• 24" Cinema
  • 13" MacBook Air. Love it.
  • Ordering Disorder
    Solr 1.4 Enterprise Search Server
    ESV Study Bible
  • GorillaPod with Glif for iPhone photography and FaceTime calls.
  • Moleskin & pen for taking notes and sketching out ideas
  • 16kg kettlebell for random exercise breaks.
  • Double lacrosse ball — awesome for working on the muscles in my feet as I stand for hours.
  • Foam roller. Great for loosening up the thoracic spine.
  • Archival Clothing field bag

    Contains pens, paper, shades, a multitool, and a power cable. Just drop in the MacBook and walk out the door.
  • The venerable Wacom Intuos2 tablet
  • Mouse and mouse pad, rarely used.
  • IKEA birch veneer shelf front and legs for a monitor stand.
  • Unsweetend coconut flakes. Nom.
  • Coffee and mug. Staple items.

    Rockin' the GitHub mug today.
  • Homemade 9x9.5x30" boxes to bring the desk to a reasonable height. Birch plywood.

    Bought and cut at Lowe's. Next time I'll track down a table saw and cut the plywood myself, for cleaner edges and possibly nicer looking 45° angle joints.
  • IKEA Galant desk — Raised up to an ergonomic (for me) 41" by the home-made boxes.
  • Random travel detritus accumulation zone.
  • Cinnamon Altoids. To banish the coffee breath when I need to run out the door for a meeting.
  • Center of the monitor is at an ergonomic 62", just below my eye level.
  • LED candle — the only light in my home office. It helps prevent me from working too late.

What's on my (stand-up) desk: 2011 edition

Newer Older

Because full hip extension is just that important.

Altogether this stand-up desk setup totaled around $210:

- IKEA Galant: around $150
- Box stands: $25 plywood (4'x4' birch), plus $10 or so for screws, glue, sandpaper and spray lacquer, plus an afternoon of tinkering.
- Monitor stand: $20 shelf, $5 legs

rKilian, JasonC, Randall Creasey, and 10 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. nic! 38 months ago | reply

    I like your setup :)
    Thanks for the notes, was curious about a few items :P

    How long do you find you can continue standing at this setup? Wondering if it would force you to have more frequent breaks from programming or whether you can just stand there for long periods? I have a setup that I could modify to try this out, but I'm wondering how it'd go when I need to just stand there doing uni readings vs when typing uni essays vs having coding sessions?

    ps: tempted by a quad-core i7?

  2. :nick 38 months ago | reply

    Hey, Nic! Good questions, there.

    Adapting to the standing setup definitely took a few days of somewhat less-than-optimal productivity. During that time I would take a lot more breaks to sit down, but that wasn't a huge loss because it meant more thinking and contemplation about what I was working on. It took a few more days after that to get used to standing up straight and looking straight ahead at my monitor.

    These days I can easily go for hours at a time when I'm in the zone. I don't know quite how many hours, because I've also removed all visible clocks from my workstation :)

    My breaks flow pretty naturally along with the pace of my work — if I get out of the zone, I'm more inclined to go do something else away from the computer, rather than waste time on RSS and Twitter.

    The Air is rather conducive to moving around, too. I'll go visit a local coffee shop a few afternoons a week to mix things up. And CrossFit trainer Kelly Starrett's Mobility WOD videos are great for breaking down the mechanics that ultimately motivated me to get back to a proper stand up desk.

    And the Air's awesome battery life, form factor, and SSD, are exactly why I'm not tempted by a quad-core i7 :)

    Let me know if you go with something like this, and how it turns out!

  3. Aaslestad 35 months ago | reply

    after a few months of working like this...if you took the center of your monitor and compared it to yourself, where would it fall -sternum, nose, adams apple? I'm wondering how high is should place mine. Thanks for sharing

  4. :nick 35 months ago | reply

    My eyes are about at 1/3 down from the top, so I suppose the center is about at my nose or a bit lower. Basically I look straight ahead while using the monitor.

  5. :nick 29 months ago | reply

    Six months later, I ditched the monitor stand and am now looking slightly down at the monitor. Apparently I either prefer this or am neutral because I haven't felt the urge to put the monitor stand back in yet.

  6. :nick 29 months ago | reply

    @nic: ten months later, and now I am very much tempted by a quad-core i7 ;-P

    This particular Air is great for the reasons I mentioned, but I think my next system will be a maxed-out iMac for heavier stuff like compiling, unit tests, Photoshop, virtual machines, and Diablo 3 :-D

  7. nic! 28 months ago | reply

    @nick: I've continued to be constrained by a machine that is portable, given I do a lot of programming in a local cafe. However, I'm considering going your route and doing an Air for that, mainly code writing, and a maxed out iMac for home where I can do more grunt work. Given my coding is all iOS now-a-days, grunt is generally desired in order to make a compile not take forever, so it may vary depending on compiling needs? I haven't spent any money for almost 2 years now on my setup, but I'm not about to jump into anything, at least not until new refreshes come out. ;)

  8. Andy Lester 23 months ago | reply

    Nick: How tall are you?

  9. raulhmacias 18 months ago | reply

    Apache Solr 1.4 FTW!

  10. :nick 18 months ago | reply

    Andy: around 5'11" / 180cm

    Raul: Solr 4 is the way to go these days :)

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