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Using a computer while lying in bed

When I am lying in bed, I must think about it that I have to keep my muscles relaxed. If I, for example, want to read something, then I am not able to relax so well. However, there are times that I want to read something or search for something on the Internet. So I wanted to try if I could use a computer and use Internet while I'm lying in bed. I lie flat on my back, and there are various structures that place a computer screen above someone.
But those are heavy constructions and also a computer screen is heavy. Because I have multiple beds, it should also be movable.

In my opinion, this is the nicest construction:
computer at bed computer at bed computer at bed computer at bed
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

This construction consist of a large base with small wheels, with a small mini-computer on that. On that a standing tube, with a monitor arm for a monitor, and a second monitor arm for the keyboard.

However, if I would fall asleep and then step out of my bed sleepy, then I could stumble upon that construction.
So I tried a projector (beamer):
projector beamer
Brand en Type : 3M MPro110.
This projector has a LED light that does not need to be replaced.
In 2010 I paid 118 euros for this second-hand projector.
To use the projector, it has to be dark of course. But that's not a problem for me, since it is already quite dark in my bedroom when I am lying in bed.
This projector has a low resolution, and the quality of the picture is not very good. It is now the year 2010, and I expect that over 5 years or so the projectors will be a lot better for a lower price.

I placed an old computer on some kind of low cart (like a trolley), on which I mounted the projector. I place this cart at the headboard of my bed. The projector projects the image onto the ceiling.

computer on trolley computer on trolley
1. Handle.
2. Projector (beamer).
3. Old computer.
4. Speakers.
5. Wireless internet.
6. Small wheels.

The (ugly) cart above was put together in 2010 with old stuff I had lying around. I only had to buy a VGA extension cable, because the cable that came with the projector is very short.
A small mini-computer, such as a mini-ITX form factor with built-in wireless internet and a nicely designed little cart would of course be much nicer.

The resolution of my projector is only 640x480 pixels. That is a very low resolution. For a sharp image, the computer should also be set to 640x480.
In Windows XP, It is possible to get a screen of 640x480 by selecting a monitor of 640x480, for example something like "Digital LCD monitor 640x480".
The Linux version I installed is Xubuntu, because it is an old computer. And with a small font, a resolution of 640x480 was pretty okay.

Below is a design for a nicer computer trolley:
computer trolley computer trolley computer trolley computer trolley
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

It turned out that it is the least burdensome for my neck, if I project the image onto the sloping side of the roof. Below is a picture how I use the trolley computer with the projector:
computer-trolley projects onto ceiling
This 3D illustration is made by Amarcus ICT and is Public Domain.


To be able to use the computer, a mouse or trackball or similar device is required. I strongly prefer wireless devices for safety. I could fall asleep, and then I'd rather not have wires.
I used my Logitech MX Air mouse to control the computer, and later I tried a wireless trackball.
In 2012 I bought a mouse that is designed to be used in bed, and I use that mouse since then.
To type, I place a wireless keyboard on my belly, but typing is inconvenient.

The final result is that I can't keep my neck muscles relax enough. The biggest problem is when I want to type something, but even watching TV via the projector has a negative effect on my neck.
Maybe someday I could try a "Head Mounted Display" (glasses containing a computer screen).

2012

In 2012 I used it quite often.
The computer on the trolley broke down, but an old laptop came available. Using a USB TV device, I could also watch TV.
If I use this computer trolley, I make my pillow 0.5 to 1 cm higher.

2016

In 2016 I use it a lot. I still have the ugly trolley. Instead of a computer I use an Android TV box, connected to a projector via a HDMI cable.
computer-trolley in 2016
I do not have a cable subscription anymore, because that was no longer useful for me. The movies and series were interrupted so many times with long commercial breaks, that it was for me no longer possible to enjoy the movie or the series.
An Android TV box is a device with Android, but without a screen, without sensors, without a camera and without a battery. It is controlled with a wireless mouse and keyboard via the USB port.
My first projector from 2010 started to blink, therefor I had to replace it anyway, so I choose one with HDMI input. The projector is a used Acer Pico C20 projector of 130 euros.
Using apps, I can watch many TV programs, and I also started to watch daily vloggers on YouTube.

Last change to this page: October 2016