Archive for June, 2011

Ikea-hacking a better workspace

What’s better than slightly improving your workspace? Not much! Inspired by this Ikea hack, I tore down my old Jerker desk and set upon building a new one.

 

Goodbye Jerker, hello Besta

The original hacker’s basic idea was to start with a Besta shelf unit, which has all kinds of add-ons. Saw your shelves down a little and mount them on rails from a matching drawer unit. I added a keyboard stand to mine, made out of a wall shelf and some Vika Kaj adjustable table legs. I also installed some Dioder multicolored LEDs, just cause they’re awesome.

The brilliant part is that, while you need to be able to reach all your controllers, you don’t need to reach them all at the same time. You can store them compactly tucked into the unit and just slide out the ones you want.  As awesome as my Jerker desk was, this setup has a significantly smaller footprint while keeping all my gadgets accessible.

If you are considering building this hack yourself, here are some tips:

  • Sawing the shelves down to size was surprisingly easy, although it takes a while and my arm got kind of tired. You can use the bottom of the drawer from which you took the rails as a sizing guide– it’s exactly the right width. Since the shelves are fiberboard, the side facing down as you saw is going to get a little ugly, so plan accordingly.
  • Mounting the rails on the shelves was slightly more difficult than I anticipated.  First, it’s easy to get confused about how to orient the rails.  Second, it’s a little tricky to drill holes in such a thin piece.
  • The most difficult part was installing the other half of the rails into the shelf– it’s really hard to operate a screwdriver around the rear holes. Ironically, this is the part actually sanctioned by Ikea.
  • Binder clips can keep your cables neat as you slide stuff in and out.

The new Beatport UI is fantastic.

Many years ago I wrote up a little rant on the awful Beatport user interface, so it’s only fair that I praise their new look. It’s fantastic:

new Beatport

The new Beatport design is fabulous.

They fixed nearly every problem with the original. It’s made in HTML5 instead of Flash. Text is far more readable. Forward/back buttons and bookmarks work. It uses your browser’s scrolling instead of the proprietary Flash widget scrolling. And although it’s labeled “beta,” it’s far less buggy than the official Flash-based interface.

I should also mention that it’s beautiful: clean, modern, and stylish. Everyone involved with the redesign, you deserve a big old high-five.