Monday, 30 May 2016

Timbo On Tech Is Moving

Timbo On Tech is changing. Here's how it will affect you.


If you've been following Timbo On Tech for any length of time, I'm sure you'll have learnt I have a passion. My passion is to help people like you prevent (and in some cases, recover from) repetitive strain injury caused by working on your PC. There's other tech stuff wrapped up in it too, but it's all part of what makes me tick.



Why is Timbo On Tech moving?

I've been blogging here on Google's Blogger platform (also called Blogspot) since the end of 2011 and it's been great.

It was very easy to get started and it's been reasonably easy to continue - I just kept posting articles based on the things you told me you wanted to read about. But there's so much more I want to do and that leaves me with a problem...

The limitations of the Blogger platform are now getting in the way and they're holding me back in my mission to help you as effectively as I would like.


Where is Timbo On Tech moving to?

Timbo On Tech is actually going to do 3 moves in one. It's going to:
  1. Move to a new address (a new domain)
  2. Move to a new platform (Wordpress)
  3. Get a new name

In summary:
  1. Move to ergonomictoolbox.com
Having my own domain means I'll have a home base that I have full control over.
Make sure to update your bookmarks to reference ergonomictoolbox.com from now on.

I'll also be changing my email address to the same domain. If you're an existing subscriber, there's some minor actions for you to take, so if you haven't already done so, look out for details in your inbox.

  1. The Wordpress platform
I'll stop posting here on Blogger and instead will post on the new site, using Wordpress as the underlying technology. If you didn't know, Wordpress is the industry leader in the blogging space. It's incredibly powerful and has loads of support.

This means I can do lots of whizzy things on there that I can't do over here. I'm hoping to simplify the overall look of the site and at the same time make it a lot more readable.
Some of those changes will take me some time, so please bear with me during the transition period - and let me know what you think of the new design!

  1. A new name: ErgonomicToolbox.com
"Timbo On Tech" had a nice, almost cuddly feel to it (IMO), but I think it's time to get a bit more serious about things and have a small re-brand.
You'll still get the same great content but under a new banner, ErgonomicToolbox.com.

I've named it after my flagship ergonomics training course which I started last year.
I hope it communicates the goal more clearly: to give you the tools you need to live with technology, in comfort.

When will the move take place?

All things being equal, in the next few days.

There may be some minimal disruption while I iron out the creases. Don't worry though, I'll set things up so if you accidentally go to the old site after the move, you'll automatically get directed to the new address.

Thanks for coming along for the ride and for sticking with me for all this time. I look forward to sharing the "more" with you very soon!

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Best regards,
Tim

P.S. Don't forget to bookmark the new site ergonomictoolbox.com

Like what you read here and want to stay up to date?
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Take A Stand And Overcome RSI At Your Laptop

Can't live with your laptop, can't live without it? Here's how to avoid laptop RSI.

I wrote 5 Reasons Why Laptops Are Bad For Your Health in a not-quite fit of rage a few weeks ago. I hate what they do to people's bodies and judging by some of the comments and feedback I received since then, so do some of you.

Overcome laptop RSI risks easily


Make The Best Out Of A Bad Laptop

Once I calmed down a bit, I got to thinking, "but what about people who already have a laptop and can't afford to replace it? They still need to know how they can make the best out of a bad situation".

Of course, you could get a docking station, but that would defeat the point. If you can't afford to replace your laptop, then the chances are you won't be able to afford a docking station, either.

So here is my answer: 4 laptop problems and solutions - ways in which you can mitigate or prevent RSI while using a laptop, apart from throw it away (although if you have the opportunity...).

Laptop Recap

To recap, in my previous post I highlighted these issues with laptops:

  • They make you bend your neck.
  • The keyboard is cramped.
  • The keyboard is off centre.
  • The trackpad interferes with the keyboard.
  • The screen is too small.


Let's deal with each of those issues.

Four Laptop Problems And Their Solutions


Problem: laptops make you bend your neck

The number 1 issue with laptops is the screen height. With you looking down on your screen all the time, you'll get cramp in your neck.

Requirement: You'll need a monitor stand or an unopened pack of printer paper for this one.

Solution 1: Get an external monitor

Just pop your monitor on the stand or paper. Job done.

Solution 2: Get an external keyboard

Can't afford a new monitor? Put your laptop on the stand instead and plug in a keyboard (or pair it, if it's bluetooth/wireless). Sorted.

Problem: laptop keyboard is cramped or off-centre

Laptops by their nature are designed to pack a lot of power into a small, portable bundle. This has the unfortunate side-effect of squashing your fingers together while typing.

Solution: Get an external keyboard

A standard keyboard has the keys properly spaced. Your fingers will thank you for the extra room and so will your wrists, arms and shoulders. If you combine this with the external monitor from point 1, then you could be on to a winner.

