Sony's Solid State 2.4 Pound Laptop Reviewed


Very nice comment explaining why solid-state disks can work pretty much forever (or at least no worse than normal hardware obsoletion times). Better still, it lays into Sony quality -- you know me, anyone slamming Sony gets my vote :-)

The main slashdot article is at


and the actual review is on



Re: FW: At an impasse with ergonomics folks.

This is nothing to do with <deleted> or any particular company -- bureaucracy exists everywhere, so no one should feel they are vilifying a particular company in writing this.  In other words, I'll bet they're all the same.

Since this looks like it happened in the US, let me narrate my (much more pleasant) experience, while working at a small firm called Unidata in Denver.

A co-worker saw me flexing my wrist in weird ways.  He asked me why and I said it feels good to do this, because there is some small stiffness or ache.

That's it.  After that I was not in control...!

He called HR and reported the matter.  The HR head (it was a small company, about 400 people in 4 floors of one building) came scurrying to my desk, had me sit down, asked me a bunch of questions, and called OSHA.

[This is OSHA, not OSHO, in case you were wondering, although the OSHA girl who came by the next morning to take measurements of my body in the typing posture was certainly the stuff of dreams.  I am now much, much older, and am considered to be in a position of responsibility, so I will refrain from describing this young lady in any detail.  It should suffice to say that most of my male colleagues were contemplating how to inflict similar wrist injuries on themselves and my female colleagues were nowhere to be seen for all the time this girl was at my desk ;-)]

OSHA fixed me up with a physio-therapist in a nearby health center, and I was asked to go there the next morning, and once a week for the next 3-4 weeks.  At the end of that I was given a huge check list and asked to report IMMEDIATELY should ANY of those symptoms make an appearance.

My desk was also fitted out -- yes sir!! -- with an articulated keyboard and various other paraphernalia that they deemed necessary for me to do my work without being in a situation where I could later sue my employer for work related injuries.

That's the power of OSHA.  I suggest your friend invoke this power and get himself an articulated keyboard.

Me, I would prefer an articulate keyboard over an articulated keyboard any day.  I come in pretty early in the morning and it would be nice to have someone to chat with while doing the morning chores like email etc :-)


PS: feel free to forward this to the same bunch of people you sent the original email to -- I haven't said anything here that may bite me later :-)

on 07/12/2007 08:06 PM <deleted> (<deleted>) wrote:

I dunno whether I should forward this or not… but it’s worth a read coz it’s a funny situation if you aren’t the one facing it… and it’s an email sent to a distribution list that I’m part of.


Please do NOT forward it to others*!






*(If you *do* feel like forwarding it, please remove my name and alias from the email body content… I don’t want to be kicked out of <deleted>! {Not yet, that is :P})

From: <>
Sent: <>
To: <>
Subject: At an impasse with ergonomics folks.


Folks, this is probably going to sound a little bit absurd, but I think what better way to let out a little steam than gather a little sympathy J


I have been working at <deleted> for about a year now and was a college hire. I am quite used to having an articulating keyboard tray which I found immensely useful. So, when I did not find it here and found working with the regular height table a bit cumbersome, I asked around how I could get an articulating keyboard tray. It was suggested that I talk to the ergo/HR folks and so I did. This is how the conversation went:


Ergo Lady> Did you read the ergonomics guideline on the website?

Me> Yes

Ergo Lady> Do you have an injury, pain, ache etc anywhere?

Me> No

Ergo Lady> So, how may I help  you?

Me> Well, I want an articulating keyboard tray for my desktop so I can work better.

Ergo Lady> If you follow the ergo guidelines on the website, you would not need one.

Me> Huh?

Ergo Lady> What do you need the keyboard tray for?

Me> Well, to put the keyboard at a height that is suitable for my arms

Ergo Lady> Since 1998, we have been getting the  height adjustable tables. You can obtain a key to adjust the height of the table. I can order a key for you if you want.

Me> No,  no, you see, I want to add a negative tilt to my keyboard as well

Ergo Lady> Well, we can give you a wrist pad…

Me> No, no, you see, then the monitors will be too low, I want them at my eye level.

Ergo Lady> Well, we can give you monitor height adjustment stools…

Me> No, no, you see, I also want to keep rest of my stuff such as books, hardware etc at my eye level…

Ergo Lady> Well, you see, we can order a bookshelf for you to keep the stuff there.

Me (by now exasperated)> Well, how can I get a keyboard tray, it is just something that I find very useful, convenient and I am just so very used to it. It will make me happier when I come to work because I will find my workstation exactly the way I way I want to work on it.

Ergo Lady> Well, we cannot order a keyboard tray for you. A keyboard tray costs about $300. All that stuff (monitor adjustment stools, wrist pads) costs us a few bucks. If, however, your health care provider prescribes a keyboard tray for you, we can do it.

Me>Ummm…. You have been very helpful, thanks for your time….


I understand her reasoning,  I understand also how I can adjust my desk, add a wrist pad (which I hate) and get a shelf (which will take up a good amount of space in my doubled up office) but for the life of me, I cannot understand why spending $300 (retail) on something that will make me a happier, more productive developer is not worth <deleted>’s while. I am sure if I spend 5 minutes a day fretting about it and I am in general not as content with my workplace as I could be, it would more than make up for the $300 that they might have to spend one time on me. *Sigh* there are bad days and then there are days when you feel like you just are hitting  your head against a wall…