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RE: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?

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  • Eric Hodges
    If you see reflections in the monitor your ambient light levels are too high. Auto parts stores sell a large multi-facted rear view mirror that can provide
    Message 1 of 28 , Aug 1, 2000
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      If you see reflections in the monitor your ambient light levels are too
      high. Auto parts stores sell a large multi-facted rear view mirror that can
      provide near 180 degree vision behind you.

      They also sell turn signal kits (good for letting your partner know if
      you're about to take a wild turn) and air horn kits (good for letting the
      room know you're just about to fart.)

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mark Wilden [mailto:mark@...]
      > Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 4:39 PM
      > To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?
      >
      >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
      > >
      > > Face the middle, it facilitates communication and back-to-the-wall
      > protects
      > > you from being stabbed in the back.
      >
      > The extremely defensive learn to detect the slightest motion in the
      > reflection in the monitor...
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
      >
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    • Dave Thomas
      ... Good in prison, too...
      Message 2 of 28 , Aug 1, 2000
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        "Couball, James" <jcouball@...> writes:

        > Back to the wall is good Fung Shui

        Good in prison, too...
      • Johannes Brodwall
        ... Is this what is commonly known as defensive programming ;-) (Remember to keep your nerf gun close at hand) j hannes
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 1, 2000
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          > From: Mark Wilden [mailto:mark@...]
          >
          > > From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
          > >
          > > Face the middle, it facilitates communication and back-to-the-wall
          > > protects you from being stabbed in the back.
          >
          > The extremely defensive learn to detect the slightest motion in the
          > reflection in the monitor...
          >

          Is this what is commonly known as "defensive programming" ;-) (Remember to
          keep your nerf gun close at hand)

          j'hannes
        • Mark Wilden
          ... From: Eric Hodges ... Yet I can achieve (almost) the same results without the air horn...
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 1, 2000
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Eric Hodges" <eric.hodges@...>
            > air horn kits (good for letting the room know you're just about to fart.)

            Yet I can achieve (almost) the same results without the air horn...
          • Erik Meade
            Chimp has invisible monkey powers! http://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/bazaar/mart/cart.cgi?action=view&type=item&it emid=2940 ( watch the word wrap on the url )
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 1, 2000
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              Chimp has invisible monkey powers!

              http://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/bazaar/mart/cart.cgi?action=view&type=item&it
              emid=2940
              ( watch the word wrap on the url )

              Erik


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Eric Hodges [mailto:eric.hodges@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 4:42 PM
              To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
              Subject: RE: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?


              If you see reflections in the monitor your ambient light levels are too
              high. Auto parts stores sell a large multi-facted rear view mirror that can
              provide near 180 degree vision behind you.

              They also sell turn signal kits (good for letting your partner know if
              you're about to take a wild turn) and air horn kits (good for letting the
              room know you're just about to fart.)

              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Mark Wilden [mailto:mark@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 4:39 PM
              > To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?
              >
              >
              > > -----Original Message-----
              > > From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
              > >
              > > Face the middle, it facilitates communication and back-to-the-wall
              > protects
              > > you from being stabbed in the back.
              >
              > The extremely defensive learn to detect the slightest motion in the
              > reflection in the monitor...
              >
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
              >
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
              > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
              >
              > Ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
              >
              >


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            • Cedric ROUVRAIS
              in general i ve noticed that people like to have a wall behind them. not for the being stabbed in the back thing (well maybe) it s just that when they have a
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                in general i've noticed that people like to have a wall behind them. not for
                the being stabbed in the back thing (well maybe)
                it's just that when they have a wall behind them they aren't under the
                impression that big brother is watching you.
                facing the wall the guy is itchy ...
                where i work the desks that are prefered are the ones against the wall or
                against the window.
                the most despized desk is the one where the screen is facing the door.
                nobody wants to go there, if someone has to go there he'll always try to
                turn the screen (or the desk)

                as a general thumb rule i've noticed that feng shui works nicely: it is the
                art of getting a good karma in the room. i don't think it's some mystic art,
                it's just a study of human behaviour IMHO, and they got it right.

                a++ cedric
              • David Dickinson
                Alexander wrote an article on office and workspace layout which I did have a URL for - I will try and track it down again if anyone s interested. My personal
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                  Alexander wrote an article on office and workspace layout which I did have a
                  URL for - I will try and track it down again if anyone's interested.

