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Making Your Bedroom a Sanctum from Technology? 148

Posted by Cliff
from the tips-for-relieving-your-tension dept.
millisa asks: "With the tightening economy, technology workers are finding themselves picking up extra tasks in the workplace which in turn can raise stress and detract from the ability to relax. Many of us are strapping an assortment of gadgets that beep, vibrate, and blink at us (and most of them aren't the fun kind) with the purpose of on-call response at any and all hours. Where does the restful bedroom exist? What I'm looking for are ways other nerds in the community have made their bedrooms into a place where they can release tension of the day and improve their overall quality of life? What measure have others taken to be considerate towards that signifigant other (in order to keep them being the signifigant other)? Hidden receivers and speakers for mood music? Ambient lighting? Walled windows and soundproofing? What's in your de-teched sanctuary that keeps the minimum for you to fulfill your job obligations? Economical suggestions are quite welcome!"

"The lucky few of us who've managed to not remain single can have one recalcitrant database or webserver strain a relationship to the extreme when it misbehaves multiple nights in a row. I personally have developed severe sleep disorders over the past half decade due to the little issues that always seem to happen just after that much needed REM sleep kicks in. I certainly can't fathom the patience my signifigant other has for sharing the disturbances.

I woke a few months back with a laptop near the pillow, flat screen still powered on the tv tray and an equal distribution of cats and wireless devices at my feet. I had a headache from various system fans, drives spinning, and the 'dings' of incoming mail. Enough was enough. I decided I wanted to make the bedroom as much of a sanctum as possible. The other 85% of the house can have wires, TiVos in various states, and homemade networked kitchen appliances; the place of rest should be geared to that purpose if I'm to be an efficient geek."

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Making Your Bedroom a Sanctum from Technology?

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  • by Masa (74401) on Friday January 10, 2003 @04:47AM (#5053437) Journal
    Can't comment about my bedroom which is just an alcove near my computer, TV, gaming console, stereos and other electrical devices :) But I have made few things to stop work-related calls interrupting my spare time.

    I have a Nokia 6210 cell phone which has these nifty "profiles" and "caller groups". I've set two profiles to my phone: "spare time" and "work hours". In the "spare time" mode no signal is given if the call is coming from the office or the caller is one of my co-workers. Also, the phone is silenced so if someone not-work-related person calls, the phone just beeps and vibrates.

    The "work hours" profile on the other hand has a ring tone and all other annoying panic-causing effects turned on and all calls are accepted.

    With this simple trick I can truly turn off my work and relax and enjoy me spare time.

    • The problem is that the poster seems to have to be on-call durring the night, so simply turning off the phone wont work, as he would not have a job to go back to in the morning.

      I'm not sure what he wants us to do about it; the only thing he could really do is request that someone else be put on-call so he can get some sleep 3-4 out of the 7 nights a week.

      Someting to do, on the otherhand, is turn the volume on the laptop down, and not put it *right* next to his head. Theres no reason that he needs to be notified of email in the middle of the night, anyway. Perhaps move everything with a fan to the otherside of the room just for good measure. Just my $.02
  • I don't find technology stressful, i love things beeping and flashing as me. My bedroom is my office, so i can keep an eye on things 24/7, i have them setup to "beep" if somthing goes wrong. I used to have a seperate bedroom, but i actually found that quite stressful, wondering what was happening in the office. On many occasions i'd leap out of bed and run in here thinking that i heard somthing.

    The only thing i've done towards relaxing is getting a WiFi laptop, so i can sit under a tree in the backyard and code :)

    I'm addicted to my work, lucky me :)

  • stupid. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:04AM (#5053486) Homepage
    1. If you are having DB or other problems "multiple nigths in a row" you are doing something wrong. Learn to do your job.
    2. If you let your employer call you at home when he feels like it, without compensation high enough that it's worth it to you and your girlfriend, you are doing something wrong.
    3. What makes you think that so few sysadmins have girlfriends ? This is a bullshit clichee. Infact I can think of only one co-worker who has no girlfriend, and for him it's more 'cos he tends to be a little unstable and have different ones...
    4. If you don't want to be disturbed at nigth, pull out the phone. How hard is that ? Employer doesn't accept it ? In that case he should be *paying* you for being "always accessible".
    • by Anonymous Coward
      First thing to say about this article is that the comment below is stupid.

      The lucky few of us who've managed to not remain single

      Speak for yourself. There are those of us who are happily single and are intentionally so for personal and professional purposes. Fucking breeder.

      As far as the bedroom, I don't have a bedroom. My living room is filled with a $10,000 home entertainment system, walls of DVDs and CDs and books. There's a futon mattress on the floor (it's punk to go without a bed frame).

      My bedroom is filled with a dozen or so machines and a half dozen 21" or bigger monitors, networking racks, fax machines, printers, scanners, digital cameras, technical books, portable air conditioner, $4,000 executive office chair, PS2, Xbox, second television, second stereo system, 1tb file server (for mp3s and movies) and lots of spare parts and ancient machinery.

      Other than the futon mattress in the living room and the office chair, there's no furniture in my place. It's just the way I love it.
      • Re:stupid. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by angelo (21182)

        My living room is filled with a $10,000 home entertainment system, walls of DVDs and CDs and books. There's a futon mattress on the floor (it's punk to go without a bed frame).

        But it's decidely not punk to have 10k in entertainment equipment and 4k invested in a chair.

      • Ooooh, we're soooo impressed! A $10,000 "home entertainment system". I bet your porn looks really good on it.

        As for me? £150 for amp and speakers - everyone that 's listened to them seem to think they're OK and since I'm deaf as a post it doesn't really matter to me. Just as long as it's not horribly distorted and reasonably flat, I'm happy with it. Swivel chair - £15 from Ikea. Desk pulled out of a skip near my house.

