Friday, May 22, 2009

Running With Your Computer

"Don't run with scissors," you were no doubt warned as a child. As an adult, you may have discovered that running with a computer isn't such a great idea either. If you trip with a desktop tower or, heaven help you, a 21 inch CRT, you'll have one big expensive dangerous mess. Having a laptop slip out of your hands while you speed down the hall isn't much fun. The hard drive might survive if it's designed to take a fall. The LCD screen is likely to be a goner... a very expensive goner.

But this isn't about running down the road trying to loose an upload. It's about getting your exercise while you surf. Or should I say getting your workout while you tweet, surf, compose documents or watch videos.

Have you ever tried perching a notebook computer on a treadmill? Teeters, doesn't it? What you need is a built-in shelf that will hold your computer in place, leaving your hands and feet free to do what they do when you run. The bad news is that exercise equipment doesn't come with computer shelving yet. Hey, it took a long time for designers to include cup holders. The good news is that someone else has solved this problem with an aftermarket device called the SurfShelf.

SurfShelf is a polycarbonate accessory that you attach to your treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical trainer. A built-in Velcro strap holds any laptop computer, even the big 17" wide models, securely to the shelf. It will also hold a DVD player if you prefer. If you really want to go retro, it will even hold a book. Air vents keep your electronics cool. An adjustable back lets you set the best angle to see what's on the screen. As a tough transparent plastic that can handle up to 50 lbs., the SurfShelf will not block your view of any electronic displays on the exercise equipment.

Now that SurfShelf has solved the problem with how to enable techies to exercise, we're all going to start toning up and slimming down, right? Yeah, right. I'm wondering how long it will be before we have the SurfShowerShelf or SurfWalkingShelf or SurfBikingShelf so we can find ways to stay online during even more of our waking hours. ;-)

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter