March 16, 2006

7 responses to Week 10: Sharp turn left

  1. Alberto Caraballo Says:

    You’re lucky to have a masseusse for a wife, Kris, she can help fix you. Consider it a lesson learned, and be careful in the gym.

  2. Måns Says:

    I already suggested he should either have a desk high enough to force him to stand while working or sit on their family Swiss Ball… :)
    The standing desk would be better methinks. You’d have to take a break lest your feet kill you.

  3. Kris Says:

    Good suggestions, but am skeptic. I actually find standing in one place as stressful for the low back as sitting. Any one position that is held for too long seems to stress my back including lying down (sleeping eight hours or more is a killer even with our good beds), standing up and sitting. Walking is never bad. Naturally, if I had a desk that could adjust easily (Sanna has one of those automatic things at work that can be adjusted by a simple lever from very low to standing height), it would be good to alternate a bit of sitting with a bit of standing. But with very little in the way of funds, the standing desk idea is off. Plus I go about on my feet all day long at work and ocassionally suffer from overuse symptoms in my calves (a major reason why calf work has again disappeared from my workouts), so not really warming up to the standing idea right now.

    I’ve tried the ball in the past, but my desk is too high for it to work well. Allowing the back to move around a bit on the ball also does not solve my particular problem, i.e. compression caused by flexion. The hip is actually easily pushed back a bit more on the ball than on a chair so it might actually aggravate the angle between the thighs and the torso me thinks.

    What I’m doing now is to decompress by pushing down against the armrests of my chair to lift my back off the seat every now and then. Seems to work well, did a successful squatting session tonight without any ill effects despite having continued to work long sitting hours on the library project.

  4. Scott Says:

    I can identify with the routine of spending hours hovering over a computer keyboard. I generally forget to do basic things like eat; and end up sitting in awkward positions for hours at a time. The only thing I can suggest is - if you think of it whilst coding - to get up occasionally and walk around. Seems to help the back a bit.

  5. Sanna Says:

    Alberto, I’m sorry to say that Kris actually has to beg for a massage, and even then it’s a rare occasion. So much for the luxury of having a masseuse for a fiancée. ;)

  6. Steph Says:

    Sitting at my really inflexible workspace really screwed my shoulder up a while back. Doesn’t the begging make the massage all the better :)
    Hey Kris, what is the digital library project you’re doing. I work for the National Library of NZ, and we’re doing a big project of that ilk for ourselves. Always on the lookout for other projects to have a look at.

  7. Kris Says:

    Steph, really interesting to hear that. Is the project online already or still in the planning stage? You’re a lucky man to be working in the library field. If you also had a really ergonomical workspace… guess there’s just too many books everywhere…

    The project I am working on is a trilingual (Tibetan-Chinese-English) repository dedicated to the Gesar Epic, the most widespread epic in East/Central Asia. The project is done together with the Gesar Research Institute at the Northwest Minorities University in Lanzhou, PR China. The content is arranged in collections and can contain text (several books are being inputted), images, video, audio and software (such as dictionaries). The repository is built around EPrints, but has been hacked thoroughly to bend it in the direction we needed to go (lots of shell scripts and PHP added to the mix besides the hacks in the Perl source code). We also looked extensively at Fedora, but the java had huge overhead and the total lack of any front-end to the repository would have made implementing that even more of a pain for a single developer (me). It’s been a long road to piece everything together, but we are almost there now. The brunt of the work is on the backend that the inputter works with. Metadata had to be just right, validation routines must work correctly, as much information as possible must be gathered from the uploaded files to prefill many fields… the list is endless.

    The project needs to be mostly finished within a month. I am just about to polish up the front-end for the visitors. I need to rewrite the CSS logic and solve a few issues with rendering Tibetan script (we use Unicode). I’ll post the link when it is officially open. If you e-mail me privately, I can give you the link to the current version though. My e-mail is at the bottom of every page.

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