        I don't mind spending money, but I don't fall into the trap of thinking stuff is good just because it's expensive. It means I never need to answer a call about dying servers at 3am, I don't have to wear a shirt and tie to work, and I can live comfortably off what I earn in about 15 hours a week. I don't have a lot of money doing that, but then I'm not stuck in front of a computer all day.
      • I lived like you until about a month and a half ago, when I was able to get a one bedroom apartment, and put most of my computer stuff elsewhere. You know what? I've found that I'm more comfortable, able to sleep better, and am actually willing to have friends come over. My happiness is also greater; probably from the aformentioned reason. You should try having a bf/gf sometime, you will get joys you won't know sitting in front of a CRT. Trust me, an orgasm in the flesh is an amazing thing.

        Now, I've still got more crap than is needed in there; my goal is to get a 2 bedroom place so I can have a guest room/office. I'll have everything set up, but out of the way, so that when I do have people come over, my decor is more relaxed, nicer, more comfortable. More inducive to my reading/writing projects. In short, better

        In short, don't pigeonhole yourself as a geek. Be a renaissance person, diversify; you'll be much more attractive socially, and professionally.

      • As far as the bedroom, I don't have a bedroom. My living room is filled with a $10,000 home entertainment system, walls of DVDs and CDs and books. There's a futon mattress on the floor (it's punk to go without a bed frame).

        My bedroom is filled with a dozen or so machines and a half dozen 21" or bigger monitors, networking racks, fax machines, printers, scanners, digital cameras, technical books, portable air conditioner, $4,000 executive office chair, PS2, Xbox, second television, second stereo system, 1tb file server (for mp3s and movies) and lots of spare parts and ancient machinery.


        And does your garage have a Benz that you ain't even drove yet? Because that's what you truly need.
    • Re:stupid. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by andrewski (113600)
      Dude! It must be great to loive on a planet where nothing ever goes wrong!

      If you are having DB or other problems "multiple nigths in a row" you are doing something wrong. Learn to do your job.

      What if the problem is upstream? What if the problem is flaky hardware that is just about to barf?
      • What if the problem is upstream? What if the problem is flaky hardware that is just about to barf?

        Then you are not doing your job properly. People who throw up their hands and blame a constantly recurring problem on hardware or someone else instead of doing something about it shouldn't be working in this industry. Thankfully, because of this shitty economy, most of these people are finding careers elsewhere.

        - A.P.
        • Huh? I am not the one having problems here./ I'm just saying that you can't forsee every problem. If YOU can, then Whoopee! Hurrah! Huzzah! Jesus has returned.

          Dolt.
          • Assclown:

            The original poster claimed these things were happening on a regular basis. Nobody can predict the future, but not learning from past outages and taking steps to correct the problem and prevent future outages is an excellent way to get dismissed from your job, and makes you the gold-star candidate come layoff time. Those without problem-solving skills can no longer make it in this day and age. (Unfortunately, some put up a good enough act.)

            - A.P.
        • And what about clueless management? You might know that, for example, an upstream provider is crap but you can't switch without management approval. Or perhaps a bad vendor that you can't replace without management approval.

          In a perfect world, we could just leave sucky jobs like that at a moment's notice - but this isn't a perfect world. It's a world with a less-than-excellent job market and lots of people are pretty much stuck where they are for now.
    • Focus on the bed (Score:4, Interesting)

      by grammar nazi (197303) on Friday January 10, 2003 @09:49AM (#5054216) Journal
      Last Fall, I came to a realization that I love my bed. We each should spend about 30% of our lives laying in our beds, and up until December, I was neglecting that crucial area of my apartment. Since I work 10+ hours each day *and* go to school part time, I spend too little time in my bed. This makes me wish I spent more time there, and as a result I love my bed even more.

      So what did I do? I went out and got a down mattress pad, down comforter, a bunch of down pillos, and some kick-ass bed sheets. Now, when I sleep in my bed, I'm surround everywhere by warm fluf. On top of my extra firm matress, it feels like heaven.

      We spend most of our lives either at work or laying in bed, so why not put a littl effort into having a nice bed?

    • Re:stupid. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CharlieG (34950)
      Sometimes you get calls you should NOT get

      I develop software - so yeah, I get my share of calls - but why am I called when a raid drive fails? I don't even have access to the server room, or admin rights to the server

      The problem is, it stops "My app" from working, so they call me

      We just had a rash of network problems - we had to change the server. We tell the LAN services group "all you hae to to is copy X directory, make this ONE change to the INI file, and push the INI file change" (all the stuff to push the INI file is supposidly in place an maintained by another group)

      Guess what? They have not been keeping up to date on their INI push software, so have the end users don't get the new INI file. We spend 11 hours yesterday fixing a problem that isn't even the responsibility of our group, but we get the blame!
      • I develop software - so yeah, I get my share of calls

        That doesn't follow. I develop software, but I don't get calls. Why should I? As a software developer, I'm not in a time-critical position--if things fail, I'll fix them when I come in in the morning.

        If your work is time-critical--e.g. you're a web developer and the failure in question is affecting the site--that's one thing. But it's worth asking yourself if it really helps the business to be called in all the time or if it just feels important to be the guy that fights fires.

        Sumner
        • I work for one of the major networks in the News Division - Middle of the night calls come when some producer/reporter can't get his/her work done

          99% of the time, it's a network/pc problem - the thing is, the help desk calls us, because the network guys won't pick up their phones!

          Last night, we PROVED it was a problem with 2 things, a share on a server, and a bad batch file written by the lan ops group - when we called them (after working till midnight, when they went home at 5:00), they litterally cursed at my co-worker

          Of course, to the end users, it's the program that does not work, so they blame us
    • Re:stupid. (Score:5, Funny)

      by PD (9577) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Friday January 10, 2003 @11:23AM (#5054907) Homepage Journal
      If you let your employer call you at home when he feels like it,

      I know it's offtopic, but once a sales person once half-jokingly said that he thought I wasn't as dedicated to the job as he thought I should be. He wasn't my boss, and that comment was uncalled for.

