What do you need? Part I

This is a question i keep asking myself over and over again for years now. And now it’s time i try to explore it a bit more in depth. My idea is that i’ll try to find an answer and a personal concept for the question with this little series on my blog here.

But please be aware: do not expect anything to deep or philosophical though. I’m asking this question strictly in a materialistic sense. What products do i need really, what kind of clothes, shoes, electronic equipment, bags, etc. So stay with me for a moment as i try to explore this idea. The idea of what clothes, equipment, gadgets and gear i need. The things i would not part ways with. Or the things i’d replace immediately when they’re broken, lost or when something in the same ballpark would appear as a improved version.

I’d like to be this series in two parts. The first part will help me to establish a base in the whole concept and a short history about my personal thoughts with the topic of buying stuff. Second part would be narrowing down and name actual products that i really would not wan’t to part ways with.

So let’s go:

What is this all about? 

Some time ago read a lot about philosophical concepts like “Final Choices” and “Sensible Defaults” and it really inspired me to think about stuff i buy. Because i love buying stuff. And i buy a lot of stuff (As you can see in “My Universe“. I love exploring and trying new things. And i strive to have the best stuff. What means best for me you ask? Hard to say. It can be a lot of things but if i had to single it down to one word it would be “proven”. Things i know work for me and my lifestyle (which is adapting and changing as well so there goes the thing with the final choice idea). Other words come to mind like new, shiny, powerful, exciting, enabling but the proven thing is probably the closest.

So to have “proven” things, you have to try out a lot of stuff. Which is what i do constantly. I read reviews, get inspired by people around me or just simply stumble upon things and then i try them. I did that since i had money to spend. When i was younger, the amount of money i had dictated what and how much i could try. So i’m pretty ashamed in some things i bought earlier, especially clothes. But i believe good taste needs three things: Time and people around you pointing you at things which could be something for you and your ability to listen, be able to be inspired and have open eyes.

Let’s do this! 

Let’s try answering the initial question by thinking of Stuff i use all the time now and list them here. Hope this helps finding an answer soon. I’ll try with two main categories: APPAREL & TECHNOLOGY. I’ll only list stuff i really use often or almost daily. I’m trying to add product names or additional details in order to give the list a bit more structure. It’s not a choice yet or even a statement on the quality of the things. I love some of these items you’ll find but some i’m not happy with. It’s really more like an inventory.

A) Apparel

Footwear:

  • Lightweight Sneaker (Several Models / Uses. Work, recreation, sport)
    Brands: Nike Free 5.0, Nike Lunarlon, New Balance 996/410,
  • Outdoor, Hiking, Travel (1 pair each: Waterproof for winter, lightweight for summer)
    Brand: Salomon 3D Ultra 2 GTX,  5.11 ATAC 8, FlipFlops
  • Business Shoe (1 clean black business shoe)

Trousers:

  • Jeans (Several Models / Uses. Work, recreation)
    Brands: Levis 508 Commuter, Sixpack France Dead Hommes Blurry, DGK, Maharishi 2161, Maharishi 2025
  • Utility (Several Models / Uses. Sport, hiking, traveling)
    Brands: Isaora Dojo Pant, Mammut Guide Pant (Summer), Mountain Hardwear (Winter), Nike Utility Shorts, Maharishi
  • Casual 
    Brands: Maharishi Quilon Pants, Isaora Indigo Twill Micro Drop Short

Jackets:

  • Business / Casual (Several Models / Uses. Work, recreation, travel)
    Brands: Element Bunkport, Element Hemlock, Penfield Lockwood, Isaora Lightweight Windbreaker
  • Coat (Several Models / Uses. Mostly Business)
    Brands: Yves, Tiger of Sweden, Matinique
  • Utility (Several Models / Uses. Sport, hiking, traveling)
    Brands: Isaora 3L Tactical Shell, Mammut Eiger Pro, Mammut Nordwand, Isaora Ultralight Windbreaker

Shirts, Sweaters, T-Shirts

  • Shirts (Several Models Button Down / Knitted. Mostly Work)
    Brands: Carharrt, Einstoffen, Hugo Boss, Joop,
  • Sweaters (Several Models / Uses. Sport, recreation)
    Brands: Icebreaker Merino (Outdoor), Element, Maharishi, Adidas, Tapout
  • T-Shirts (Several Models / Uses. Business, sport, hiking, traveling)
    Brands: 10.Deep, New Era, Hayabusa, Threadless, Lululemon Men’s

Bags, Daypacks

  • Business 
    Brands: Qwstion (Daypack Organic Rawcycled)
  • Sports
    Brands: Mountain Hardwear Utility Bag
  • Travel/Casual
    Brands: Arc’Teryx Covert Case C/I, Ortlieb Big Zip, GoRuck SD25, Herschel Duffle Bag

Accessories

  • Gloves
    Brands: Mammut Guide Gloves

I’ll add sports as a special cathegory because it contains several items within itself for me:

Sports

  • Boxing / MMA Gloves
    Brands: Booster Belgium
  • Shorts
    Brands: Venum
  • Accessories
    Brands: Shock Doctor Cup, Everlast Handwraps

B) Technology

Computers/Phones/Tablets

  • Main Workstation 
    Brands: Macbook Pro Retina, Microsoft Surface Pro 2
  • Travel / Leisure
    Brand: iPad Retina
  • Phone
    Brand: iPhone 5S

