Diane Trout (alienghic) wrote,
Diane Trout

Maybe not a bad idea

(In a far cry from my previous political & depressing posts, I provide this overly technological solution to a common problem I have).

So I have trouble concentrating, I distract easily, and it can take quite some time to refocus. Admittedly this is a common problem for programmers who are stuck in spaces with too many people.

Since my office space usually has between 1 and 2 other people in it I tend to find it difficult to accompish anything other than answering their questions. (Though right now since everyone seems to be night people the "early" morning of 9:30 it's completely empty of everyone but myself).

One recent day I was off reading about the history of the cambridge research labs, the same ones that brought the world VNC. For some projects they were using something called a cholesteric LCD. These are LCD displays that require power to change an image but require no power to maintain an image.

So they were using them as signs on conference rooms and offices. This led me to my interesting idea.

Imagine for the moment a name plate, but one that updated itself with status information--say from ones instant messanger client.

So using this (or actually any easily programmable text display) I could set my IM client to do not disturb and have a sign over my head also reflect that status information. By looking at the sign for those near me, or the IM client for those down the hall my coworkers could then easily determine when they should and shouldn't be interrupting me.

Or I could just grab my laptop and go hide somewhere.

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