shall be allowed to serve me again for the next winter. I acknowledge and pledge that I will install them onto wheels of steel in the future.

After I buy a new fourth tire, of course.

For Sale: one O.Z. Racing 15in rim, round. Open 5 spoke design; spokes have a smoothly rounded face and a slight taper. Silver paint finish (original). Slight curb gouge on edge.

For Sale: two O.Z. Racing 15in rims, oval. Open 5 spoke design; spokes have a smoothly rounded face and a slight taper. Silver paint finish (original). One good condition; one with slight curb rash. Not recommended for daily driver. Or any driving at all, actually.

I have worshippers!

OK, only one proven one. But I did just get the following in my inbox, so my day – and deitical future – are looking up!

You’ve received a greeting ecard from a Worshipper!

{chanting plays in background}

My journey to the dark side has begun

Much like the dark side, I can’t actually share any details of this post, since they relate to work. Needless to say as the result of an hour long meeting – during which I said little, answered 2 instant messages, wrote three emails answering technical questions, and migrate 1,500 documents – I’ve begun a serious slide into the darkness of business processes. The fourth email I wrote came back with management approval for my progress into the dark side during the meeting, which I found highly amusing.
Hmmm, must find a new Darth-name to make fun of…

Summer is..

.. when room temperature is everywhere. Some may wonder, when I so much love the extra sunlight and the pleasant weather, why I still insist on living in New England. I think it’s the very fact that perfect summer days are rare here. Living in X – where it’s beautiful every day – feels like you wouldn’t actually appreciate the beautiful days as much. Here, you work for them, and you get the most out of the precious perfection as you can.