      So, a couple weeks later I was flying back from somewhere and he told me to call him when I got back to town. I took great pleasure in waking him up at 3 in the morning to tell him that I was back in town. The next day in the office he complained to me and I responded that I am devoted to my job 24 hours a day, and I assumed that he was too.

      Got him!
    • Re:stupid. (Score:4, Informative)

      by OldMiner (589872) on Friday January 10, 2003 @12:31PM (#5055451) Journal

      If you don't want to be disturbed at nigth, pull out the phone. How hard is that ? Employer doesn't accept it ? In that case he should be *paying* you for being "always accessible".

      Actually, he may not have the right to request those hours off nor extra pay except when he is actively helping out. In my state, CO, the Colorado Minimum Wage Law [coworkforce.com] reads as follows:

      b)
      Sleep Time: where an employee's tour of duty is 24 hours or longer, up to 8 hours of sleeping time can be excluded from overtime compensation, if: (1) an express agreement excluding sleeping time exists; and (2) adequate sleeping facilities for an uninterrupted night's sleep are provided; and (3) at least five hours of sleep are possible during the scheduled sleeping periods; and (4) interruptions to perform duties are considered time worked. When said employee's tour of duty is less than 24 hours, periods during which the employee is permitted to sleep are compensable work time, as long as the employee is on duty and must work when required. Only actual sleep time may be excluded up to a maximum of eight (8) hours per work day. When work related interruptions prevent five (5) hours of sleep, the employee shall be compensated for the entire work day.
      • Re:stupid. (Score:2, Informative)

        by sartin (238198)
        I think there is a misunderstanding if you think this means employers don't owe for the time spent sleeping when on duty. Emphasis mine:
        ...up to 8 hours of sleeping time can be
        excluded from overtime compensation, if...

        This is known as the exception that proves the rule. The fact that they are exempting sleep time from overtime implies that it is paid time.

        Also note the conditions for exempting sleep time from overtime include:

        (3) at least five hours of sleep are possible during the scheduled sleeping periods; and (4) interruptions to perform duties are considered time worked.

        Those are fairly severe limits.

    • If you are having DB or other problems "multiple nigths in a row" you are doing something wrong. Learn to do your job.

      Just maybe the problems are not caused by him? Where I work I spend the vast majority of my time fixing problems caused by other people. For many of us that is what our job consists of.

      If you let your employer call you at home when he feels like it, without compensation high enough that it's worth it to you and your girlfriend, you are doing something wrong.

      Actually in this job market many of us are happy to have any job at all and are not in the position to look for a better job if our current one sucks.

      What makes you think that so few sysadmins have girlfriends ? This is a bullshit clichee. Infact I can think of only one co-worker who has no girlfriend, and for him it's more 'cos he tends to be a little unstable and have different ones...

      Sure SysAdmins (and other brands of geeks) have girlfriends, but in my experience geeks without girlfriends are a hell of a lot more common than "normal" guys without girlfriends.

      If you don't want to be disturbed at nigth, pull out the phone. How hard is that ? Employer doesn't accept it ? In that case he should be *paying* you for being "always accessible".

      Like I just said, many of us have to take whatever job we can in this job market. For some of us being on call 24/7 is part of that job. And the only option might be to quit and go work at Burger King which really isn't an option at all.
    • If you are having DB or other problems "multiple nigths in a row" you are doing something wrong. Learn to do your job.

      As long as there are users, there will be problems (or at least calls) no matter how good the admin is.
  • by orthogonal (588627) on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:09AM (#5053501) Journal
    What I'm looking for are ways other nerds in the community have made their bedrooms into a place where they can release tension of the day and improve their overall quality of life?

    Well, I'd suggest getting a girlfriend. They can be very helpful about the "release tension" thing, and a significant minority can even improve your "overall quality of life."

    Oh wait, this is /., so maybe I should suggest a hooker.

    Oh wait. This is /. I mean a hooker who works the Renaissance Festival as a "tavern harlot".

    And comes equiped with a WiFi port, and runs linux, speaks awk, looks like Natalie Portman with a a pantsuit full of hot grits, and who and will do anything for a buck --

    unless it's with Bill Gates --

    in Soviet Russia.
    • Well, I'd suggest getting a girlfriend. They can be very helpful about the "release tension" thing, and a significant minority can even improve your "overall quality of life."

      Getting a girlfriend for the purposes of stress relief and QOL improvement? Isn't that like switching to Windows for the purposes of stress relief and QOL improvement? I'm sure it's happened, But it's definatly not a guarenteed result.
  • A while back, I had a problem with a persistent faint buzzing in my room, which I could hear only at night.

    It turned out to be coil whine from my monitor's power supply. Even when switched "off", it was never completely off -- the power button was only a soft power off, like an ATX supply. The reason I only heard it at night was that during the day it was drowned out by ambient noise. Once identified, it was easily solved by moving the power strip into a convenient location, so I could cut the power completely.
  • by SuperGlue (468780) on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:20AM (#5053529)
    Move to my old neighborhood If you want to get away from all anything Electronic, Hitech or basically anything that uses electricity.
    All you have to do is unlock your doors when you go to sleep.

    Then when you wake up in the morning, you won't have any of those pesky electronic devices in your house anymore....(As well as cash, credit cards or food)

    SuperGlueBooger

  • Keep it all out! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Graelin (309958) on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:22AM (#5053536)
    Our bedroom has only one electronic device - a clock radio. There is no telephone, the cell stays in the kitchen, absolutely no computers, TVs, at all. I made the cable hookup a dead line. (It helps the signal to the cable modem too)

    I work from home, I get calls at all hours about work. However, the nearest phone to my bedroom is a good distance. So far in fact, that I cannot get to it before voice mail does. If I do hear it, I don't even bother.

    It was not always this way. When living space was at a premium I had my box in the bedroom for a short while. Fortunately, the wife put an end to it VERY quickly.

