Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Problem Solved?

This is a photo essay to complement and update yesterday's post about addressing the issues keeping my copying abilities offline. Both copying via keyboard from varieties of hard copy and using my new printer/scanner to scan and print. I'm hoping it will be more photo than essay as I'm zapped tonight. It was a warm day and I had only 4 hours of sleep hence I started today's project already cranky which didn't help it go smoothly.

The top picture shows the main issue. The tendency to pile things in front of and on top of the printer. The printer is there behind the dolphin cross stitch which sits in that drawer pulled open to make a spot for it. The printer is really there, I promise. See?:

This was the one of the last pictures taken this evening after I got the printer cleared off and hooked up again. The dolphin cross stitch is in that blue bag on the right now.

But it was a process to get there. As you'll see further down.

That top picture was taken as I sat at my desk with my laptop lid down. You can see there is only a couple inches behind the back of my laptop and that open drawer the cross stitch stands in. The edge of the bed is my chair. My desk is a TV tray table with L shaped legs so I can pull the tray over my lap.

At my left at armpit level is my full spectrum light and a three drawer chest for pencil, post-its, paperclips and other common desk supplies. Under that:

Two milk crates stacked serve as shelves. All of the items on them relate to writing and research. The top shelf is for writing reference and the bottom one holds the possible NaNo project Flannery O'Connor related library books on the left half and on the right is a shoe box containing books I recently finished that are waiting for book reviews. Its nearly full. Will maybe hold one more slim book. Doing book reviews was one of the tasks made difficult to impossible by the blocks to copying from books via keyboard.

Note the small book light attached to the laptop stand with its goose neck curled to hold the ear buds and the camera's USB cord. Brilliant right?

Not so much.

I set that up the week I got back from Longview in June and a few days later the light's head got pushed a tad over the edge and I shut the laptop lid on it. And:

Broke the hinge.

Now my laptop lid won't hold a position that tilts forward without falling closed. And the case has a crack in it just above the power button which is by the hinge. So I'll be babying my laptop.

I'm not sure how safe it is to transport now and I was so excited to hear while I was still in Longview that our Phoenix branch library had acquired WIFI and I was planning to take advantage of that. But have been afraid to pack the laptop up and carry it about. It even worries me to move it into the other room or out on the porch both of which I did often last summer after dark to get away from the sauna like atmosphere of this room.

This is a full on shot of the reference book shelf showing the book easel stored on top of the books. That book easel was one of my finds at Powell's Books last April. It was part of the solution for copying from books but I've been having trouble getting the book easel set up at a high enough level to accommodate my eyes with a good lamp at the right angle and coordinate all that with the keyboard, elbow room and ability to work while Ed is sleeping behind me.

This was my solution and I've test driven it twice so I think it's going to work. I hooked the bottom of the book easel under that white board on top of the milk crates. The board is weighted down by the small drawer chest.

These two pictures show it in action. The top one is a close up of the way its hooked in there. I'm a bit concerned about the strength of the wood in the base of the book easel. All I need now is for it to snap on me.

Below shows how close to the screen and keyboard I need an item I'm copying from.

This shows
This lapdesk with its legs hooked under the mattress gives me an extra surface I can use to spread out research and reference items. I used to use it with it setting on top of the mattress and that put it at nearly the right height for use as a copy stand but it took up too much space on the bed so wouldn't work when Ed was sleeping. I would always just fold it flat and put it behind my desk at night until I discovered it wasn't in Ed's way if I slid the legs under the mattress. But getting it out of there when I was ready to lay down was hard. Then I figured out it was easier to just

remove the metal brace and the tray, taking care not to knock into my tumbler of ice water, and leave the leg section in place. Which looks like a bed rail and turned out to be of help in getting out of bed. :)

These two pictures above and below show the space my desk usually stands in after I've slid its legs completely under the bed so I can get to the closet. This is what I have to do when I need to put clean clothes away or get dirty ones out of the hamper (that box you can see the corner of, yellow with a black top edge)

In the bottom picture you can see that I've put some of the sewing project bags on that bottom shelf. I'm not well pleased with that solution though as it is really hard to get to them. Which means I'll either neglect the projects in them or I'll neglect to put them away again the next time I get them out and I'll be right back where I was.


So that's currently my workstation. And I think I've solved all three of the copying blocks. Unless there is some major unforeseeable change, this is where I'll be doing NaNoWriMo this year. Prep work for which was the primary motivating factor for tackling these problems this week. I'll have more to say about that in Friday's Foray in Fiction post.

0 tell me a story:

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