tazjin's blog


tazjin's best tools

In the spirit of various other "Which X do you use?"-pages I thought it would be fun to have a little post here that describes which tools I've found to work well for myself.

When I say "tools" here, it's not about software - it's about real, physical tools!

If something goes on this list that's because I think it's seriously a best-in-class type of product.


Media & Tech

Keyboard

The best keyboard that money will buy you at the moment is the Kinesis Advantage. There's a variety of contoured & similarly shaped keyboards on the market, but the Kinesis is the only one I've tried that has properly implemented the keywell concept.

I struggle with RSI issues and the Kinesis actually makes it possible for me to type for longer periods of time, which always leads to extra discomfort on laptop keyboards and such.

Honestly, the Kinesis is probably the best piece of equipment on this entire list. I own several of them and there will probably be more in the future. They last forever and your wrists will thank you in the future, even if you do not suffer from RSI yet.

Kinesis have announced a split version of the Advantage. Once that is easily available, I will buy one and evaluate it.

Speakers

There are two sets of speakers I use, unfortunately one pair has been in storage since I left the UK.

My original favourite speakers are the Teufel Motiv 2, usually hooked up to a Chromecast and a record player. I've had these for over a decade and they're incredibly good, but unfortunately Teufel no longer makes them. Mine are currently in a warehouse somewhere in London, and I don't know when I will see them again ...

It's possible to grab a pair on eBay occasionally, so keep an eye out if you're interested!

In my Moscow flat, I have a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 12 connected to a Philips amplifier older than myself. These provide an excellent, balanced, "Wharfedale-sound". Some people find it needs some getting used to, but don't want to go back after that initial phase.

Headphones

I use the Bose QC35 (note: link goes to a newer generation than the one I own) for their outstanding noise cancelling functionality and decent sound.

When I first bought them I didn't expect them to end up on this list as the firmware had issues that made them only barely usable, but Bose has managed to iron these problems out over time.

I avoid using Bluetooth when outside and fortunately the QC35 come with an optional cable that you can plug into any good old 3.5mm jack.

Earphones

Actually, to follow up on the above - most of the time I'm not using (over-ear) headphones, but (in-ear) earphones - specifically the (wired!!!) Apple EarPods.

Apple will probably stop selling these soon because they've gotten into the habit of cancelling all of their good products, so I have a stash of these around. You will usually find no fewer than 3-4 of them lying around in my flat.

Phone

My current phone is the Unihertz Atom L. It is a rugged, small-screen smartphone with a 3.5mm heapdhone jack. This phone is weird looking, getting one of these means you will constantly be asked what kind of device you have there. It does everything I need, and survives being thrown against a wall when the software misbehaves. As the Swedes would say, this phone is solidly lagom.

The ruggedness is an additional bonus as it survives things like sauna / banya trips just fine.

Up until a few years ago I used the original iPhone SE. This was the last truly good phone anyone made, but unfortunately it was discontinued and is iOS only.

Other stuff

Toothbrush

The Philips Sonicare is excellent and well worth its price.

I've had it for a few years and whereas I occasionally had minor teeth issues before, they seem to be mostly gone now. According to my dentist the state of my teeth is now usually pretty good and I draw a direct correlation back to this thing.

It has an app and stuff, but I just ignore that.

I first got one of these in about 2014, and it lasted until 2020, at which point I upgraded to whatever the current model was.

Shavers

The Philipps SensoTouch 3D is excellent. Super-comfortable close face shave in no time and leaves absolutely no mess around, as far as I can tell! I've had this for ~7 years and it's not showing any serious signs of aging yet.

Another bonus is that its battery time is effectively infinite (in the order of months of use per charge). I've never had to worry when bringing it on a longer trip!

Shoulder bag

When I moved to London I wanted to stop using backpacks most of the time, as those are just annoying to deal with when commuting on the tube.

To work around this I wanted a good shoulder bag with a vertical format (to save space), but it turned out that there's very few of those around that reach any kind of quality standard.

The one I settled on is the Waterfield Muzetto leather bag. It's one of those things that comes with a bit of a price tag attached, but it's well worth it!

Unfortunately, just like my speakers, this bag is now in storage somewhere in the UK since I left the country.

After moving to Moscow I quickly ran into the same problem as in London when using the metro, but getting another Muzetto was kind of impractical.

I couldn't find any other vertical messenger bags that I liked, and ended up going for a more traditional one: The Brialdi Ostin.

Wallet

My wallet is the Bellroy Slim Sleeve. It's near indestructible, looks great, is very slim and fits a ton of cards, business cards, receipts and whatever else you want to be lugging around with you!

However, now that I'm spending a lot of time in Egypt (where cash is still king), not having a place to stash cash is a bit of an issue. So far, no solution!