— 11:32 PM on April 29, 2003

Moving to a new house and thus to a bright, new Damage Labs complex has prompted me to contemplate the fate of my 15-plus-year-old computer desk. This thing has been with me twice as long as my car or my wife. This desk is not the deluxe model; it's made of plywood, and it's not so sturdy anymore.

The trouble is replacing it with today's so-called computer furniture. I'm sure I've talked about this before, but the situation is grave enough that the subject bears repeating. Today's "computer furniture" is bad. It's full of stupid ideas, like slide-out keyboard trays, too-shallow work surfaces, and 5-foot-high desktops.

You can tell what's probably happened. There is a basic human truth here. Generally speaking, Furniture People are not Computer People, and Computer People are not so much into woodworking. When Furniture People set out to design computer furniture, they have no idea what Computer People might really want in a workspace built around one of these strange machines.

The end result is a whole array of desks on display at the local OfficeMax that stop just short of looking like torture devices to a guy who works at a computer all day. The newest innovation in computer furniture seems to be an entire section of a desk dedicated to enveloping a PC—a wooden, unventilated computer-swallowing death chamber. They're like big, toasty thermoses for your PC. I've had friends buy one of these, then call me up wondering why their computers started crashing all of a sudden. Brilliant.

So I am lost in searching for a new computer desk. What I really want isn't much more than a good desk: wide, deep, flat, with lots of room for a big monitor or two, and perhaps a height adjustment (since finding a desk actually fixed low enough for comfortable typing seems wildly optimistic). Oh, and legroom would be nice; I've lost several pounds of skin off my shins to my current desk over the years. I've probably also taught my son a few new words during some of these encounters.

Do good computer desks exist in any sort of reasonable price range? Do you all have any recommendations?

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