Monday, November 11, 2013

Quest for a tall stool

UPDATE: turns out it's really hard to get the desk and chair the exact right height for both sitting and standing, so I went with a tall stool:

And coupled it with a keyboard/mouse tray:

The two together were roughly $300, and I really like being able to adjust the keyboard height - just mixing it up a big seems to help with RSI since you can change the muscles a bit.

Original discussion

So I was about to raise my desk up to try a standing desk configuration, when it occurred to me I should first get a chair or stool that high so I can work either way (I do *not* want to be raising/lowering my desk).

I'm fairly tall (6-2), and did the simple math that to raise my desk from sitting elbow height now (29") to standing elbow height (47") would mean raising everything 18".

What does that mean for my stool? Well it is currently at 22", so it would mean raising it to 40". But despite all I've been reading about standing desks for a few years, I can't find a stool that high anywhere so far.

In case anyone else is going through the same thing, here are a few that get pretty close:

Amazon sells this one that goes to 36" - the highest I've found so far, and only $120:

Global Industrial has this one that goes to 34.5 inches, fancier and runs $250:

Sit Better has this one that goes to 34", runs $205 and looks pretty nice:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

You too can learn to make web pages

There are some really great resources for learning web development these days, and some of the best are freely available.

In a nutshell there are three basic things to learn:
  1. HTML for your basic page structure
  2. CSS for making the page look good
  3. JavaScript to bring that page to life

How you go about learning these depends a little bit on your past experience, and also on how you like to learn.  You can always get a book (and there are many), but I think it's better to learn a little, try a little, lather, rinse, repeat.  More of the usual course style of learning.  But do you like video instruction, or do you prefer to read it?

Video for HTML/CSS

People all over have been raving about this series on Tuts+ that goes through both HTML and CSS:

I also looked over the course index myself, and I think it looks great.

Interactive for HTML/CSS

Another way to learn is the online interactive format used by Codecademy.  If you think you might like that style better, try their excellent web track here:

Video for JavaScript

I've read mixed reviews on the JavaScript videos on Tuts+, but have heard good things about Treehouse (  It's a paid service, but you get 2 months free and it's not terribly expensive after that ($25/mo).

Another option is YouTube - this fellow has a really nice series of introductory tutorials that are friendly and approachable:

Interactive for JavaScript

Again the interactive format on Codecademy is really nice and you can find their JavaScript course here:

In summary ...

Find something you like, stick with it, and grit it out until the end.  If nothing here looks good, hit Google and see if you can find something that you do like!