                  My personal choice would be for the monitors to be placed sideways, with
                  people sitting side-on to the wall - so that when you're working you can
                  look to one side out of a window (to help your eyes refocus and relax), and
                  look to the other side in towards the office.

                  Of course, this supposes you're in a decent office with windows to the
                  outside world!

                  Christopher Alexander covers workspaces/offices to good effect in "A Pattern
                  Language - Towns, Buildings, Construction".
                  Relevant patterns (just a short selection of the most significant) :
                  82 - Office connections
                  83 - Master and apprentices
                  146 - Flexible office space
                  148 - Small work groups
                  151 - Small meeting rooms
                  152 - Half-private office
                  159 - Light on two sides of every room
                  205 - Structure follows social spaces

                  The idea of "half-private" office/work space is important (IMO) - so that
                  you can work individually or in pairs without unduly disturbing others, but
                  still be aware of what is happening in the larger office space, and have
                  easy access to peers for questions/chats. Most office space that I've
                  experienced has been appallingly badly designed - more akin to
                  battery-farming of livestock than a comfortable environment for creative,
                  intellectually challenging work.

                  Of course, the most important pattern (which should be made mandatory for
                  inclusion in all offices) is no. 90 - Beer Hall...

                  David.
                • Bill dehOra
                  ... It s basic psychology. People don t like having their backs exposed (you can t see there, so it s dangerous). Personal space is egg shaped, narrowing at
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                    >>Back to the wall is good Fung Shui (http://www.amfengshui.com/).
                    >
                    >Got a pointer to the specifics? Might be useful. Wonder if
                    >Alexander spoke to the issue? Patterns guys?

                    It's basic psychology. People don't like having their backs exposed (you
                    can't see there, so it's dangerous). Personal space is egg shaped, narrowing
                    at the front and sides, more distance required at the back. The size of the
                    egg varies from culture to culture, not unlike arm gesticulations. For
                    similar reasons, people prefer to have doors to the front.

                    -Bill de hÓra
                  • Ron Jeffries
                    ... With which, of course, we are all intimately familiar from our graduate work. I know *I* don t like my back to the room, but the reasons in my case are
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                      At 01:26 PM 8/2/2000 +0100, Bill dehOra wrote:
                      > >>Back to the wall is good Fung Shui (http://www.amfengshui.com/).
                      > >
                      > >Got a pointer to the specifics? Might be useful. ...
                      >
                      >It's basic psychology.

                      With which, of course, we are all intimately familiar from our graduate
                      work. I know *I* don't like my back to the room, but the reasons in my case
                      are obvious. Someone really MIGHT kill me. ;->

                      I was asking, however, for a specific pointer to Feng Shui's sayings on
                      facing the room, as I thought it might be interesting. So far no one has
                      come up with that.



                      Ron Jeffries
                      www.XProgramming.com
                    • Bill dehOra
                      ... My fiance conjectures that energy flow into the back is bad feng shui. Specifics pointers to follow... -Bill de hÓra
                      Message 10 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                        >I was asking, however, for a specific pointer to Feng Shui's
                        >sayings on
                        >facing the room, as I thought it might be interesting. So far
                        >no one has come up with that.

                        My fiance conjectures that energy flow into the back is bad feng shui.
                        Specifics pointers to follow...

                        -Bill de hÓra
                      • Cedric ROUVRAIS
                        ... sorry ron, i was too busy laughing @ your beanie thing i d take a look at 2 first. it s light, but i haven t got much in english, sorry. however if you re
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                          > I was asking, however, for a specific pointer to Feng Shui's sayings on
                          > facing the room, as I thought it might be interesting. So far no one has
                          > come up with that.

