All other microwaves that I've used I had to have someone explain to me what buttons to press in what order to do even the simplest things. And I've never seen anyone use all of those fancy buttons.
My wife and I used to have this small grill oven with two knobs: one for time and one for temperature. She was into baking cookies and I was into her works. I was also into toasting bread for breakfast.
One day she appeared to be ready for the next level and demanded that we replace it with a shiny electronic grill oven with larger capacity. Replace we did but the next thing I found out was the previous 1 second toasting experience where I turn the time knob to 5 minutes has turned into a 27 button press procedure: first press to select mode; 25 presses to tune the time from the default 30 minutes down to 5 minutes; and one final press to start it.
The worst part of this is, she's probably only used it for once or twice before moving along with other interests than baking cookies, but I had to endure the 27 button presses every morning.
I have a GE combination convection oven/microwave and it was clearly designed by someone who had their first experience with LSD that day. Every function requires a different, magic, set of key combinations to make it work. Want to set a timer? That's easy, press timer, turn the dial to the right time (which inexplicably increases/decreases the time in 30 second increments). OK, you've done that, now you want to start it. Press "Timer" ... nope. Press "Start" ... nope. Oh, I have to push in the dial... I didn't even know that, too, was a button. Oh, and not once, not twice, but three times is the magic number of times required to start said timer.
Starting the microwave with a specific time in mind requires hitting no less than 6 buttons, but there's one button that will start the microwave on high for 30 seconds, so everyone just uses that button and hits it as many times as is required to get close to the desired cooking length. I can hear my wife counting out loud ten beeps for a 5 minute cook time.
It's got piles of advanced, useless, features, my favorite of which is a hybrid "microwave/oven cook" mode that manages to bring in the worst of both methods, giving you soggy food, unevenly cooked that takes an eternity to cook.
Even the clock is stupid. You punch in the hours/minutes, and thinking you're done, you move on to something else. Later you go to cook something and for some bizarre reason, "AM or PM" pops up on the screen at which point nothing in your previous experience in operating a microwave prepares you to figure out why heating something up requires knowledge of whether it's morning or afternoon. Of course, nothing this microwave does requires knowledge of AM/PM, nor does it display AM or PM anywhere on the screen, but for some reason it just must know.
 This isn't the exact model but it looks close: https://www.amazon.com/GE-PVM9179SFSS-Profile-Stainless-Micr...
Had he gotten the real shit, it would have been a musical instrument... with wheels, which also microwaves... inside and outside... Because that's how you get to the aliens.
Who wouldn't want his oven to roll around the house improvising some trippy music while the meal is being heated ? While at it, why not also vacuum clean the house ? Just hit the knob a magical 4 times ..
You've got the wonder machine right there. I mean hello? Whatever happened to creativity these days ?
Experience tells me I have to disclaim this: yes, of course it's a joke.
For real! It would also be the only microwave on the market that no matter what's cooking, it will make your kitchen smell like the color blue.
I'm honestly not sure how they managed to screw that up. 32.768kHz crystal was too expensive? Or just too incompetent to keep track of time correctly?
My car's clock is also awful about this - it loses something like 3 minutes per month. But at least there you can blame it on the unknown and varying voltage that the battery and alternator provide...
The older Ford Fusion Sync radios (Microsoft variety) are a perfect example of how not to do a UI. I wanted it because my previous car had Bluetooth pairing and I got used to using my phone for music/entertainment and wanted my new car to have the same experience. Of course, being the MS variety of Sync, it has the buggy Bluetooth implementation, so one out of three times I get in the car, my stereo fails to connect. Thank GOD it's got voice commands because I have no idea what combination of buttons is required to actually switch to the Bluetooth input (which is required to be done every time you start the car again regardless of whether or not you were previously on that input). As long as everyone is silent when I hit that magic button to issue my command, and as long as I tilt my head upward toward the mic and speak very clearly, about half the time it switches the input correctly.
Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to make a car stereo so complicated that it pretty much guarantees you're going to take your eyes off the road for long periods of time trying to figure out how to change the station when One Direction comes on (I feel the same way about newer cars that just have the "iPad Screen" style interface -- no tactile anything).
We were convinced that the microwave was a low wattage unit because it would require you to cook things about 25% more than whatever the package said. It turned out that the digital timer was fast. We started the thing for a minute against a stopwatch app and it was off by more than 10 seconds.
This thing didn't even have a clock -- it was basically designed to do two things: (1) Bombard food with microwaves and (2) stop bombarding said thing after a specified period of time. It did one of those things about as poorly as it could be done.
so I blame consumers for buying the ones with the silly buttons.
On the other side, there's probably a demand on the "designers"to keep inventing and adding new features while keeping it as cheap as possible to produce. And each version is just slightly different from the previous one, so best not to redesign the wiring/programming, just add the new feature in the technically easiest/cheapest way!
It goes to show, though, when you jam in a bunch of features into a device that isn't really meant for those features, the added features are often not implemented well enough to make them very useful.
The one redeeming factor this microwave has is that the entire interior is stainless steel. Everyone who uses our microwave does a double-take when they open it seeing all that metal. It's super easy to clean, but that's about it.
 Natural gas ovens are less dry than electric ovens, so baking in them results in very moist results but also often requires cooking things longer. I bought it, though, because they're really simple devices that will basically last forever, having only really the $20 ignition element fail about once every decade.
My favorite peeve is that cheap MW ovens often don't let you add time while the oven is running when the affordance is already right there (just push the +1m button you used to set the time again). You only get that feature if you buy a more expensive and complex model.
The consumer in the store thinks that better product has more buttons and features, not thinking how they would be used.
For example, a landlord is biased towards purchasing appliances that looks complex so they can show off all the extra "features" to clients.
I have an old microwave with two buttons and it works great. Kids can use it too.
I don't have kids and I haven't found a way to disable it, it looks silly opening and closing the door twice every time I want to use it, but I've automated the habit.
This was also purchased in 2005 or so, and was a relatively new idea at the time that, thankfully, didn't take off terribly well.
