A desk is a furniture form and a class of table often used in a work or office setting for reading or writing on or using a computer. Desks often have one or more drawers to store office supplies and papers. Unlike a regular table, usually only one side of a desk is suitable to sit on (though there are some exceptions, such as a partners desk). Not all desks have the form of a table. For instance, an Armoire desk is a desk built within a large wardrobe-like cabinet, and a portable desk is light enough to be placed on a person's lap. Although some people usually lean on the desk, meaning a desk must be sturdy
Typical rolltop desk
* 1 Early desks
* 2 Industrial era
* 3 Steel desks
* 4 Student desks
* 5 Influence of computers
* 6 See also
* 7 External links
* 8 References
o 8.1 Real desks
o 8.2 Virtual desktops, GUIs, and the virtual office
 Early desks
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 Industrial era
An untidy desk
 Steel desks
A smaller boom in office work and desk production occurred at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th with the introduction of smaller and less expensive electrical presses and efficient carbon papers coupled with the general acceptance of the typewriter. Steel desks were introduced to take heavier loads of paper and withstand the pounding meted out on the typewriters. The L-shaped desk became popular, with the "leg" being used as an annex for the typewriter.
Another big boom occurred after the Second World War with the spread of photocopying. Paperwork drove even higher the number of desk workers, whose work surface diminished in size as office rents rose, and the paper itself was moved more and more directly to filing cabinets or sent to records management centers, or transformed into microfilm, or both. Modular desks seating several co-workers close by became common. Even executive or management desks became mass-produced, built of cheap plywood or fiberboard covered with wood finish, as the number of persons managing the white collar workers became even greater.
 Student desks
A student desk.
A student desk can be any desk form meant for use by a student. Usually the term designates a small pedestal desk or writing table constructed for use by a teenager or a pre-teen in his or her room at home. It often is a pedestal desk, with only one of the two pedestals and about two thirds of the desk surface. Such desks are sometimes called left-pedestal desks and right-pedestal desks, depending on the position of the single pedestal. These desks are not as tall as normal adult desks. In some cases, the desk is connected from the seat to the table.
The desks are usually mass-produced in steel or wood and sold on the consumer market. There is a wide variety of plans available for woodworking enthusiasts. There are many novel forms of student desks made to maximize the relatively restricted area available in a child's room. One of the most common is the bunk-bed desk, also called the loft bed.
 Influence of computers
Until the late 1980s desks remained a place for paperwork and business negotiation.
At the end of this decade though the personal computer was taking hold in large and medium sized businesses. New office suites included a "knee hole" credenza which was a place for a terminal or personal computer and keyboard tray. Soon new office designs also included "U-shape" suites which added a bridge worksurface between the back credenza and front desk. During the North American recession of the early 1990s, many manager and executive workers had to do word processing and other functions previously completed by typing pools and secretaries. This necessitated a more central placement of the computer on these "U-shape" suite desk systems.
A desk in an office.
With computers abounding, "computer paper" became an office staple. The beginning of this paper boom gave birth to the dream of the "paperless office", in which all information would appear on computer monitors. However, the ease of printing personal documents and the lack of comfort with reading text on computer monitors led to a great deal of document printing. The need for paperwork space vied with the rising desk space taken up by computer monitors, CPUs, printers, scanners, and other peripherals. As well, the need for more space led some desk companies to attach some items to the modesty panel at the back of the desk, such as multi-outlets and cabling.
Through the "tech boom" of the 1990s, office worker numbers skyrocketed along with the cost of office space rent. The cubicle desk became widely accepted in North America as an economical way of putting more desk workers in the same space without actually shrinking the size of their working surfaces. The cubicle walls have become new place for workers to affix papers and other items once left on the horizontal desktop surface. Even computer monitor frames themselves are used to attach reminder notes and business cards.
Early in the 2000s, private office workers found that their side and back computer-placing furniture made it hard to show the contents of a computer screen to guests or co-workers. Manufacturers have responded to this issue by creating "Forward Facing" desks where computer monitors are placed on the front of the "U-shape" workstation. This forward computer monitor placement promotes a clearer sight-line to greet colleagues, increases computer screen privacy and allows for common viewing of information displayed on a screen.