Tag: setup

  • Things I miss on my Surface Pro 7

    Things I miss on my Surface Pro 7

    I’ve been using the Surface Pro 7 instead rather than my iPad Pro for a week now, as part of my Surface Experiment. It’s a mixed bag.

    When you challenge your tools and workflow, there will always be friction. That’s why I’ve committed to this experiment. I don’t really expect to make a full switch to a Windows-driven ecosystem, but I want to know what it’s like on that side of the fence.


  • The Surface Experiment

    The Surface Experiment

    People who keep reloading my setup page knows that there’s a lot of Apple stuff there. Apple does quality hardware, and decent enough software, for me to lean on them when it comes to my computing needs. But there’s always a different side to the story, and it’s all too easy getting caught up – or plain caught – in what you have and know.

    So I’m typing this on a Surface Pro 7. Well, not the actual device, I’m using the Type Cover, but you get the point. The reason for this is twofold. Changes over at Divide & Conquer means that we’ll be without an office in a month or so. This is all fine, but it does mean that I need to lug my whole gadget park with me, to wherever I’ll plant my behind to get some work done. An extra Android phone is one thing, but the old Alienware laptop we’ve been using for Windows testing is twice as heavy as my brand new MacBook Pro, so that’s out of the question. Especially since I always carry an iPad Pro too, of the 12.9″ variety at the moment, as you probably know if you’ve gotten this far. I – we – need a Windows test device, and the Surface line is as good as any. That’s where it all started.


  • Holiday packing list

    Holiday packing list

    I know you guys love lists and all things pertaining to something akin to a setup, so I figured I’d share what I’m taking with me on my five day trip down south. I’m celebrating Christmas with my family, but I expect to get some work done as well.

    I’m not checking anything for such a short flight, but I wouldn’t on a longer one either. The only time I check luggage is if I need to bring my snowboards, but that’s been years now, alas.

    Anyway. Two bags, one man, and a ton of people going somewhere over the holidays, possibly with wailing children. The experience will be horrible, so I want to be as prepared as possible. That means I’ve made sure to have fast track at the airport, and lounge access, although the latter sucks during the holidays. When will Swedish airports learn how to do proper lounges?

    While both bags are carry-ons, I treat one as if it would be checked. It’ll just sit in the overhead compartment, while I’ll keep a smaller bag in my seat.

    The Rimova Classic Flight Cabin Multiwheel:

    • T-shirts, socks, and underwear – five of each. I also have plastic bags for laundry.
    • A shirt, because I might want to look a little more formal.
    • A Muji canvas case with a 29W charger, Apple Watch charger cable with USB-C adapter, USB-C and USB-C to Lightning cables, Airpods, business cards, a cleaning cloth, and an assortment of USB-C adapters. I also have a smaller Muji canvas case with a few pens, stickers, and the Apple Pencil 2.
    • Extra notebook – this one from Field Notes – should I feel like writing a novella by hand. It happens, especially when I’m traveling.
    • Dried ginger snacks (to kill germs), and tissues.
    • Christmas gifts, because ‘tis the season.

    The Rimova goes in the overhead compartment. I keep a Peg and Awl’s Hunters Satchel at my side during the whole flight. I think you can guess what’s in it:

    • iPad Pro 11” in the Smart Keyboard Folio, which will be my largest device for this trip.
    • B&W PX noice-cancellation headphones, because I’ll be damned if I’ll listen to airplane noise. Noice-cancellation headphones is a great way to arrive somewhat mentally refreshed.
    • See-through toiletry bag, with the necessities, including painkillers. Easy access, and no need to open the Rimova at security.
    • Passport, a pen and notebook, local commuter card.

    Keen-eyed readers will note that this list differs somewhat from what’s in my travel setup. I’m tweaking my travel kit at the moment. Expect a setup update sooner rather than later, moving has switched things up as well.

    I’ll carry the iPhone XS Max, keys, and the Paper Micro Wallet in my pockets, wearing an Apple Watch as always. No extra pants, the jeans, t-shirt, Houdini Power Houdi, Blundstone 500 boots, and my trusty leather jacket will have to do.

