Hey, Dad.

Monica’s parents arrived today, and I jumped at the first opportunity to show them my laptop harness. I don’t think I have daddy issues, but I do think I have a longstanding desire to gain my dad’s respect. That desire has since extended to Monica’s dad, who has dozens of patents. He and Monica’s mom were both encouraging about the laptop harness while acknowledging that it looks pretty funny.

It’s a new year, and another opportunity for me to criticize the idea of New Year’s resolutions while concurrently making my own. My immediate resolution is to stop playing Into the Breach and focus my efforts on studying for the AWS Cloud Solutions Architect exam that I scheduled for the 15th of this month. The good news is that most of these services are actually really approachable, much friendlier than the old days of just start up an EC2 instance and manually do everything. Also, I can definitely see how the linguistic service I’m envisioning could live in the cloud. More to come on all of that.


I did it. You ever have one of those moments at the end of a project that feels momentous? It doesn’t matter the project size. Big or small, it just feels good to see your idea realized. Behold:

The completed laptop harness, version 1.

I’m typing up this post, uh, suited up. I added an extension to the front panel to redistribute the weight of the laptop so it wouldn’t sag so much. It’s not as uncomfortable as I thought. Adding the keyboard was incredibly easy because I just pulled it off of the laptop stand I made a few weeks back.

There’s still more to add, like a green screen to hide the fact that I’m wearing this harness on conference calls. That said, I think it’s time to work up a new video highlighting the future of [scrap wood] work from home. I have a lot to share.

Off Day

My laptop harness is based off the idea of a snorricam, which is like a professional selfie harness used to capture video of the actor’s face while the actor wheels about. Looking at these now, I can see they are positioned lower on the torso, partly to free up the shoulders for filming, and partly to allow a lateral strap for the top of the front plate. I’m contemplating rearranging the harness, but I don’t like the idea of a front plate pressing into my guts all day, and I’d have to adjust the placement of the laptop post to achieve the proper height. I still think I can work around it while keeping the front plate high on my chest. 

Spent the day with Z at the OMSI. Spent the evening at the Clinton theater. 

Fail fast and then hang it up for the night

Tonight I worked on redistributing the weight from the laptop post backwards to the rear plate. I fabricated for two arms from the front plate that extend and latch onto a tail that extends off the rear plate. This did not properly distribute the weight, and I’m still left with a slouching front plate. I’ll probably have to scrap that idea. Some things I’ve learned:

  1. The straps were probably a good idea, particularly the two that extend over my shoulders. It’s pretty comfortable, even as I add weight.
  2. The front plate could benefit from a wider piece of wood, but my projects are firmly rooted in the discounted wood I buy from my neighborhood hardware store. If I can’t make it with shitty wood, I definitely couldn’t make it with “extravagant” wood. Also, when I mess up on lousy wood, it’s not the end of the world.
  3. On that point, messing up, I do it all the time. I could spend more time setting my cuts and really making things clean, but that’s not how I work. I’d rather try different things and approximate good cuts. Make it work, and get the idea out there. I’ll worry about style once I understand the form. Or maybe I’ll never worry about style and move onto something else.
Laptop harness in progress

Here’s me trying to stifle a smile; I know how I look. You can see it coming together, though, even if a lot of it is going to change. For instance, I’m pulling down on the back plate to give it the required force to support the laptop.

Laptop Harness Continued

Some fool wearing a laptop holder harness

I’ve made further progress on my laptop harness and reached the next problem to solve. The straps don’t provide the sturdiness and structure I hoped. Instead, I’m left with a sagging laptop and a baseplate that further digs into my chest. I really wanted to build a sturdier PVC pipe-based harness from the get-go, but the lightweight straps seemed like they would be a lower profile solution. When it comes to carrying a bulky plywood laptop stand around, lower profile is definitely path to follow. I’ll sketch out some alterations to this to see if I can get the best of both worlds. 

Also, I’m using popsicle sticks to add further support to my laptop. I knew I was hoarding them for some reason.


I have a backlog of these entries. I’m going to try and stop emailing posts to myself and start actually posting them each night. Anyways.
My new keyboard stand is looking more like an old TV aerial than an actual keyboard stand. That’s ok. If it’s not clear by now, I’m making a harness that will allow me to carry my laptop with me through my house while I work. If all goes as planned, it will really let me loosen up and slip some nasty dance steps into my workday. It’s the next iteration of the treadmill desk. It’s going to take the rehabbed loft shared workspace start-up scene by storm.
Right now I’m working on a way to keep my  $1500 laptop from flying off my $10 scrap wood stand. I also need to rebalance it so there’s not so much downward pressure on the bottom edge of the front base plate. An idea is coming to me now, something of a pyramid. I’ll have to sleep on it.