Stand-Up Employees

Standing work desks have been all the rage for the last few years, helping to  beat the age-old “secretary spread” issue that has plagued office workers everywhere. Sitting around all day contributes to a sedentary lifestyle that can lead to adverse health effects and obesity. Here at CableWholesale, our sales guy Jesse decided to try out a standing desk, and even built it himself. Below is his journey, and a step-by-step process to get your desk in standing position.

stand up desk

“Many of us, myself included, are chained to both a computer and phone for eight hours a day. If you haven’t heard yet about the many health benefits that come with using a standing desk, a recent article from The Smithsonian could literally save your life. By utilizing a standing desk, you will not only help to avoid the many health problems discussed in the article, it can also provide many health benefits such as: improving your mood, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, increased productivity and reducing back pain caused from poor posture. Click here to read the Smithsonian article.

So now that the guys at SmithsonianMag.com have explained why sitting for prolonged periods can be harmful to your health, I’ll tell you how I built my own standing desk set-up, and how you can do the same. Here is the step-by-step process.

I was lucky enough to have an old monitor and keyboard laying around at home from a previous obsolete computer that I recently replaced.

I also pulled several needed parts from our warehouse:
41H1-27602 (SVGA Splitter) – To split the video signal from the computer to two monitors.
10H1-20203 (SVGA Extension) – To connect the computer to the splitter.
UC-451G (USB to PS/2 Y-Adapter) – To connect old PS/2 keyboard and mouse to the computer.
10U2-02106E (USB Extension) – To make sure I would have the distance needed to properly position my keyboard and mouse on the standing desk.

The next thing I did was unscrew the right portion of my desk from the hinges so that they could be raised to just below my elbows in a comfortable standing position. This allowed for about 1.5″ of slack so when the table was screwed back on top of the hinges, my forearms could rest on top, perpendicular to my body.

After that I positioned my keyboard and mouse to a comfortable position. I then placed the monitor in a location were my eyes could rest at a slight downward angle.

Next I plugged my PS/2 keyboard and mouse into our UC-451G, and plugged the USB end into our extension cable 10U2-02106E. I then plugged the extension cable into the computer, which automatically recognized the two new devices.

I unplugged the active monitor from the computer, and then using our SVGA extension cable 10H1-20203, I connected the splitter 41H1-27602 to the computer and connected the original and my old monitor from home to the splitter.

Lastly, I set the display settings to recognize dual monitors. Now I am working full-time with the best of both worlds.”

Here is the completed set-up:

http://files.cablewholesale.com/mailimages/weekly/cs_2014-10-28_image2.jpg

 

Chatty Cathy

Remember AOL chat rooms in the early 90s? Well, they are no longer a thing of the past thanks to Facebook’s new brainchild being launched last week, which they aptly named Rooms. This Facebook app will allow users to create a themed room about any subject under the sun. You can then invite people to join your chat room and start yakking with strangers about different subjects. This app is a much flashier throwback than its 90s predecessor, considering it has more color options than green and all.

Facebook says that they released this app in hopes of connecting users in different ways. In this case, users have the option to remain anonymous by picking random user names that aren’t tied to their Facebook account. However, there is always a concern when letting people loose on the interwebs with no personal accountability. “Trolling” is a term used for individuals who hang out online and harass others virtually. This can be classified as abusive contents, insults or just being aggravating in general. In an environment where you can say whatever you want, things can get dicey. As of now, Facebook states that chat rooms are invite only. But that wouldn’t seem to help the issue if users choose to stay anonymous. How do you know who to invite? Facebook also says that they will have moderators removing abusive content. For culpable users, the option of being anonymous allows you to create an alternate persona, without fear of being judged. If used responsibly this could be a really cool thing.

Splitting Monitors

 

Q: I have an HP Slimline Desktop PC. It has only one VGA port in back. I need an adapter to be able to connect two monitors (extended) but not mirrored. What can I use for this?

A: In order to create an extended desktop, you can’t just split one signal, you would need to add a second video-out port which would allow for a second video signal. You can add a second VGA port via USB with an adapter that will transform your computer’s USB port into an extra VGA port.

http://www.cablewholesale.com/specs/41h1-30100.php

 

HDMI.Org

Q. Why am I having trouble finding an HDMI to VGA cable? I used to see them on the shelves and now I can’t find them anywhere.

A. The short answer to this is: HDMI has pretty strict rules. HDMI.org outlines what retailers can and cannot say on their packaging regarding HDMI cables, and they also outline how cables must be manufactured. In order for a cable to be “legal” it must have two regular HDMI ends. This has been put into effect in the last few years, and when the HDMI Consortium (the group of companies that own parts of HDMI) started cracking down on retailers, and any cables with different configurations were pulled from the shelf. There are still knockoff cables being made, but because they are not regulated there is no guarantee that these cables will work. The best bet is to get an HDMI adapter. This way you can swap out different ends without having to damage the cable.

