How a single sheet of MDF has changed my life

This content is 15 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

In my blog post last year about Microsoft Photosynth, I used my desk as an example and, even though I had cleared it up before taking the images for the photosynth, it was still looking congested – as the various items of IT that I use for my work and hobbies vie for placement on a desk that is a best described as small but functional.

So, last Friday, I decided that something had to change. As well planning a trip to Ikea for some new shelves to organise the assortment of items that are spreading across the office floor (most of which is waiting to be advertised on eBay, Freecycled or otherwise disposed of), I purchased a sheet of MDF. Nothing remarkable – just a single sheet of Medium-density fibreboard, sized 1900x605x18mm.

Laying this across my desk and filing cabinet gave me a large expanse of flat work surface, upon which to place: the MacBook and external monitor that I use for digital photography; the notebook PC that I use for work; my Netgear ReadyNAS; the PC that I use for video production; my IP phone; and the mouse and keyboard that control the server under the desk (connected to the same monitors as the PC, using a Linksys KVM solution). Now I can reach them all, I can leave my graphics tablet and film scanner on the desk all the time, and I still have room for papers when I’m working.

My desk, in my home office

It might only overhang the edge of the desk by a few inches either side but I really cannot overstate how big a change to my workspace this simple change has made!

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