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 Functional design for wireless technology

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:56 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
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....

That's a handy thing to do is use those extenders. If there are enough sockets around your house in the right places the extenders can be fairly mobile and handy. Do you have any opinions on the aesthetics of it or a design format which would make cabling look wonderful, be functional and not trippy? What about cabling out to your garden for electricity there?

I need some advice myself. Look at the photo I took of the shed earlier

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:17 am

Auditor #9 wrote:


I need some advice myself. Look at the photo I took of the shed earlier


Dear God, and I thought I had problems Laughing
Thanks for the thoughtful reply earlier. As an 'early adopter' I seized on some of those 'improvements' a while ago. I had to drop the Spocky earphone for the bluetooth solution to my mobile phone in the car 'cos it was frightening the local children. Now the only wireless thing I love is the phone feature in my car. As long as the cellphone is charged (elsewhere!) and is anywhere in the car I can take calls with just the touch of a button on the steering wheel. The rest of my (technological) life is a total mess.

Who knows, maybe a brilliant designer with a short-term goal is reading this and sketching affordable solutions. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:33 am

You're sort of bringing up a lot bigger questions there than you suspect candide I'd say - you could turn the world upside-down to get a new design if you were really into it. For example, because we've no full wireless world yet (remember you can get adhesive LED lights in the 2 Euro Shop, 4 for 2Euro and can be stuck anywhere the light doesn't shine and require no wires) you can start to plan for your cables some way - perhaps by hiding them behind decorative panelling on your walls or piping them under the floor and having sockets in the tiling of your floor (something I like) or you could try to make all your ceilings hollow ... the thoughts of it eh?

Me I don't mind too many cables and will go along with EVM with his multi-plugs. Ones on reels too - why not? What do you think of that idea? Having a few around the house, plugging them in and wheeling them around the place ? There could be really fancy ones too designed by James Dyson I suppose which are self-winding and need less stuff than other ones and are must-have. These things have a good lineage from the old wooden cable reels too.

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:45 am

Audi, very few broken lawnmowers, paint tins and blow up castles in your shed.

In the interests of safety - if you are bringing power out to the shed
or garden, please use an RCD adaptor wherever you are plugging the lead
in, if the socket curcuit is not already protected by an RCD.

I find all the power adaptors are a pain.

In my front room I have a cordless telephone base ,a DSL modem, a cisco
Wifi router, a Belkin Wifi router, a Network disk and a 22" LCD TV.
They all have their own low voltage power adapters. Different plugs,
different voltages, and some won't fit beside others. Disaster.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:50 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
You're sort of bringing up a lot bigger questions there than you suspect candide I'd say - you could turn the world upside-down to get a new design if you were really into it

I think I do suspect and probably want a philosophical as well as a technological discussion. I know I am a neophyte here but i first used a computer terminal in 1970, - now there's a shocker. Who remembers Cobol and Fortran and punched cards? I have owned PCs since the mid 80s and my first portable cost £5,000 including docking station. But I am just an end user, not a techie person. I no longer do DIY, own no power tool other than a cheque book and am bewildered at the lag between design and technology. I'll bet Bill Gates has a house where technology and decor are seamless.
Just look at EVM's problems. And there was I thinking everyone else has it sorted Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:12 am

EVM
I know what you mean by all those little adapters - sometimes they squeeze badly together on a multi-plug block even.

But this is a potentially very good discussion - if we come up with anything of a design nature we should remember to try to share the patent. But yes, we're getting it going here now with mechanism details alongside hopefully philosophy. I tried to do a literature dissertation on this once but got lost when I started roping in the Militia of Montana next to Plato. It was downhill all the way afterwards towards the Internet via Shelley, Sidney, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. And that was in 1995. Maybe I'll finish it here.

I worked for a while with the programming language RPG400 which is based on punch cards. I don't know exactly why IBM wrote a compiler based on a punch-card system but I suppose they must have just changed it slowly. Probably compiles faster all the same. Then there was a little spell of Cobol. All computer languages are the same in the end though. Some just have nicer and cooler names than others. Unix has lovely natural names but is one basturd of a thing to manipulate properly.

Some designs could be by accident. Unix was a sort of accident or experiment and has very awkward spots like the design of the human body probably has. Some things evolve is the problem when we expect an out-of-the-box design that functions perfectly once the wrapper is off.

