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Trash dumping: Finding jewels in the sea of waste

Trash dumping. Unlikely to be your Sunday morning plan (or Saturday evening for that mater), could bring you back something of interest. In my case, my experience is a two-fold, one in the physical world and another in the digital. Although what I’m about to tell you is more of a parable, I did not literally had to dump into any trash to find anything useful, the outcome was positive: In both cases, I did get something valuable out of it.

TLDR: Two things happened here: #1 built a version of the famous hacked “Ikea Standing-Up desk” and #2 I discovered a new, awesome, podcast called Garbage, from two OpenBSD developers. Read along.

Story #1

On the physical world, while going for a walk with my dogs and my wife, we’ve stumbled across a lightly damaged Ikea Lack side table (left on the sidewalk for anyone to take: a.k.a trash-ish but in a good condition). Not knowing exactly what to do with it, I brought it home, clean it, and had it as a coffee stereo table.

Fast forward a few months, I’ve bumped into this:

iamnotaprogrammer_com_ikea

The idea comes from http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/ and after thinking about it, I’ve decided to use the Lack table that I found to build one of these stand-up desks. To get the remaining parts of this, I went for a visit to local Ikea Store outside of Montreal. To my surprise, some of the parts listed on the article are no longer around, so I instead, I ordered new components that will yield the same result and that are also cheap.

Here’s an update with the new parts (based on Ikea’s catalog in Canada):

Part Qty Price (CAD)
EKBY VALTER 2 2
EKBY LAIVA 1 2,99

Assembling the desk was straight forward process.

cd0851d58b7516a7ee155dfce534cb67

As reported by many other’s one thing to notice is that working on a  standup position will very likely cause some foot fatigue, especially in the beginning. To help with this, I bought an anti-fatigue kitchen mat, made out of a gel material. This indeed does help a lot, but for me the perfect balance seems to be half and half, changing between the stand-up station and sitting down.  Meetings are usually done on the stand-up desk.

While doing some research for this, I ended up visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website. The CCOHS has a section specifically on working in a standing up  position that contains various interesting information on the subject. Highly recommended.

Story #2

The second story is related to a podcast called Garbage (garbage.fm) done by Brandon Mercer and Joshua Stein (from https://lobste.rs). I listen to a lot of podcasts, from sci-fi (The Black Tapes, Welcome to Night Vale), to NPR, The Economist, Planet Money, and as expected, I do listen to computer related stuff.

garbage-128

Garbage.fm

Now when it comes to computer and technology I’m selective to what I put into my brain and also to what gets  committed to my cortex. Don’t be fooled by its name, the Garbage podcast is a real jew among the sea of noise out there, along with of my other highly recommend podcast (BSD Now, with Allan Jude and Kris Moore), they are fun and informative, done by people who “eat-their-own-dog-food”. No marketing baloney or infomercial-type podcasting. This is the real deal.

Both podcasts (BSD Now and Garbage) are, well, BSD focused with Garbage mostly focused on OpenBSD and BSD Now covering all of the BSD’s but slightly focused on FreeBSD. At times, they will talk about other topics as well, which is awesome, the guys are very technical and have a very down to Earth judgement.

Thanks Allan, Kris, Brandon and Joshua for this incredible work. This is my weekly refresh of good common sense and to the point discussion computers.

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