Booze-Be-Gone

There are plenty of apps out there nowadays designed to help fix your life. Calorie counters, fitness trackers and even apps to keep your budget on the straight and narrow. One of the biggest app trends lately is in the same vein of fixing your life, but just a little more serious. Sobriety tracker apps have quadrupled in the past year; following a sober trend that people have been conforming to recently. People are quitting drinking for a variety of different reasons; to lose weight, to gain clarity or just for better overall health in general. Whatever the reason, If you have adapted a sober lifestyle, an app is a cool idea to help track your accomplishments. There’s so many to pick through, we narrowed down a list and picked a few that had good reviews and ratings. These apps will track how many days you’ve been sober, starting from the date and time of your last drink.

To start with, there are quite few apps are designed for the beginner looking to get sober. Some go with the non-traditional approach. The Control Alcohol app ($4.99) and is the brainchild of a British hypnotist Darren Marks, and gives you the steps to be able to hypnotize yourself into sobriety. The app also offers techniques on how to relax and stay calm through the beginning stages of getting sober. One of the side effects when you first quit drinking is sleeplessness. If that’s a problem you are experiencing, White Noise Lite (free) will help you fall asleep to the soothing sounds of nature which can help your brain relax and allow you to get some rest.

There are a few apps for those who haven’t quit drinking altogether, but who are considering it. These apps are designed for the folks who tend to overindulge and might have trouble remembering how much they drink when they go out. DrinkControl ($2.99) allows you to track how much you have had to drink, and how much you are spending at the bar. Seeing how much you actually spend on alcohol in a month is enough to sober anyone up. This app has suggested limits built-in and help shed light on how much alcohol you actually consuming. There’s also the Drinking Buddy app (.99 cents) which can help you determine your blood alcohol level for the night, which is important if you are trying to drive home after a few drinks. It will also track your drinking patterns so that you are aware when you are hitting the bottle most, which can help you figure out what is triggering your alcohol craving.

Most of the apps available on iOs and Android are for the alcoholic that’s already in a 12-step program, and the majority of these apps have references to Alcoholics Anonymous. The most popular is One Day at a Time ($1.99), which is a portable version of AA’s “Big Book” and gives you inspiring quotes and verses to read throughout your day. There’s also the iPromises Recovery Companion app (free) that will help you manage your schedule once you enter AA. It will find you meetings, find you sponsors and give you words of encouragement at different intervals. There’s even an app designed specifically for women, Woman’s Way ($9.99) which is the ladies’ guide to AA and is focused on getting sober from a female’s perspective.

Most of these apps will track how many days you’ve been sober, starting from the date and time of your last drink. Just having an app on your phone that reminds you of your goal is a helpful in itself. Cheers to new beginnings.

 

 

The Newest Creep-Away App

A new app has hit the streets of Seattle this past month, and it’s stirring up some interest among the city’s female population. The new hype is called Siren and what’s different about this dating app is that it gives women more control over who they seek out as a love interest. The app is very involved, making men answer questionnaires and video challenges in hopes of being picked by a potential suitor-ette. Once a woman picks a man who they are interested in, they can then initiate a conversation. After that they can choose whether or not to send a photo of themselves. Men’s photos and information are displayed from the get-go however.
Will this app become the next big thing? It’s doubtful. Unfortunately, when they designed this app they may have not taken into account what a shallow world we live in. When you find yourself interested in another person, you typically are attracted to them physically first. The Pheromone theory and all that. The reason that apps like Tinder and Match.com are so successful is that you can see if you will find your potential date attractive. Humans are hardwired to judge potential mates by their physical attractiveness, initially anyway. That’s just science. As always, there’s an exception to that rule. However, there’s also the idea of talking to someone for weeks, putting effort into getting to know someone and then finding out that they are someone you won’t be physically compatible with.

The app has been only released on a small scale thus far, only in Seattle and only on iOS.

 

Hello, Ello

By now you surely have heard all the buzz about Ello. Lately the newest social media site has been the main topic of the interwebs, and everyone seems to have their own predictions about its fate.

Whenever a new social media site is introduced, the same question arises: “but will it replace Facebook?” And the answer usually is, “probably not.” There are a few reasons why this is true.

The biggest draw to Ello is that they do not use advertisers, which in turn means they do not sell your information to advertisers. In a world where people get thousands of ads shoved in their faces daily, this is an attractive feature.

Ello is “invite only” meaning that you need to be invited by a current member in order to join and create a profile. For some reason this is an attractive feature to people. I guess it makes some people feel accepted into some sort of club. This tactic was used by Google + a few years back. Although Google + is still around, it never got anywhere near being as popular as Facebook.

One thing that is surprising about Ello is that it was launched while still incomplete. They list about ten things being worked on currently. One would think that they would implement these fixes before launching their site. People are also surprised that a mobile version of the site is not available as of yet.

