Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Ultimate Chair (Part I)...

Continuing from my tirade yesterday, I think I've found a base to form the ultimate chair for software developers who want to work outside:

http://www.hammacher.com/publish/72852.asp?promo=xsells

See my previous post for some basic comments on the chair, but after some additional thought, I am fairly certain that I can put together several modifications to the chair to create the ultimate outdoor office space. The first step I see is to obtain one of the aforementioned chairs and set it up to get a better idea of what supplies I will need.

Let's look at the checklist and see what issues will be solved up front by this chair and what I will have to do myself:

1) Is it comfortable? Well, I have sat in these sports chairs before and they are both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. I have strange sitting habits. I rarely sit in front of a computer screen in a chair the way it was designed. For instance, I am currently in the fetal position (feet on the chair, knees tucked into the chin). However, this chair has the foot rest and is adjustable so I'm hoping I will find a nice compromise here.

2) Obviously there is no swivel mechanism. There is no way I'd leave the laptop alone anyway. Getting out of the chair with a laptop could be complicated because of that weird strap thing. One thing to note - apparently the balance is good because no one is sitting in the chair and it isn't toppling over with the laptop there.

3) The mouse. There is no good spot for an external mouse. I'll have to construct such a spot from components available to consumers.

4) Reclinable. Not so much, but the foot rest makes it easy enough to slouch down and take that nap. Good enough. Egg-timers are a "dime a dozen" so to speak. It can hide away in the pouch at the side. However, I won't want one that "ticks". The ticking would drive me nuts.

5) Electricity. The legs are probably metal so attaching an electrical outlet would be a dumb idea (humorous, but dumb). I'll probably want a very heavy-duty extension cable, a good surge protector (probably APC), and those funky plastic electrical plugs used for protecting outlets from small children (i.e. water and electricity don't mix). It'll look really ugly but it'll work.

6) Can collapse. Yup.

7) Cup holder. It isn't quite at a position readily available but out of the way of danger, but it would have to be a huge disaster to be an issue (i.e. miss catching a falling laptop and hit the drink out of the holder at the same time). Good enough.

One big concern I have is with friction. Vinyl isn't exactly the best support platform for a laptop. I'll have to wait for the chair to arrive to make certain, but I may have to get really creative to keep the laptop from moving around. I've been doing research into what I think will get the job done but it could require spending $350 (more) to achieve the desired effect.

So, while I wait, I will work on building up the collection of items I know I will need for this endeavor. The next part will cover the creation of the ultimate surface for the external mouse.

Total cost so far: $48.90 (USD)
Items so far: 1 "Portable Outdoor Laptop Chair".

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