The Perfect Desk Quest - 2013 Update

It must be time for another update on how my desk is evolving towards the elusive "perfect desk". Previous updates here.

Here's my desk now, following a recent overhaul:


The two main differences from before: The Lenovo T400 laptop and its docking station have gone and the left-most monitor has moved positions to be on the right.

My desk needs to not only keep up with the way I work, but also the changes of the times. I decided it was time I got "with the times" and "embrace the cloud" and all that stuff.

For years my main work PC has been a laptop. For the obvious reasons, such as being able to work anywhere, being able to hide it when I go on holiday etc. It used to be that I'd undock the T400 each night and take it indoors of a night time. Then I bought the Yoga 13, which fast became my "house laptop" and the T400 was confined to the office.  The T400 was getting on for being 3 years old and had the noisiest damned fan in its docking station! It's days were numbered!!

While using a laptop as my main PC I have always missed having a dual monitor setup, which laptops can't deal with. Not easily anyway.

So, I've bought a Lenovo E31 SFF and stuck 32GB of RAM in it. This is now my main work PC and drives the two monitors to the right. I've missed having dual monitors!

Using the recently-discovered Hyper-V Manager tool for Windows 7 means I don't need the monitor attached directly to server. As you can see above the second monitor is showing a Domino server running in a VM on the server. It makes day-to-day Domino development so much easier having ready access to the server console.

No Email Client

The cloud now means I'm not tied to a single machine. When I do go "on the road" I can easily take everything with me.

For the first time in as long as I can remember using a PC with email I'm not going to install a Mail app. I've used various email clients over the years: Opera, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, Thunderbird, Postbox, Mail.app. Now I'm just going to use Gmail.com online. Got to admit I don't like the idea that all messages aren't backed up on my own PCs. But hey. Brave new world and all that.

The only non-cloud-stored data I work with are Notes database. I tried using Dropbox to store my Notes Data folder, but, unsurprisingly, it didn't work. It probably could work if you made sure to only have Notes running on one PC at a time.

Moving from one PC to another this time was a lot less painful than it has been in the past. Still took a couple of hours. Not the full day of time it used to though.

Who knows what the 2014 update will bring. I just hope I'm still lucky enough to be working from my own little home-office, so that it matters either way.


  1. Nice update! You just better hope your dad doesn't see those screw holes in the wall after all the time he put in. :)

    I've ran my dual monitors for years on a laptop, I currently have a Dell E6420 (waiting on my 6430 to get here) with dual 22 inch Acer's and I leave the lid open for email. The dock has dual inputs, I've never had a problem.

    How's the rowing? Still like doing it?

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Wed 27 Mar 2013 03:49 AM

      All the time he put in? All he did was help demolish the old garage. The fun bit!!

      Show the rest of this thread

    • avatar
    • Thomas
    • Tue 26 Mar 2013 09:30 AM

    If you're uncomfortable not having a local backup of your mails, take a look at Mailstore. I use it from time to time to backup my GMail. Just in case...


    The Home version is free.

    • avatar
    • harkpabst_meliantrop
    • Tue 26 Mar 2013 03:45 PM

    And completely on topic: Has the resizing of pictures been there since the original move to responsive design, or is it new?

    I like it. I like it much more, than MS virtualization ... err, sorry ... virtualisation technology. :-)

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Wed 27 Mar 2013 03:47 AM

      Been there since the site first went responsive. Last year?

  2. Hello,

    Where did you find this version of Pinterest for wall?


    • avatar
    • jake's dad
    • Wed 27 Mar 2013 07:33 AM

    Thanks Aaron nice to know someone has a good memory. I seem to recall cleaning the old bricks to use on my allotment path, then filling a skip or two, then digging out for the foundations, then barrowing the concrete, then putting the roof covering on, then fitting the 'garage' door, then I made you a work bench. Perhaps you could put a few of the many photos you took on your web site while I was working as ever dad

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Wed 27 Mar 2013 07:45 AM

      Hmm, yeah. Well remembered. Your memory is better than mine.

      Show the rest of this thread

Your Comments


About This Page

Written by Jake Howlett on Tue 26 Mar 2013

Share This Page

# ( ) '


The most recent comments added:

Skip to the comments or add your own.

You can subscribe to an individual RSS feed of comments on this entry.

Let's Get Social

About This Website

CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

You can find me on Twitter and on Linked In.

Read more about this site »

More Content