First, the current implementation isn't rigorously thought out. For example, for most operations, you put in the food, then select time to cook, press 'start'; but for thawing, you select the food type, then it asks you 'put in food', and won't continue until you open and close the door. This annoys me to the point that I've contacted Miele several times, but nobody seems to even understand the problem. At one point they send a service technician over (I guess they were exasperated by my repeated calls) who didn't understand the problem either, which led to a Monty Python-esque scene of me saying variations of 'it should work differently!' and him saying 'it works as it should!'. So if your father still have contacts, please let him/they contact me - I'm sure that if only I could get through to the right person, they'd agree with me that it's a bug.
Anyway, apart from these implementation issues, I think overall the concept of having a touch screen that guides the user with many tasks is an improvement over the two-dial system. It tells me exactly how long to heat and at what temperature, and the results are (much) better than I ever get from microwaves/ovens that make me decide that for myself. The downside are increased time-to-task for most common operations, and increased complexity in the UI. I think it's inevitable though; I don't see how you can still have the same UI guidance from the machine yet make it easier to learn. It's like my circular saw - the more expensive one I have now, has more buttons and levers than the $49.95 I has before. I have to think how to use it; the cheap one had an on/off button, that was it. But I do get consistently better results with the expensive one. There, too, I don't see how it can be made simpler - those additional controls just make for a better result.
(if I wanted to start a flame war, I'd compare it here to Notepad vs Vim. Why use something complex like Vim when you can also program just as well with Notepad? And yet, I've been using Vim for well over 15 years.)
Is it like that with the Miele?
So yeah - what it boils down to is, what is 'possibility'? 'Technically' possible, or 'realistically attainable by the average user'?
I successfully navigated washers, espresso machines, etc, set to operate in languages I do not speak and was still able to get them to do what I wanted with minimal effort
The designers thought it'd be good to allow pressing the dial, as if it was a button. Pressing the dial set the cooking time to 30 seconds and immediately started cooking. A one-touch interface, how useful!
The only problem was that it was difficult to press the dial without accidentally nudging it clockwise or anticlockwise. Nine times out of ten I managed to turn it anticlockwise, which set a time of 95 hours or thereabouts - and began cooking.
I hate to think what may have happened in some people's houses where they've done this, not noticed that it said 95 hours and forgotten it was cooking.
I explicitely chose that mircrowave because it only had two knobs and I just get confused with too many buttons. I always thought I am weired for not wanting all these special features.
1. A major manufacturer and appliance dealer have managed to deliver 3 DOA appliances.
2. There are no gas stovetop/oven combinations which don't have electronic controls. Certainly nothing for less than $3,000 (and the budget is about 1/6 - 1/2 that).
3. It is oh so easy to screw up a design with a simple oversight. The GE oven that has no externally-activateable oven light. Range tops which lack a center-cross support -- this limts the minimum-sized pot you can use, including the oft-cited-here Moka pot, which sees more use than any other cooking utensil in the house.
4. Manufacturers are apparently putting zero thought into how they package their products, both in terms of styling and shipping. The model we've looked at (otherwise among the better ones available per numerous ratings) has a thin sheet-steel back behind which, at a depth of < 1cm, is a printed circuit board managing the exhaust circulation system. Two units have arrived with dents over this element.
5. Solid-state touch controls work ... until they don't. All are placed either directly above the oven, or directly above the oven exhaust. I'm curious as to what thermal-cycling protection or durability is engineered into these.
This for something whose basic conceit is to get hot when you want it to.
I'm thinking through where stoves reached their apex. I'm thinking that electric spark-light gas range was about it. Everything since has added to complexity with very, very minor increases in delivered utility.
Don't look for perfection by comparing the best of each. Sucks that none of them are perfect perfect for you but people have different needs/wants/tastes.
Just enough to be sure it lasts past the end of the warranty period.
My wife and I decided to do this after experiencing yet another consumer over breaking after only having it a couple of years. We decided to go with the Sharp model, because it (along with Amana) is what you see in most restaurants. We figured to give it a shot, and see how we liked it, and how long it would last.
We've only had it a couple of years, but so far we love it. It only has one knob, only runs on "HIGH" full power, and only allows for a few minutes of cooking at a time. But so far, we haven't had a problem cooking anything in it. You have to adjust how you used to do things (if you're used to power levels - especially "defrost") - but overall, it isn't that big of a deal. Just stick the food in, turn the knob, come back when it "dings".
Doesn't get any simpler.
Now if only I could figure out how to get a TurboChef cheaply...
I agree on the two knobs though. I noticed after I buying an expensive in wall microwave that the thing would randomly glitch (you have to power it off to use it again). You have to use a "race condition" to launch it at full power without having to set the power then the time and then press the start button.
I had no idea you could fail so bad at making a microwave.
It is much better to be able to select the wattage directly. With food products that specify the wattage and time on the packaging, you are ensured the proper, manufacturer-intended cooking.
Apparently they are fairly robust inside as well:
They didn't know that knob 2 changed the power (despite it being labelled), they just kept adding more time and eventually giving up.
Now I own one with a bazillion buttons and I only ever press one button - +30 seconds.
And these guys finally figured out something useful to do with that pink, rubbery, knob at the end of the pencil. I've never been able to figure out what this rubber piece is for on other pencils. On some, it works like a highlighter, but not as well -- leaving this pale, pinkish/carbon smudged mess all over the page. On others, it works like the worlds worst paper shredder, ripping through the page haphazardly, but not in such a useful way as to render the contents securely shredded. On Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, this rubber knob removes any pencil markings that were made in error. It's incredible!
The best part, though, is that you can get a box of almost 100 of them for around $14.
If you're willing to explore pricier options there are so many excellent wood case pencils to be had!
The luxury option would probably be the Palomino Blackwing 602. It's a ludicrously expensive pencil, but for your money you get what is hands down the nicest wood cased pencil available.
Every line of pencil Palomino makes is fantastic, I'm a huge fan of their Forest Choice pencils as a starter for people who are already in love with the Dixon Ticonderoga.