    This is obviously enough for a trip to the family, but I intend to write, edit, and design during my stay as well. That’s what the iPad Pro’s for. Thing is, the only thing that differs in this setup when I go to our client in Zürich, is the number of shirts and suits I bring. Technically, I could do my work using this, and a camera, which I’ve decided not to bring on this trip. I might add a Nintendo 3DS with a Zelda game though, to feed the nostalgia-vein, but that’s the only excessive thing in my bag. The rest fills a purpose, which I think is important when traveling. It’s so easy to carry too many things.

    “But what if I need This Very Important Thing?”

    Spoiler: You almost never do. And if you do, you’ll work it out.

  • Plus-sized no more

    Plus-sized no more

    This is not about miracle diets or losing weight. Just saying.

    When the iPhone 6 launched, I bought both models. To me, the iPhone 5 models where close to being too big to live in my pocket already, and I feared that the 6 and 6 Plus would feel ridiculously big and clumsy. As usual, Apple knew what they were doing, and although I found both the 6 and the 6 Plus to be slightly too big, neither were clumsy. My reasoning was that if the phone’s gonna be big, it might as well be too big proper.


  • Gadget moderation

    Ben Brooks writes about our compulsive behavior to always tweak, and replace our, well, stuff. This is worth remembering:

    There is only one thing I have learned: moderation. It used to be that I was obsessed with looking for the next thing to fix and that’s a terrible plan. My goal now is simple: wait until you are annoyed by something, and try not to read websites that find the best things, because then you will have to try those things yourself and down the rabbit hole you go.

    I’m struggling with that myself, and because I’m fortunate enough to not only work in the tech industry, thus easily warranting somewhat relevant purchases, but also be successful in what I do, it’s all too easy to just buy more stuff. I’m working on that.

  • Everything carry

    Everything carry

    I enjoy setup posts, what’s in my bag, the everyday carrys, that sort of thing. They tell me what works for people, and that gives me ideas as to how I can improve my own productivity by tweaking my gear. Also, I guess I like to read about gadgets and stuff.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about is how much people carry around. The backpacks are filled to the brim, with sensible things (usually), but a lot of them.


  • My Day On The Town Kit

    I’ve got a full day ahead of me today, with errands and events lined up across town. There’ll no doubt be downtime, so I’ll bring my day on the town kit. It consists of small and light gear, packed in my excellent Axial Mini Messenger bag from Modern Industry. I can get a lot done with these tools.

    The day on the town kit:

    • iPad mini with retina display (although some days I’ll bring the iPad Air) with Smart Cover.
    • Compass 2 stand from Twelve South.
    • Logitech’s Easy-Switch K811 bluetooth keyboard, for more extended writing sessions.
    • Small notebook, currently a Cahier from Moleskine, and a Pilot G2 pen.
    • External battery for powering USB devices, currently a Macally model I’m evaluating, otherwise an old but still useful Phillips one I got for free.
    • Wacom Intous Creative Stylus for iPad.
    • Lightning cable, small screen cloth from Apple, a 32 GB USB stick, and a really short mini-USB cable for the keyboard.
    • Tissues and coins, always useful.
    • A filled water bottle (still looking for the perfect canister, thus far without luck).
    • Thin sweater and a Buff should it get chilly.

    I used to have a pocket knife and a lighter in my kit, but I forgot about them at customs once and it was somewhat stressful, so now I don’t bother with that anymore.

  • The Smartphone, Dumbphone, Tablet Thing

    The Smartphone, Dumbphone, Tablet Thing

    There are those who dream about not having to carry around a smartphone. That’s obviously easy enough, just get a feature phone, or dumbphone if you will, and use it. Thing is, these people don’t want to give up the functionality of a smartphone. For that they have the tablet instead, a device that in many ways mirrors that of a smartphone. “Why should I have to carry both?” they tend to complain.

    Why indeed.

    The Nexus 7 and a dumbphone picked up in France while snowboarding.
    The Nexus 7 and a dumbphone picked up in France while snowboarding

    The idea is this. By replacing the smartphone with a dumbphone, you cancel out all worries about battery life (any dumbphone worth its name can work for days, weeks even, without charge) and the fact that you’re carrying an expensive piece of glass-encased machinery that could easily be lost. Dumbphones are cheap and accessible, and they do one thing well (being phones), thus they’re superior at their prime function, or so the reasoning goes.


  • Unitasking

    It should come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of the iPad. There are so many reasons for this, but the most obvious one is that it’s a unitasking device. Yes, it multitasks, much like a bunch of other tablets and smartphones do, but although you have a fairly large screen at your disposal, most apps let you do just one (1) thing at a time.

    This fellow is definitely multitasking. Photo by erkuthanci (CC)
    This fellow is definitely multitasking. Photo by erkuthanci (CC)

    Compared to the 27″ Thunderbolt Display I hook up my retina MacBook Pro to every day at the Odd Alice office, that might not sound so great. The 27″ screen gives so much screen real estate it’s almost silly, I can stack windows all over the place, and tend to do so. There’s the Mail app, Reminders, HipChat, Tweetbot, Skype, Simplenote and/or Notes, and more often than not a few Finder windows on top of that, and it’s still just the first screen of four…

    Sometimes it’s great to be able to monitor everything, but it’s not the way to stay productive. I tend to produce more code when I’m sitting by my 13″ MacBook Pro, without the Thunderbolt Display. That’s because I have my relevant apps in fullscreen, something I’ve written about previously.

    The iPad offers me the same unitasking experience. I can jump between apps easily enough, but I’m not tempted to open Mail or Tweetbot when I’m writing, because they’re not there, at the edge of my vision, begging for attention, as they would be on my 27″ screen. I just see the app I’m working in (this is written in Simplenote on my iPad mini, by the way), and the only thing that can possibly disturb me are notifications, so I tend to limit those severly. It’s the same as running fullscreen apps on the Mac, which I do regularly on the MacBook Pro, but never when connected to a 27″ screen because it looks like shit.

    Unitasking is about doing one thing at a time. Finish what you’re doing, which could be a part of a task or the whole thing itself, and then you can go procrastinate on Twitter.

    Compare that to taking a sneak peak at whatever’s your procrastination poision while working, and you’ll soon realize that’s not the perfect work environment.

    This is why I love the iPad as a writing tool (which sparked me to write The Writer’s iPad in the first place), and this is why I think fullscreen apps are awesome.

    Now if you’d excuse me, my Twitter feed needs my attention. So, you know, THE END and all.

  • The Right Tool

    People tend to talk in absolutes when it comes to tools. This is the best phone, that’s the best camera, this is the best pen, that’s the best notebook, this computer, that car, this games console, that coffee maker… You get the point. Not all who claim something like “the iPhone is the best smartphone” are fanboys, but they’re talking in absolutes. As fanboys are prone to doing too, incidentally.

    Photo by Robert S. Donovan (CC)
    Photo by Robert S. Donovan (CC)

    “The iPhone is the best smartphone.”

    “The Moleskine is the best notebook.”

    “The retina MacBook Pro is the best computer.”

    All these statements are undeniably true for me at the moment. They’re not true because these products – the iPhone, the Moleskine notebook, the retina MacBook Pro – really are the best there are (although they very well could be), but because I have them right here with me.

    The right tool for anything is the one you’ve got at hand. It isn’t important what you could or should be using, what’s important is what you’re using.

    My shoe is the right tool for hammer in a nail, if it’s the only thing I can use at the time. If I’d have a hammer, any hammer, then that would be the right tool because it performs better. Until I’ve got a better option at hand, the one I’ve got with me is the best one. This is exceptionally true for photography (the best camera is the one you’ve got with you, more often than not the mobile phone) and writing (write with what you’ve got, which could be the iPad).

    Use what you’ve got. They’re the right tools for you.

  • iPad Writing Setup

    iPad Writing Setup

    It should come as no surprise that I write on my iPad. This is the setup I’ve been enjoying most of the time this summer, in my summer home.

    The bookshelf features a desktop that you can pull out, fitted to a regular dining room chair, which is what I’ve been using too. I put the iPad mini on the first shelf to get a better angle. My keyboard of choice have been the Logitech Tablet Keyboard, covered previously. I’m not sure it’ll be what I use when I leave my summer home, but I decided to give it a fair shot and thus I left my trusty Apple bluetooth keyboard and its Origami casing at home. Just as well, as we picked up this combined bookshelf and cupboard this summer, and it would’ve worked less than great here. I think it’s good to be able to detach the keyboard from the stand, most of the time, and obviously that’s the case here.

    The writing shelf, featuring Paazu the shiba inu. Annotated on Flickr.
    The writing shelf, featuring Paazu the shiba inu. Annotated on Flickr.