Have Patience Kyle. Some of us have take things
literally just for fun. As for the number of plans, probably
true. A frequent contributor by the name of JT just posted his
page, which has links to plans and should lead you to some ideas.
By the end of the week, you should have some other good responses
to your query, including something from Edwin (if you can refine
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
With the advent of thin LCD monitors and tiny computer cases, does a
"computer table" make any sense any more? I think a desk designed as a
desk, rather than a place to hold yesterdays monster computer gear makes
I agree; I'm redoing an oak table (with a horrible case of bad
finish) for the purpose of becoming a computer desk. I just need
room for the system (an iMac), printer, and occasionally a scanner.
All the other crap just turns into clutter.
Got the table and a really nice rolling office/library chair to match,
for 50 bucks. Now, for 10 or 20 hours of refinishing time...
There are still some "monster computer gear" out there. With LOMLs
photography hobby, we have two printers with the probability of a third.
Also designs of PCs have the various plugs (printers, storage devices,
displays, camera inputs, etc.) on one side and DVD, CD, floppy, etc.
access on the other. I am puttering with the design of a built-in
system that would allow two sided access to printers and CPUs, plus all
the usual impedimentia (keyboard, mouse, screen, paper storage, etc.).
If any of you have ideas, let me know. If and when I come up with
something, I'll post photos (if it's any good).
You are certainly correct that the design should match the intended use.
With an eye toward future needs of course. However, that being said,
a designer needs to seriously examine the needs of the user.
Anything dependent on color fidelity---like editing photographs or
video---will suffer using an LCD monitor. The color fidelity just isn't
there, and it isn't adjustable. I agree for 95% of office work they are
sensational, but for editing family and genealogy photos and doing
limited video production I doubt I will ever be able to give up my tank.
Also, small cases are nice if you have no expansion plans. If you work
in a geek-related industry you may need more physical space than your
average DellGatewayAlienHPWhatever can offer. My expansion slots are
completely filled at this point, and with 4 hard drives plus a DVD
burner it is getting impossible to expand without completely upgrading
the computer itself. Not to mention peripherals---I have two printers
(b/w laser and color inkjet), two scanners (flatbed and 35mm film),
connections for digicam and camcorder, plus laptop and its doodads, not
to mention UPS, networking equipment... (sounds like I need an equipment
room rather than a desk)
Note that I work in high-tech and my technology needs are many, and this
is probably not so for normal people. However, it pays to think about
it rather than just building something generic from someone else's plans.
FWIW... I am designing a desk right now, three sides with a big
adjustaable odd-shaped keyboard tray. Laptop gets its own vented
drawer. Desk is held up with 2-drawer filing cabinets. I'll try to
take photos during production.
The one thing I hate about corner units, especially with 30" deep desks,
is that it is impossible to reach the shelves back in the corner. The
only way I can think to resolve this is to make shelves that stretch
across the corner at 45 degrees. This leaves a triangle of unusable
wasted space behind the shelves, but it ensures that what is on the
shelves can be reached. I am planning a couple of large shelf units to
go above my WonderDesk, and I'd love to hear how others approach that
> With the advent of thin LCD monitors and tiny computer cases, does a
> "computer table" make any sense any more? I think a desk designed as a
> desk, rather than a place to hold yesterdays monster computer gear makes
> more sense.
You've never used an Apple LCD display, obviously, for both statements
are not true in Apple's case. I've seen some very bad LCD displays out
there, it really pays to compare 'em side by side.
My other monitor is a 19" Sony Trinitron flat-screen, and I prefer the
Mac's LCD for this type of work. Now, maybe if the 21" that I have at work
was at my house, I'd prefer that, hard to say.
Rack-mount the servers & go with a KVM. Wireless networking is your
friend, as well. I can have the display from whichever system I
want put up on the screen of my mac, keeps the physical desktop
clean while giving me all the systems I want to call on.
Could you just run the shelves all the way back? There will always be
seldom-used cruft that builds up back there, with the good stuff out front?
I have a 21" Apple studio display (Trinitron) that I use nearly
exclusively for Photoshop. The high end Apple LCD displays are superior
to others in the critical categories, but they (LCD's) still are a tad
short on the contrast ratios and true black that a good CRT can produce.
Running colorsync does keep everything from the digital camera to the
monitor to the printer in lock so if I do need to do some "quick" work
with only the LCD I can usually get it right.