Some others to possibly check out are the Baron Fig Archer, the Tombow 2558, and the Uni Mitsubishi 9850.
On that list, though, I have a box of Blackwings and three of them are sitting in my pen cup on my desk as I type this. They're exceptional pencils -- almost too good in some ways -- something about the weight/density of them feels at the same time both like you're holding something that's "better than a pencil" but also something that's almost not a pencil. The friction of the lead against the paper is smoother than I'm used to -- not bad, just different. I jokingly call them my "hipster pencils".
I haven't tried the others, but I'll take a look - thanks for the tip!
 When they arrived, my wife informed me that my "Yuppie pencils are here" -- I informed her that "yuppie" is about a decade dated and we settled on "hipster" but even that is a pretty inaccurate term since most of the hipsters I know have an affinity for this watered down, swill beer called PBR that we used to buy when we were underage because it was cheap. Kids these days. :P
It's all relative but I wouldn't call the Blackwing 602 "ludicrously expensive"...they cost about $1.50 per pencil.
Though maybe you are thinking of the vintage Blackwing pencils. Blackwing used to be made by a different company (Eberhard) decades ago. These older vintage Blackwing pencils if you can find one cost like $50 today. Still the new ones being made are about $1.50 and are great too.
You're right, calling the price of the Blackwing 602 ludicrous was a bit of a stretch. But considering you can get 144 count of Dixon Ticonderoga for the same price as 12 Blackwings it's pretty difficult for a lot of people to justify.
I did not know about the Eberhard Blackwings. I'll have to look further into that to see if I can get one as a collection piece!
Looks like $22 for 12 on JetPens :
> The unique rectangular black eraser can be extended as it wears down from use, and also pops out completely from the pencil body for replacement.
That's a nice feature.
Another option buy an X-acto knife (watch youtube videos how to sharpen a pencil with a knife if needed). It's the best way to sharpen a pencil to the way you like it but it takes time. I usually just use the KUM.
Lasts for years. Never broke a lead.
I would, instead, recommend the Ticonderoga Black. The cedar wood is both smoother to grip and more fragrant than in the traditional pencils. Getting ready to start a task by sharpening your pencil is definitely enhanced by the smell of cedar shavings.
The black eraser seems to be less prone to drying out, and while I'll echo your experience that the pink variants are better than cheap knockoffs that do little more than leave smudges, but even the Ticonderoga erasers can leave pink smudges. Leaving a faint grey smudge is much less annoying than pink.
It is, of course, black. This does make it slightly more difficult to locate on a crowded desk than the iconic yellow pencil. That's an example of a good design feature that's largely become ignored as traditional, but isn't really necessary. One benefit of a unique black pencil is that it's much less likely to be accidentally swiped by another student or coworker.
The Ticonderoga Black also retains the hexagonal cross section, which prevents it from rolling off your desk - another feature that is too often ignored. To try a more modern design, try the cleverly named "Triconderoga" which has a rounded triangular cross section that some people find more comfortable.
And I'm not sure how to say this clearly, but no, that was not sarcasm. I really do like those pencils.
On the eraser, I've not run into pink smudging with the Ticonderogas, or had any of them dry out, but that's mostly because I blow through these things very quickly (4 kids, all elementary age, and I'm good at losing cheap things).
Very good point on the shape -- I hadn't even thought of that as a feature but I should have being that I specifically purchased a few boxes of triangular crayons for the kids -- I hate climbing under tables to fish out whatever color they want that's managed to roll off the table.
I totally get it, though, I'm pretty ridiculous about my pencils, too. I've tweeted, reviewed and written (in pencil) a letter to Dixon Ticonderoga. And they wrote back a snarky-ish reply ... in pencil (I think there's a picture of the reply on my Twitter feed somewhere)! :o)
 A term my dad used to use when you're doing construction work, you snap the lead of the pencil and are nowhere near a pencil sharpener so you take whatever qualifies as a sharp edge (often one half of a pair of clippers) and scrape it sharp, again. I often sharpen my pencils with razor blades and find it easy to get a good tip in a minute or two on the standard Ticonderogas.
It's just one of those things, I guess. I think of it this way -- I buy the cheapest coffee beans on the market because when I started drinking coffee, it was at my first job where the boss was really cheap. The coffee came out of this huge can with a white label and large bold-faced text that read "Arabica Beans". He'd also regularly just throw more grounds into the filter cavity without tossing the old stuff and just "rebrew". This stuff tasted like dirt, but because that's what I got used to drinking, it's what I think of as "coffee". I can't make myself swallow Starbucks as a result.
Might this be satire? ;)
It's pretty neat when they actually work well, which never seems to happen with most pencil erasers.
Keeps better time than a Rolex, and is a fraction of the price. Waterproof. Has an alarm, stopwatch, and timer; all things missing from traditional wind ups. Interface is easy to use and discover. The battery last almost forever.
Now, if you're asking if it's aesthetically pleasing, that's a different story. But we were talking about design, right?
EDIT: Wikipedia says they're only splash proof; I used to swim with mine but there you go. And I'm making up the timer function, that must have been on later models only.
Hmm I think design also includes aesthetics - at least somewhat. Think about UI/UX. Both are design concepts. You're essentially describing the Casio as providing a great UX but not a great UI. I'd still argue UX is more important, but I wouldn't fully ignore UI when talking about design.
F91W owners are always jealous of my nice bright EL backlight!
It's a shame the strap's shitty, though. I noticed a nick along the inside edge one day and thought nothing of it. Got off the bus in San Jose and it was already torn halfway through. By the time I found a place to stay for the night, it was gone. I damn near cried.
I don't have that kind of attachment to watches orders of magnitude more expensive.
Also, if the light button had a timed-release of around 4 seconds that would be a big usability improvement.
- Cup holder on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel. As a left-handed person, this is amazing.
- Window power remains on after turning off the car as long as doors haven't been opened, allowing you to close the windows even if you forget to close them before turning off the car.
