The desk in disguise

Hi all!

The Desk

As some of you may know I live in a not too big apartment and one of

the first problems I walked into was: DESKSPACE. Yep I wrote that in capital letters “Why?” you ask. When you are working on different projects it is just very nice to have a large surface to work on them.
One of my main issues was when I was working on a project I was using my diningroomtable and when it was time to have dinner I had to move/clean up everything first in an order that was easy to recreate after dinner, so i could resume my work.

I started the project and set up my requirements:

  • It has to be easy to maintain
  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Must provide enough room to work on
  • Affordable
  • I would like to use prefab elements
  • I would like a standing desk, because otherwise I would be sitting a lot all day and I do not want to invest a good office chair
  • My DJ equipment should fit nicely in the desk
  • And the most important one, it shouldn’t be a hassle to clean up after using it.

After several brainstorm sessions and some trips to the Ikea and other furniture stores I came up with the following ideas:

Sketch 1
Sketch 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch 3

 

Illustration to explain sketch 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ended up using the first sketch, this was the on to build without drilling too much holes in the wall. Due to the plaster I wanted to keep the drilling in the walls to a bare minimum.

 

Good planning is half the effort.

While I was planning, gathering equipment and materials I ran against a couple of hicups. I needed wood with specific measurements, the screen was based on those dimensions, the type and placement of the supporting beams and of course I wanted to maintain the sleek Ikea design.

 

Problems which I across with:

Finding the right sizes of wood without getting a bulk set. Because I don’t have a lot of space to store the leftover parts and I didn’t want to invest in which I didn’t need as well.

For the height of the desk I used the standard sizes Ikea have for their higher tables and their recommended chairs. That way I wouldn’t come into any ergonomic problems (Please note that it is dependent on your actual height and that you have to look into a height which suits best for you!) I was in luck that the Ikea standards were suitable for someone of my height.

Getting the right monitor (read: flattest affordable monitor) and the flattest monitor arm.
The first thing I noticed was that Google isn’t your best friend with this question. Also the websites of the manufacturer aren’t really the best sources to look on as well. Forums and review websites are more keen into giving you the specifications and the best bang-for-your-buck type of screens. So there was just one thing left to do and that was going to the store and measure them myself.

What parts am I going to use and how am I going to construct it.
I am a big fan of Ikeahackers.com so it was obvious for me to make this desk out of Ikea furniture.
In my first designs I had supporting beams at the end of the Expedit but when making the designs I was affraid there would be to much force on those beams which could let into bending or breaking the the tabletop. While making some adjustments I went for trip to the Ikea and found a tabletop (Vika Amon) in the same colour as my Expedit. I was sold!

 

Let’s get our hands dirty!

For the actual building part I worked for about 2 days on it. It isn’t a big project to do. FYI I have build this desk by myself, so if you are working together with someone I reckon this is a days work.

I will not explain the exact detail how I made the desk, a picture says more than a thousand words. Click on the pictures below to start a slideshow of the whole process from start to finish. Or click here to see the whole photoset on Flickr. If you have any questions just place a comment below or send me an e-mail.

[AFG_gallery id=’3′]

Accessories

So the desk was build and ready to be used. I haven’t forget about my goals and needed to implement a way (or in this case several ones) to tidy my workplace with the least amount of effort.

Whiteboard: This is my cherry-on-top for this project, if I ever just want to brainstorm I can just start with it and leave it on the board if needed.

My to-do basket with a small see-through envelope for smaller items: Here I put my paperwork which I am using for the current project(s) which I am working. On top of it there is a small place to put those smaller items which easily can be overseen by bigger items.
The main reason I picked for the clear case is that I want to be able to see everything without having to take it out of the to-do basket. If you don’t see it, you’ll forget it.

Kvissle on the side: This is just a quick place to store some magazines, notebooks and the more bigger items which are not neccesarely related to projects.

Keyboard basket: Not sure how to name this, but it is just a simple way to store the keyboard and mouse in a swift move.

