Saturday, February 16, 2019

asa designer, I have to use many tools. That means that I use both Mac and Windows. I do not think Apple products are superior. Quite the opposite, they are loosing in quality, but hey, tools are tools and gotta respect them for making your life convenient and more comfortable.

On the software side, I use various software. There are a few applications that I use on both platforms. There are also some cloud applications that are accessible through a browser, regardless of the platform used.


Microsoft Surface Pro i5, with 16gb ram. It’s the 5th Surface Pro, from 2017 with a Microsoft Pen. I use this for reading papers and pretty much nearly almost everything PhD related. I love that it’s just 1 kg with the detachable keyboard and it doesn’t even have a fan, so it’s silent.

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) with 16gb ram. It’s a six-year-old mac, and it has been overheating since the beginning. Apple changed nearly everything when it was on Apple Care, except the hard drive and the chassis. In a way, I feel environmentally guilty for bringing it into Apple to have a look at the issues of their product, and they simply change whatever without fixing it, thus polluting the environment because of lousy Apple products. Ever since I started the PhD, I use it less. Overall it’s still stable, and besides the heating issues it’s quite robust and works well, considering it’s a six-year-old computer.

Phone and tablets
Huawei P20. It’s a great camera phone, but Huawei did the really dumb thing to include the wrong cable inside the box. Instead of a USB-C cable, I found a USB Micro B. I went to Huawei customer service, and it was an awful experience. They ignored my issue entirely and told me to go to the merchant and ask for a phone replacement. Great product, but horrendous service¬†experience, so hmm¬†maybe try a different brand next time.

iPad 9.7 2017. It’s a great tablet for reading magazines, articles and various, non-academic¬†books with images and pictures. The¬†“Files” app is fantastic; I can quickly preview pretty much my entire Dropbox contents from it. I also use it for YouTube and Netflix sometimes when I do elliptical or treadmill in the gym.

Kindle Paperwhite 7th generation.¬†I don’t use it as much as I should, but it is probably the greatest device I own. The battery lasts for more than a month on a single charge, and the weight is super lightweight.

Fitness Trackers
Garmin Vivoactive 3. A stylish fitness watch with simple and elegant product design. I got this one to use the GPS it has for runs outside and to track my heart rate during workouts. It also tracks my stress level throughout the day. It is a bit troublesome to get it paired, but once you pair it, you seldom have issues with it. It is not a smartwatch, and therefore the battery lasts relatively longer than smartwatches, around 4-5 days if not doing intense cardio work with the GPS on.

Fitbit Altra HR. It looks more like a bracelet than a fitness device. I was using it before getting the Garmin, and as I have two hands, why not wear both? That means I am continually tracking my heart rate from both hands. The Fitbit is a bit less accurate in the step count compared with Garmin. Garmin does not have as detailed sleep information as Fitbit. Also, the UX on the Fitbit app is better. Btw Garmin always shows I have lower heart rate than the Fitbit figures.

Audio Devices
COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones.¬†They are a little big and somewhat heavy when compared with other models, but not significantly to be such an issue. I don’t wear them all day long, but definitely more than a few hours straight at a time. The earmuffs are comfy and soft, and my ears don’t feel sweaty at¬†all. I sometimes remember to plug them to charge when I go for a quick lunch, and they never run out of battery. I use them at a lot at my office.

Jaybird X3 In-Ear Earbuds. The sound produced with those is superior, better than my headphones. I tried a few wireless earbuds previously that all broke down or were not as comfortable. These are sweat-proof which means they are great for workouts and runs, and they even have an equaliser app on my phone that I can adjust sound settings accordingly. Another cool feature is an audible message of the battery level when I power them on. The only feature that they are lacking is auto switch-off when no sound has played for a while.

Mi Bluetooth Speaker.¬†Considering the attractive pricing point of this speaker, it’s of very high quality. The sound is more expensive than the actual price if I can say that. I use it mostly at home. It is so convenient and lightweight that I even brought it with me on a road trip to NMew Zealand and was using this with a phone, instead of using the stereo system from the rental car.