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Dave Michels On Working From Home

studio-office-chairLike many people, in recent years Dave Michels has taken to working from home. Not long ago he posted some advice garnered from that experience. In this post he offers makes some excellent observations. While I agree with most of what he offers, there are a couple of points that I’d like to add or emphasize.

You’ll need a good desk and chair. Don’t scrimp on these items. A desk needn’t be fancy, but it does need to large enough. In fact, usually the larger the better.

The chair is really an issue relating to your health & welfare. It’s easy to just run down to OfficeMax and get something affordable, but you will not be well served by such moves in the long run. You back will appreciate a more carefully considered approach.

As opposed to something solid or upholstered I like chairs with shock cord support. This reflects the fact that I live in an area with warmer temperatures most of the year. It’s easier to stay cool given this kind of ventilated chair.

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Arm Yourself & Reclaim Your Desktop!

Mitsu-CRT-Monitor-InsetMeasuring in at 57 x 30 inches my desk is not small, but it’s not massive either. It hails from a shop called Storehouse Furniture that has sadly gone out-of-business. Nonetheless, this desk has served me well, and will continue to do so for along while to come.

This desk has seen its fair share of computer monitors over the years. There was a time when a 21” Mitsubishi CRT dominated the desktop. What a beast that was. It was heavy as well as physically large.

More recently I’ve been using one or two ASUS VE248H 24-Inch Monitors. These are very nice LED backlit monitors. Resolving 1920 x 1080 pixels, they’re native HD displays with DVI & HDMI connectivity. Better yet, they were pretty affordable.

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A Practical Application For Virtualization In The Home Office

Polycom-VVX-600-300pxA short while ago I spend a little time dealing with some Polycom phones in my home office. This time around I needed to perform some firmware updates, but it was little more complicated than normal. The tale highlights how we can make use of a VM in an incidental but convenient role.

The phones I had to update were a mix of Polycom VVX-1500, VVX-600 and VVX-500  models. Some were devices that I had purchased that run release software. Others were devices from  beta programs. Those can only run beta firmware releases. I had several different releases to accommodate.

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Language Evolves, But Some People Are just Sloppy With It

A lot of offers drop into my email inbox. Sometimes companies are trying to sell me stuff. Quite often they want me to join in on their free “webinar!” I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate the word “webinar.” It’s an abomination.

Over the years I’ve used Citrix GotoMeeting quite a lot. It’s a bit scary to think of how long I’ve paid them their monthly pound of flesh, but the service has truly changed my life. It allows me to perform remote support and maintenance processes without physically travelling to the customer site. When Citrix later offered GotoManage, a service more optimized around remote admin functions, my employer adopted it company-wide.

So, you see, I’m open to the use of such services…but I despise the way the language is warping around their use. “Webinars” don’t typically happen on the web. They happen online. You may access a web site into order to get into the session, but they don’t actually occur on the web. If they occurred on the web there’d be no installable applet involved. It would all happen inside the web browser with no plug-in required. It would all happen over HTTP.

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Working From Home vs A Home Office

A few weeks back Mashable ran a post entitled “Can Employees Be Trusted to Work From Home.” The post was really just a wrapper around an infographic created by OnlineDegrees.com. I must say that some of what they present I find at least mildly offensive. Perhaps “offensive” isn’t quite the right term. Let’s just say that it doesn’t apply in my case, and probably doesn’t in yours either.

They report as follows:

“One recent study found that more than 40% of employees who work from home pull double-duty watching TV or a movie. More than a quarter nap or cook dinner while on the clock, and 20% play video games on the company dime…”

Wow. This certainly doesn’t describe my working life. But then again, over many years I have constantly been reminded that I’m not normal.

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