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 Functional design for wireless technology

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PostSubject: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:14 pm

I am looking for home office furniture and home entertainment furniture that respects the fact that we are wired these days, even when we buy so called wireless technology. What I want is:

- a desk that will accommodate laptop, USB, printer, scanner, data projector, the wireless router, a phone , charger for cameras, cellphone, a lamp and possibly that nice radio that imrokyrok has mentioned on another thread.
- An entertainment unit (I wish there was another term but can't think of one) that accommodates cable box, DVD player, VCR player, laptop, turntable, radio, Mp3 etc

What I do not want is spaghetti junction; wires, cables, multiplugs everywhere and a mission every time I add or change comething.

Are there units that are on castors, backed with all the sockets, surge protectors and whatever with just one cable going to to a wall socket. I am tired heaving furniture around, trying to sort out scart cables while upside down over the back of whatever. And I want something that looks good, naturally.

They must exist, but I simply can't find them. Any ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:17 pm

Something like this? It is £63.67 in IKEA.

You can screw your surge protector etc to any desk and wire it up yourself that way.


or if you need something even bigger this is £92.98

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:22 pm

Thanks Johnfás. I don't see the solution here though as I see no castors; the workspace is small for all the other items and as you may notice, no wires are shown. It is as if they have no reality for the designers .
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:28 pm

If you see a nice desk you like you should install the wiring yourself and attach castors yourself - both can be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:30 pm

There's a good thought. As a non DIYer I never think that way. The only power tool I own is a cheque book!
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:35 pm

Add in the wires from all the game consols the kids use and the average sitting room looks like someone spilled a pot of spaghetti. I try to disguise our variety of wires, extension socket boards etc with the strategic placement of plants etc but it's impossible. I'd also like to know if anyone has an answer to the problem. 
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:37 pm

You can pick up a cordless drill for under 20 euro and I'd say a set of mini castors would be less than a tenner. Most power leads (ie the ones with lots of plugs and a surge protector) have holes on the back so you can mount them, eg to the back of or underneath a desk.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:40 pm

imokyrok wrote:
Add in the wires from all the game consols the kids use and the average sitting room looks like someone spilled a pot of spaghetti. I try to disguise our variety of wires, extension socket boards etc with the strategic placement of plants etc but it's impossible. I'd also like to know if anyone has an answer to the problem.

They sell those cable snake things which bulk all your cables into one single plastic thing but I'm not convinced as to how successful they would be because I think you would really need everything vertically on top of each other for them to work. At our desk we have the printer to one side, the monitor to another, the tower underneath and all sorts of periphary things about the place. I'm open to hear if anyone has had success with them though.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:04 pm

Quick wireless internet question:

bought laptop for home use. don't have landline or cable tv, want internet (wireless variety), may move apartments within few months so need box that i can pick up and take with me without changing accounts etc.

anyone any tips?
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:05 pm

I try to imagine Bill Gates' house. Not a wire to be seen I'm sure. So someone has solved the problems. They say one should have nothing in the house one does not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful (family members and pets are not covered by this). Cables are never beautiful and become less than useful when they are all tangled up and lying behind an antique desk or tall wall unit. The 'cable snake things' like the spine of a spiral bound file are hopeless as are the little velcro thingies for holding wires together. In offices I notice they are rarely used, and don't address the problem of access to equipment.



Design seems to be very outdated in terms of the changes in technology providing for little more than Pc, tower, keyboard on a sliding tray and a small printer. Very 1990. Any chance some furniture designer, ergonomics person and technician could get together to get us off our knees in 2009?
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:19 pm

zakalwe wrote:
Quick wireless internet question:

bought laptop for home use. don't have landline or cable tv, want internet (wireless variety), may move apartments within few months so need box that i can pick up and take with me without changing accounts etc.

anyone any tips?

You've seen this
http://www.wirelessbroadbandireland.com/residential.htm. I think they use the Breeze Max Product.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:21 pm

zakalwe wrote:
Quick wireless internet question:

bought laptop for home use. don't have landline or cable tv, want internet (wireless variety), may move apartments within few months so need box that i can pick up and take with me without changing accounts etc.

anyone any tips?

You need one of those little dongles from o2 or Vodafone. O2 had a great deal for people who were full time students recently, don't know if that applies to you or if it is still available.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:22 pm

candide wrote:
I try to imagine Bill Gates' house. Not a wire to be seen I'm sure. So someone has solved the problems. They say one should have nothing in the house one does not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful (family members and pets are not covered by this). Cables are never beautiful and become less than useful when they are all tangled up and lying behind an antique desk or tall wall unit. The 'cable snake things' like the spine of a spiral bound file are hopeless as are the little velcro thingies for holding wires together. In offices I notice they are rarely used, and don't address the problem of access to equipment.



Design seems to be very outdated in terms of the changes in technology providing for little more than Pc, tower, keyboard on a sliding tray and a small printer. Very 1990. Any chance some furniture designer, ergonomics person and technician could get together to get us off our knees in 2009?

Forget the specialised desks. I have one, and its more hastle than its worth in trying to pull out cables. For the periperials use bluetooth. For the network, wireless at N speed(150Mbps) is pretty good now. Checkout www.Linksys.com who are Cisco's home users division. Lots of good kit for attaching media devices.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:23 pm

Smarthomes do it - at a price.

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:44 pm

Muito obrigado, CF. A dream solution . Now short of constructing a house, I'm stuck.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:06 pm

We're still very much wired aren't we - this was apparent at home at Christmas anyway. Spaghetti everywhere. I'm hoping solar and batteries will be the way forward but could be wrong. Netbook laptops have longer battery lives than others now so maybe we will eventually be very much unwired with them. Imagine a 24 or 48 hour battery - you'd need to plug it in every two days or so.

I've been looking at 'leisure' batteries which are used on yachts and for camping and which could be recharged by solar. 100 quid+ though and weighs as much as a car battery. Perhaps one of those yokes could be contained under your IKEA desk and you just plug your equipment into that? Once or twice a year it would get recharged by solar - maybe it would last longer than that.

A little off-topic, click on the link to see what comes out of that box !
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/casulo_an_entir.php

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:23 pm

Could this offer a solution: the beautiful and useful Singer treadle sewing machine.

Fitness and power in one beautiful body. Existing technology would allow the treadle to power a battery.



Last edited by cactus flower on Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Could this offer a solution: the beautiful and useful Singer treadle sewing machine.

Fitness and power in one beautiful body. Existing technology would allow the treadly to power a battery.


with some modification........hmm
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:26 pm

My grandmother had a Singer sewing machine a bit like that. Wasn't as grand though.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:27 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Could this offer a solution: the beautiful and useful Singer treadle sewing machine.

Fitness and power in one beautiful body. Existing technology would allow the treadly to power a battery.



Laughing Excellent. Form and function in perfect harmony
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:20 pm

johnfás wrote:
imokyrok wrote:
Add in the wires from all the game consols the kids use and the average sitting room looks like someone spilled a pot of spaghetti. I try to disguise our variety of wires, extension socket boards etc with the strategic placement of plants etc but it's impossible. I'd also like to know if anyone has an answer to the problem.

They sell those cable snake things which bulk all your cables into one single plastic thing but I'm not convinced as to how successful they would be because I think you would really need everything vertically on top of each other for them to work. At our desk we have the printer to one side, the monitor to another, the tower underneath and all sorts of periphary things about the place. I'm open to hear if anyone has had success with them though.

This website has a good demonstartion of the cable snake in action. It seems a lot easier to use than I'd imagined. http://video.about.com/housekeeping/Hide-Unsightly-Wires.htm The cable wrap clip seems to be the essential component for ease of use. Was that included with the product you were looking at?
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:02 am

Imokyrok wrote:

"This website has a good demonstartion of the cable snake in action. It seems a lot easier to use than I'd imagined. http://video.about.com/housekeeping/Hide-Unsightly-Wires.htm The cable wrap clip seems to be the essential component for ease of use. Was that included with the product you were looking at?"