You may have spotted there's a bit of a theme developing here...

Problem: trackpad interferes with the keyboard (or vice versa)

Trackpads can be over-sensitive and basic laptop design often puts them too close to the keyboard. When you're typing too near the trackpad, you end up moving the cursor accidentally and mess up words where you didn't intend.

Solution: Get an external mouse or alternative trackpad

You can get a cheap USB or wireless mouse (maybe bluetooth), or you could swap to a better ergonomic mouse, depending on your operating system.

Type and mouse better. Curse less.

Problem: laptop screen is too small

Unless you’ve got something like a top of the line Macbook Pro, with one of those lovely high resolution Retina screens, you’re going to have to deal with squinting at tiny icons while you work.

However, even a “decent size” laptop screen is still only around 11-13 inches. That’s fine for an hour or two for someone with 20-20 vision, but if you’re using that kind of screen for much longer… well, it’s just not worth the headaches IMO.

Solution: Get an external monitor

A monitor doesn’t have to be the highest resolution to help your eyes out, it just needs to be large enough for you, with good contrast and to be properly adjusted.

If All Else Fails

What about when you're on the move?

If you're absolutely insistent on using your laptop while traveling, get a fold up keyboard or a tablet with a stand instead.

You'll obviously need a table to lean on for that, so if that's not an option then make sure to limit your TIME using break software.

Go External

So, that's my (admittedly biased) take on how to deal with laptop health risks.

As you may have guessed, the keyword to take away from this article is "external".

Since you can't do much about the machine itself, connecting up external components can transform your work space. Nuff said.

P.S. And if you ignore all of that advice... don't say I didn't warn you!

Discussion Question: How do you work around these issues?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

5 Reasons Why Laptops Are Bad For Your Health

Laptop are really, really bad for your health. Here's why.

Courtesy Death To Stock
Laptops seem like a good option for people on the move, but the reality is that they are far from ideal. Ergonomically speaking, they are bad news for most of your body and will happily mess up your neck, back, hands and wrists, before you can say "RSI".


I've just released my new free video series, Your Workdesk Makeover.
Video 2 in the series Blueprint For A Great Day came out yesterday and in there I describe briefly how much I hate seeing people use laptops.

Knowing what I know about ergonomics, I cringe whenever I spy someone sitting on a train or plane, or even at an office desk, while typing on one of these monstrosities.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

RSI Training Series Now Available

Available Now: NEW RSI training series - and it's FREE.

My new RSI training series is now live and I wanted to let you know as soon as possible (can you tell I'm excited?).

Inside, you'll find out all you need to know about preventing and fixing Repetitive Strain Injury at your PC work station.
If you've ever suffered at your computer with aches and pains in your back, shoulders, arms, or hands, at work or at home, then this FREE series is for you!

The videos will teach you:

  • How it really is possible to have a discomfort-free day at your PC
  • The impact of computer use on your body
  • The 4 work areas you need to review to minimise that impact
  • Simple, actionable changes you can make, starting today

I'll also let you know about a free bonus for you to download, which will help you implement these changes.
Don't miss it!

P.S. Here's the link.

Friday, 29 January 2016

New - RSI Video Training Series - Coming Soon!

Coming Soon: Your Workdesk Makeover - learn about RSI and how to protect your body at your PC.

Your Workdesk Makeover is a brand new FREE video series to help you avoid the painful effects of RSI ...and it's almost ready to launch.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Can you help me out?

I need your help.

Do you have plans for this year? I have big plans to help people like you ...but I need your help.

Take part in the Timbo On Tech Reader Survey 2015/16.



A Great Year

2015 was a great year for me and I plan to make 2016 even better. The thing is, I never make New Year's resolutions.

I learnt a long time ago that resolutions simply don't stick, but this year I've been encouraged by Michael Hyatt to set some goals that I can actually keep.

My goals for Timbo On Tech are pretty big because I want to make a real difference in people's lives. However, I also know from experience that there's another vital ingredient that I can't do without: that's you!

What Motivates You?

I need to know what motivates you:
What are your big issues as you deal with technology at work and at home?
I need to know whether my writing works for you:
Does it hit the nail on the head, or does it just miss the mark?

I'm also thinking of launching some cool (and of course, incredibly useful!) products this year. Your input could determine which ones make the grade and even what goes into them.

To let me know the answer to these questions, there's just one thing I need you to do:

Answer the super short survey.

See you soon!
Tim

P.S. Here's the link: SURVEY


Saturday, 31 October 2015

How To Stop Your Phone Hurting Your Neck

Painful neck at your desk? It may be how you use your phone.

Computers can be a pain in the neck, sometimes literally.

The classic image of busy offices is that of Big City stockbrokers, who watch multiple screens while performing numerous tasks.

These are fast-paced, fast-talking people, squeezing their phones between one ear and their shoulder, but there's a problem.