Friday, May 16, 2014

Toasty Fingers

For all those out there with frozen fingers, I offer this solution: the humble heating pad, already available at any drug store or Wal Mart. Keep those fingers toasty!

My office is freezing, no matter what temperature it is outside. The AC blows constantly, and my fingers get cold and stiff. This makes it uncomfortable to type and use the mouse. My employer has banned space heaters, as a cost-saving measure. I have no control over the AC (I even taped up the vents). They won't turn it down/off, because other offices need it. I end up sitting on my hands to warm them. Arguably not the best solution, since that tends to affect my productivity oh, just a tad.

This has finally gone on too long. I tried gloves, jackets, and wrist warmers, to no avail. Between the convection flowing across the backs of my hands and conduction to the cold desk, mouse, and keyboard surfaces, my fingers don't have a chance. Then I thought of a solution. Buy a cheap heating pad, and put it under my mouse and keyboard. Hurrah! Not a perfect fix, but so so so much better. I also turned my computer backwards, so that the fan exhaust blows towards me. That helps a little too.

Solving this problem did not result in a nifty design, and in fact does not seem very interesting at all. However, I've mentioned it to several other people who have commented on how cold their offices are, and they have all been surprised by this simple solution. That made it seem worthy of posting. I have since covered it with a cheap "backpack" from a trade show, and put a mouse pad on it.

Note: This was actually about 1 1/2 years ago, and I still really love it. The keyboard warms up too and keeps my left hand warm as well.