Lots of mechanisms do function perfectly out of the box though.

Didn't we see something before EVM where DC could be piped directly into your house? Wouldn't that minimise all the need for adapters?


candide wrote:
I think I do suspect and probably want a philosophical as well as a technological discussion. I know I am a neophyte here but i first used a computer terminal in 1970, - now there's a shocker. Who remembers Cobol and Fortran and punched cards? I have owned PCs since the mid 80s and my first portable cost £5,000 including docking station. But I am just an end user, not a techie person. I no longer do DIY, own no power tool other than a cheque book and am bewildered at the lag between design and technology. I'll bet Bill Gates has a house where technology and decor are seamless.
Just look at EVM's problems. And there was I thinking everyone else has it sorted Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:26 am

Now this is exciting. Where did I put my little sketches? I will sleep, perchance to dream of solutions. What is the Militia of Montana? Drowzy... Sleep
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:31 am

candide wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
You're sort of bringing up a lot bigger questions there than you suspect candide I'd say - you could turn the world upside-down to get a new design if you were really into it

I think I do suspect and probably want a philosophical as well as a technological discussion. I know I am a neophyte here but i first used a computer terminal in 1970, - now there's a shocker. Who remembers Cobol and Fortran and punched cards? I have owned PCs since the mid 80s and my first portable cost £5,000 including docking station. But I am just an end user, not a techie person. I no longer do DIY, own no power tool other than a cheque book and am bewildered at the lag between design and technology. I'll bet Bill Gates has a house where technology and decor are seamless.
Just look at EVM's problems. And there was I thinking everyone else has it sorted Surprised

I don't know candide. I would say Bill Gates suffers from the same problems as the rest of us. Electricity does not recognise wealth. At some stage Bill's infrastructure will become obsoleted and will have to be ripped out. Lucky for him, someone else will do it while he's on holidays.

Whenever I have the floor up in my house, I try to modernise what I can, plumbing, electrics, data whatever.

I have set out on a new approach now. One gable end of my house is not really visible from anywhere. So I'm going to run PVC trunking from ESB supply to the boiler room - boiler room to the attic - and attic to kitchen, extension and fron room.

This will allow me to distribute power, TV, Phone and ethernet around the entire house without ripping up floorboards.

I keep thinking about the building in Paris, Pompidou Center, that's the idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:35 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
.I keep thinking about the building in Paris, Pompidou Center, that's the idea.

And I am thinking small here. I found this desk today on the potterybarn site

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/p10324/index.cfm?pkey=csmart%2Dfurniture%2Daccessories

"The Smart Feature™ on the back panel is a Furnlite FC-620 electrical cord set and surge protector. It features 2 electrical receptacles, one RJ11 telephone jack, one RJ45 data jack and two USB ports on the face. It also offers one power receptacle and matching data, phone, and USB ports on the back of the unit."


They also have nifty little items like this recharge station. It has a six socket power strip concealed behind:

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:50 pm

johnfás wrote:
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.


Jeez, that one looks like a real ergonomic disaster. The CRT monitor sez it all I suppose...
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:53 pm

It is functional though Razz.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:01 pm

johnfás wrote:
It is functional though Razz.

But for how long? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:07 pm




The pottery barn solution to the entertainment problem has sockets at the back, no castors though.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:49 pm

We wire through a desk and all the plugs are in a cupboard in our home office here. Works well. It is the desk in my bedroom which is a disaster zone... mobile phone, digital camera, laptop, speakers, desk lamp etc etc etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:03 pm

A piece in toay's New York Times suggests that the recession may prove the opportunity to see better design in more humanistic terms:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/weekinreview/04cannell.html?_r=1

The article only adresses the technology issues by inference, dealing with constraints and current conditions. Ikea is mentioned too Johnfás.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:41 pm

How about getting something custom built? Always the best way to sort out a problem really.

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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:51 pm

I agree and I have spoken to some bespoke furniture makers but could not communicate the technology requirements clearly to them. Most furniture is conceived of as storage or a worktop, not as part of the technology. They are also very expensive understandably, unlike the affordable but inaequate IKEA solutions.

If there were a smart unit such as mentioned above on the pottery barn site with sockets to suit Irish conditions, I think it might answer the problem, as something like the hutch, with cable openings could be made to screw on to an existing desk. I could also hang on to my old oak desk and satisfy those 'reduce, re-use' requrements.