Finally I have seen a demonstration of how that spiral binder thing works. Notice she is on her knees to do this and that she does not show us how the tall 'innerrteenminn sinner' rotates. (I don't mean to ridicule a North American accent but it's hard to resist; my family speaks that way and they give me a hard time .) I see it is also treated as a housekeeping problem, which it is, especially when one works from home, but I was hoping to get some response from a design point of view. This is Machine Nation is it not?

Is it software that is driven by hardware developments? But is aesthetics driven by hardware? Is the quality of life at home and at the office driven down by technology that is unsupported by affordable functional design? How are form and function related in our technology-rich world? How is it we have ended up on our knees and upside down looking for invisible symbols in the dark when we think we have been liberated by technology? Happily I have my wind-up torch to help me . I am utterly dependent on new technology but bewildered that the lived problems have not found design solutions.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:19 am

candide wrote:
Imokyrok wrote:

"This website has a good demonstartion of the cable snake in action. It seems a lot easier to use than I'd imagined. http://video.about.com/housekeeping/Hide-Unsightly-Wires.htm The cable wrap clip seems to be the essential component for ease of use. Was that included with the product you were looking at?"

Finally I have seen a demonstration of how that spiral binder thing works. Notice she is on her knees to do this and that she does not show us how the tall 'innerrteenminn sinner' rotates. (I don't mean to ridicule a North American accent but it's hard to resist; my family speaks that way and they give me a hard time .) I see it is also treated as a housekeeping problem, which it is, especially when one works from home, but I was hoping to get some response from a design point of view. This is Machine Nation is it not?

Is it software that is driven by hardware developments? But is aesthetics driven by hardware? Is the quality of life at home and at the office driven down by technology that is unsupported by affordable functional design? How are form and function related in our technology-rich world? How is it we have ended up on our knees and upside down looking for invisible symbols in the dark when we think we have been liberated by technology? Happily I have my wind-up torch to help me . I am utterly dependent on new technology but bewildered that the lived problems have not found design solutions.
'Tis indeed an excellent Machine Nation topic and worthy of plenty of thought. And you're asking the best of questions too. It's also not as simple to solve as it might seem, I'll guess.

Firstly technology is changing fairly quickly now - first there were wireless mouses now everyone has a laptop without a mouse. There are wireless printers, stereo speakers and flat screens you can put on walls if you can afford them all. The only thing we're fettered by or will be soon will be the power cable so if we lost this one then maybe we could proceed to cement the design.

But it'll probably evolve out of all shape to what we think it might. There are nanotube materials now which are hoped to be sources of energy in the near future. At present there is also the option of solar which is taking off and I predict we'll see within two years, self-sustaining laptops, TVs, radios etc. Perhaps even wind-up stuff too - why not a wind up Netbook ? On another thread here we saw a wireless light switch which powers itself when you press it. Very clever.

But how would this liberation influence design then ??? Perhaps there will soon be like cactus joked, a more human-input option as a manual power source ? Not too sure about that one but I'd guess we'll slowly become more wireless. So why should we design a whole set up when it will eventually need to be redesigned again in the near future ?

So we could be in a period of design limbo that is very grey but experimental. It is apparently characterless at the present time but form is emerging from that nebulousness, don't you worry. It'll burst upon the scene before you know it. And 501s will be back too. What it'll look like is what we can try to guess here I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:28 am

Wasn't joking Audi: look- cycle-powered laptop. No wires-

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:49 am

Cabling is always a disaster. I don't believe there is any good way to keep it tidy really. In my case, I'm always fiddling with it anyway, so I don't really bother keeping it ultra tidy.

What I have done is mounted a 5-way mains extender on the side of the PC desk, with a 2M extension cord to the nearest socket. I find this handy for plugging stuff in and out as needs be. The PC itself and the Monitor use two of these, so I have 3 spare for whatever.

The thing about cables is that they are inevitably going to get tangled. If 5 cables are placed in a bag and removed again, the number of combinations of cable positions is humongous. Only one of these positions is the untangled one. A bit like a completed Rubik's Cube....
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