- Rear seats can fold completely flat, thanks to the fact that the fuel tank is below the front seats
- Large, unique-feeling tactile buttons and knobs to control the AC heating, and audio systems. So many cars use tiny identical buttons that are impossible to distinguish without looking.
I love how simple and intuitive these cars were. Super dependable (lack of options make it so that nothing much could break down anyway), economic and yet some smart mechanical features: the light switches off when you turn the motor off, it's impossible to lock yourself out of the car and the best thing: the back seat is basically a hammock that converts to a bed. Since the car is so boxy it's easy to transport big things like fridges or large IKEA-packages.
I had several of these since they were so cheap (400 euros 5th-hand, but no mechanical issues). Only downside is the rust and the fact they're not very safe.
Ah, the memories...
Meanwhile I HATED the BMW 3 series controls and shifter. Nothing was intuitive, though it all looked space agey.
I am a fan of the Lexus controls as well. They look positively 90s but are very straightforward to use and behave as you'd expect.
As a former automotive engineer it hurts to see "aesthetics" trump usability.
Blown away by how good the UX for the whole car is, including a HUD which for its price class and the time is rather amazing.
Adding things like rear cross alert, curving lights and radar cruise in addition to EBA is simply great.
But for all that, it's amazingly roomy inside, good on gas, fun to drive even if it won't win races, and just a great car in general. Controls are well laid out, entry and exit are easy, four full-sized adults can sit comfortably in it, the engine is a gem, and when the rear seats are folded down it can handle a lot of cargo.
The problem is that there don't seem to really be many light pickups made anymore (like the size of the old S10 for example) and even the used ones in good shape were a bit on the pricey side for my frugal nature.
Well, I unexpectedly needed to buy a car last month and found a 2011 Fit with only 39k miles and got them to sell it for $9500. May have been able to talk them down a bit more if I had the luxury of time but it was within the market value given by several resources so I was OK with it.
Only down side was some minor wear-and-tear maintenance that the previous owner likely traded in to avoid dealing with (and the dealer wouldn't cover under warranty) but I still feel reasonably OK with the overall cost.
And of course the car is great. Moved out of my old place around the same time and only needed to rent a cargo van for the largest furniture items. Everything else has packed easily into the car with the seats folded flat. I love how the passenger seat can fold back as well so you can fit a 7-8 foot ladder or other long items like standing lamps.
Clutch feels a little "chattery" on cold mornings but apparently this is common on many Honda and Acura cars. Either way, my overall impression is that it's still quite a bit of car for not a whole lot of dough. Being able to just buy it for cash may have improved my overall enjoyment as well.
To the mechanic's credit, they didn't want to replace them off the bat because they couldn't reproduce the issue and they had me drive for another week to see if it threw the error code again. Of course it did and when I brought it back the second time they swapped the coils and all has been right since.
It just seemed like a common issue when I searched for the OBD-II code online and I guess I just added another data point.
Doesn't hurt that it's dirt cheap to maintain and insure. I have maxed-out liability limits on my policy and only pay $35 a month.
Wow! Are you in the US? May I ask what insurance you have?
Huh, as a lefty in a country that drives on the left side of the road, I'd never considered this was a problem.
Doesn't sound like a good idea in an accident.
About the only time I notice its age is when I do something involving very heavy disk i/o. While it is an SSD, it's still only SATA II. The vast majority of the time I don't even notice. It's been a great machine.
Now replaced by a 2015 13" MBP, which feels almost identical (although that Retina screen is goooood... as is the HDMI port).
And I can still sell most of the 2011 MBP parts on eBay to get some of my investment back!
Best laptop I ever owned, hands down.
I think that the MBA the best MacBook they've ever designed. No compromises, light enough to forget about and lasts long enough to almost never need charging.
I seriously wished they re-released that with a Retina screen.
Bialetti Brikka - Such an elegant design, and it makes delicious coffee, Italian-style.
Nespresso - If Apple made espresso machines. The espresso tastes great and it's easy to clean.
Patagonia MLC 45L - My pet peeve with luggage is that the good stuff tends to be heavy. Not this! It's big enough for extended travel, has backpack straps if you need it, durable (w/ lifetime guarantee), and is well-designed without being "design-y," if that makes sense.
Charles Schwab checking account - Okay, not a physical product, and doesn't have very impressive visual design, but well-designed regardless. No account minimums or fees, the best customer service I've ever experienced, no foreign transaction fees, and they rebate any and all ATM fees worldwide. It's the absolute perfect money bucket.
Blundstone boots - The perfect footwear if you're unsure of conditions. Hiking--check. Going to dinner--check. Walking in the city--check. Walking through snow--check. Traveling--check. They're very, very comfortable.
Elixir (programming language) - This is what happens when a tool is made for one's own use, as opposed to being designed for a hypothetical "other" who doesn't exist. It's magical.
Anything that creates such an inordinate amount of waste is not well designed in my book.
Even the inventor of coffee capsules regrets creating them due to the ridiculous amount of waste.
> Bialetti Brikka
> Blundstone boots
Nespresso is great for the user. You just have to buy the pods and machine and you will have the caffeinated beverage that Nespresso makes.
But then you look at the Bialetti (or any moka pot) and you wonder why so many people own Nespresso (and other pod based coffee makers. All you have to do is get coffee grounds and you're good to go. Fill the reservoir with water and the puck with grounds and throw it on the stove. Sure, it might take 1 or 2 more steps, but it will almost always make a better cup of coffee and you are not wastefully throwing out plastic every time you make a cup.
..That extra almost comes from their revamps of their Android app over the years. The new UI's just don't see much consistency, and the UX for cashing a check is especially weird and unintuitive. Why do I have to select an account if literally only one account has checking cashing enabled? Why is the whole UI otherwise unresponsive unless you click the doesnt-look-like-a-button "account" box? Weird.
Main downsides: The MLC good for carrying clothing and flat items, but it's not so great for carrying non-flat things, although it can do it. It is also a little large, and has no compression straps, so you need to use packing cubes or absorb the excess space with something (e.g. those plastic air bubbles that come in packages sometimes).