    Your house is your kingdom and your bedroom your sanctuary. It's very comforting to lay my head down and hear absolutely nothing. No phone. No CPU fans. No churning disks. I really can get away there. ...of course, when the servers are on fire it can be sort of a problem... but that's what watchdogs and managed hosting companies are for. :)

    ---
    Live in Wichita? Code perl? Want a job? Let me know.
    • Well, I have a landline phone, but not the one my boss has the number to! Otherwise, the high tech items in our bedroom is the clock radio, and the lights and ceiling fan

      Ah, sleep

      Charlie
      (Now, how do you turn off the 21 month old?)
    • I would not even have the clock radio, except I recently developed this problem of needing the alarm clock. I used to wake up right on time without any other work, then I had kids.
      My recommendation to all my married friends (especially those with kids) is to get the TV and any other "entertainainment devices" (ie computers, gameboys etc.) out of the bedroom. If you are in the bedroom and have some free time, there are much better things to do than watch TV. If you have kids, you probably won't get another chance for months!

      There is also no better way to relieve tension and talk about quality of life.
  • by E1v!$ (267945) on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:31AM (#5053570) Homepage
    Fuzzy handcuffs and a 4 poster bed! A girl came into my room the other day... She's becoming a geek but the first thing she noticed when she walked into my room wasn't the awsome computer setup I have, it was the 4 post bed. She laid down and said, "You could have some fun with this." and then went on to ask about hand-cuffs.
  • Kinda on topic ....Kinda not...but what the Hey

    1. when you invite them over and promise to make dinner...don't fall asleep and then complain when they wake you up

    2. don't invite them over, and then ditch them to go Play Games in the Computer labs.

    3. buy a bed. Girls don't like sleeping on the floor.

    4. when they sit at your computer DON'T Grab the mouse and keyboard.

    5. when they say "come to bed honney"... that means its time to stop playing video games.

    note: these all come from personal experiance.. :)

    ohhh...p.s. Tell them you love them a lot

    I Love you Darling!
    • Pah! Computers are much better than chicks. They remain whether you do this or not.

      Hmmm.. is there a list somewhere of reasons why computers are better than women?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      1. That's what caffiene is for. Just have lots of mouthwash. Coffee breath isn't good, unless she really REALLY likes coffee.

      2. Hmmm...a girl is coming over, and you want me to go play Quake III with you and 9 other guys? Call me back when Quake XXXIV is released.

      3. Hell man, if you don't have even a little tiny kiddie twin bed by now, I feel sad. No wait...not sad, but superior. Buy a freakin bed, you geeky assclown. Jeez...

      4. What??? You're a geek, but you don't have retinal scanners and biometric ass-print scanners built into your desk and chair?

      5. This isn't 1984, playing Pitfall on your old non-pausing non-saving Atari 2600. Games now have save-game features for just such occasions. Set down the controller, and put those fingers you've been working out for the last 20 years to good use.
  • If you need a great machine that doesn't make a sound you don't want, get a Mac. The large dual processor desktop models may not be exactly what you're looking for but any of the portable line or the new iMacs are absolutely noiseless. My rev A PB TiBook only turns it's fan on if I have it sitting on fabric or something else that keeps the heat in. Sitting on a simple low writing desk it is 99% absolutely quiet. Even the hard drive is barely more than a whisper when reading large files.

    Same is true of the iMac. No fan noise, no drive noise... just ambient music and screensavers when not in use for 'computing', perfect for the bedroom or any other small living space (ask any Tokyo native).

    If you have one of these models and they are creating too much noise, you have a bad drive. IBM travelstars from 2 years ago had bad spindles... get a new fluid dynamic bearing model from IBM or Toshiba and you'll again have no noise. CD-ROM, etc could add some noise if old, or try a cleaning CD to get rid of any grit that may be causing problems.

    • If you need a great machine that doesn't make a sound you don't want, get a Mac.

      I second this. I was one of the unfortunates who splashed out on a then new iBook three weeks ago, expanded it with Airport and 512Mb Apple RAM upgrade only to find out about the new models. Doh.

      Thing is I never realised how loud my PC is until I started using the iBook for my correspondence.


      Anyone want to buy an immaculate three week old 640Mb/Airport/iBook/800/12.1/DVD/CD-R in the UK?
  • hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by pizza_milkshake (580452) on Friday January 10, 2003 @06:01AM (#5053636)
    i can't help you there (http://www.parseerror.com/images/room6.jpg)
  • My bedroom has a bed. (and some closets for clothes)
    Apart from that I make sure all buzzing, flashing beeping and vibrating work related gizmo's come equiped with a special feature I call a "power switch"
    I typically use this feature when I go home from work.
    Alternatively, if your boss is a penny saving monster and refuses to pay for this feature you could just forget to take all gizmo's home.
    Of course you should always make it clear to your boss that all gizmo's you paid for yourself are off limits for him.
  • Our jobs do eat up our lives. It's would happen anyway That's how we are wired. Slashdot'ers need to accept this fact. We are not normal. I would love to be able to put down that damn keyboard when I got home. I get home and I am back on a keyboard, this time for some sort of 'techie fun'. Banging away at some issue on my home systems. I used to think I just loved a challenge, but now I know it's just an another addiction.

    This biggest difference between my ultrasparc home box and My work box is I can pull it down when I want to. Oh, and it's in my bedroom. Sigh...

    Yesterday I got the server out of my bedroom, maybe the PC will be out sometime soon, but I doubt it.

    • Like I said upthread, my suggestion is to try getting a 2 bedroom apartment. Set up an office, somewhere where you can work, and not be where you sleep. If you're paranoid about your systems going down while you sleep, find a cheap, older laptop and wireless card where you can throw a monitoring program on it, and not have to worry about your systems going down and you not knowing it, and probably more importantly, to cut down on the fan noise.

      Above all else, get the systems away from the bedroom, and away from the living room, so you can relax.

  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday January 10, 2003 @06:28AM (#5053674) Homepage
    is the only way I can get to sleep at night.
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Friday January 10, 2003 @07:30AM (#5053777)
    Personally, I don't think you should ban technology because it is technology. You should, instead, ally yourself with your technologies. (And that may mean using more technology. Or using your existing technology smarter.) The most annoying technology in my house? Probably the most basic one. The telephone.

    It rings a lot and half the time I don't want to answer it. But I've got to check the Caller ID to see if I want to answer it or not. How do I ally myself with this technology? Answer: technology. A talking caller-id box, for example, would save me the trouble of rushing to a caller-id box to figure out that I do or don't want to rush to the phone. Have it announce over the whole-house intercom during waking hours if that is pleasurable. If you've had enough of the phone for the day, unplug it at the network interface box outside your house. It is amazing the peace it can buy.

    WiFi is a nice way for me to have my technology when and where I want it. Instead of having to go to the computer to look something up, I can figure out the answer to a question in the living room. Or I can log onto a server from the bedroom. It has freed me from 'you must be in the office to reference the WWW or log into work'.

    Probably the most useful and enabling device in the house, second to the general purpose PC, is the TiVo. I can't think of why I'd want to ban it from the bedroom. It is an enabling device that allows us to watch television on our own terms. Unless you don't believe in television in the bedroom.

    Really, you have to look at your technology as devices that serve you. If they don't serve you, change them so where they do. If your company gives you a pager that you hate lugging around, swap it for a Timex pager-watch. If you can't change them, then I can see your approach of RIF'ing them.

    As far as the bedroom, the only technology that I have found to be disruptive in there is the pager. But that is exact purpose of the pager, to be disruptive. So I can hardly complain about something serving its useful function.
    • It rings a lot and half the time I don't want to answer it. But I've got to check the Caller ID to see if I want to answer it or not. How do I ally myself with this technology? Answer: technology. A talking caller-id box, for example, would save me the trouble of rushing to a caller-id box to figure out that I do or don't want to rush to the phone.

      I've found a great solution to be a cordless phone with caller ID. The phone is always nearby so I barely have to move to see the caller ID. That system works pretty well during the day or on weekends. If I really don't want to be bothered, like when I'm trying to sleep, I'll forward my calls to my cell phone, which I'll have turned off. If someone wants to leave a message they can, but I can review it on my own time.

      In addition, the cell is always with me during the day and also has caller ID, along with a lovely Ignore button that will send callers straight to voice mail.

      Finally, I use the cell for non-work-related friends and family. No one else has my cell number.

      So, you are correct. You can use technology to stop the frustration of technology.

    • [The telephone..] rings a lot and half the time I don't want to answer it. But I've got to [get up to] check the Caller ID to see if I want to answer it or not. How do I ally myself with this technology?

      Technology to the rescue. Get a Nortel 9516 [telephone-depot.com] phone. (about $100 US.) Has calling line ID and integrated voice mail, but the best feature is that it supports voice tags.

      Enter a number into its directory and then speak into the phone to set the tag... Then, when (for example) Joe calls, the phone will say out loud "Joe is calling." If you don't answer it, it can go a personalized voice-greeting that you recorded specifically for Joe saying "I'm at the bar desperately trying to forget the server crash... Come help me get loaded." Anyone who you haven't set a personal voice-mail message for gets the default one.

      Anti-telespam bonus: You can program "Unknown Number" to go directly to a message saying "Please add me to your do-not-call list... Please add me to your do-not-call list..." and set it so they can't leave a message.

      Disclaimer: I used to work for Nortel but sold all my stock when it was still worth something, so I have no further interest in promoting their products, other than the fact that this is a cool phone and I have one myself.

  • When I got my most recent job in IT, and was handed a phone, I decided I didn't want to be a slave, even if I was expected to answer the phone/pager. So I turned it off when I got home in the afternoon, and turned it on when I left home in the morning for work.

    After a couple of 'emergencies' (don't get me started - one person's emergency is usually another's lack of planning) took place and I was unreachable, I was called into my boss' office. A little white lie later, and we decided that my house was in a 'dead zone' between cell towers, and since the company didn't want to buy me a new house, I was suddenly passed over when it came time to 'carry the phone/pager.'

    Problem solved. I never had to deal with late night emergencies, and I never had to give more hours to my job than were nessessary. It is nice to have my evenings free for my family and myself.
    • All you're proving here is your complete lack of responsibility.
      I carry a cell phone -- my choice, I'm not required to -- 24/7. If something I'm responsible for is down, I want to know immediately. Pushing your responsibilities off on other people because you're too good to carry a cell/pager, and too dishonest to tell your boss that, is a sure-fire way to make sure you're first on the RIF list when cutbacks happen -- and for your co-workers' sake, I hope you are. If you don't pull your weight because you're too special to do what's expected of you, you don't deserve the job. If the job is too demanding for you, find another one -- don't push your work-load off on your co-workers. We hate people like that -- I've worked with them for years. I've had to resort to blocking caller-id, or going outside and using my cell to call people back into work, because they won't answer the phone if it comes up with a work number.
      Pathetic.
      • Some of us do have things to do besides work. It sounds more like he's in an environment where they were calling him because they could, not because it was "his turn."

        Besides, if you're on-call 24/7, something is wrong. There should be three competent people to care for anything mission-critical, period. You can do it with two, which isn't so bad (2 hours on-call before and after work, perhaps). Being the only person qualified for a task is begging for disaster. Sure, it's great job security, but what if you suddenly get the urge to become a professional harmonica player? Or are hit by a bus? Or totally flip out because you missed Yet Another Movie Date because of a fucking call that was fixed by powercycling the printer (not that i'm bitter)?

        Being on-call sucks, yes. But being on call for certain hours is a hell of a lot better than being on-call 24/7. 24/7 duty will kill you, or your aspirations of a social life, or at least hurt your relationships.

