IKEA Standing Desk

As a software developer, who sits most of the day, I’ve become concerned with the associated health problems. When you sit still, levels of an enzyme that draws fat from your bloodstream starts to drop, leaving the fat to wreak havoc elsewhere in your body. This increases your risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since I’ve been noticing numbness in my legs and a sore back and shoulders, I wanted to do something about it.

But I didn’t want to spend over $1000 on a motorized desk that doesn’t even have a monitor pedestal or a footrest. So I did a bit of research and decided to go with the following.

So if you’re looking for an affordable and great looking standing desk, take a look at these bar table items from IKEA. For just $250 (CAD), you can get:

  • A sturdy Utby desk that can be adjusted to your height. The lower bar can be used as a foot rest, which will help shift your weight off your feet when you’re standing for longer periods of time.
  • The Capita bracket raises your monitor to a better height to reduce neck strain.
  • The Franklin bar stool will let you sit every now and then because always standing isn’t good for you either. Just ask a cashier at the grocery store. 🙂 Doctors recommend you stand for 15 mins. and sit for 45 mins. of every hour then adjust the schedule as you get more comfortable standing.

Here’s my shopping list:

UTBY Bar table – brown-black/stainless steel, 120x60x105 cm – $199.99
UTBY Bar table, brown-black, stainless steel Length: 47 1/4 " Width: 23 5/8 " Frame, height: 41 3/8 "  Length: 120 cm Width: 60 cm Frame, height: 105 cm


CAPITA Bracket – $19.99 / 2 pack
CAPITA Bracket, stainless steel Height: 6 3/4 " Package quantity: 2 pack  Height: 17 cm Package quantity: 2 pack


FRANKLIN Bar stool with backrest, foldable – brown-black/silver color, 74 cm – $29.99
FRANKLIN Bar stool with backrest, foldable, brown-black, silver color Width: 20 1/2 " Depth: 17 3/8 " Height: 40 1/2 " Seat width: 13 3/8 " Seat depth: 13 3/8 " Seat height: 29 1/8 "  Width: 52 cm Depth: 44 cm Height: 103 cm Seat width: 34 cm Seat depth: 34 cm Seat height: 74 cm


Also, the nice thing about the Utby table is you can get just the underframe (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/90117562/) then add a different table top like a Vika Amon (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/search/?query=VIKA+AMON+Table+top) that comes in a bigger size and different colours.

Hopefully, this will help make you more productive, healthier, and save you money!

Thanks to my friend, Dima (https://twitter.com/#!/dyashkir), for recommending the Utby and Capita.

Updating your forked repo in GitHub

I’ve been using GitHub for the past few months, and it’s awesome! I used to be a fan of Subversion, but I rarely used its branching feature because merging was a real pain so it was one of those things I just avoided.

But with Git, you can create as many branches as you’d like, easily switch between them, and easily merge your changes back in. When I started using GitHub, the experience was even better because I could “watch” other Open Source projects and “fork” a copy of their repo.

Obviously, this is a great way to learn new coding techniques and develop new ideas. But if you’re like me, I fork more than I contribute so I end up with a lot of forked repos that fall behind the original repo. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way (yet) in GitHub to quickly refresh your forked repo to the latest. It’d be great if there was an “Update” or “Refork” button beside the “Fork” button.

Since it doesn’t, I manually do it from the Git console using something like this:

  1. Clone your copy of the repo from GitHub to your local repo:
    • git clone https://psiborg@github.com/psiborg/bbUI.js.git
  2. Change directory to the cloned repo:
    • cd bbUI.js/
  3. Assign a name to the original “upstream” repo:
    • git remote add upstream https://github.com/tneil/bbUI.js.git
  4. Get the changes from upstream and merge them into your local repo:
    • git pull upstream master

      Note: If you don’t want to clobber changes that you’ve made in your local repo, you can do a fetch instead of a pull:

      • git fetch upstream

      Fetch will get changes that are not present in your local repo without modifying your files.

  5. Push the changes back to your repo in GitHub:
    • git push origin master

That should do it! Your forked repo should be up to date with the original.

If anyone knows of an easier way, please let me know. Thanks!

Hello World!

As a developer, I thought “Hello World” would be a fitting way to (grudgingly) start my new blog. I say “grudgingly” because somehow my (old) blog files and database got damaged. But instead of sifting through backups to try and restore stale posts from years ago, I figured I’ll just start completely anew.

My previous blog had a little bit of everything: poetry, software picks, and rants/raves about (mostly) technology. But for this new blog, I’m going to focus more on web development topics because the web is going through another important “renaissance” period that is worth following.

HTML5 and CSS3 are promising new standards that allow developers to create more engaging and useful applications that are truly cross-platform. Although native apps will still have a place, web apps are becoming more powerful and have found their way on to desktops, mobile devices, and pretty soon they’ll be in our cars and probably even our appliances.

Also, JavaScript has really changed the development landscape. What used to be considered a “toy” language is now a highly respected language that has even found its way on to the server-side through Node.js. So I’m totally excited about where technology is headed. Hopefully, this blog will inspire and educate people. At the very least, it will serve as my developer’s journal.

Of course, I will throw in some odd posts from time-to-time as “diversions”. All web and no play makes Jim a dull boy, right? So welcome to my new blog!