My current (temporary) solution is a corner desk with the monitor
slightly recessed (in the corner obviously). Large monitors and computer
desks just don't go together unless you can use a corner to give you
depth without making the desk "wings" overly wide. The beauty of a
temporary solution, no matter how crude as long as you can secure
everything, provides an opportunity to "live" with the setup before
committing to finer construction.
Currently besides the corner recessed monitor, I like a small shelf that
contains two dividers stretching wing to wing above the monitor that is
only 10" deep by 8" high. The depth could be much more but then things
would get lost. Wasted space, yes but I am considering making the
triangle section of top shelf that fills the corner "flip up" so I have
a compartment where some of the misc. crap can go (router/switch,
airport, etc). The scanner which I use for both pages and 35mm slides is
located in a top drawer with a removable section of desktop directly
above it. This allows me easy access when scanning and a quick way to
"hide" it when not in use. It also allows use without having a drawer
sticking out. The printer is in a lower cabinet and fortunately the
paper tray and out feed tray are in front, I can get at them without
moving the sliding shelf out. The CPU sits in a similar cabinet/sliding
shelf. All ventilation is via semi-open rears that I probably would
tighten up (for dust control) and maybe put a quiet cage fan on in the
final version. The CPU case has the important I/O (Firewire, etc) on the
front where access is easy but I'll probably run cables and fab up a
patch panel so I have access at the desktop. DVD burner is external in a
firewire case so it's easy to find. All the other junk like UPS, cable
trays, etc are stuffed away so I'll need to figure a way to improve access.
The key is to live with a mock up an design in what you like/need and
design out what you hate :)
Actually, this hasn't been true for a couple of years. With the right
video card and correct (DVI-D) LCD monitor, you can get true color
fidelity - as many who use them for pre-press are aware.
SGI, for example, offered a very nice digital LCD with their intel-based
systems a couple years ago - complete with the ability to tune the gamma
corrections on the display to match printed output; I believe the monitor
was actually made for Apple.
one of my clients is a high end photographer. he has a monitor just
for color correction. it has a hardware thing you suction cup onto the
screen for calibration and a proprietary software system to run it.
that system cost several thousand dollars. he dismisses his brand new
macintosh lcd monitor (one of the ones about as big as a billboard...)
as being not suitable for accurate color work.
Well, perhaps, but he's probably in the top 0.5% of critical users.
For my semi-pro photo work & genealogy scans, a good LCD is very much
acceptable for the job. But, he's the guy with a couple grand worth of
color calibration hardware/software, so if he can see a difference at
the top percent of the scale, it's probably real.
Depends on how you define "accurate color work".
Current LCDs have 24-bit color, CRTs are analog and their color gamut is
limited primarily by the video board. This is usually not a problem for
pre-press where you're using fixed ink colors and halftoning, but can be if
you're going for a more elaborate and expensive process.
Within the limits of the color gamut of the monitor, fidelity is almost
completely adjustable, and this is usually done using the video board, not
the monitor controls.
If you're printing using anything but a dye-sublimation printer or an
imagesetter then I doubt that the 24-bit color limitation of the LCDs is
going to be an issue.
As for video editing, bear in mind that camcorders generally are limited to
24-bit color at best.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Should probably add that a 19" CRT monitor costs $200 and the
17" (equivelant to 19" for viewing) LCD starts at $400. And, of
course, CRTs are about equivelant across the board for color
fidelity so you can just buy the cheapest. Extra money on a CRT
might get you some longevity... The $400 LCD probably doesn't
come close to the color fidelity of the CRT and you probably
want the $600 Xerox or $700 Apple LCD. Of course, if you'd
rather spend the $400~$500 extra on LCD instead of wood, that's
George Shouse http://www.shouses.com
Always a fan of the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers
It must be a Purple and Gold thing.
Thanks for honoring the Original Lakers
ASBNLL FAQs at http://www.asbnll.com /
On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 03:10:51 GMT, "Mark Jerde"
But you'd hate to pay the electric bill?
I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol.
http://www.diversify.com Refreshing Graphic Design
It's probably not much different from mine. He has two computers and 10
monitors, I have 5 computers and 7 monitors (plus an old Win95 computer &
Win3.1 computer that are hardly ever turned on anymore).
Why so many? I write software and I need more than a computer ShopSmith.
<g> Server, development machine, laptop, test machine and family computer.
Life is good. ;-)
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