Samson's Quest For the Ultimate Desk

Born of the need to replace the colossal monster known as Old Desk(tm), I've embarked on a quest to find myself a nice New Desk(tm).

First, some backstory, as all good quests need a backstory. Once upon a time, there was a room. This room had a cheap old computer desk in it, along with the normal things you'd expect to find in a room. The cheap old desk had become old, weak, and had begun to wear out. So it was replaced with a brand new behemoth 70x70 corner desk. This desk dominated the room for a very long time. But soon, it's owner began to acquire cool stuff, in the form of dragon statues and other neat things. These things cried out for somewhere to be stored, so the remains of the old broken desk were revived and pressed into service as makeshift shelving. The dragons had a home, though not a very good one. Over time, the behemoth began to accommodate more and more things until Samson realized it was crowding out the room. But this wasn't enough to motivate change. Not by itself.

During his stay in the small 10x10 space ( effectively a 7x10 space if the closet is considered ) it was becoming increasingly clear that comfort could no longer be maintained without air conditioning. The ceiling fan and window fans were not enough to keep 3 PCs, 2 UPS's and various internet equipment cool. Not to mention the discomfort caused to actual living beings. Which brings us up to the present day....

Earlier this week, as part of Project Arctic Iguanadon, I purchased a portable 7000BTU air conditioner. The unit works, and cools the room well enough. However, it won't fit under the behemoth desk. And there's no room between it and the bed to try and squeeze it in there. So I've spent the past few days scouring the net for computer desks to replace the one I have with.

My hunt has taken me far and wide. From Best Buy to niche sites. Most of the big retail box stores all have sucky little tower configurations or other very small desks you couldn't stack paper on. If you're in the market for a new desk yourself, skip the big guys and go straight to Google. Type in "computer desks" and have at it. I plodded through about the first 8 pages worth of hits, before things started turning weird and getting into things that were useless. I've narrowed things down to some nice candidates, but first, my vision for an ideal desk:

A 50" x 80" corner style desk. The left side being the shorter. Said desk should have adequate space for the monitor in the middle, with room in front for the keyboard. The monitor can be on a raised platform, but there needs to be space enough for the front speakers as well. Along the right side, a hutch or shelves of some sort. Bottom, middle, and top. These should be 16" or more high between them to allow room for the dragon statues to move to the desk. There are 14 of them in all, one of which is significantly larger than the others and would live on the top side of the top shelf. Underneath the ideal desk should be more shelves, one large enough for my printer, the others for whatever. Perhaps some drawers too. Along the right side, an extender sticking out that's large enough to hold the PC tower would be cool. That way I don't need to leave it sitting on the carpet. Oh, and for the love of God, NO KEYBOARD TRAYS ALLOWED! Given my ideal setup, you can probably see how I'd have difficulty locating one. A custom job would seem the best fit, but I haven't got that kind of time or money. I'm already sick of tripping over the AC unit in the middle of my floor.

Now on to the finalists, if you will:
This desk is compact, has plenty of storage capacity, and the raised monitor platform also provides space for the speakers. The Rosewood is a nice touch, but hey, I'm not THAT worried about the looks. The PC stand is bothersome though since it doesn't look like it can be mounted on the outside of the right panel. Thus making knee space an issue. It's also not a corner desk, which I still prefer.
A larger desk, with more room to spread. View the enlarged image for better detail. The odd looking shelves with the frosted doors are cool, and it has a top shelf at least which could house some of my dragons. But, as you may quickly notice, it has a foul keyboard tray and looks like it lacks adequate space in front of the monitor to move it there. But it looks like the PC slab could go on the other side. I'm also not sure they have the right dimensions. That thing just doesn't look 70" long.
Another not-corner desk, but this one looks like it has decent storage capacity in addition to having enough room up top for at least some of the dragons. I'm also not sure of the knee space, and don't want my PC sitting inside of an enclosed space behind that door. Sure, I could leave the door off, but then what's the point? This desk, while minimally possible, is least likely to go much farther.
While this one is one of those silly looking tower things, it's among the larger ones I've found. It's low on the list though because of the knee space problem posed by that bottom shelf.
Which brings us to what has become the strong finalist, and quite possibly the prize of this quest. Take a look specifically at the 60x47 corner desk. The dimensions most closely fit my ideal desk, and has decent amounts of shelving underneath. Bonus points for having holes for cabling, and for being completely tool-less on the setup. There's no hutch or other topside shelving, but given the rest of its qualities one can always just go by some rack shelving or something to go above it. And Legare also sells desk extenders and such if they turn out to be suitable.

So now the goal is in sight and the prize will soon be mine. This just leaves the task of dismantling the behemoth and figuring out what to do with its remains, and the remains of the ancient desk it replaced. It'll be no easy task getting it out of here either. But that's for another time.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Jul 7, 2007 12:17 am by Samson in: | 17 comment(s) [Closed]
Gratz on finding one that sounds like it'll work for you well enough.