     Some articles which I taped on the tabletop to prevent them from falling:
Usb hub: the wireless keyboard is connected to the hub and it is handy if I need to connect more peripherals to it. One usb cable to connect them all!

Cable organizers: to prevent the cables from falling behind the desk.

Mousepad: not necessary but it works a lot better and prevents the batteries from running low quickly.

2 coasters: Why 2? one is for a bottle of water and the other one for a hot beverage. Always keep yourself hydrated!

Next to the desk I have a wireless printer and a nas server installed. Everything black, just to keep the attention away from it and keeping a sleek overall look.

 

Costs:

Receipts

The costs for all the parts weren’t that disturbing, also I tried to use a lot of parts I still had lying around. I have divided the costs into the different stores I went to:

Ikea:
Kvissle: €14,95
Kassett: €5,99
Lack tabletop (discount): €2,50
Vika Amon Tabletop: €39,00

Saturn:
LG IPS235V-BN €157,00

Building Materials:

Fixet:
Elektra cable: 5 meter €5
Connector: €1,99
Screws: €2,95
Cornerpieces: €12,99

Gamma:
Vuren hout 22x75x2400mm: €3,99

Praxis:
Hinges: 2 x 2,99 = €5,89
Wood: 3 x 44x69x2100mm = €11,91
Hangelslotgrendel 100mm: 2 x €4,79 = €9,58
Meubelvilt: €3,99

If you would add all the separate prices together you could buy a simple desk for it. But I am happy with this desk because it is suited to my needs.

 

Summary

I enjoyed planning and doing this project. It has made my life a bit easier :). If you are planning to make a desk for your own and you need help with a certain topic please do let me know and leave a comment below.

 

KLM changes their check-in baggage policy

 

KLM will change their baggage policy regarding checked-in items. Starting from the 22nd of April you will have to pay for your suitcases and other items you wish to check in. This new policy ONLY applies to European flights. If you want to bring your luggage with you will have to add €15 per single trip when you are booking your flight, otherwise it will cost you €30 at the airport. Hand luggage restrictions remain the same.

The upside to this story is that KLM is lowering the prices for their European flights.

Go to the website of KLM if you want to read the whole article

Repairing a powersocket on a Reloop RMX-40 DSP

I am not sure if it is a production error but after a couple of months the power socket of my Reloop RMX-40 DSP the connection went a bit flawed. It would work though with a little wiggle but hat wasn’t a proper solution. I can highly suggest to clean your mixer every once in a while. Dust, hairs, crumble, etc will collect between your faders and buttons. It was a good moment to open up my one.

After removing buttons, top plate and main PCB. I came by the internal power adapter and had a good look at it and found the problem to the not so flawless connection. The soldering points were degraded after several times of connecting and disconnecting. The easiest way to fix this is to resolder these points but that would also mean that the problem will reoccur again after several months of use. I got a power socket from the local radioshack and replaced the original one with this one. And connected everything again in a reversed order.

The mixer worked without a hitch ever since.

I included a little step-by-step instruction for everyone who needs it.

Five Best System Rescue Discs

A nice summary of five of the mainly used recovery/rescue discs on Lifehacker.com. The following rescue discs have been discussed:

Read the whole article @ Lifehacker Five Best System Rescue Discs.

The unfolding room and other small spaces

I am always intrigued how some people can make the most use of small spaces. After I visited s friend of mine who just moved into a studio apartment I knew the size of the size of a house isn’t everything. I’ll soon post some articles about my small apartment, but for in the meantime look at the following so small in size but still pretty big apartments.

     Rowdy Kittens tiny house

More info @ Rowdy Kittens Blog

 

     1 Closet to rule them all – The unfolding apartment

more info @ Normal Projects

 

     6 rooms into 1: morphing apartment packs 1100 sq ft into 420

More info @ Faircompanies, morphing apartment

 

     And much more cases of making good use of small spaces:

Malm Captains Bed

You can find much more! @ Ikeahackers

How does your workspace look like?

Like a suite makes the man, a cluttered desk represents a cluttered mind, your workspace defines the way you work. Look at some of these fine workspaces if you are looking for some inspiration.

Brought to you by Shockblast

Collection of rooms — 22 — WorkSpace Edition @ ShockBlast.

 

How to Recover Data When Your Hard Drive Goes Belly Up

A nice and extended article on lifehacker.com by Nick Parsons about what you can do when your hard drive fails on you and what you can do about it.

Please keep in mind if your drive has failed DISCONNECT YOUR DRIVE IMMEDIATELY TO PREVENT PERMANENT DATA LOSS. Plan a strategy before plugging your hard drive back in.

How to Recover Data When Your Hard Drive Goes Belly Up.

iOS 6.1 Jailbrake available by Evasi0n

 

Evasi0n Jailbrake

 

iOS versions 6.0 & the new 6.1 are jailbrakeable thanks to the team behind Evasion.

The new jailbreak tool is compatible with all of Apple’s currently available devices, including the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. The jailbreak process is incredibly simple. Once you download evasi0n, just connect your iOS device with a USB cable, run the app, click “Jailbreak,” and wait about five minutes. Eventually, evasi0n will ask you to unlock your device and tap the “Jailbreak” button on your home screen. From there, your iOS device will run through the boot process and finish up a few things. Once it’s done, you’re jailbroken. Hit the link below for download links for the software.

When jailbraking please keep in mind the following:

  • Backup your device using iTunes (or iCloud) before using evasi0n. If something breaks, you’ll always be able to recover your data.
  • Please disable the lock passcode of your iOS device before using evasi0n. It can cause issues.
  • Avoid all iOS and iTunes related tasks until evasi0n is complete. Why not just enjoy a brief break from the computer to stretch your legs?
  • If the process gets stuck somewhere, it’s safe to restart the program, reboot the device (if necessary by holding down Power and Home until it shuts down), and rerun the process.
  • If you get an error on OS X 10.8 saying that evasi0n can’t be opened, control-click (or right-click) the app and on the revealed context menu, choose ‘Open.’ On the ensuing dialogue box, choose ‘Open’ as well.

Click here to go to the website of Evasi0n

What to look out for when buying a (used) phone

I have bought several phones and appliances over Ebay, Marktplaats, Gumtree and similar websites. 9 out of 10 times it goes without a problem. But sometimes you buy a Blackberry phone on which you get strange errors when you are abroad.
Here are some tips which can hopefully help you prevent into being led into buying any not too shabby phones or scams in any way:

  • Never agree to pay a small deposit, almost every postal service have the option to pay the postmen when your packet arrives.
  • When paying the full amount up front, verify if the bank account / website is the right person you are paying. When transferring funds, the bank checks the opposite account and states the name and address of the owner (this happens in the Netherlands, I can’t give any confirmation about other countries)
  • When you are making transactions online make sure that you are on a secured website. The simple (but not the best) way to verify is to look at the URL in the address bar, this should start with httpS://www.somewebsite.com
  • Ask if there is a receipt in case of a used phone and especially do the next tip as well.
  • Try to check the serial or IMEI number before you close the deal. You do this in case the phone is registered stolen in another country and the country you are buying it in doesn’t make use of a blacklist. Some websites on which you can do check the numbers are (Some of these website require a small fee before giving you a rapport):

www.imei.info/
www.checkmend.com/
www.telefooncheck.nu/ (Dutch only)
www.stopheling.nl (Dutch only)

  • Ask if it is Sim-free, you can also check this on previous mentioned websites. When a phone is sim-free, you are able to use any provider with that phone.

 

When you are able to see the phone before you buy it, use the following tips:

 

  • Most phones have water indicators in the battery compartment, these indicators should indicate if the phone has been in contact with water.

 

  • Warranty stickers (the famous VOID stickers on screws) if these seals are broken the phone has probably been opened by an unofficial dealer.
  • Ask for the original packaging and accessories, if these are available it gives it a better resell value and also gives it less of a chance that you are dealing with a stolen phone

And maybe the biggest tip of them all:

When it looks too good to be true, it possibly is

Good luck and if you have any tips of your own, please share!