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Ask Slashdot: Monitor Setup For Programmers 312

First time accepted submitter oxidus60659 writes "I currently work as a programmer for a small business. They have provided me with a laptop and a 27" BenQ monitor on a Neo-Flex stand. The problem is that my main screen is the tiny laptop right in front of me. The 27" monitor is on the left at a very different height position. I want to put the 27" monitor directly above my laptop so I'm looking up rather than to the left for all my coding on the bigger monitor. The stand does not have a high enough setting to accommodate this. What would be a good stand that can mount to a desk high enough to be above a laptop? What kind of monitor setup do you use when programming?"
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Ask Slashdot: Monitor Setup For Programmers

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  • by Eunuchswear ( 210685 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @12:47PM (#43061783) Journal

    Use a real keyboard, mouse and monitor - why do you need to look at the laptop?

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ziggitz ( 2637281 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @12:55PM (#43061837)
    I'm not usually one to complain about the broadness of these ask slashdot questions, but this one essentially boils down to furniture advice.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:24PM (#43062111)

    Well, all have answerd how you can do it, I have karma to burn so here is the not so obvious answer:
    You are an idiot and should not be programming. If you can not think outside the box (Get it? Box?) then you are obvious not able to do so when programming demands it.
    So the obvious answer would be to get a new job.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:27PM (#43062143)

    I try to avoid using external kbd for a laptop, cause I want to get used to the kbd on the laptop for those occasions when I have no choice. Also, if I use an external kbd, the screen of the laptop (which is a beautiful 13" FHD screen) ends up further away, and why not use good screen real estate when it's available?

    I have my monitor on a stack of printer paper to get it high enough to clear the laptop screen, so I have only a few cm between the top of the laptop screen to the bottom of the external screen. I can also regulate the top of the laptop screen by tilting it backwards/forwards and align it pretty perfect with the external screen.

    Maybe you should also forgo using a second monitor so you can get used to using the laptop monitor only for those occasions when you have no choice.

    I have a laptop and desktop both at home and at work and regularly switch between them without any problems with the keyboard after a few minutes of typing - one of the laptops is netbook with a smaller than normal keyboard.

    The only keyboard I have trouble getting used to is the rack mounted KVM keyboard in the server room because that one has a non-standard layout for some of the keys.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:41PM (#43062243)

    "It's a complete no-brainer."

    It's only a no-brainer if by that you mean a brain wasn't used in coming up with it.

    This suggestion is not very efficient, and it is not ergonomic at all.

    Looking down at a laptop on your desk is NOT a good, ergonomic working position. Simply substituting another monitor wastes good monitor space.

    The solution? Put the laptop up on a stand next to the other monitor, and use both.

    For good ergonomic working conditions, the top of your monitor(s) should be at about eye level. So place your main monitor at about that level, and raise your laptop up so they are side-by-side. Especially if the laptop has a high-resolution monitor.

    That gives you the maximum screen real estate, AND the most ergonomic setup.

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @02:55PM (#43062715) Journal
    Not all people are alike, no matter how much specialists struggle to classify them and put them in little boxes.

    The fact that your bad posture hasn't hurt you - yet - Doesn't mean the same basic laws of physics don't apply to you as apply to the rest of us. :)

    Your skull should normally "balance" atop your spine. Any deviation from that requires the active use of muscles to offset the imbalance; and if you maintain such a position for long periods of time, eventually those muscles get tired. At that point, you start risking damage as secondary muscles try to do the same job much less efficiently.

    Perhaps you have exceptionally strong/enduring neck muscles. Perhaps you've just gotten lucky so far. Perhaps you just haven't hit 30 yet and still consider your body indestructible. Doesn't matter - It doesn't hurt you to have an ergonomically-friendly work area, so why the hell would you deliberately make it otherwise?
  • by Deekin_Scalesinger ( 755062 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @03:40PM (#43062943)
    This, and /endthread. I have enjoyed /. lo these many moons, but these types of "questions" border on something you'd see on the late (and little missed) Call for Help on TechTV. Please, please start raising the bar again, huh?
  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @08:20PM (#43064187) Homepage
    Programmers need to be resourceful and good at solving problems. If you can't see that this simply requires a stack of books in the first instance (TODO: optimise this later), then you've failed at an extremely low hurdle my friend. Perhaps you'd be more suited to burger flipping?

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington