Friday, August 22, 2014

Gimme Some Office Space...

I'm in the midst of a quite a few projects right now, but I wanted to get the first part of this one up.  Thanks to our laptop burning in our spontaneous minivan fire, we were lacking in any sort of computer set up for blogging for a while... which, despite wanting to backpost a bit, brings me to this post.

I doubt I have any good pictures of the area before, but you can see the gross office space we had going to the side here in a picture taken a bunch of months ago.  We didn't actually have any computer set up yet for the picture, but you can sort of see what we're working with.

Edit:  I did find a picture that I took with a little more detail in the office area after it's been lived in a bit.  

The shelf the right is where we keep the homeschool books, papers, science, fine art (crafts are elsewhere) and math supplies.  The bookshelves are crammed with books and papers and I wish I had a more space, and fewer college books.  

The papers on the floor are the recent 'we need to file or sort' papers.  The boxes are about 70% filled with Eve's artwork we need to sort.  Not kidding.  We've 'laid down the law' and now she needs to ask before she get paper, and date what she wants to keep and after a few days, recycle the rest herself.  It seems to be going okay, except recycling is usually inconsistent.

The blue bin on the floor is electronics.  Behind the chair is a beat up filing cabinet, that I've had since I was 12.  Even then I wanted to hide it's scratched top, so I kept gray foam over it.  On top of the filing cabinet is our 'office storage' and it holds pens, calculators, envelopes, highlighter, protractors, etc.  It's a mess and the drawers stick.

And the computer desk holds everything else, but not well. Note the purple computer on the bottom. It's not actually hooked up.  Being programmers, we'd love to have dual monitors at some point... but this little desk can't handle more than one.

Here's a closeup of the old computer stand, taken a few days ago (hoping to give it away soon). My Mom bought it at Ames when I was about... 10.  That makes it almost 20 years old.  And it's made it through at least 15 moves.  Honestly, it's held up super well for being made of particleboard and something not thicker than contact paper on top of it.  Crazy.  The blue thing on the side is a folded piece of paper to hold our SD cards.  Best idea ever.

Anyway, it's ugly.  And it didn't suit our needs anymore.  We really really really need more desk space and storage.
Which is funny to say we need more space, because the computer we kept there (in this house) is super tiny.  It's an older used Mac Mini that we bought recently for app development. (You can see the little white box next to the monitor in the new pic above.)  We had it here for when we needed it for app stuff, but it hadn't been much competition for our [burned] laptop.  Because of the OS we had to load to develop apps, it runs really slow.   So while it worked okay for facebook and gmail, it was a pain to do much else on it.  (Like blogging)

I digress...  Again. After our car fire, we were able to successfully pull the hard-drive from the laptop, buy using our old desktop.  To step back, about 2 years ago we stopped using the desktop because the monitor barely worked, and the computer shut down randomly with no warning.  After trying a few things we were stumped as to what it was, and we sort of left it sitting there unfixed for a while. Like two years.

But, to get the laptop hard drive hooked up, I disconnected every extra thing in there (mostly hard-drives) to give the computer the best change of staying alive long enough to get our data off.   Not only had it stayed on the whole time getting our data off, we found it wasn't shutting off at all.  Must have been something with the old harddrives.  Mystery solved!  So that leaves us here.  No laptop, not much money to upgrade, and not much room for our existing stuff.  So our computer sat here next to the TV for a bit. It doesn't have a wireless card and was too far from the router where it sat, so we didn't have web access on it either.

So I focused my efforts back on the computer stand, which honestly, most of the plywood has been cut for a long time.  Long long time.  I actually cut most of the pieces while I cut the boys lego shelves and table (to be posted about soon).  The lego storage (and a bunch of other things) jumped the gun though and I finished those first.

Anyway, I finally got the first part kicked out about two weeks ago.  I'm so happy even with this little change.  The tabletop is maple plywood, edged with routered maple.  I'll get better pictures eventually.  I'm so glad I went with a hardwood for the table. I can already tell it will hold up well to the abusive keyboard and office chairs deliver.  The cabinet is birch plywood with poplar trim, painted white. A little cheaper and easier to work with than maple.  Once we have floors, I'm planning making it built-in with molding wrapping the bottom.

But that's not all!  About a week ago, I got the first part of the storage tower done. 

And just tonight, I got more of the storage tower up!  It's really coming to together now! I still have sanding, painting (outside), staining (inside), and a few more trim pieces to buy.... but I can see it now!


Added bonus, you can see one of the other projects I've been working on.  Our friends are taking a year long boat trip, and I've been making cushions for their bunks.  These are the last two, so I'm hoping to get some on-boat photos taken and posted soon.


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