More keyboards and more pixels

After about eight years of on-and-off tinkering, the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot Desk is now a Sit/Stand/Play-Piano Desk. I wanted to learn to play a little piano, so I bought a little piano, a 66-key Yamaha PGR-E263. So cheap that they sell the power supply seperately for $30 to make their profit. It took … really a lot of work, rebuilding the whole thing around slides for the piano keyboard, separate slides for the Kinesis keyboard, and keeping the transformation between different modes so easy that I would actually play the piano. Along the way I incorporated another 4K monitor, new laptop, new phone.

Picture of Sun, very close up, spread across four big monitors with a dark background, with bits of desk visible behind.

From experience with my desk in the office, I realized that a standing desk you can sit at is much more useful than a sitting desk you can stand at. That is, with a high desk and a stool, you hop up to sit, and it’s very natural to hop down—without moving the desk, keyboard, or mouse if possible—and keep working. And then when you get tired, you hop up. Whereas with a regular chair and a liftable desk, inertia and gravity join forces to keep you down. I swapped in an Aeron Stool1, and now the monitors only need to slide up and down a few inches, which freed up peripheral space which led to a cascade of other changes from the last version:

The piano keyboard slides out, and the new flying2 mouse tray flips down and out of the way; other changes include splitting the counter-weight in half so each pulley is individually weighted; building a sliding keyboard tray and a box for cabling; a lot of cable management; replacing the 30” monitor with a laptop holder and swapping sides for the laptop and the Roku display (this skips the whole period of the Roku display on the horizontal arm, but that may return); a rudimentary footrest, sustain pedal, and pedal that doesn’t do anything yet but will eventually; a light to fill in the half of my face that isn’t lit by the window on the right of the desk, when I’m on video calls; a Big Red Button and a Big Red Switch Dial That Makes a Pleasing Tchkk When Rotated, for the monitors and some more lights, respectively; a pinch of LED backlighting; a vise grip for small projects; various experiments in finishing, from children’s painting efforts to Stuart Semple’s Black 3.0 to leftover steel tubes I used as drying racks and then left outside to rust on the balcony until later putting them back into use; the Matrix Cube Alarm Clock on stand; an upgrade to the monitor bar, which now slides up and down the vertical tubes much more smoothly thanks to metal sleeves; … that might be everything. As of today.

The single biggest improvement, though, was getting a new, 4×4K display card. You can buy a card with lots of outputs, or you can buy a fanless card; never both. Also, you can have multiple video cards, or you can have a happy life; never both. Now I have a VisionTek Products Radeon 7750 SFF, and at night, when I sit on the couch next to the computer, I can hear a slight noise. If I never have to see another xorg.conf file, it will be a very good trade.

HP LP3065" 2560 1600 4,096,000
LG 27MU67 3840 2160 8,294,400
LG 27MU67 3840 2160 8,294,400
LG 27UD68P 3840 2160 8,294,400
Thinkpad X1 Carbon 7th Gen 3840 2160 9,294,400
OnePlus One 1080 1920 2,073,600
OnePlus Five 1920 1080 2,073,600
Total     41,420,800