        I know, I was the lynchpin before. It really sucked. They didn't pay me what i was worth as the Only Competent Person, and they didn't seem to care about the concept of spending money on a backup. So good-bye i went, and i haven't looked back (that was several jobs ago; i've spent the past 8 months unemployed, living off savings from my last job; not once have i wanted to go back to the on-call position).

        Being the only person that can fix a problem shows very poor planning on the part of your management.
        • Ah... but you do not understand.
          There are other people who can, and may very well, do the fixing. As the person responsible for the systems though, I have to know what's going on so I can make the necessary decisions to ensure it's done, and done correctly. That's responsibility -- it certainly doesn't mean that I'm the only one who can fix things -- on the contrary, I work hard to ensure there are other people who know how to fix anything I can. And, I trust the people who work for me (now -- my last shop was horrible) completely. I know they'll get the job done -- but that doesn't relieve me of the responsibility.
          My point was that if you don't want the responsibility, don't take the job (or move on, as you said you did). Don't tell your boss lies and push your work off on your co-workers -- they hate people who pull stunts like that. And what is he going to do the day his boss comes to his house and sees his cell phone works fine?

          All that said, being the single point of failure for several systems is pretty bad. I did it for four years on my ship -- I'll never let that happen again.

          • We obviously have different understandings of the word 'responsibility'. And while yes, there have been times I have worked late, or come in early, my take on work is this: They pay me for 9 to 5, so they are going to get 9 to 5. I am not allowing myself to be abused as an employee because of the dept I work in. Why should I, or anyone in the IT dept. be any different from the people in Accounting? Marketing? Bldg. Maintenance?

            Then again, I guess we see other things differently. From my perspective, labor is the single most expensive line item on our budget. Why throw more money out the window paying for overtime, an extra employee to play games all night long, etc., when we can purchase a piece of equpment, and rely on redundancy to pick up the slack until things can be fixed on our primary systems the next business day?

            The poster of this topic looked for solutions to his problem, and while mine might not work where he is currently employed, it might give him something to think about if he finds a different job.

            Best solution I heard about was from a colleague of mine who's company pays a $5K bonus to employees (limit 4) who carry the phone/pager in rotation.

            I've been working here for 5 years (67 months), and my boss has been to my house several times. Either he has never thought about that conversation since then, or his cell provider is different from what we use at work.
            • "They pay me for 9 to 5, so they are going to get 9 to 5. I am not allowing myself to be abused as an employee because of the dept I work in."

              Good for you! I've made a few similar postings here in Slashdot, but after receiving endless replies of "Welcome to the real world, twerp" (real quote, honestly) and the such I've given up.

              If people want to let themselves be on call 24/7, work long hours of unpaid overtime, and be miserable because their "social life" is shit because of it - well, that's their problem.

              Stand up for your rights as an employee, don't let them f*** you over. If you feel the need to work endless hours of unpaid overtime just to keep your job, .... well... Enjoy your life, pal.
        • Damn, why didn't you tellme you were quitting. I've been out of work for almost 18 months, I'd take a 24/7 on call job anyday.
  • When I move in a week to my new flat, there will be no high-tech in the bedroom. None. Perhaps a clock and some bulbs. The rest will be wood, wood, a little bit of steel and wood. Did I mentioned wood? :)

    All high tech will be moved to a dedicated room. And the stereo will be in the living room.

    Ok, not all high tech, a small hub and perhaps a WiFi link will be in the floor so I can connect a laptop of a friend or mine if something is urgent ..
    Silly me.

    And perhaps the mobile .. but nothing more! (And the mobile doesn't count - it is loudless almost all the time. Even at work.)
  • by kevin lyda (4803) on Friday January 10, 2003 @07:36AM (#5053796) Homepage
    don't want things in your bedroom? don't put them there. who cares.

    nearly all technology shares a common feature. an off switch. learn how that works and quit whining.

    what a ridiculous story.
  • by zero_offset (200586) on Friday January 10, 2003 @07:48AM (#5053820) Homepage
    ...and that's not a troll or flamebait. I mean, it's really a dumb question.

    It isn't that hard to make the decision to leave a computer out of your friggin bedroom, unless you live in a dorm room, an efficiency or studio apartment, or something along those lines.

    I don't understand what makes this question at all interesting.

    You don't like computers in your bedroom?
    Neither do we.
    So we didn't put any in there.

    Hope that helps.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What was my bedroom is now my "geek room", and my bed is out in the living room with only my TV and radio to keep it company.

    The joy's of single living, aye?
  • Although there's no technology in my bedroom besides the alarm clock and the cordless phone charging base, there's still a certain amount of fan noise which comes from the kit in the loft room.

    Whilst trying to quieten things down, I found that it's not the fan noise which is disturbing. In fact, they sell white noise generators to help people with insomnia, and white noise easily fades into the background.

    What made the biggest difference was damping the vibration. I did this by placing strips of thick, firm-ish packing foam under the feet of everything.

    The difference was amazing. With the 'humming' component removed the sound fades into the background like a dream.

    I suppose the next phase would be to construct an enclosure with sound damping material and baffled air vents.

  • PC Soundproof box (Score:2, Informative)

    by terrencefw (605681)
    If you're loaded, get one of these [custom-consoles.com]. Their isobox range will make your peecee silent as you like.

  • Just Turn It Off (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2003 @08:43AM (#5053934)
    What measure have others taken to be considerate towards that signifigant other (in order to keep them being the signifigant other)? Hidden receivers and speakers for mood music? Ambient lighting? Walled windows and soundproofing? What's in your de-teched sanctuary that keeps the minimum for you to fulfill your job obligations? Economical suggestions are quite welcome!
    "What's in your de-teched sanctuary" There's your problem right there. Your examples of hidden speakers and soundproofing are yet more technology to add. Just say no. Turn it off. Think about what you can take out of your bedroom. Here, less is more. KISS
  • Yes! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Datoyminaytah (550912)
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Oh...I thought you said a Sanctum FOR Technology...nevermind.

