Category Archives: coworking

Jarvis Standing Desk Review

I’ve had a standing desk for a while now, I have had one at Uncubed for years, but when Nicole and I decided to redo our home office (we both primarily work from home) I wanted us both to get standing desks.  In the way back it was easy, Geek Desk was more or less the only/main game in town.

Now however, there’s no shortage of options, and opinions :)

As we do now, I started by asking around on Twitter and Facebook. Many chimed in with what they use, or what they’re looking at for themselves. Rarely did anyone recommend the same thing as anyone else, until (IIRC) two people mentioned the Jarvis.

Then someone pointed me to this awesome blog post. Which quite literally saved me a good couple weeks, by doing most of the research I would’ve done. Dave’s post is immensely thorough. The only thing missing was IKEA’s entry into the game, which didn’t matter as it was out of the running for me, based on the size of the table top.

Fitting one standing desk in a home office is easy, two adds some complexity. Table top size, how close we’d want our desks (if they were going to be side by side), etc. is a big deal, as is leaving enough room after two desks are in it, for us and our dogs, and the various other things that go in the office.

After reading Dave’s post, and knowing my experiences with Geekdesks at my office (which I liked, but were still a pretty hefty price, and basic), we went with the Jarvis. The Bamboo top has actually been a Wirecutter favorite for several years, and ranked high in Dave’s own research. We didn’t get the bamboo because neither of us like wood grain as a look.

Jarvis basic desk controlsThe nice thing with Ergodepot (now Fully) is that you pick and choose what you want, including grommet placement. Nicole wanted a grommet in one place, I opted for another, so it was nice neither of us was getting a one size fits all standing desk. Beyond that you can choose from regular controls or the fancier memory ones, can add all manner of things to the desk. We went pretty bare bones.

One thing I like a lot, is that the controls (Up/Down) are lit. and the control is slightly angled. It’s just more visually appealing than geek desk controls.

For those interested, specifically we got for our standing desks:

My Jarvis standing deskJarvis 48″ x 30″ rectangle graphite top, black frame.

Grommet in the center for me, left corner for her (looks like that’s no longer an option which likely addresses my one CON). Now you can choose two grommets (left and right corner) or no grommets.

I already had some extra IKEA under desk stuff holders, so opted to not get the cable management option. Ditto pencil trays, lamps, etc.

Standard up/down switch. Memory seems nice, but it’s not that hard to do, so….

The one thing that drove me a bit batty, was the wait. I’m just not that patient when ordering things (Thanks Amazon). From order to ship, the frame was the next day, the table top was a week later, via UPS ground, which added another week. The delay likely due to the (no longer an option) grommet placement.

 

If I were in the market right now for a standing desk, I’d buy a Jarvis in a heartbeat. Nicole and I both love ours.

Denver Startup Week

Denver’s First ever Startup Week is almost here. In fact it’s the week of October 22nd.  If this is news to you, I’m glad I caught you with enough time to do something.

There’s a lot on the schedule for the week, and more, much more being added.

I want to highlight the things I’m most excited about. You definitely need to check out the full schedule though, because there’s tons of stuff going on all across town during the day.

  1. The opening kick off Lunch. None other than Gary Vaynerchuk is helping to kick off the week. The Lunch is free, if you can make it, go sign up. It’s gonna be a great way to see how truly behind startups and entrepreneurship the city of Denver is.
  2. Tuesday night is the Startup Job Faire and Denver Founders Network, “Bootstrap vs. funding” throw down.
  3. Ignite Denver (spark submission still open!) is that Wednesday, the 24th. We’re holding it at the Oriental Theatre, and doors open at 6. Thanks to Startup Week, admission is free, and everyone gets one free drink ticket when they walk in. It’s gonna be an awesome ignite.
  4. Friday has two cool things going for it. Ok three. One, it’s Friday. Two, while not on the schedule, there’s a “resource Faire” planned for the afternoon at Wynkoop brewing. Folks that offer services to startups, will be able to be under one roof meeting everyone. Three, the “Celebration of Startups” finale event.

That’s 4 things out of more than 60 that are planned for the week. There’s also awesome stuff the weekend before like Startup Weekend, and before that Lean Startup Machine. Both are taking place at Uncubed Coworking :)

 

If you’re in a startup, thinking about starting something up, or just want to learn more about what Denver has to offer in a startup community, that’s the week to be here!

If you happen to be coming from out of town, you’re welcome at Uncubed, so you can stay connected and get work done. Free coworking all week

See ya there

Stop comparing everything to an iPad

WiiU controller as a helper for game play

I get it, we all love our iPads, i love mine. I’ve tried Blackberries, droids and such, and am back with an iPad.

But, that doesn’t mean every consumer device with a screen should be compared to one!

I was at a Nintendo event last week, for a sneak preview of their new WiiU. (Pronounced, I think. We you).

The big new feature of the WiiU is the game pad controller dealy. Which has a large screen (Which seems to be enough to warrant a comparison to the iPad).

During the event I asked a lot of questions of the demo wranglers, to make sure I knew exactly what the WiiU was, and how it was gonna fit into my life. Doing so made it clear, that much like the Wii before it, it’s less about whiz bang look at my pixels and more about, let’s make games fun and engaging for everyone in the room. However the WiiU is HD now!!!

The Game Pad (I honestly don’t know what it’s name is) is often not the primary game play device. That’s still the realm of the Wiimote (kinda nice to upgrade console and not need new controllers). I’d say about 75% of the games being demo’ed used the game pad as a helper device. In Rayman, the person with Game Pad, destroyed obstacles, and created platforms for the player to use in getting through the level. (see above)

In Super Mario (world, 2, something) the game pad player, gave Mario platforms to jump on, to cross large areas, bopped kupas to keep them off Mario as he moved, etc.

