It’s Shiny And New, But Is It Squee Inducing?

So early last week my new office computer finally arrived.  I know, I’m excited about it too.

And of course, I know that it will come as no surprise that I decided to purchase a brand new shiny Apple. For this purchase, I opted for an Apple 27″ iMac.  And because I’m a real-estate whore, I opted to go with dual monitors.  That’s right, I have two 27″ monitors.  So much space.  So much shiny.  So much computer-y goodness.  I can’t not get my compu-geek-on every time I open up my office door.  I may or may not squee with delight whenever I glance at my glorious computer real estate.  The shiny-big-awesomeness that is my new computer is almost too much for me to handle.  Almost.

My newly rearranged office. The desk now faces the as-yet-still-blank-but-soon-to-be-not-so-blank wall.

To be honest, the monitors are so large that I was required to rearrange my office.  Part of this office rearranging was required for power supply reasons.  But mainly it was necessary because no one would be able to see me if they sat on the opposite side of my desk.  And how can I be an active listener if I can’t see with whom I’m conversing?  The answer is, I can’t.  I mean, I’m sure active listening doesn’t always require visual contact, but I know myself well enough to know that it certainly helps.  There is something about being able to see a person’s eyes when speaking with them.

Anyway, to get a sense of the size of the monitors in relationship to the desk and in relationship to any potential student that might be sitting on the opposite side of my desk, Almost-Dr. Sean graciously volunteered to assist me with a little demonstration.

Sean, demonstrating the communication blockade (also known as my dual monitor setup)

Here the term volunteer is meant to suggest that I volunteered him without his knowing, apart from me obviously taking pictures of him.   Clearly, if Almost-Dr. Sean is blocked by the monitors, lesser students wouldn’t stand a chance.  Something had to be done, and quickly.  Rearranging my office became not only necessary, but imperative.  If I didn’t rearrange it, students would suffer.  And suffering students are the worst kind of students.

Of course, rearranging my office had the added benefit of eating up a chunk of my day (specifically that portion of the day after lunch when I suffer from food-sketch and food-related head-bobs).  The added bonus of rearranging: it allowed me to cross off several items from my daily to do list.

  1. Set up new computer
  2. rearrange office
  3. write that paper I’ve been meaning to write
  4. write that proposal I’ve been meaning to write
  5. finish writing that report that was due yesterday

Since I could cross two items off my list, it meant my day could be called productive (even though deep down I scoff at such pathetic attempts of productivity).

My shiny new keyboard and trackpad. Trackpads are tres awesome.

But this post isn’t meant to be a running commentary on the ins and outs of rearranging my office.  It’s about my new computer and all of its shiny parts; including a shiny wireless keyboard, a shiny wireless mouse, and a shiny wireless trackpad.

The trackpad is my new favourite toy.  It is awesome!  Although it has taken some getting used to.  Specifically in the area of not touching it with my arm whenever I’m typing.  Because I apparently type like a bird; flapping my arms like they are wings or something.  This is the only way to explain why I end up hitting the track pad with my arm and moving the cursor all over the place.  Or scrolling rather quickly through a document.

My most excellent workspace. The monitors are large enough to fill the screens with two collages of photos from my trip to Hawaii. Because the blank wall behind the screens isn't nearly as fun to stare at as pictures of Rick and me adventuring in paradise.

Moving the cursor and scrolling through a document becomes problematic when the document scrolls and the cursor moves simultaneously.  Whenever this happens, I end up typing several lines of text somewhere I never intended to write said text.  Or worse – overwriting existing text.  This is especially problematic given that I’m not always looking at the screen on which I’m typing – as my dual monitors allow me the luxury of reading documents on one screen while I type on another.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Uncle Ben, Spiderman

Clearly I need to heed Uncle Ben’s advice.  The trackpad offers uber power, so clearly I must wield it responsibly.  That, or I just need to stop flapping like a damn bird whenever I’m typing.

What other changes are coming to my office?  Well, I’ve thought about what I would like to do and have a few thoughts, which I present to you dear readers, in list form (of course).

  • I would like to add a wall sized whiteboard to the wall directly behind my desk.  This whiteboard is necessary for the requisite writing of equations, crunching of numbers, and other professorly things I will need to do (such as mathematical and statistical nerdery).
  • Or, I might instead get an interactive white board mounted on the wall behind my desk for similar such writing, crunching and professorly activities as listed in the previous bullet.  This would also permit me the ability to work on a computer whilst standing.  Sometimes sitting is for suckers.  Of course, this particular addition to the office would require substantial funding (I’m looking at you CFI).
  • My duo monitor setup, and my wee 17" MacBook Pro. A happy little family.
  • I think any office worth its salt requires a comfy sofa or recliner.  Clearly my office is no different.  Why a sofa or recliner?  Simple; sometimes one needs to be comfy when reading a stack of papers.  Or marking papers.  Or taking a nap.
  • Clearly I need a new desk and new office chair as mine are dated roughly from the disco era.
  • Given that I suffer with food-sketch and head-bobbing on an almost daily basis, I clearly need a way to get my blood flowing.  This means I must have a yoga mat in my office.  Or stop eating.
  • Because I’m a real estate whore I am going to purchase a three monitor MacPro (the current computer on my desk will become a workspace for a student).  This is uber expensive, so it will also depend on funding.  But just think of the real estate I’ll have.  So much space.  So much shiny.  So much computer-y goodness.
  • I’ve also thought about other math-y/stat-y type decorations.  I was thinking of painting numbers or greek letters, or possibly equations all over the wall (or perhaps decals of such things).  Or maybe the digits of \pi.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  Once it has been fully ‘renovated’, I’ll of course blog about it so that you are aware of what I’ve done with my space.  w00t!

Is it weird that I’m excited about this?


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Jorge says:

    What about setting them up with a space in the middle.

    Then it would feel like a confessional.

    1. dangillis says:

      Hmm, interesting idea. If I have another day where I am compelled to rearrange my office, I’ll set it up like that.

      Bless me professor, for I have sinned mathematically…

      I love it!

  2. Bernadette says:

    You are hysterical. I sooo love reading your blogs. It definitely puts a smile on my face! I too have dual monitors! I think mine are 26″ screens. WICKED!

    1. dangillis says:

      If you pay me appropriately, I promise to blog forever. 🙂

      Note – I accept payment in the form of beer, wine, scotch, and hugs. I also accept scotch-filled hugs, or simply a bottle of scotch for me to hug.

      Also, tell all your friends about my blog. Mainly because I need people to send me their pics for the Interweb Gangster Pi competition. The west coast can’t win. They simply can’t.

  3. Awesome says:


  4. Beth says:

    I have dual monitors for my computer at work. All that screen real estate has made me much more productive, but also much more resentful about my paucity of screen real estate at home.

    I also have a white board AND am planning to get a yoga mat for the office. It’s like we are twins!

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