  • i only have an efficiency (one room) apartment, you insensitive clod!

    (well, i guess you could count the bathroom and kitchen as seperate rooms but you probably don't want to sleep in the tub or oven, do you?)
  • If your job is so fucked up that you actually need to be paged at all hours of the day and night, you'll never have peace.

    Fix the problems or fix your problem and get a new job. If you are getting paged more than 3 times a week off hours, hire an overnight operator or technician.

  • by -dsr- (6188) on Friday January 10, 2003 @09:40AM (#5054161) Homepage Journal
    The poster is clearly looking for technological fixes (speakers, lighting, etc.) to a non-technological problem.

    Here are my recommendations:

    - Get rid of all the technology in the room that doesn't contribute to your life. Take out the laptops, the terminals, the cellphones. (Find a place nearby your door to charge the cellphones and PDAs and whatever. Not the bedroom door, the door to the Big Blue Room.)

    - Take out all the phones in the bedroom. Unless you are on-call, you don't need a phone there.

    - Get good, heavy drapes for the windows. Block out light and sound for a good night's sleep. If you work a night shift, upgrade all the way to blackout curtains.

    - Keep it quiet. You probably have music available all the rest of the day. Make this room different from the others.

    - Change the lighting. You need a good lamp for reading, which should be directional enough that you don't disturb your bed partner. (Get a separate lamp for said partner.) Make your general light adjustable, so that you can turn it up to full illumination for cleaning, and down to a soft glow for other activities. Nothing should blink, nothing should be fluorescent. (Exception: the compact-fluorescent spiral bulbs can be bought with solar color temperatures. These make excellent reading lights with a proper shade.)

    - Get more exercise. Nothing will do as much for a good night's sleep as regular exercise -- you won't need as much sleep, either. Don't exercise right before going to sleep, though -- you'll wake up sore.

    - Learn what your body wants. I, for example, have a real problem if I eat within two hours of going to bed. So I don't. Maybe you need more water before sleep, maybe you need less. Experiment and find out what works.
  • Don't take your work home

    Complete your work at work

    Get a new job (maybe a better one???)

    Stop whining.....

    See?? easy..
  • Sanctum from technology? Heretic! Repent O Luddite for your day of reckoning is upon you!
  • Up until recently, my wife and I lived in small apartments, with only one room available to function both as a workplace and a bedchamber. The working was mostly done by me, and the sleeping by my wife. It kind of worked, for a long time, until we got hold of some money (legally, actually!) and got a bigger place. Apart from my wife occasionaly complaining about missing the keyboard clicks and humming fans, having a non-tech bedroom has done wonders for both our sleep patterns and our sex-life (which was good to begin with ;)
  • personally ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have no computing devices in my bedroom. The cell phone doesn't go in there unless im talking on it. I keep guitars under the bed, and a book next to it. The only things plugged into the wall is the phone and alarm clock(dont know why.. i dont use it anyways). I also made very sure to tell my boss that unless something basically explodes, please dont call, most likely it can wait till morning. However, I do tell him that if I expect that thier may be problems over the weekend etc, then he may call me(he usually does). I really try to keep work out of my apartment. please repeat this ... YOUR WORK IS NOT YOUR LIFE! .. if it is ... thats your first problem.
  • Backup. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zapman (2662) on Friday January 10, 2003 @10:45AM (#5054560)
    You must have backup. If you don't have someone else to do this, and you have a shop buging you extreemly regularly you need to get them to hire a partner.

    Phrase it something like this: I am the only person who understands how these systems run. I'm the only person who can fix them when this breaks. If I get hit by a bus, you're in a world of hurt. If I don't start getting more sleep, I'm going to burnout, and you're in a world of hurt. I work 70 hours a week regularly, and the backlog keeps piling up. I need someone to help me.

    Then (well, after 2-3 months training the person), you can take weeks off from pager duty. There's a reason doctors have on call rotations. You should too.

    One of the things that I've done is set expectations at my place of work. 90% of the time, my pager is available to them when they need me. That other 10% is well communicated in advance, and my boss knows that my pager will be on my bedstand, but I'll be in another state.

    (Oh, and reguarding the person who saw 'recurring nights of database server issues' as a sign of stupidity, they might be right, they might be wrong. We've had a sun e4800 go really flakely on us recently. It took WEEKS of long nights (since the box was production, and we couldn't take it down in the day) to get the hardware on that box stable (it would work fine for 3 days or so, then flake out hard). Sun wouldn't give us a new box (with at least an understandable reason), and keep insisting on replacing individual pieces. And it certainly wasn't our doing. It turned out to be a bug deep in the IO chassie's firmware.)
  • Two words: (Score:4, Funny)

    by mbstone (457308) on Friday January 10, 2003 @10:46AM (#5054568)
    Tinfoil Wallpaper.
  • The best bedroom... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Friday January 10, 2003 @11:32AM (#5054981) Homepage
    I've heard from a lot of people, and my conclusion is, the best set of furniture to put in a bedroom is -- a bed.

    No, don't mod this as funny. I'm serious.

    The way human psychology works, you want to have a place where you do nothing else but go to sleep. Any other distractions, and you're creating a basis for insomnia. I can understand the need to save space, so perhaps add some clothes storage so you can get dressed there, but even that is a distraction. If possible, you should do that in another room. The bedroom can be just large enough for the bed, and a little stand for an alarm clock, and that's all.

    Don't put a TV or stereo in the bedroom. Don't read in the bedroom. Again, you're only distracting yourself from falling asleep. I know you're using them to try to fall asleep; don't. If you want to watch TV or read, do it in another room.
    • by pthisis (27352)
      Don't put a TV or stereo in the bedroom. Don't read in the bedroom. Again, you're only distracting yourself from falling asleep. I know you're using them to try to fall asleep

      Um, for a lot of people falling asleep isn't the problem. Waking up is. Having the lights slowly come up and the stereo come on quietly and get louder can be a lot easier on the body than having an alarm clock start blaring out a buzzer.

      And on weekends, waking up and reading lazily in bed is one of life's great pleasures.

      The #1 way to deal with insomnia is to get more excercise (not right before bed, but earlier that day/evening). #2 is to take a hot shower about a half hour before bedtime.

      Sumner

  • You can accomplish all of the above that way.
  • I can't honestly claim to have a peaceful bedroom at the moment because we have a 3 week old baby sharing it with us, but aside from that it's extremely easy to have a refuge - don't take all the crap in there! We have a phone in there (in case of emergency calls from relatives overseas), two lights, and a ceiling fan - that's it for hi-tech. It was tough not buying a new TV/PC/random gadget, not carrying it into the bedroom and not setting it up, but somehow I struggled through.

    Cheers, Paul
  • A lamp on the nightstand and the room light are about the only pieces of technology in my bedroom. On the nightstand with the lamp is a candle lantern. My dresser and closet have only clothes. Over the window I have blackout blinds. I have a lithograph of this 19th century Japanese painting of a cat [netserves.com] on the wall over the dresser.

  • Bed, Table, Lamp, Curtains. The bedroom is the Third-largest room in the house. The biggest are the dining room (now completely empty due to renovation) and the living room (the room with the most 'stuff'.
  • by Ashurbanipal (578639) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:47PM (#5056814)
    Seriously, if you do it right, you won't think about the furniture, the job, the music, etc. And you won't hear the phone ringing. And you won't have any trouble sleeping, either. Hell, you won't notice if the building burns down!

    If you aren't getting regular sex, that's the problem. If you are, you aren't paying enough attention to doing it right.

    You'll know you are doing it right when you find yourself incapable of coherent thought for at least 15 minutes after you're done.
  • by pthisis (27352) on Friday January 10, 2003 @04:29PM (#5057938) Homepage Journal
    ...don't leave a phone on in your bedroom. Easy. My work only has my cell number, and I turn that off at night and whenever else I don't want to be disturbed.

    If you took a job where you have on-call hours, you can't really think of those as _your_ time, though--they're partially your company's time. Hopefully you factor that into your salary considerations when you took the job. My dad's a doctor and I saw first hand what on-call means when I was growing up; I decided it's not worth it to me to be on-call, and I've stuck by that in all of my past job hunts.

    As far as keeping technology out of the bedroom, that's trivial; you just have to not want it there, it doesn't show up on its own. There are a couple of tech things that I quite like, though:

    a) soft-on alarm systems--my lights and music slowly come on in the morning, lights dimming up over a half hour with the music starting soft for the second half and gradually coming up louder. It's a lot easier to wake up that way.
    b) a decent stereo system both for mood music and for waking up to

    As far as non-tech essentials:

    a) good shades, I live in the city and keeping out light is a big deal
    b) good pillows, including a good choice for sitting and reading in bed
    c) varied lighting choices (bright indirect full-spectrum bulbs, a good bedside lamp for reading, and candles or oil lamps)
    d) reading material of a non-work nature

    Sumner
  • First off, get those gadgets out of the room. Then get one of those dimmer switches from , and put some aluminum foil up on the window with some Elmer's Glue stick.
  • My quasi-solution (Score:2, Informative)

    by Moonwick (6444)
    I live in a house with three others, so the only alternative to this was to stick my computers out in the loft, which was getting pretty toasty with all of our equipment.

    I've got a bedroom with an attached bathroom; it so happens that adjacent to one of my walls is one of the closets in the bathroom.

    First, I placed everything capable of generating noise (CPU, TiVo, etc.) in the closet. Then I bought a pair of 25' VGA cables and an extension for my USB hub, and replaced all of my peripherals with USB equivalents.

    The end result is I still have my computer in my bedroom, but all of the noise generating components live in a closet which I can close the door to whenever I head to bed, resulting in pretty much a silent bedroom (with the exception of a bit of noise leaking in from the aforementioned loft...).
  • None at all (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noz (253073) on Friday January 10, 2003 @10:17PM (#5060344)
    In all simplicity, when I was finishing my secondary education I had a desk in my bedroom with a desktop computer on it -- and I got NO study done whatsoever. So I pulled the plug, put it in the store room and ended up getting decent grades. I find technology in the bedroom completely detracts from my relaxation. I read more now, and the only thing in my room is a mobile phone which I turn off when I want. A lot of people it seems have trouble turning their phone off (my younger brother will wake up at 4 in the morning to answer a call :)).

    So I definitely need to separate the technology (now a laptop computer on the desk in the spare bedroom) from my bedroom.
  • I just had to reply to this. 1) I am on 24 x 7 call every third week, so I only keep the mobile phone in our room when I am on call. 2) Yes my house is full of computers, media centres, cables, etc... In the bedroom though, we only have the TV,DVD,Video ..... 3) Why is it assumed that all readers are male. I am female, over 40, married with children and a geek. So yes there is diversity in this world...
  • If you eliminate all the electronic stuff, won't the wife be annoyed at the loss of her extensive vibrator collection?
  • My bedroom has my Athlon 1600+ in it, which makes a lot of noise, but contrary to popular belief, you can actually TURN OFF a computer. I just use the shut down command in KDE, wait for it to finish halting, then i go to my power strip on the other side of my table, and turn it off with my big toe. Suddenly, the only thing in my room that's electronic is a gigantic digital alarm clock. It's really cool actually...the only thing that's NOT cool is being the farthest room from the air conditioner AND the furnace. I'm constantly at one temperature extreme or the other. I'm pretty sure I could solve the wintertime problem by keeping the computer on, but I just can't stand having those fans running all the time. It gets so annoying that I can't sleep...

    Ok, you guys can wake up. I'm done rambling.

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