This type of game play really makes the games more collaborative. The Game Pad has a touch screen, so you just tap around, making controlling things easy. It did also have two joysticks, a + controller, and a bunch of buttons like a PS3 controller. Many games were like that, using the Game Pad as an assist to the game.

The other type of game I got to play used the Game pad as the main controller in 1 person at a time games. Obviously it’ll be up the the game studios, but the games I played made excellent use of the game pad screen. In in one game (below) when your character entered a building, you had to use the game pad screen to navigate until you got back outside. It made the game more engaging.

Having a touch screen right there in your hands also opened the game up to cool gestures. Need a gun in a game, draw a sideways “L” and your gun was available. No menus, no toggling, etc.

One game took the game pad in a weird place. It was a skiing game. If you were playing it, you had to look at the game pad in portrait mode and use it’s acceleromter to steer your skier. I guess everyone else would watch the TV, but the player never did. It was kinda weird. Most games leveraged the game pad really well to enhance game play.

So yeah it has a screen and an accelerometer, so I guess a comparison to the iPad is fair? Course, my guess is if you sat an iPad on a coffee table, AirDisplayed it to an AppleTV and used iPhones as controllers, all over Wifi or Bluetooth, (sarcasm warning) it’d be the same fun family/friends gaming experience, until a push notification made your controller disconnect, or a phone call comes in, etc. Course it would cost a lot more too.

I understand we love our iDevices, but not everything is trying to be an iDevice killer, or even a competitor.

Disclaimer: The games I played were almost all prototypes. They said we could post pics so long as they weren’t close ups, and included the game pad as well as the TV screen.

My thanks to Nintendo for a fun time, and an informative event, I can’t wait to add a WiiU to the house, or maybe Uncubed Coworking

 

I Am Not Busy

I’ve talked about being busy before. Lately it’s kind of come back around again with a post in of the NYT titled “The ‘Busy’ Trap”

I’m not busy. When a friend says “let’s go get coffee” I go. When my wife IM’s and asks if I want to take a walk, I go. When Bike to work day happens, I ride in it. When there’s a party in a park, I go to it. When an opportunity to take a trip with my wife comes up, I take it. I get my work done though. It just doesn’t consume me.

I run my own business, two of them actually. If anyone should be busy I could argue it’s me. But I’m not. Do I have things to do? Yes many of them. Do I need to put in 16 hour days? nope. Do i tell anyone who’ll listen how much work i put in on a daily basis? No that’s never even crossed my mind.If anything I’ve tweeted from time to time some accomplishment I’m proud of. Some result of work.

I know many folks, especially in my programmer circles might not agree, and when I wrote code for a living I spent many a day working 16+ hours. Not by choice. I never thought it was the right approach, but then it wasn’t my choice.

I have friends who constantly tweet a complaint like this “20 hours of X, time for bed, or maybe I’ll stay up” or some variation on the theme. Like the article above points out, these folks are staying up, never sleeping etc, because they take on too many things. Knowing some of these offenders I suspect the article is right, they simply wouldn’t know what to do with free time. These are often the “I don’t have time to read” types as well.

I don’t mean this post to be an attack on anyone at all, but to point out the simple fact (the one I made way back) we’re all busy with our lives, and if you’re THAT busy, you’re doing it wrong. And also, no one else cares, or is keeping tabs for future brownie point awarding.

 

Enjoy your life.

Can’t change minds

The strangest thing happened the other day.

Two people over twitter asked about coworking. Our awesome friends of Uncubed all chimed in without our asking and recommended Uncubed. That’s awesome in and of itself. We love that the community feels strongly enough about us that they’ll recommend us.

Both guys seemed interested and we made sure they knew we’d love to have them come check the space out. Both seemed like they intended to do just that.

Then yesterday (the initial twitter exchange was about 2 weeks ago or so) one tweets that Uncubed and another space nearby are out. Too shady of neighborhoods and too far from downtown. Say what? He spent one day at another coworking space, and formed that strong of an opinion?

The other guy, replies and says he too ruled us out for similar reasons. (He never tried either space as far as I know) We tried talking to both who clearly don’t know the neighborhood or downtown for that matter. One even went so far as to say Taxi was in a better spot. I love Taxi but that place is just past East Bum Fuck at the corner of “nowhere” and “Hard to get to”

Oh, Unucbed, is the “A” and Taxi is the arrow. If “better area” means nothing around and only one road in or out, then yeah I guess Taxi is better.

One questioned whether his car would be safe when he worked at night… Jake pointed out that the hundreds of people who come thru Uncubed for meetups each month, plus members who work late have never once, had an issue. As a resident I can say, the only cars I’ve seen broken into (and yes it does happen, just like it does anywhere in downtown) are the cars that look like they’ve got good stuff and are left for a while and clearly not being paid attention too.

It was clear in their tweets with us and others who chimed in to defend the neighborhood, that neither knows the area. Hell neither even ever came to Uncubed to try it out. But while part of me wanted to convince them they were wrong and win their business, another part (which won out) pointed out that it was a losing battle. Some one who’d made a decision with little or no facts or research, isn’t likely to change their mind in the face of contrary evidence. The fact that our “shady neighborhood” is also where my house is, home to several great bars, many awesome indie coffee shops, tons of small businesses etc. clearly wasn’t a factor. Maybe it’s because there’s less sidewalks?

It was clear, neither would be members. The community that is Uncubed wasn’t important, something else was, and we didn’t have it. It still stung to be ruled out without even having a chance tho.

At any rate, since I can’t rail against those two guys directly because that’s bad business and plain silly, I’ll blog about them so I can have the last word in an argument they didn’t know they were having. After all isn’t that largely what blogging is about? :)