Daily Archive: March 17, 2005

The pyramid principle

PyramidI used to be one of those “everything on my laptop” sort of guys until I started working from home.  Now I use the device pyramid principle, which is another way of saying that I exploit the strengths of 3 devices to offset the weaknesses of those same three devices.  I works like this:


600C_127dialpad_medMy least powerful, but most accessible device is my Treo.  I can access anything on it with a couple of clicks, and its up and running in a second (actually its always on but it takes a second to activate the screen).  Because it’s my phone I never leave home without it.  The information I carry on it is the basic stuff:


  • Contacts
  • Diary
  • Email
  • Todo
  • eWallet

But because it’s always with me it’s important that I also have stuff for entertainment, (music, books) and work to fill in any otherwise dead time (RSS feeds, tech conferences, email).

Tc1000Next comes my Tablet,  it’s much bigger, takes a couple of minutes to get going, and even longer to find what I am looking for.  However being more powerful it has everything that the Treo has plus:

  • All my scanned documents
  • All my current work
  • Everything …


HouseworkSince I started working from home I have increased the amount of house work that I do, my share is:

  • Washing the clothes and putting them away
  • At least one set of washing up
  • Tidying the kids rooms
  • Bed time stories

I don’t mind doing it to much,  but I have recently found that I actually quite enjoy it because I listen to technical conferences or pod-casts on my Treo to keep me occupied (except when reading the bedtime stories :-)).  Today I was listening to the 2nd Tablet PC Podcast that JK has just started, more details on his blog.  and I found that I was actually looking around for more cleaning to do so that I could listen to the end.  Debbie (wife) was pretty pleased when she got home!

New workstation design!

DeskI have gradually refined my workstation design, and its changed quite a lot since the last time I posted.  So I thought I would provide an update.  This first image shows an overview of the whole environment, there are some key points to look out for:

  • First I two PC’s shown at the bottom, the one on the left is my desktop, running Windows 2003 Server, with 2GB of memory and VM Ware Workstation and all of my other applications.  This PC drives the three monitors via two ATI graphics boards.

Behind the PC’s in a curtain that my wife made for me that hides one hell of tangle of cables!

On top of the centre monitor is a USB web cam.  On the CRT monitor is my headphone jack and volume control and my Secure ID token (dual factor authentication) for my company VPN connection.

The two monitors centre and left are 19” TFT’s that run at 1280*1024.  The one on the right is a 19” Flat CRT.   I tend to use the one of the left for email, reference materials, instant message discussions etc.  The one in the middle for writing, presentations and reading, and the one …