This video does a good job showing the differences: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM68SNtODqs
If you do decide to get a pair, note that they need some time to break in; mine were uncomfortable at first!
I use TextMate 2, and it's great because there's nothing unusually dumb about it.
But I still miss TextMate 1.x every single week. I often want to drag two or three folders onto the TextMate icon in my Dock and have a TextMate "project", with no other files or directories other than what I've dragged. This was such a great and intuitive use of the macOS Dock, and a feature that I haven't ever found anywhere else. Doing it by hand with .tm_attributes is such a pain that I might as well just create symlinks to recreate the feature.
I think TextMate 1.x was a better-designed product than 2.x, even though I have no doubt that the source code was a mess.
They also have 2-factor auth, which can be enabled by request.
The swipe interface of the operating system is also the best I've ever used. If I play around with the N9 for a few minutes now; then go back to android, it feels clunky an inefficient again.
#2 The Nintendo Gamecube
It just works without having to setup profiles or download updates, the controller is awesome (subjective) and it carries the greatest Mario Kart, Smash Brothers and Mario Party ever created (also subjective).
Nintendo corrected this with the gamecube controller having different shaped buttons on the right (see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GameCube_controller the A, Y, X and B buttons)
For some reason, Nintendo reversed back to the "bad" playstation-like buttons after the gamecube.
If anyone knows why I would be interested.
I imagine they went back because all the games expected the old layout by that time since it was used with the other systems, so it was just easier.
In this super-long (and interesting) article about the GCN, under the heading "The Pressures To Create The Perfect Controller", there's a write-up of the design and decision process for the creation of the controller.
I wanted to suggest another option that is much less expensive and worth checking out if you are interested in this type of music is Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators . These are just a fun instrument/toy to play around with and they only cost $50! From the same company too...I wouldn't say the Pockets are a "best-design thing" but I do think they are an easy and inexpensive way to start messing around creating your own music on a hardware instrument before deciding on a bigger purchase like a $1000k synthesizer. The website is great and has sample sounds of each model:
FWIW it works quite well if you connect it to a MIDI host and use another controller to play or sequence the synths on it.
...just don't connect your 12v AC adapter to the OP-1's USB hub that wants 5v, or you'll lose all data connectivity (USB disk mode and MIDI) to the unit. :(
Is it so hard to view as a directory structure rather than listing all the books recursively?
That and they seem to have removed the 3G for web browsing, so now owning a cellular Kindle is pretty much useless unless you're really desperate to get a book abroad.
I read in all sorts of odd positions and have the odd habit of turning books 90 degrees and reading bottom to top. I started because it seemed to help reduce the eye strain of looking left and right all day, and then found I actually preferred it.
Pros: Battery life, dynamic font sizing, convenience for attaining new books, the 3x3 grid view, and cloud synced notes and highlights are amazing.
Major cons from my experience:
1 - Reading progress time estimates are buggy. In one of my current books, it insists "1 minute left in chapter" for every chapter no matter what page I'm actually on or how far I've read.
2 - Highlighting is very broken. As an avid highlighter, the lag time from initiating a highlight to saving it is almost unbearable. Especially if you mis-highlight by a character or word. It seems to get worse the more highlights you have on a given page — this can make highlighting a few sentences on a page take longer than reading the page itself. Unfortunately I think it's an artifact of the e-ink technology and I'm not sure if it can be overcome today.
3 - I'd like for the battery life indicator to be more clear. Sometimes it says "plugin your Kindle immediately to prevent it shutting off" and then it'll last another hour or two.
4 - Loading non-book content to a Kindle, such as an article from the web is a slow, painful process. It's nowhere near the experience of Instapaper. Yes, I know they have blog subscriptions in the Kindle store, but paying 99¢ per blog for content that's free on the web feels broken.
5 - (Minor) It would be nice to have a collapsible table of contents for every book.
6 - (Minor) The front bezel scratches very, very easily. It happened to mine in the first week and now I notice it every time I read.
Or when it turns on for an update in the middle of the night, waking you up with its backlight.
Mac Pro 1st Generation
Operating System Kernel:
High Level Programming Language:
Lua / LuaJIT
Low Level Programming Language:
It's very good tool for one spesific job. There are axes that are good for range of jobs.
Well, never had a problem with the ones in our family. And IMO the fact that unlike everyother axe I know it just won't break and leave you without an axe in the middle has to count for something too.
I agree with the OP, though, that Fiskars' axes are fabulous when it comes to splitting wood over your average Home Depot special.
i personally don't like all the plastic parts on newer stihl's. like "easy-to-use" cover holders which previously where solid screws.
I only recommend Stihl Professional series (with metal bodies). Husqvarna's are usually equally good (it is mostly that Stihl has the best model in some class, while Husqvarna has a better model in some other class). Partner Chainsaws were also pretty respected, but Husqvarna bought them. New Stihls may feel a bit plastic, but in practice they do their job pretty nicely.
What comes to power tools, Hilti is the one to look at, although I did go with Bosch power tools (Bosch is pretty average in every sense, but also trustworthy). It is easier to buy Bosch (Blue Series) than Hiltis. I also do like the stackable Sortimo L-BOXXes that Bosch uses these days: http://www.sortimo.com/products/cases-boxxes/.
speaking of bosch: i will recommend https://www.festool.com over anything else. they also offer sortimo-like boxes.
If you take care of them they seem to last forever. Mine have survived over 14 years of infantry exercises and still survive.
Can definitely speak to the quality of Stihl tools. When I bought my first house, for the first three years I ended up buying a new cheap electric $80 string trimmer every year. They would burn out, mysteriously fail, or the string would get twisted up in the drive shaft and you couldn't get it out without taking the whole thing apart.
After the third one I'd had enough and I bought the $500 Stihl gas Kombisystem  with the string trimmer attachment. That was eight years ago and it still works perfectly. Starts on the third pull every single time. I eventually added the blower and edger attachments as well, replacing several other yard tools with a single system.
The only real downside is Stihl is an extremely old school company. I don't think they sell online to this day and you can't find their stuff in your local big box hardware store. I had to go buy mine from an actual equipment dealer out in the county. So you may have to hunt around to find a place that sells them.
