Seven 'I wish I'd bought that years ago!' tech accessories

Seven 'I wish I'd bought that years ago!' tech accessories

Summary: Seven tech accessories that, once I'd bought them, I instantly wished that I'd got them years earlier because they revolutionized productivity and the way I worked.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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  • Introduction

    Tech comes and goes, but there are certain items that fall into that "I wish I'd bought that years ago" category. These are things that, once I'd bought them I instantly wished that I'd got them years earlier because they revolutionized productivity and the way that I worked. 

    (Image: Herman Miller)

  • Herman Miller Aeron chair

    For years I struggled with cheap office chairs, even getting to the point where I'd replace them on a yearly basis. My posture suffered, my back suffered, and as a result my productivity took a nosedive.

    Then I bought an Aeron chair. While these were a symbol of the late 90s dot.com extravagances, they really are good chairs. I've had mine for years, and after almost daily usage it is still looking and working like new. 

    The only thing that I've added to my Aeron is a third-party headrest — check eBay for them — which helped to make an awesome chair just a little better.

    (Image: Herman Miller)

  • Ergotron 3-way LCD wall-mounted arm

    Why have I endured the crappy stands that come with LCD displays — and for that matter, the crappy mounts that came with CRT displays — for so long? They never seem to be at the right height, and even the adjustable ones don't really seem to offer that much in terms of adjustability.

    Then I got an LCD wall-mounted arm and wondered why I didn't buy one years ago. Mine is an Ergotron LX arm, and it is truly awesome as it allows me to put the display exactly where I want it, and move it quickly and easily.

    Don't want to drill holes in the wall? No worries, Ergotron also make a version that clamps to the desk.

    (Image: Ergotron)

Topic: Hardware

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14 comments
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  • Tech Accessories

    As for chair, I would love to have a Herman Miller Aeron chair. No pressure points that cheap chairs caused problems with my bottom. You just need to get up every once and a while.

    If only there's a stand that can fit my 39" TV (100mm VESA mount) as a monitor that tilts and is height-adjustable (I don't care for swiveling as my TV-as-a-monitor is quite large.

    As for a Wacom tablet, I would love to have one considering that most tablets are compatible with Linux (currently running Linux 3.13-3.14 kernel).

    While not a tech accessory, I would love to have a Mac Mini instead of Apple TV. In my opinion, I wouldn't classify Apple TV as a tech accessory, but more of a home entertainment device.

    Lastly for input devices, I have an Apple full-size wired keyboard that assigns "Control" for Alt, "Option" for meta/super key ("Win" key for those who use Windows), and Command key as a "Ctrl" key as in "Command+C" for copy. I for one do not care for Control-Win-Alt metaphor that are found in Windows keyboards because I found myself wanting to "Think Different." I wish I could of had a Mac about 5 years ago, but I couldn't afford the hardware. That said, I will be waiting to buy a next-generation Mac Mini once I have the funds available. I will be getting a job soon. Yosemite, here I come...
    Grayson Peddie
    • The Aeron Miller Chair

      Has saved my back...

      (Got mine 2nd hand on ebay for £800- I work 16 hours a day at my desk, and my brother who is a world renowned surgeon just said "why don't you just work for 6 hours?"... ha ha!)

      No back problems since buying two years ago!

      Ergonomic mouse and Intuis Tablet- no brainer...

      Likewise a 'proper' keyboard. (Been using computers since 1968!)

      Wondering about trying 3D input devices, but don't have the time to get adjusted to them at the moment.
      jonbee
      • 1968...

        I've been using a computer at home since 1993 and an Apple computer at school since 1988-89 or so -- I was so interested in computers during that time... Granted, I went to preschool since I was about 6 years age...born in 1982.

        Have you ever owned a Mac since 1984? Man, I'd be a toddler for owning one... LOL!
        Grayson Peddie
      • Cherry Blue

        I recently good a gift voucher for my local electronics store and splashed out on a keyboard with Cherry Blue keys, wonderful. Brings back memories and is really lovely to type on, if loud.

        I do a lot of typing and I can't stand the modern 'laptop' keyboard trend.

        The Aeron chairs are great, a previoys employer had them. It took some getting used to, but once you got it set up, it was so comfortable.

        I got burned with the first Apple TV ans I won't be buying another.

        I use a Wacom tablet at work and my tablet PC has an integrated Wacom digitizer and pen. They are great for note taking and it makes graphics editing fun.
        wright_is
  • Organized accessories

    Grid-it makes a series of flat panels covered with a weave of elastic straps. The inexpensive laptop bag insert is ideal for managing the plethora of cables and small peripherals that one carries haphazardly today in your travel bag. Highly recommended and available through Amazon.
    kirk@...
  • Can we stop with these ridiculous slide shows?

    Just write a damn column with screenshots already.
    autigers1970
    • (Oops... Pardon the flag...)

      What's wrong with slideshows?
      Grayson Peddie
    • I Pass On These Tooo

      As interesting as this subject matter is to me, I make a point of not dialing in, as this time too.
      Just reading the Comment section only. Often worth it to do that.
      I can't be bothered with these antiquated inefficient Galleries. Inline scrolling is so superior.
      PreachJohn
  • Illuminated keyboards

    n/t
    jparr
  • Herman Miller Aeron chair

    I had to sit in one of those Herman Miller Aeron chairs for 6 months on a temp position I was working and I could not believe how uncomfortable it was. I am one of those people that likes to sit with one of my legs crossed once in a while and, you can't do it in one of these. I hated it!
    Professor Messer
  • Bluetooth keyboard & mouse? Logitech > Apple

    In my environment, I have found that a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and mouse work much more reliably than the Apple products I've replaced with them, for use with my Macbook Pro as well as my Windows laptop. I've relegated my Apple BT keyboard for use in the living room with my Apple TV.

    I'm using a Logitech K810 keyboard, which is about the same size as the Apple keyboard but adds the handy features of being able to toggle across three different paired devices, not to mention a proximity sensitive backlit feature and a rechargeable battery. It's a great little keyboard and extremely portable.

    The Bluetooth mouse I'm using is Logitech's Ultrathin Touch model, which has a physical switch for toggling between use with two different paired devices. It's quite comfortable and reliable, and also has a rechargeable battery. My only complaint is that the mini-USB charge connector is on the bottom of the mouse, so it can't be used when charging. That said, the charge lasts about a week even though the mouse is quite small and light, so I think they made a pretty good tradeoff to get a reasonable battery life out of such a small form factor.

    The fact that both of these devices can switch between different paired devices gives me essentially a KM-switch capability, so I can easily switch between my Windows laptop and my Macbook Pro without missing a beat. Both have exceeded my expectations and made my computer based work & play considerably more comfortable and streamlined. I guess I should be posting reviews on Amazon, where I bought both...
    jimoro
  • Argh!

    I work in IT for a competitor of Herman Miller. We have all of the top chair models from all of our top competitors in a lab. I'll choose either of two of our top models against the Aeron any day. Plus, our models can be purchased for less than the ~$500 Aeron.
    benched42
  • Chair

    The way to make the Aeron chair even better... get the stool version of the chair. I sit in this everyday at a raised work surface and its fantastic. This allows you to stand a bit, sit on the tip of the chair at times, while most of the time sit fully in the Aeron chair.

    http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/seating/stools/aeron-stool.html
    Rann Xeroxx
  • Wacom tablet

    I doubt that can still be necessary after ipad still takes the cake.
    Raleigh Brecht