If there are Irish or British producers of multi-plug/smart units who could work with a designer and produce three styles - minimalist, antique and retro maybe - I think there is a market.


http://www.potterybarn.com/pbimgs/ab/images/p2/products/200852/0086/img74m.jpg



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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:00 pm

Would standard office equipment suit you or is it too boring ?

You can put holes in desks for cables and plugs but perhaps the legs of tables should be hollow or there should be pipes under the table or clips even to grab the wires.

Drill, screwdriver, clips, screws Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:03 pm

my wife's father designs furniture and hand made his office furniture, he's also a techno geek, aways upgrading his computers etc to the latest models. i'll see what he has done with the wires etc and if he can come up with a few ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:36 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Would standard office equipment suit you or is it too boring ?

You can put holes in desks for cables and plugs but perhaps the legs of tables should be hollow or there should be pipes under the table or clips even to grab the wires.

Drill, screwdriver, clips, screws Wink

O dear Auditor, I get a Wildean faintness at the thought of that and need to lie down on a chaise longue until it passes. pale

And EVM says 'when I take up a floor in my house'. Now I never, ever take up floors though I am humbled and impressed by those who do. As a peek at your garage proves, you are a seriously techie and skilled person. In my first house I mastered the power drill, the floor sander and a host of other pieces of technology I never wish to see again. I know the difference between a job well done and a job, well, ...done.Smile

In every office I have had the furniture was re-arranged and the army-issue solutions ( some of them very attractive initially) were never right for the relationship of phone, LAN, PC and printer. The sockets-in-the-floor became hazards too.

Zakalwe's idea is great: someone who combines cabinetmaking with being a techie person. I look forward to hearing the ideas that come up.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:42 pm

Have you tried going to a cabinet maker with a basic sketch of what you want and pictures of all the cables you need within it and tell him that you will supply all the cabling, all they have to do is pin it to the furniture in the way you want.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:02 pm

Something like these perhaps?

This link will suffice - [Mod Audi]
http://images.rockler.com/tech/RTD10000245AA.pdf


Could someone at MN list the additional items that might be necessary for the full range of stuff we have these days and specifications suitable to Ireland/UK?

For the furniture maker there is the additional matter of openings for cables and easy access to the panel (rotation, castors) and cable tidys.

We're nearly there folks..... bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:50 pm

johnfás wrote:
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.

I have to recommend the 3G dongle (great word, johnfás - is it common currency or one of your own creations?) which costs 20 quid a month and works really well. Excellent coverage.

A difficulty with all network connections is that if you live in a very well insulated new house (as we do), the insulation may have metallic backing (as opposed to the nasty old aeroboard stuff) and your coverage may be poor. I find it grand here most of the time but brilliant everywhere else. I have broadband in the house anyway so don't use it there much.

This is a wonderful thread.

I think it's pen and paper time, candide (welcome) so you can draw what you want or cut and paste a few images here of what you've seen that meets the design but not the functionality criteria you've set.

A lot of the images that have been posted of work stations (apart from Cactus' rather lovely sewing machine) have a lot of height. How necessary is this? It means you're forever prevented from parking your castor-wheeled structure in front of a window...
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:46 pm

I've just spent a little few moments thinking about this and I wonder if each item of furniture you use for your laptop couldn't be modified to take all your connections and bits and pieces ? It would be a fair bit of work but would mean tying a rake of cables and multi-plugs onto a table or something.

You could take EVMs idea of having a block of sockets visible and available to you on the table - the link you posted above has such an image with various inputs for usb and network cables etc. Some of the old stuff you don't need and should ignore as it's obsolete now.

But the bits and pieces are generally quite affordable. You could tie that multi-plug socket cable down the leg of your table where it would end at the bottom in the plugs. That could then plugged in elsewhere if you were to move the whole table.

I think we need to get around to drawing stuff now alright. Remember that you can buy bluetooth 'dongles' which turn your devices all wireless too ? Some dongles are half the size of your fingernail and jut out no more than that from the side of your pc. The connection is a usb one.
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PostSubject: Re: Functional design for wireless technology   Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:56 pm

I have bluetooth on my new laptop... any ideas what I can use it for? I feel I should be making use of it but I have no idea what to do...
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