Ello has picked a black and white minimalist format that looks clean and uncluttered. Your connection’s profiles are little circles, and they are separated into two categories, “friends” for the people you know personally, and “noise” for the people you don’t. The site looks modern and fresh, and navigation is user-friendly.

One of the most worrisome insights is that it seems like Ello might become a bit of a hipster haven. For example, their “learn more about us” page is listed under “WTF.” The irony is lost on some. The “favored user profiles” are littered with pictures of guys with gentleman haircuts, and a bunch of them are wearing 3D glasses. It’s still a little early to tell though.

If you want to join Ello, go to their homepage and “request an invite.” The site will comb through your email and see if any of your contacts are active members. If not, you gotta wait till someone you know joins. Until then, remember that patience is a virtue. :)

Forget Me Not

Have you ever Googled yourself and cringed at the assortment of old pictures that pop up under your name? Those pictures from the good old MySpace days that will haunt you forever. The ones that have circulated around for years, and have been given an extended shelf-life on the Google “images” page. Not only photos, but Google is where you can find your outdated addresses and a bunch of other random outdated information.

Some folks don’t mind this; to them it’s just the price you pay for living in the 21st century. Others have more to hide, or have some sort of negative information about them online. In the recent past people had few options about having personal information removed off the Internet. You have the option of contacting Google in hopes that they will scrub some of your information off their servers. But there is no guarantee that your request will be seen. Speed ahead to present day, where a website has been created to do the dirty work for you.

www.Forget.Me is a new website that allows you to enter grievances about things you find about yourself online. The website’s motto is “you have the right to be forgotten.” You can submit requests for the removal of photos, videos and outdated information in general. The website has worked with a team of lawyers to come up with a few standardized request reasons so that you just have to pick one from a drop-down box. This also makes it easy for search engines to sift through. The reasons have all been technically approved of already, so that cuts down on wait time.

The website is only offered in Europe as of right now, but we all have our fingers crossed that it will cross over to the states soon enough. There will be enough demand for it, no question about it.

Charge me up, DeLorean

Remember the flux capacitor that powered the time-traveling DeLorean from Back to the Future? Now you can own your own mini-version that is small enough to fit in your own car. Back to the Future was released back in 1985 and gained a cult following soon after. It featured a time-traveling sports car that was powered by this flux capacitor, although how it worked was never fully explained. But it looked pretty cool.

ThinkGeek has just released a car charger that’s a mini version of the flux capacitor which was modeled after the prop from the movie. This charger features 2.1 amps, two USB ports and yes, even the flashing lights just like the full-size flux capacitor. All the little details of the movie’s flux capacitor have been captured. The charger is priced at $25

iPhone 6- Game Over

So the iPhone has officially been introduced to the world. Apple’s big announcement was yesterday, so let’s do a re-cap. Was it everything we thought it would be cracked up to be? Was it worth it to the folks that camped out in the streets of Cupertino; including the ones who braved the elements for over a week? How many rumors were correct? Let’s see.

So it was true that two sizes of the phone are being offered. Apple is releasing the regular sized iPhone 6 in a 4.7” model and an iPhone 6 “Plus” version with a 5.5” chassis. Both models are being offered in silver, gold and “space gray.” The carriers will be AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Pre-orders start September 12th. With a two-year contract, the 4.7” model will start at $199 for 16gb, and the bigger 5.5” starting at $299 for the 16gb. Both phones are thinned out; the 4.7” is about 6.9mm and the 5.5” at 7.1mm, both with rounded edges.

As for what’s going on internally, perhaps the biggest news is Apple Pay, which may start taking the place of the wallet for iPhone users. Basically you can store all of your credit information in the phone on your passport app, and just swipe your phone to pay. All the major credit cards and a bunch of popular retailers are already on board. The card information is encrypted in your phone, which is putting to rest some security concerns. This is especially important on the heels of the big iCloud hack last week which resulted in a bunch of nude celebrity photos becoming not-so-private. Time will tell if this feature will become popular; people still get nervous putting their credit card information online, let alone on their smartphone.

Battery life is longer; you get a few extra hours of standby and talk time. Thank goodness. These phones will be quicker too; when connected to Wi-Fi the speed should be three times faster than the iPhone 5s. The Touch ID is standard with this phone, requiring a thumbprint to open your phone, as well as making purchases through iTunes.

The camera has been improved, as expected. It has a higher resolution, and there is more storage offered for storing both photos and videos. Now instead of keeping just 2,000 pictures on your phone, you can keep 3,000. Ain’t life grand? Optical visual stabilization has been put into place, which should help shoot photos that are a little less blurry. Images will also be sharper thanks to the new feature called “focus pixels” which determines the phone’s distance to its subject, allowing the camera to adjust accordingly. The front-facing FaceTime camera has been improved as well, allowing in over 80% more light. This is either a good thing or a bad thing for some, as some faces prefer require images.

So in the end, the new iPhone and iPhone plus are bigger, faster and have a lot of cool new options, and the rumors are laid to rest.