Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I just programmed for 8 miles....

I just got back from POSSE (Professors Open Source Summer Experience) hosted by Red Hat. It was quite an experience indeed.

I met new people with the same goal, shared experiences and learnt the way open source communities work. It gave me many ideas that I am going to work on one by one and you'll read about it here as I go through them.

It is true that I learnt many things about Open Source, but I saw something in Red Hat head quarters that I think it will change the way I work for rest of my life;

Like all other geeks I am always glued to my computer screen in worst posture possible. It gives me back pain, neck pain and after few hours of coding, I feel like I can not stand up straight any more.

Greg, during the final hours of POSSE was talking about how he walks and works on his treadmill at home and then he took us down to the offices of those working at Red Hat and there is was; a treadmill/desk hybrid!!!. It was literary a treadmill with a tall (with adjustable height) desk attached in front of it.

Taking Greg's advice on how it can cause neck pain because of looking down for a long time, I made few improvements and converted my own treadmill to a workstation; The notebook monitor is at the eye level, so while walking on treadmill I will look forward instead of down, I added an additional monitor for dual head (multiple screen) capability and also set two height settings for the keyboard (so my wife can use it too).

It took me a day and a half and 100 Dollars to build it and since then (24 hours ago) I burned 1300 calories!!
Here it is at work: [Video]

Now the only problem I have is to fight with my wife on who is going to jump on the treadmill to work(out)!!!

I will blog with closeup shots on keyboard stand and monitor stand, so if you like to convert your treadmill to a work station, you can get an idea of how it is done.


  1. Dude, this is awesome. Way better than mine. :)

  2. Seriously Fardad, please post instructions too! I'm not much at from-scratch building, but I can follow directions with the best of them! :-) Great job.

  3. Awesome! I've wanted to do this for years. If you post instructions, I may have run out of excuses for actually doing it!

  4. You want instructions? Fardad is nicer, but mine is dead simple:

    1. Buy a treadmill with good arms. The Sole F80 is perfect. Make sure to get the full-on warranty, because walking at low speeds for long periods of time can put more stress on the engine.

    2. Buy an 8ft long two-by-four and a 2" thick piece of pink foam insulation, 8ft by 4ft.

    3. Cut the two-by-four into two 4' lengths. Lay them across the arms of the treadmill.

    4. Break the pink foam insulation into sections one foot by four feet. Stack them on top of the two-by-four lengths until you're at a good height where your arms are level with the keyboard.

    5. Duct tape the foam insulation blocks together.

    That's it. It ain't pretty, but it was cheap, effective, and I was able to do it with no building skills of any kind.

  5. And oh, by the way, since this purchase I've lost eight pounds and an inch off my waistline.

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