Things

Things

Here’s some tech that’s proven instrumental in helping me be a nomad since 2010. All prices in CAD unless otherwise specified.

Free VCF file to CSV converter: Converts phone contacts into easily readable spreadsheets (file here in case site goes down).

Steve MacGuire’s iTunes scripts: Gives you full control over iTunes file and playlist management.

OnePlus 3. I wanted to hold out for the 3T or even 5 but had to bite the bullet because my current device was acting up. After spending $334.88 on repairing a cracked screen I also got a $30 RhinoShield case. It looks and feels horrifically huge, but I also feel much more secure knowing I’m not going to spend another $300 on a broken screen anytime soon.

Headphones for me must be portable (read: ear buds) and have solid mic capability for making and taking calls. Music sound quality is important but takes a second seat to phone calls. I had Sennheiser HD 1 In-Ear Momentums but the fettuccine-like cable, though feeling solid at first, eventually started bunching up at the jack end. These had the best sound quality in any earbuds I’d ever tried

Currently bouncing between Sony (€59.99-VAT=$84.94)

MVMT watch, cork strap, Staples poly zip envelope, business card holders, moshi SIM card holder, BTC wallet

Microsoft Surface Book. Bought the cheapest refurbished model for $1,855.84 online; it didn’t work on arrival so I went to the local Microsoft store and they exchanged it for a brand new version of the same model and it’s been working great since. Had to get a mini DVI to VGA adapter for $20 to hook it up to my projector as well as an additional SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card and a corresponding BaseQi microSD adapter, together costing an additional $156.78. Still good because of the quick portability this option enables and the fact that getting the higher memory model would be $500 more (and even that’s only an additional 128 GB).

A Deuter Giga Bike backpack ($141.25 in the fall of 2014) which has a handy hidden helmet net that functions much like its predecessor’s, the Cross City’s, external helmet pocket. By winter of 2017 however, the bottom of the laptop pocket started tearing and took about $25 and a day’s visit to a seamstress to repair and pad it properly to stop this from happening again.

A Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner Carry-On (20″) for €289.99 a month ago at Koffer Kopf in Nuremberg, but after the EU VAT tax rebate just €243.69 ($378.88 CAD, as compared to $500 on the Canadian Samsonite site), only because the Winfield was getting too big for the decreasing amount of things I kept with me when living my very much on-the-road lifestyle. The Lite-Shock came in a just the right size to be carry-on for most flights (even the smaller airlines in Europe) and was ridiculously light (1.7 kg as compared to the Winfield’s 4.2 kg). It’s seriously like lifting air, and the case is the perfect combination of tough yet flexible to take any drastic shocks and not crack. The outer lip curls though and dragging it up hills (ie: Vancouver) causes the wheels to tuck under the luggage such that it’s front edge rubs against the sidewalk. The ten-year warranty came in handy here, and I actually like scratches so that’s not an issue, so long as it’s just a scuff and nothing deeper. Other options included the Cosmolite ($450), Lite-Cube ($600-VAT) and the Chronolite ($400-VAT). I honestly didn’t see much difference between these apart from seemingly arbitrary price differences depending on model age, and that the Lite-Cube had some leather parts which made it immediately unattractive. The deciding factor ultimately became colour.

InFocus IN116 Portable DLP Projector. Recommended to me by ProjectorPeople. Paid $593.13 in January 2014 for it, travelled Canada and Europe during a two-year MSc and the work positions that followed it. It’s June of 2017 and it’s still cracking. The only drawbacks are it’s built-in speakers are bad and I wish it had Bluetooth and not a wired connection to the computer.

Things I used to use but are now defunct: Rebtel/magicJack (Google Hangouts + Dialer allow for free calls to the USA and Canada, which is what I needed with these apps). A Samsung Series 5 NP535U4C-A01CA ultrabook. Got me through two master’s degrees and almost an entire thesis. Great transition model during the mid-2010s because it packed great memory (1TB) plus an optical CD drive (yes, people still use CDs, especially in academia). An LG Nexus 4 that I got only because (a) it was unlocked by default and I was going to be doing lots of international traveling and (b) I had gathered enough Fido Dollars to redeem it for free. I was appalled it had Google baked in so deep with it that I immediately started working around this. The device needed a screen repair which I had done professionally ($95.20) and charging cable connector repair which I did myself ($36.08, including two screwdrivers and a prying tool needed to open the device). An iPhone 4s before this, just to feel it out because it was gaining ground in the late ’10s and I noticed I felt my hands tied when it came to using any Apple device. Great camera quality and ease of use, but I certainly felt locked in with what I could and couldn’t do on a technical level. A Deuter Cross City backpack, bought from Altrec at $112.90 in 2010. Lasted out the end of my BSc, and the extra helmet compartment was especially fantastic to hold extra textbooks or, in my case, my judogi for the university club where I was teaching weekly. After the package didn’t come in for some time I contacted Altrec and they immediately sent out a second bag. I ended up getting both but they didn’t reply to my inquiries about sending one back so this ended up being a sweet two-for-one deal. A yellow Samsonite Winfield 2 Spinner 24″ Expandable Hardshell Upright Luggage from Canada Luggage Depot which was just fantastic for $146.89 in the fall of 2014, lasting me studying and touring on planes and boats and trains through over 20 countries.

I will update this page more as I have time. Things to include: the Adonis male grooming kit (with custom nail clippers because the Japanese ones are too small), an Energizer adapter and rechargeable AA and AAA batteries (can’t remember the last time I had to buy any more), Road Mice, a first aid kit (inc. Neocitrine and sometimes Buckley’s), the MailStore Home app, CanadianForEx, Firefox plugins, and quite a few computer programs.

http://www.bricelam.net/ImageResizer