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Standing At Work

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  • Wednesday, January 21 2015 @ 01:42 PM UTC
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I have been standing pretty much full-time at work since 2011 and I am still quite happy using my Custom-Built Standing Workstation in my current job.

I do have my laptop on the lower desk surface in case I need to sit down, such as after a particularly hard morning running workout. However, I tend to only sit down at meetings and meals during the work day.





Today I was rocking my Skora shoes which are zero drop (no elevated heel) as are all of my shoes these days. I have no need for knee, hip, or back pain thank you very much.

Custom-Built Standing Workstation

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  • Friday, March 21 2014 @ 11:12 AM UTC
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I have been standing at work since 2011. In January I started my new job and quickly felt the impact of sitting all day... sore back, stiff knees and ankles, basically feeling crippled. Whereas my last job had an adjustable desk surface and all I needed to do was add an LCD shelf, my current desk has a fixed-height surface.

I researched the standing workstation options that are available. Most of the "add-on" standing workstations or desks out there have the same fatal flaw... they put the monitors on the same surface as the keyboard. For proper vertical posture with the head level and the neck not bending down, the monitors need to be elevated so that the top of the screen is at eye level.

The Ergotron Workfit Sit-Stand is now priced under $400 and would be a really great option for a lot of people. There are also various IKEA furniture hacks that I considered. Instead, I decided to build my own out of scrap wood from my garage. I only spent money on spray paint and the LCD mounting arms.

The platform that I built is heavy and strong enough to allow a "c"-clamp style LCD mounting arm to attach. It is also robust enough to hold a conventional keyboard tray so I have also been able to fine-tune the position and angle of the keyboard and mouse.

If my legs, feet, or back get tired I still have a seated desk area and my laptop available.





I bought the dual-monitor LCD arms from Amazon for under $50. The only real issue with these is that they had a tendency to slide down the pole over time or as they are being adjusted. I fixed this with a quick hack of drilling in a self-tapping metal screw as pictured here:

New job - iDigBio Data Integration Expert

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  • Monday, March 17 2014 @ 10:28 AM UTC
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In January I started my new position with the UF Advanced Computing and Information Systems Laboratory (ACIS) to work on the national Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) project. This multi-institutional project is funded by the National Science Foundation to build a "National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections" or as I sometimes describe it... "the big biological collection database in the sky". ACIS is responsible for designing and developing the middleware, supporting storage, and cloud infrastructure for the project.

I am now working For Science!



One of the things that I am enjoying so far is that I am able to take time for blade sharpening. Stephen Covey of "7 Habits" fame called this habit Sharpening the Saw.

I am also happy to get some exposure on a lot of new (to me) tech such as Elasticsearch, Reddis, Nodejs, Riak, OpenStack SWIFT, and Ceph.

Here is a short video about iDigBio:



Cat Meme your Console

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  • Thursday, January 23 2014 @ 01:26 PM UTC
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When working on a team of system administrators it is important to teach the junior members an important lesson: DON'T LEAVE YOUR WORKSTATION UNLOCKED! Even though physical office areas are frequently reasonably secure, leaving a workstation unlocked does have the potential to expose sensitive information or worse... get one's Facebook profile hacked with an embarrassing status update!

One common way to indoctrinate new members it to make use of their unattended workstation to browse a less than appropriate web site and leave it up on the screen for casual passers-by to notice.

Unfortunately, this browser-based method of team indoctrination does not work well on team members who are always buried in a dozen terminal windows, are running some foul desktop environment without any of the usual hotkey commands, use elinks to browse the web, or they guy who wonders why nobody else is using emacs to read their Microsoft Exchange email.

Solution? An ASCII art cat meme for your console window!




The live site is best viewed from a console shell or terminal with fixed font width (e.g. Using the "curl" command from a terminal):

http://cat.thatlinuxbox.com


p.s. I was hoping to find a nice happy domain name for this ascii art cat meme that was easy to remember. Sadly, cat.me and pretty much every other domain name containing the word "cat" are already taken...

Ogre - Tabletop Boardgame of Tank Warfare

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  • Tuesday, December 31 2013 @ 01:47 AM UTC
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Ogre! Huge! Awesome!



Allen helped to fund this project on Kickstarter and totally scored. Steve Jackson Games wanted to do a re-print of the Ogre boardgame originally created back in 1977. This sixth edition, the Designer's Edition, is a really great example of how to use Kickstarter. The project was seeking $20k to help fund a re-print and in the end received over $920k! You can read all about the Kickstarter campaign here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/8...rs-edition


The game includes nicely detailed, high quality cardboard 3d models of the Ogres, which are giant tank war machines:








The basic game can be set up and played in 30 minutes to an hour which makes it suitable for a lunchtime gaming session at work. Here are some pictures from a longer multi-day lunchtime game:


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