Getting old…or just bad posture

I’ve enjoyed working strictly on my laptop for over a year now.  Since I work from home, using my laptop affords me the flexibility of picking up and go to my nearest Starbucks or Panera and finish out my afternoon there.  Unfortunately, I’ve had a couple of setbacks with my setup:  my laptop battery is suffering a slow and painful death, and now my arm is starting to hurt as if I were getting carpel tunnel.  It’s weird because i’ve always heard of it being on your hand/fingers, this is more like forearm and above my elbow, so it could be sports related, but it definitely gets worse as the typing day goes by.  So today I spent about an hour moving over to the bigger desk in my office, which allows me to sit more straight than the other one, plus I’m able to use my chair’s arm-rests instead of having my arms floating in the air like they were before.  I have a really good ergonomic keyboard, which would probably help even more, but when i hook it up to the laptop, then the screen ends up like 3 feet away from my face and because of my obsession with getting the most data in my screen, my resolution makes everything too small at that range.  I tried reversing things so that my laptop becomes my second monitor and and the other monitor was able to get a foot closer which was awesome, but then the laptop gets in the way and i’m reduced to just one monitor.  So everything just leads me to “get a kick-ass pc and use your laptop sparingly”.   I will probably end up shopping around for a really good chair also, like one of those Herman Miller, which I never thought would be necessary until now…I’m just not sure if I’m ready to splurge on that.  This guy almost has me convinced.

Now, that still leaves my 2-3 times per week trip to work out of the house to figure out.  I’ve been holding off on spending $200+ on a new laptop battery until I figure out what my new setup will be.  I think that I have it resolved by the way of Mesh, which Mikey swears by, so once I get my act together with that I think that all will be good again!  I’ve been a loyal Dell user for over 7 years now, but maybe it’s time for me to look around and see what else is out there for me.

Come on, my 2 loyal readers, what should I buy?

5 thoughts on “Getting old…or just bad posture

  1. Mikey Cooper

    I know I beat the 8gb horse into the ground, but you asked…

    Mine is an HP m8430f that I got at Best Buy on sale for like $830. I’ve had no problems with it other than having to poke the drivers a bit on Win2k8. It only came with 4gb, but supported 8gb which was one of the primary things I was looking for. I replaced the memory aftermarket. You don’t need more than Vista Home Premium for development, so don’t upgrade to Ultimate. You should wipe it and install Win2k8 anyhow. 😉

    Get something that’s an Intel Quad Core (AMD isn’t keeping up anymore) and supports 8gb of RAM (the motherboard will have at least 4 slots instead of the typical 2). The brand doesn’t matter much as long as it’s not some fly-by-night one like CompuTonka. Something from Lenovo, Dell, HP, Compaq, Acer, Gateway, etc. In my experience, they have quirks and all work fine if you wipe the system and reload your own OS from the MSDN CDs.

    IMO, the extended warranties are a waste of money. Things will typically go wrong with the PC in the first few months when it’s covered by your regular warranty. If things do break after the manufacturer’s warranty, the cost to replace the part is usually cheaper than the warranty and you don’t sit around waiting for a repairman or a package to be delivered.

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