Entertainment

  • Photography
    Brands: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Sony RX 100 Mark I
  • Gaming
    Brands: Nintendo 3DS (Travel)
  • Music
    Brands: iPod Nano, Sennheiser Momentum Earphones

Accessories

  • Flashlight
    Brands: Surefire
  • Knife
    Brands: Böker

That’s about it for the moment. I’m sure i forgot some so i’ll add them later. I’d like to hear your comments, oppinions and so on… Get on me on Twitter. @mvp_zuerich

My Universe

Not much to say here besides: THIS IS MADNESS!
The task was to write down all the “Stuff” which influenced me or passed by me during my life so far. All had to be written down within one hour. Then it was going out, finding pictures and cropping. Enjoy! I’m planning to add to this picture in the future.

life_final

The Microsoft Journey – Finally together

The Microsoft Journey – Finally together

If you want a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in some specific configurations, especially above the 128GB level, in my country of Switzerland (aka Neandertal) you have to be lucky – fast – relentless – persistent – brave – steadfast. I was. And finally after several near death experiences here, herehere and here i have it in my hands.

So i’d like to share my inital thoughts on the machine and the operating systems in this post. If you have read my previous posts, you already know that i want to try to reconnect with windows computers. With the operating system, with the hardware i abandonded a decade ago.

I spare you an in depth unboxing but i have to tell you, i love unboxing new stuff. And the Surface is pleasantly well packaged – so is the Type Cover i bought with it (essential add-on in my book). And therefore the unboxing was lovely. something i did not expect from Microsoft (No, i don’t know why i did not expect it) and therefore the first impression was great. Really great. It makes you want to use the product right away. It feels thoughtful and welcoming.

This is not intended to be an in depth review. I hope to do this in a later stage, when i had enough time to test the machine in several of the application areas i intend to use the machine.

surface1

Form Factor / Materials / Hardware
Contrary to most reviews i do not think that the surface is too thick. I think it is a good compromise between a tablet and a laptop. Portability and no compromise in functions and power, that’s the hook here. The Magnesium-Alloy chassis is marvelous. I really love how it feels in your hand. The touch- and type cover material needs some time getting used to. It is novel to touch – high quality – but novel and only time will tell if it’s usable. The Wacom Digitizer is nice and sturdy enough, although i fear that i’ll lose it soon (bought a spare one immediately).

The “snap-on” of the type cover is near perfect. Although if you change to tablet mode and leave the cover, it will detach more often than not. Typing on it is good. Better on the type cover than on the touch cover of course. I dislike the touchpad area though, so i had to buy a mouse for getting around quick. I decided for a Logitech T630 ultrathin touch mouse. Another lucky punch because i love this mouse very much. It is a perfect companion for the Surface Pro 2 and i strongly suggest anyone to buy one with the machine.

The Kick-stand surprised me the most. Quite frankly i love it. Both positions serve you good in specific situations. I had it on my lap on a train ride or put it on a desktop in the other position while working on some stuff. Very usable for me.

The screen is nice enough, the pixel density works but i think future iterations will have to improve in this area. I think the adjustability of the brightness is alright and will work most of the time. It is not the brightest of screens though.

Setup
I feared the setup process. I feared thousands of antivirus-program pop-ups, i feared that mister McAffee would greet me personally. I feared connectivity issues with mit airport extreme wireless setup at home.
But the fear was mostly ungrounded. Initial setup was done fast and without a hickup. Updates installed, configurations worked and the windows opened and let me peek in. OneDrive was a bit too omnipresent and intrusive for my taste but i knew coming in that it was a big part in the windows 8.1 philosophy.

First Steps
Where a bit bumpy – as expected. Learn the new gestures, dig into some oldschool windows file-directory stuff, re-learn the windows/microsoft philosophy of user interface design, rethink of keyboard-shortcuts and stuff. Very, very different from Apple.

Oldschool Windows user might hate this – and i read a lot of this hate on the internet – but i really dig the Metro-live-tile-touch interface which is now on top of a windows which has not changed much (superficially anyway) since my last contact with it. I’d wish for even more freedom to resize and arrange tiles to my liking but hey, it’s a start i guess.

I installed Office 365 right away. And used only OneNote so far. I was and still am particularly interested in using this program for Work. I wanted to handwrite some things with the digitizer as soon as i could because i was sceptical of it. Boy was i wrong. Handwriting and in most case transform your handwriting directly to computerized text really works amazingly well. The ability to handwrite notes and compile thoughts in the form of pictures, tables, text, links in OneNote already made the purchase worthwile i think. But more on that in a later review.

One other feature i loved was the ability to split my screen into two parts and run to applications simultaneously. What a coup de liberation this is for a iPad user. It is nothing short of amazing and quite frankly – every laptop, but especially tablets and even phones with a large enough screen need this. Samsung does it best i think with it’s latest addition to the NotePro lineup. Although i think i won’t use the Surface much as a straight tablet. The form-factor is not the best for this of course. But i love having the option.

surface2

Overall
I can feel it. I can feel and see what Microsoft has created. It looks good and promising so far.

Love / Surprise / Keep:

  • Handwriting directly with the Wacom Digitizer
  • Type Cover / Kick Stand
  • Metro Start Screen
  • OneNote

Undecided / Not so much:

  • Classic Windows under the hood
  • Mail / Bing / Internet Explorer
  • Gestures
  • App Store – It is empty. Very empty.

Thanks for reading! I’ll let you know in the coming weeks how our relationship develops. Have a wonderful day/night wherever you are!