High End Office Chair Review

Here's a quick rundown of some high end office chairs I'm looking into purchasing. This comes from an email I sent out to numerous telecommuters asking for help with their home office ergonomics.


Here are some of the chairs that I'm considering purchasing in the near future. They're not cheap, but if you use your office chair enough, it's worth every penny. Keep in mind that a chair affects your back, neck, and overall health so it's a good investment. Plus the cost is amortized over 5-10 years anyways which helps justify the high up front cost.
For example: Assuming a price of $900 over a period of 8 years, that's $9/month. That's about 1 trip to Panera a month.
This is on the higher end, but the materials are highly durable. Their website however is garbage. These are also the same guys who design Ferrari interiors (Pininfarina). Roughly $1,600.

If you prefer a more traditional style, similar to the ones here at BCBS, the Steelcase Leap is a great chair. It's heavy, but solid. Reminds me a little of the office chairs from Mad Men. They're around $800.

Obus Forme makes padded components to add to existing chairs. At the very least, if you keep your old chair, you should add some of these components to it. They're a lot cheaper than everything else on this list.

My #1 choice: the Aeron Chair, by renowned industrial designer Herman Miller. This chair has won numerous international awards and prestige despite the backlash it received when it first came out; the hallmark of a truly game changing design. Owning one of these is like owning a Mercedes. It's a status symbol. Herman Miller produces some of the most incredible industrial office designs on the planet. His catalogue is worth reading just for the appreciation of the photos. I keep the 2009 catalogue on my bookshelf next to my art books.

Here's an online store in Boston for the Aeron product line. Their prices aren't the best. I've found better. The lowest end Aeron they have is around $850, retail. If you look hard enough, you can find a warehouse willing to sell individual units. It's how I get my imported European furniture at such steep discounts; I go directly through importers.


Google Bends Highways (possibly space and time)

According to Google Maps' new Earth view, this highway overpass takes over the street underneath. Still Ranks #1 for Pub Cheese Recipes

Don't say I didn't warn you. But my little expriment forever ago due to a bar bet is still keeping this site #1 for the chosen search term: "pub cheese recipe".

Gotta love it, I know I do.

Combining Drupal 6 Webforms and Views

Combining the Webforms Drupal modules with Views to display output doesn't look like a good way to display submitted results.

In a rushed attempt to put together a business directory, one approach I took was to combine the above 2 modules. There were a number of viable possibilities for allowing users to create a business listing on the website, but one requirement I settled on was that they didn't have to register. Another was that I didn't want them to simply use the Contact form so I'd have to re-enter the information elsewhere on the website. With this narrowed spec, I thought I could allow anonymous users to submit address, then use Views to display it. Unfortunately that doesn't work.

Now I'm not saying it's impossible. You could hack together a solution. Or you can customize an existing module or make your own to display Webforms data. This was just a rushed try.


The webform anonymous users could use to enter address info

The Views setup to display the Webform submitted data

How To Install Flash 10 in Portable Apps Firefox

The Portable Apps version of Firefox does not provide native Flash support. In prior versions of flash, there was a workaround. This has long ago stopped working. Here's a fix that worked for me. Copy a Flash 10 plugin DLL from an existing install into the Firefox Portable Apps version.In this case it's installed on my machine at the following location. The linked file is my own, provided for convenience.

C:\Common Files\Adobe AIR\Versions\1.0\Resources\npswf32.dll

Copy it into your Portable Apps Firefox directory here:

Facebook as an E-commerce Platform

Facebook is slowly becoming an
ecommerce platform for physical goods. Right now you can star the sales
process on FB, but the actual payment transaction has to happen
elsewhere. Their current strategy will be to allow for the full
ordering process to stay on site.

What does that mean? It means that organizations (who are
effectively using FB) will be able to leverage their existing fan pages
to generate sales. By keeping the transaction on site, it increases
conversion because it reduces friction. Javascript Fail

As if the internet needs more examples of utterly incompetent big company sites that horribly fail at handling a lack of javascript:

Google Lags in Indexing New Sites

The other day I launched a new website. It's another one of my niche sites; exploiting a particular narrow trend or topic. Here's the breakdown of activities over the course of the first few days.

  1. Register domain
    Install Drupal
    Load commonly used Drupal modules and configure the backend of the site
    Create documentation around the project, strategy, monetization, etc.
  2. Install a suitable theme and work on the look and feel of the site
    Create a logo and other promotional graphics
    Register the brand name on various services: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr
    Add the site to Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google's index submission service
    Submit the site's sitemap.xml file to Google, Bing, et al.
  3. Develop the site navigation and main sections
    Generate a few initial blog posts
  4. Contact and interview subject matter experts in the niche this site is dedicated to
    Begin social networking involvement (traffic spikes this day for the first time)
  5. Comment on relevant blog posts on the web; link back to the site
    Write enough posts for the next week and schedule to auto-publish each day
    Further research the niche and document who the experts and influencers are

Where's the problem? Despite heavy Twitter traffic, comment linking, and submitting my site to Google, it didn't get indexed until 6 days later. The domain was registered on a Friday. On Saturday I submitted everything I could to Google. By Wednesday, the comment linking (inbound links from external sites) showed up in Google, but I had to search for my domain name to find them. It took until early Thursday for all the site's content to finally show up in Google.

Why Local News is Irrelevant

During a big snowstorm in Boston on 2/16/2010, I checked WBZTV's website. Given that I had to drive into the city (a bad idea, but I had to), I checked their local traffic cams.

This is what I got when I clicked on their "Downtown" camera:

Click to enlarge.

It was footage dated 2/11/2010. Very helpful WBZ. This is why you're irrelevant in the new Internet era. You and all the other local news websites.

Modders Inc Review

Do you build and mod your own computers? Modders Inc is a great website for people who tinker with their own PCs. Unlike other tech sites with superficial content, these guys have real in depth reviews. They spend weeks with products before writing about them.

Jason Calacanis spoke with Dewayne Carel in episode #38 of TWIST (This Week In Startups). Carel is the man behind His question was how to deal with a website whose site stats had plateued. Despite regular spikes in traffic, it would always settle back down to the same level. Watch TWIST, below, for the full episode. And visit Modders Inc for some great pc building content.




TWiST #38 with Stefan Weitz


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