Kit

Good Ideas

Trying Out

Logitech MX Keys for Mac Wireless Illuminated Keyboard. Just took delivery Feb 27, 2021. Love the weight. Adore backlighting. Love that it can be paired to three devices. Wondering how it will handle sleep timeouts relative to the original Apple Bluetooth keyboards or to the Macally keyboard I have been using.

PopClip Instant text actions. Just learned about this one. Wondering why macOS doesn’t natively offer similar functionality. Installed on two Macs. The extensions are amazing. 2021-02-21

Ring Video Doorbell Pro We have entered the surveillance era. Lots of cars going missing near us so if something happens in the field of view, we can bear witness. Also, we get deliveries where there is no knock or doorbell, so this will help us prevent porch piracy. Installation and set-up was easier than I feared.

Timbuk2 Custom Classic Messenger Bag Three full weeks of use. Comfortable. Thoughtful design. Lots of waterproofing. Lots of room. Carries all I want with me on a regular basis and more. I really like the customization options, though the bag I received is a lighter color than the images on the website made the fabric appear. My customizations include the internal slash pocket, two water bottle holders, the grab handle, and the strap pad.

Victorinox Evolution S17 This is a much bulkier knife than the little Classic knives I have carried forever. I really wanted to try the style of scissor spring that Wenger Swiss Army knives used to offer. Wenger was acquired by Victorinox, and the Evolution series appears to be the only place this scissor style is still available. The scissors on this knife are just as razor sharp, but are larger and therefore slightly less agile.

Recommend

1Password Password Manager: I use and depend on this on every device and OS. I love the quick synchronization and browser plugins. I especially love that I can use this for MFA in place of Google Authenticator. I subscribe to the cloud sync service. One of the first things I install on any new device.

Apple Hardware: I am a fan of their quality, their apparent protection of individual privacy, and their outward embrace of technology and creativity. It took me a long time to understand Apple’s way and why, but I am fully supportive of their mission. I appreciate knowing the device I purchase today will receive support for a very long while. While Apple stays on the current path, I will walk it with them.

Comply Foam Tips: I have used and preferred these to traditional silicone tips for in-ear listening for about the last ten years. I was turned on to them by an Apple sales engineer. In my experience, they remain more comfortable than silicone for extended use. The offer superior isolation and, perhaps as a result of better fit in my ears, the best audio that little buds are capable of, including better bass. I have purchased them even for my AirPods Pro. They may not have a perfect match for every earbud ever made, but they should have something that will work well.

Husqvarna ST 224 Snow Blower: Working on my third snow season. Always starts. Low maintenance. Throws snow a great distance where it counts. Directional chute gives great control in tighter quarters. 6 forward speeds and Reverse. Hand warmers! I used single-stage throwers for many years and graduating to a two-stage unit is everything in Minnesota where there can be lots of snow at once, or wet snow that otherwise might be too heavy. The currently shipping models have a nicer headlamp than mine—a nice improvement—and a method for power steering by directing power only to the left or to the right drive wheel.

Ironlace Shoelaces: They aren’t inexpensive but might come close to matching the lifespan of my shoes. These stay tied and they do not fray even with metal eyelets, D-rings, or speed hooks. These are far more durable than traditional woven or leather laces.

Sketchers Cottonwood Elks Shoes: I’ve been wearing these for about a year and I like them. I have high arches so I need laces and I need a larger shoe than the length of my foot would suggest. This means every department store carries almost nothing that works for me. These look like Doc Martens, which I used to wear, but are half the price. More importantly, in snow they offer much better traction.

TextExpander: Expands snippets and boilerplate and more. I had been using this on macOS for a long time to limit errors and for some time-stamps, but after my company’s security team told me about exploits against AutoHotkey, I have been using TextExpander on Windows too. I pay for the cloud sync. I like that I can depend on this no matter which of the platforms I use.

Victorinox Classic SD Pocket Knife: I always have several and I have for decades. One in my pocket, one in the medicine cabinet and often another spare. Easy to find at department stores. Inexpensive. The scissors are the killer feature. The knife blade is sharp and will get you into almost any box or package. WARNING: TSA will confiscate even these tiny knives.

Recommend, With Qualifications

Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds: Absolutely the best pairing experience I’ve had (I use lots of bluetooth). Wonderful integration with iPhone, Apple Watch, MacBook Air. They sound great and are very comfortable. I love the Transparency feature. The software for pairing seems to prioritize my iPhone. While watching videos from a course I purchased, my MacBook switched back to internal speakers every time I paused playback for a conversation with others in the room with me.

Macally BTSOLARKEYSG Wireless Keyboard: It’s full-sized and includes a number pad. It connects via Bluetooth, pairing to a single device at a time, and recharges from ambient light. For six months I have used it on alternate weekdays working from home. I have not specifically put it anywhere to get more light to charge. The signal is strong. It does turn off frequently to save energy but does not disconnect while I’m actively using it. That energy-saving time-out is not user-selectable or changeable, which, throughout a work day, results in lost characters and a little re-typing. Apple’s own keyboards seem to buffer the characters you type while reconnection is made. This keyboard does not. One last nit is that there isn’t really a battery percentage indicator. So far, it has just kept working.