As for what to do with the behemoth, have you considered looking into freecycle? Dragona is a moderator for our local freecycle site and we've made use of it a few times now ourselves. Not only have we gotten rid of a few things that were junk to us and managed to gain some things that we really needed/wanted that were junk to someone else, but we've also managed to make some good friends along the way. You might ask Dragona about it for more details, it's more her baby than mine. ;)

I'll probably just end up seeing if Goodwill will come pick the pieces up. Getting rid of two desks should help things in here a lot. Not to mention Goodwill also takes old computer equipment. So I can get rid of my old monitor and printer from the closet. Of course, that means I'll have to get rid of all the old boxes piled into the closet.... :P

And yes, I'm going to go with the Legare desk. I asked around at a few custom furniture stores and what I want would cost upwards of $2500 to do which I'm not willing to spend.

Maybe it'd have been cheaper without the gold plating and platnium inlaid trim? ;)

Oh come on now, how could I live without my gold and platinum trimmings? :)

Anyway, according to Legare, my new desk should arrive sometime on July 12. Assuming some cosmic event doesn't ruin things.

Gratz Samson, July 12th is only the day after tomorrow (Thursday even). :)

Well the shipping company called me as I was entering the freeway yesterday and said they'd deliver the desk today between 12pm and 3pm. I still haven't been able to completely clear the space where I want to put it so it looks like my weekend is about to be consumed. The damn closet has a lot more junk than I remember :(

Then I still have to kick the two old desks out of the room. It's amazing just how much complete crap a person can build up over the years. Some of this stuff has been hanging around with me since before I moved in here. Other stuff like the "In the Beginning" post were hiding in old vanilla folders I'd forgotten I even had.

I'm almost afraid to see what's been shoved under the bed :O

Beware the dust bunnies! ;D

Decided to bust out the camera on my cell phone to take some shots of the project as it goes on. The shots are all of pretty poor quality, but what do you expect from a cell phone anyway? They're in the gallery filed under "Desk Project". For those of you who doubt that my space restrictions are so bad, the pictures should cure you of that :)

The entire affair hasn't been without casualties. I jammed my left index finger on the first desk as it was being pulled from the wall. It's pretty swollen up now but at least I didn't break it. These old beasties don't like being disturbed :(

The observant might also note that I've added an image details section for a more useful description. The captions just weren't cutting it.

And before anyone asks, no. I'm not posting pictures of myself. So don't even go there.

Hmm, I suspect "The Impreial Guard" has chosen to detain yet another of my posts because it included a link to a pic for you. *sigh*

Say bye bye behemoth! Another phase of the battle is won. The behemoth desk has been slain and replaced with the wicked cool new desk. Time from busting open the package to assembly: 10 minutes. Not a single tool required. If only all desks were so simple.

The only drawback being the servers needed to come down and then I had to untangle a rat's nest of wires to get them back up. The new desk caused some components to be rearranged and I still don't have the KVM switch completely back up yet.

The floor needed to be vacuumed 4 times during the whole affair, and yet there still seems to be more dust bunnies. I guess they're appropriately named. So I'm sure it'll need another couple of passes.

But the main goal was achieved - the AC is tucked neatly into its new space. So I'm declaring mission accomplished. I can actually get into my bed without risk of death!

Now I need to wind down. I'm thirsty as hell still, despite drinking probably gallons of water. My legs hurt like hell. And the finger I jammed is really swollen up.

And Conner, Akismet didn't declare the post spam. I'm not sure what might have happened. Try posting it again.

Sorry to hear about your injuries, but glad the operation was an overall success. :)

Hmm, now I'm going to have to try to remember what I'd posted. :(

I think the gist was that your behemoth is the same desk that I'm using. It's survived four moves and three household rearrangements so far, but I don't think it'd survive another shift no matter what at this point. I took the keyboard tray off mine too years ago.. I've taken a new picture of my workspace for you, but not gotten it from my camera to my computer yet, but awhile back Dragona and I had traded desks for a bit and I've got a picture of her at what's now my desk again at area of living room.JPG if you'd like to see it..

My God. I'm never complaining about how little space I have again :P

You have a hell of a lot of computers there. Seems to me you might benefit from a KVM switch. All those monitors take up a lot of room. That big desk she's sitting at looks almost exactly like the one I just got rid of. Evil design. The locking screw things were terrible. Ended up having to demolish it so it's not getting donated at this point. But that means now we'll have to call for special trash pickup.

Actually, since that picture I've switched to flat panel monitors and she's switched to a single flat panel monitor on a KVM. But yeah, add in the kids' furniture and toys and.. it gets tight around here. ;)

It's a great desk if you don't need to disassemble it and you've got space for it, but yeah, the design could certainly stand some improvement.

They charge you for "special trash pickup" or just hassle you about scheduling it?

We get 2 free special pickups a year, but you have to call them in ahead of time. So it's going to suck a bit to schedule. But I'll be glad to see this crap finally gone.

Well, sorry to hear that it's going to be inconvenient, but at least they're not hitting you with a bill for it, and it will render you with more space and much happier in the long run. :)

I already have the space. All the old pieces are piled up outside by the trash cans now. But the suck ass part is going to be when they want it all moved out to the curb.

At least it's a one time ordeal that will give you that final sense of closure when you get home from work that day and it's all gone. ;)

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