                          sorry ron, i was too busy laughing @ your beanie thing

                          i'd take a look at 2 first. it's light, but i haven't got much in english,
                          sorry.
                          however if you're willing to pay (books or online service there's much more
                          as usual)

                          1/
                          http://www.pleasantconcepts.com/instantsolutions/fengshui/office/office.htm

                          2/ http://www.queen-fengshui.com/office.html

                          3/ www.access-a.com.au/fengshui/office.htm

                          4.a/ http://www.fengshuihelp.com/rearview.htm
                          4.b/ http://www.fengshuihelp.com/visioninoffice.htm

                          a more complete and general guide (for offices and buildings)

                          http://www.yuanzs.com/english/fengshui2.htm
                          http://www.yuanzs.com/english/fengshui3.htm
                          http://www.yuanzs.com/english/fengshui4.htm

                          here's a link to one feng shui book

                          Feng Shui Strategies for Business Success: Arranging Your Office for Success
                          & Prosperity with Personalized Astrological Charts
                          Description:
                          A useful guide for achieving success in Business. Simons, a feng shui master
                          & astrologer, provides the date-of-birth charts to help individuals to
                          personal guidance on career tactics and work space arrangements leading to
                          success.

                          http://www.asianconnections.com/books_video/FengShui/FSSFBS-simons/fssfbs-si
                          mons.html



                          i haven't read it though (i've only got french feng shui books :o( )


                          a++ cedric
                        • Kent Beck
                          I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I m not sure why. Any architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain? Kent
                          Message 12 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                            I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I'm not sure why. Any
                            architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain?

                            Kent
                          • Frank McGeough
                            Our original office was organized where you saw another person if you looked up from your work. Everyone disliked it. My ideal environment looks a lot like my
                            Message 13 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                              Our original office was organized where you saw another person if you looked
                              up from your work. Everyone disliked it. My ideal environment looks a lot
                              like my house (funny how that worked out). There are completely private
                              spaces. There are total communal spaces and there are spaces that hold 2 or
                              3 people ideally. I move between those spaces depending on what I'm trying
                              to get done.
                            • Dustin Hodge
                              I hope this doesn t turn into a discussion on what constitutes architecture or if feng shui should be considered an engineering practice. Kent Beck
                              Message 14 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                I hope this doesn't turn into a discussion on what constitutes architecture or if feng shui should be considered an engineering practice.


                                  Kent Beck <kentbeck@...> wrote:


                                I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I'm not sure why. Any
                                architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain?

                                Kent






                                Do You Yahoo!?
                                Kick off your party with Yahoo! Invites.

                              • Bram Cohen
                                ... According to Peopleware, people are much more productive when they have objects in the distance for their eyes to wander over during idle moments. It s
                                Message 15 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                  On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Kent Beck wrote:

                                  > I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I'm not sure why. Any
                                  > architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain?

                                  According to Peopleware, people are much more productive when they have
                                  objects in the distance for their eyes to wander over during idle
                                  moments. It's also much better for your eyes.

                                  Also, people can talk to each other and interact while facing each other,
                                  which they really really don't do while all facing the walls.

                                  Finally, people are much mare relaxed when they don't feel that people
                                  might be looking over their shoulder judging if they're working enough at
                                  every moment. Management often specifically wants desks facing the wall so
                                  that they can do this. I don't work at such companies any more.

                                  -Bram Cohen
                                • Phlip
                                  From: Kent Beck ... Communication. Humans communicate with humans first. If they r all around a single huge desk (per the blueprint at
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                    From: "Kent Beck"

                                    > I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I'm not sure why. Any
                                    > architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain?

                                    Communication.

                                    Humans communicate with humans first. If they'r all around a single huge
                                    desk (per the blueprint at http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AllEngineersInOneRoom ),
                                    then they can instantly see, say, a furrowed brow across the room. This is
                                    more useful than seeing the back of a head and a helplessly blinking cursor
                                    across the room.

                                    Phlip
                                    ======= http://users.deltanet.com/~tegan/home.html =======
                                  • Marco Dorantes
                                    Yes, I think monitors face the middle is best, that way you don t get hurt by high-emissions from the monitors rear. Marco ...
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                      Yes, I think monitors face the middle is best, that way you don't get hurt
                                      by high-emissions from the monitors rear.

                                      Marco


                                      >From: Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
                                      >Reply-To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
                                      >To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
                                      >Subject: Re: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?
                                      >Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 15:41:13 -0400
                                      >
                                      >My strong opinion:
                                      >
                                      >Face the middle, it facilitates communication and back-to-the-wall protects
                                      >you from being stabbed in the back.
                                      >
                                      >R
                                      >
                                      >I could be Ron, of course. (*)
                                      >
                                      >* Thanks to Dave Thomas for this formulation.
                                      >
                                      >At 07:26 PM 8/1/2000 +0000, Kevin Lewis wrote:
                                      > >Some time ago there was a discussion about "Office Space Layout", and
                                      > >Ken Auer posted a diagram of his XP studio (which I appreciate
                                      > >greatly):
                                      > >
                                      > >http://www.egroups.com/message/extremeprogramming/7195
                                      > >
                                      > >I was looking at this, and I was thinking that I would rather have
                                      > >exactly the opposite layout: I'd like people to be facing the walls
                                      > >most of the time, but be able to turn around into the empty center of
                                      > >the room and talk to other people face-to-face. I think even
                                      > >computer
                                      > >monitors sit too high to allow people to be able to talk to each
                                      > >other
                                      > >effectively.
                                      > >
                                      > >I think this can be done and still leave plenty of white-board room.
                                      > >Maybe < half of the walls for stations, < half for white-boards (the
                                      > >rest for those pesky doors).
                                      > >
                                      > >What do you all think of Ken's layout v. what I just described? I'd
                                      > >appreciate opinions on this. We are about to start rearranging
                                      > >several areas, each with different kinds of furniture.
                                      > >
                                      > >Thanks.
                                      > >
                                      > >--
                                      > >Kevin Lewis
                                      > >Middle-Reliever
                                      > >Axys Solutions
                                      > >http://www.AxysSolutions.com/
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                      > >
                                      > >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                      > >extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                      > >
                                      > >Ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >Ron Jeffries
                                      >www.XProgramming.com
                                      >
                                      >To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                      >
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                                      >extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
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                                    • Kevin Lewis
                                      ... have ... Cool. ... other, ... I don t think this can happen because monitors block your vision. If the center of the room is empty, you can turn around
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                        --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, Bram Cohen <BRAM@G...> wrote:
                                        > On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Kent Beck wrote:
                                        >
                                        > According to Peopleware, people are much more productive when they
                                        have
                                        > objects in the distance for their eyes to wander over during idle
                                        > moments. It's also much better for your eyes.

                                        Cool.

                                        > Also, people can talk to each other and interact while facing each
                                        other,
                                        > which they really really don't do while all facing the walls.

                                        I don't think this can happen because monitors block your vision. If
                                        the center of the room is empty, you can turn around and face people
                                        without any obstruction.

                                        > Finally, people are much mare relaxed when they don't feel that
                                        people
                                        > might be looking over their shoulder judging if they're working
                                        enough at
                                        > every moment. Management often specifically wants desks facing the
                                        wall so
                                        > that they can do this. I don't work at such companies any more.

                                        I can see that. I guess I'm just used to being in bad locations.

                                        Having everyone facing the center of the room just seems problematic
                                        for communication. But maybe the positives outweigh this one
                                        negative.

                                        Thanks.

                                        -Kevin
                                      • Kevin Lewis
                                        ... huge ... http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AllEngineersInOneRoom ), ... This is ... blinking cursor ... But you don t. You may be able to see the person sitting next
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                          --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, "Phlip" <phlip@p...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Communication.
                                          >
                                          > Humans communicate with humans first. If they'r all around a single
                                          huge
                                          > desk (per the blueprint at
                                          http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AllEngineersInOneRoom ),
                                          > then they can instantly see, say, a furrowed brow across the room.
                                          This is
                                          > more useful than seeing the back of a head and a helplessly
                                          blinking
                                          cursor
                                          > across the room.

                                          But you don't. You may be able to see the person sitting next to
                                          you on your right or left, but you can't see the person sitting
                                          across from you unless you both move, or you are both tall enough to
                                          see clearly over the monitors.

                                          If everyone faces the walls, and the center of the room is open, you
                                          can turn around and say, "Hey, Pete", and Pete will turn around and
                                          you can have an unobstructed conversation. If Pete then needs to ask
                                          a question of Molly, then Molly can turn around, and you, Pete and
                                          Molly can all see each other and talk.

                                          Am I missing something, here?

                                          -Kevin
                                        • Couball, James
                                          Not that I want to be the standard bearer for Fung Shui, but I found more explaination at http://homearts.com/depts/home/03fengb1.htm. The fourth page in this
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                            Not that I want to be the standard bearer for Fung Shui, but I found more
                                            explaination at http://homearts.com/depts/home/03fengb1.htm. The fourth
                                            page in this series starts to get into office Fung Shui. My view of Fung
                                            Shui is that someone codified what felt right (like having your back to the
                                            wall).

                                            You probably require more depth that what is in the site I mentioned, but it
                                            is a start. Fung Shui can really help your environment. I was very
                                            skeptical at first (and still don't understand most of the underlying
                                            reasons), but the results where I have applied it made me a believer.

                                            Sincerely,
                                            James.

                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                                            Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 2:40 PM
                                            To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
                                            Subject: RE: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?


                                            At 02:33 PM 8/1/2000 -0700, Couball, James wrote:

                                            >Back to the wall is good Fung Shui (http://www.amfengshui.com/).

                                            Got a pointer to the specifics? Might be useful. Wonder if Alexander spoke
                                            to the issue? Patterns guys?

                                            Ron Jeffries
                                            www.XProgramming.com

                                            To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...

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                                          • Eric Hodges
                                            The real answer is that facing each other, no one can turn around and look at your screen during a multiplayer game. I m notorious for cheating at Tribes in
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                              The real answer is that facing each other, no one can turn around and look
                                              at your screen during a multiplayer game. I'm notorious for cheating at
                                              Tribes in this manner.


                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: "Bram Cohen" <BRAM@...>
                                              To: <extremeprogramming@egroups.com>
                                              Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 11:10 AM
                                              Subject: RE: [XP] Monitors Face the Middle or Face the Wall?


                                              > On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Kent Beck wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > I much prefer everyone facing each other, but I'm not sure why. Any
                                              > > architects or feng shui geomancers out there care to explain?
                                              >
                                              > According to Peopleware, people are much more productive when they have
                                              > objects in the distance for their eyes to wander over during idle
                                              > moments. It's also much better for your eyes.
                                              >
                                              > Also, people can talk to each other and interact while facing each other,
                                              > which they really really don't do while all facing the walls.
                                              >
                                              > Finally, people are much mare relaxed when they don't feel that people
                                              > might be looking over their shoulder judging if they're working enough at
                                              > every moment. Management often specifically wants desks facing the wall so
                                              > that they can do this. I don't work at such companies any more.
                                              >
                                              > -Bram Cohen
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                              >
                                              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                              extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                              >
                                              > Ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                              >
                                              >
                                            • Kent Beck
                                              Try it each way for one iteration, then compare. Please report the results of your experiment here. Kent
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Aug 2, 2000
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                                                Try it each way for one iteration, then compare. Please report the results
                                                of your experiment here.

                                                Kent
                                              • Kevin Smith
                                                ... This sounds reasonable. Someone else mentioned that you don t want to look above your monitor and see someone staring at you. Also reasonable. Sounds like:
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Aug 4, 2000
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                                                  >My personal choice would be for the monitors to be placed sideways, with
                                                  >people sitting side-on to the wall - so that when you're working you can
                                                  >look to one side out of a window (to help your eyes refocus and relax), and
                                                  >look to the other side in towards the office.

                                                  This sounds reasonable. Someone else mentioned that you don't want to look
                                                  above your monitor and see someone staring at you. Also reasonable. Sounds
                                                  like:

                                                  d|d
                                                  d d
                                                  - -
                                                  d d
                                                  d|d

                                                  ...where | is a 4' partition, and d is a 2-person table/desk, where people
                                                  sit facing the partition.

                                                  This does not promote spotting puzzled looks on other folks' faces, but is
                                                  open enough not to discourage it either.

                                                  Thoughts?

                                                  Kevin
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