Best designed OS would IMO be Ubuntu somewhere 0before Unity.
I grew up with the solid molded one, in classic 1970s orange. The current "original" one is a rather cheap-looking matte presumably made in Asia, but you can get the Heritage-series fabric scissors  (they're fine for things like paper and cardboard). They come in both left- and right-handed versions.
What am i getting out of 1x Genelec that I'm not able to get out of having 10x (!!!) Yamaha MSP7 studio monitors?
But yes, Camper shoes are great. They even come with 2 years warranty and have a good customer service.
Honorable mention for industrial vacuum cleaners.
It's not quite industrial (although the manufacturer does also make shop-vacs in a similar style), but I'm a huge fan of my Henry - I bought it on the principle of "everyone who vacuums for a living seems to use one, they must be on to something", and it's completely lived up to my expectations. It's light enough to lug around one-handed, but still feels sturdy (and has survived falling down the stairs at least once); somehow manages to be quieter and have more suction than most vacuums I've tried; has a comically-high capacity; the cord-winder is a brilliant in the simplicity of its engineering; ... and, yes, I know how irrational it is to personify inanimate objects, but his happy face still cheers me up all the same.
On another note, although it looks like a piece of plasticky infomercial tat... I picked up one of these spider catchers on a whim a few months back, and I still can't quite get over just how damn well the thing works. It's a lot quicker than the old "tumbler and a postcard" technique, is much more reliable at catching them before they get away, keeps them trapped-by-default 'til you squeeze the handle (no more "whoops the card slipped, oh great the spider's escaped again"), doesn't seem to injure even really fragile-looking ones (eg cellar spiders/"daddy long-legs") - and keeps you at a far more comfortable distance throughout the whole process.
You can see I'm mostly stuck in the past. Many of these products had more capable successors, but felt bloated, and were harder to use.
more generically, i believe they are known as spring-loade cam devices (SLCD).
these simple devices transformed granite crack climbing from slow, rock-altering aid climbing that required pitons hammered into cracks to clean "free" (ie, no aid) climbing.
sure nuts and hexes were (and still are) available but they require some sort of constriction in the crack (change in the width) to hold them in place, which granite cracks often lack.
Thy operate on a simple concept of trisecting a cam lobe so that, as the device is retracted, the cam unfolds and permits an amazing range for a unit of its size.
I went nomad earlier this year and decided I needed a good backpack. After much research, I landed on the Synapse.
It's simply amazing that something as simple as "a bag" can be so well designed. So clearly better.
It's the only product I've ever owned where I notice myself stop and admire it regularly.
They're so durable and timeless that I bet there are a lot of Bihn Bags out there from the George W Bush era whose washing instructions are once again relevant.
Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that our president is an idiot.
We did not vote for him.
Add in the fantastic warranty, and it's hard to think of a better option.
Recently, I had someone notice just how well the bag hides how much stuff it is holding without looking bulky.
It's a beautiful little app. Great native app on iOS, too.
It came out as a response to the closure of Reader, and I actually prefer it. They've kept everything very simple.
I assume enough people don't have fine china just like most don't want to "auto cook 1.5kgs of chicken" using a special microwave program, so really there should be a market for really simple appliances in this case too.
Edit: I realize there is an environmental aspect here but tbh the machine should be able to tell how dirty the stuff is.
Outside of technology, probably my old man's Eames Classic. I don't even know how old it is, he's had it since he moved out of home 40+ years ago so it's definitely not new. Still comfortable, leather is still in good condition (although it does need cleaning), and it's as solid as a tank.
This is the studio responsible for it's design if you're interested in some of their other work.
rOtring 600 mechanical pencil - the feel of this pencil is unlike any other writing implement I've found. It's a legend. My new goal is to find a fountain pen that I can enjoy as much as I enjoy this. Though I fear that will be a notably more expensive purchase.
Yamaha Custom Series Bb trumpet - before becoming a developer I was a semi-pro musician and this is still the most fantastic instrument I've ever worked with. I've owned it 9 years now and it still feels brand new. Every mechanism on it was perfectly made. There's no unnecessary stiffness or play in any component.
On the fountain pen side, just be aware that if you work in an office environment, you'll have to deal with low quality paper that's incompatible with fountain pens. In that way paper is like fruit and vegetables: there's an enormous amount of variation in quality, and it's not terribly expensive to get something really good, but as a country the US has decided it's a commodity, so we just use the lowest quality white rectangles money can buy.
Totally understand about the low-quality paper. I'll probably stick to roller-ball pens for the office and save fountain pen shenanigans for home where I can use some nicer paper stock.
Charcoal Black comes with a dark nib (I'm using M size), looking gorgeous. All the matte versions are super nice to hold.
For some it might be quite light in hand but for me a capped Safari provides a nice balance.
With a converter it's easy to use any other ink but for daily use I prefer to just carry a bunch of dark pink (Dark Lilac) refills.
Not that you asked but my favorite paper for FPs is Clairefontaine (incl. Rhodia notebook brand) :-) Very little bleeding and no feathering issues.
I love my Rhodia notebooks! They make fountain pens perform astoundingly well. For ages I used Field Notes steno pads because I found them so good looking, but the paper is rubbish for fountain pens.
They tend to drift a little, but it's no hardship to +- a minute or two once a week.
Not cheap, but unique and handmade.
Do you have any experience using a Fink fountain pen? They look gorgeous but I have to wonder if the lighter weight of a wood body would adversely affect the way it feels and writes.
Not necessarily. There are quite a number of good pens in the sub-$100 range. I personally recommend the Pilot Metropolitan or the Lamy Safari. Both are less (much less) than $100, and can either fit ink cartridges or converters.
Also, seconded the rOtring series mechanical pencils are astoundingly good, I'm always close to mine, I never travel without it.
I also love Papermate Sharpwriter pencils. They feel so comfortable to hold, and if you like spinning a pencil while thinking they're really well-balanced for that.
In particular, the good thing about AeroPress is that if you get distracted at any stage of be process, it's not a disaster. Unlike, say, a Moka pot where you have to monitor it and take it off the stove during a small window of time between the coffee being done, and the whole thing getting way too hot and destroying the rubber seal.
Again, it's beautifully designed - almost impossible to damage, very simple to use, comparatively quick (about a minute longer than an Aeropress for one or two large mugs of coffee), arguably even easier to clean than the Aeropress (invert over bin. Done.). The pouring jug's great, too: tough, well labeled, fits perfectly, easy to store.
Admittedly, the 'purity of materials' argument is probably just superstition on my part. I'm not sure if there are measurable benefits to an all-glass brewing receptacle, but it sure makes me feel good. Glass, wood, and leather are materials that I can easily wrap my head around, and somehow that brings extra peace of mind to my whole coffee ritual.
Plus the coffee that comes out is dope.
Darn Tough socks! Seriously life is too short to have clammy feet. Yes they are expensive but they last forever.
Carhartt USA made therma lined hoodies are also awesome. I have had one for 17 years and wore it all the time before hoodies became fashionable. To be honest all of their stuff is great for the price if you can get over looking like a construction worker.
Icebreakers shifter pants. The best sweat pants.
Speaking of wool.. Duckworth wool has some good properly treated USA sheep. Icebreakers is better but Duckworth is USA made.
Cambridge Audio DAC magic plus. Expensive but seems to work great.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillets. Once you learn how to cook on cast iron skillets you will replace many pans in your kitchen with them.
Char‑Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker. The best charcoal grill for the money. You can cook everything on it. Pizza, sear steak at 800 degrees and slow cook pulled pork for 18 hours+ on a single load of charcoal.
Thermoworks Thermapen thermometer. The best cooking thermometer you absolutely should buy.
It's been engineered exactly as much as necessary. Long probe, nearly instant reading, no buttons, no extra features or complicated display. Compact, splash-resistant, long battery life, accurate up to 300°C.
Just stick the probe into a thing, and a large seven-segment display tells you the temperature in under a second.
Regardless, +1 for cast iron!
That is the bumpiness of a lodge eventually goes away and the initial bumps really have little correlation on the stickiness.
Think of it this way... Sticky tires for race cars are actually extremely smooth.
What people don't like is the sound a spatula makes on the new lodge pan compared to polish pans but in my experience the lodge pans are in most ways less prone to stick than older pans because the heat is more even (this is perhaps because they are heavier).
In some ways the bumpiness might actually improve slip because it creates pockets of fat but again the bumpiness goes away pretty quick regardless. Some even say the additional bumpiness also aids in adding additional seasoning.
You absolutely have to cook with fat on cast iron pan (either the food has the fat or you add it). Cast iron pans are not even remotely comparable to teflon nonstick when it comes to sticking (and by the way most teflon pans are bumpy as well so.. again bumpiness has little correlation to stick).
There is an incredibly amount of bullshit and false information about cast iron pans on the internet (like comparing it to teflon and how older pans distribute heat better) with very little actual experiments done.
If people really want smooth milled surfaces than a carbon steel pan is far superior as well as distributes heat more evenly (albeit I prefer cast iron for baking).
For example I use a 15" cast iron skillet to cooked spatchcocked chicken. With 15" I have even cooked spatchcocked turkey and duck.
I usually use carbon steel pans for searing meat or quick sauteing. I also use them basically as a griddle.
Carbon steel pans usually can't be easily placed in the oven. I mean you can do it but the handles are generally really long and get in the way. They also don't have the same characteristics that cast iron has for baking or stewing... e.g. I'm not going to make corn bread in a carbon steel pan.
Finally carbon steel pans seem to loose their seasoning quickly. I have never seen flaking of seasoning on cast iron but I routinely see it on my carbon steel pans regardless of how I season them.
Same for the Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle. A superb bike, virtually indestructible, and in the unlikely case that something breaks, it's possible to fix it on your own.
EDIT: Sublime Text. Fast, simple, no-nonsense, cross-platform, extendable.
Motorcycles require quite a bit more maintenance than cars, and having one where I was comfortable fixing every part on it was awesome.
If I could get hold of one now I would be tempted although I guess I shouldn't have one as to not make my family a target.
And, I definitely attribute my good health (well into middle age) at least partially to biking so much throughout my life. Getting a few percent more people out of cars and onto bikes would help save the world in all sorts of ways, IMHO.
From custom builders my bros Black Sheep Bikes Road Rage Downhill custom was and is the best bicycle I've ever had the pleasure of riding.
Link for the curious: http://www.spoke.ie/2011/10/red-bull-road-rage-janos-kohler-...
and still it seems it's potential is largely unrealized--eg, i wonder what would be happen to the incidence of leading chronic disease (obesity, diabetes) if the fraction of bicycle riders went up by let's say 10%.
Battery lasts a long time. It recharges super quick. It's incredibly lightweight. It's incredibly thin. It's trackpad clicks "for real". No plastic, or shitty finish.
I can't believe they don't make them anymore. It's easily Apple's best hardware hand's down.
My Logitech G602 mouse. Weighty, not heavy, battery lasts for 8 months. Hands cusps the mouse perfectly and never feels awkward to hold for extended periods of time. Premium feel, no cheap plastics. I love it.
It weighs under a ton, is only 3.5m long, and has a 1.0L, 3-cylinder engine that fairly sips gas. It shifts like butter and, considering it's powered by a glorified sewing machine, it has decent acceleration and top-end speed. And, if you spring for the Czech rebadge, you can get the basic model for less than 10k euros.
But the real killer is that it has almost as much usable interior room as a VW Golf, despite being almost a meter shorter!
My partner and I both come from tall families and, upon delivery of the car, her brother (200cm tall) drove his wife (189cm), me (188cm), my wife (184cm), my father (200cm), and our 3 kids for a spin. It wasn't legal and it wasn't roomy, but no reasonable person would be able to guess that such a tiny car could fit 3 small adults, let alone 5 tall adults and 3 kids.
