First, I wanted to mention my newest shop update. I had been finding myself more and more carting my primary laptop out to the the shop. Now, a shop isn’t the best place for a computer, especially when it is being placed in any available flat surface. The first problem is that it would get covered with sawdust. I don’t know how many times I would come back in, and have to work on getting a piece of saw dust jammed under a key, they having to clean it out. Next, their was risk to the computer itself. First, my shop is in a garage that door is typically open in the warmer months while working. While I live in a good area, there is always risk that the computer could walk away. Next their was always a risk of the computer getting damaged or destroyed by either a projectile off of a saw or getting knocked on the concrete floor. After thinking it through, I decided to resurrect an old laptop that needed a hard drive. Fortunately I was able to get one very cheaply. I got it on there, and got the OS reinstalled on it (plus 200 windows updates to go with it!) . Software wise, I put on the chat client I use for The Woodwhisperer chat room, current browsers, SketchUp (I draw all my project plans on that now), and ustream producer, so I can stream while in the shop. (Believe it or not, people DO watch!)
Between the mouse click of getting everything installed on that computer, I built a small shelf out in the garage for it. The shelf is up high, probably 6’5″ off the ground. The was to address, a protecting it from flying objects and to help keep it away from the dust. It will still get dusty, but I will hit with the shop vac to help with that. Next I had an old 17″ flat panel laying around, along with a wall mount arm for a TV which we ended up never using. So I mounted the monitor up on the wall, up high as well, for the same reasons as the computer, but also so I can see it comfortably while standing (I am 6’2″). Finally I setup some old speakers (bought them for college nearly 15 years ago) so I could have some music from Pandora.com playing while I am out working. Finally I got a cheap wireless keyboard and mouse. Frankly they are junk, but they are good enough out the shop. I spent well under a $100 for the setup, and it is well worth it! Plus, with everything being old or cheap, if anything disappears or gets destroyed, I am not out a whole lot.
One quick site update, it was pointed out to me today that comments were not working. I did not realize this, because commenting on my site is like calling my own cell phone, I never do it. Most of the comments I get here are spam, and I have spam filters in place, and I just assumed that it was working. Anyway, I figured out which plug-ins were causing it, and they have since been deactivated, so feel free to leave a comment on any of my posts!