For those of us who spent far too much of their childhood playing Tetris, the trunk (if you want to call it that) also accommodates 4 full-sized suitcases.
[EDIT] I forgot to mention that it has exposed metal surfaces in the interior (doors, mainly) that are integrated parts of the car. Not only does it look fantastic, each of those panels is one less plastic piece that will eventually require an expensive replacement when it inevitably gets hit/scratched/exposed to too much sunlight/shakes itself to pieces.
I don't know why more cars don't feature this (one review called them "cheap exposed surfaces", as if plastic is somehow fancier), but it's incredibly durable, simple, and attractive.
Not quite as tall as you (I'm 6'2"), but I would sometimes ride in the backseat of it with our young son, as opposed to riding shotgun. Lots of room back there and it was comfortable as well.
> I don't know why more cars don't feature this (one review called them "cheap exposed surfaces", as if plastic is somehow fancier), but it's incredibly durable, simple, and attractive.
I rode in a Nissan Tsuru taxi in Mexico. While the car's appalling safety record is definitely undesirable, I was impressed by the same idea of simplicity. It striped away pointless trim and features that will break, and was simply a tool to get you dependably from one place to another. It seemed like the sort of vehicle that could be maintained with an adjustable wrench and screwdriver for a million miles.
And that car is only 12-13 years old. It's almost criminal how quickly those plastic interiors degrade. My Citigo is almost 4 and looks brand new, despite ferrying two nuclear-powered kids all over the place every day.
And the safety record for the Citigo/Mii/Up! is fantastic. It's got a 5-star rating, I believe, by NCAP. I still find myself gushing to my wife about how incredible the car is. I see myself as something of an anti-consumerist, but I profess a deep love of this car.
It's a triumph of functional minimalism.
* Are actually waterproof
* Don't have lots of unnecessary compartments and pockets
* Lift on and off really securely, yet really easily
* Can be wiped clean
* Super durable
* Can be worn as shoulder bag, or carried as a tote
* No zips, yet can be completely sealed
I got my pair of Ortlieb Back Roller Classics as a present four years ago.
After I had used at least one bag almost every weekday since then, the rubber shoulder pads had recently ripped and the inner pockets frayed over the screw nuts.
When I contacted their customer service with pictures of the damage, they sent me replacement shoulder straps and pockets free of charge (they even covered shipping costs) although I had no receipt to prove the age of the bags.
With my Ortlieb bag, I
regularily get stuck with one of the hooks in the back pockets of my trousers, so I have a habit of always removing the hooks altogether if I'm not using my bike, which is a bit of an annoyance. The Ortlieb bag is much more durable however.
Want to use it as a crock pot? sure.
Want to saute things inside it first? sure.
Frozen meat or dried beans? Why not!
You throw in totally rock-solid frozen chicken breasts, some other stuff... 20 minutes later your taco meat is ready... in a slower cooker that'd take 4-6 hours.
If you clicked into the Amazon link above thinking the "5:20" means 5 minutes 20 seconds. Not the slow cooker 5 hours 20 minutes.
It's nothing short of magic how fast this thing works. Total game changer for people who want cook at home. 0 pre-planning required, just grab stuff out of the freezer when you're ready to eat.
Dried beans don't turn out exactly as hoped, but this imperfection doesn't stop me from using the instant pot for them.
Harmon Kardon Soundsticks II – had mine for over a decade and they still sound and look great.
Gaggia Colour espresso machine – looks great, built like a tank, simple to repair, and still produces fantastic coffee after years of benign neglect.
Chromecast – it just works. Feels like the future to use my phone to stream video from the Raspberry Pi to the TV.
AirPlay – it also just works. Recently set up a multi-room audio streaming thing, like a budget alternative to Sonos, using a few Raspberry Pis I had lying about and Shairport Sync . Works much better than I anticipated.
I wanted this experience, but the Pi was too underpowered to play 1080p or transcode my existing video collection, most of which wasn't in a Chromecast-compatible format. Trying to skip forward was also really frustrating and delay-prone.
I found the first gen Pi wasn't powerful enough for 1080p, but the Pi 2 is. I use my Pi 2 as a torrent box and media center just fine.
I'm not a gel ink pen fan myself, but I'm a big fan of the hex oil ballpoints, I'm using one right now actually. Creamy smooth writing.
MUJI has other awesome things: their spoons are so perfectly weighted (e.g. http://www.muji.us/store/table-spoon.html), the linens are soft, as are their towels...I just moved to LA and I'm sad there isn't a MUJI down the street (just Hollywood and Ventura beach).
Not quite following you here. Why would you need the chromecast if you have a Raspberry attached to your TV?
Tried the Plex app on a Fire stick but for some reason it didn't work nearly as well.
Yes! They're fantastic. Muji has a lot of excellent, well-designed, minimalist products. (Also some crappy ones, but they're the minority.)
It's a bicycle. It's a steel bicycle, which is out of favor these days, but Trek still makes a few each year. And they haven't really changed the design since it was introduced in the 80's. Why? Because it's the perfect bicycle.
At least, if you're doing a very particular thing. I rode one from the Oregon Coast to Long Island. It was an unsupported tour, so I had about 50 pounds of gear strapped to it the whole way. While my companions suffered various breakdowns and issues, the 500 was rock solid. It doesn't get fancy on components-- no disk breaks or electronic shifting. Everything on it can be easily repaired, removed, or replaced with your two hands and a compact multi-tool. The steel frame will stand up to any manner of abuse. Hearing about the whole tough-as-nails thing, you assume it won't be that pleasing to ride. You assume wrong.
I had to learn the hard way that isn't the case. Steel is flexible (comfortable ride) but heavy. Aluminum came along and offered lighter frames, but the frames had to be made much stiffer to avoid the perils of repeated stress fatigue (steel's asymptote for strength after repeated stress is some fraction of its original strength. Aluminum's asymptote is zero -- flex it enough and it will eventually accumulate micro strew fractures and break). The progression to aluminum was a trade off: ride comfort for weight.
Carbon fiber came along and offered a no-compromise solution: the flexibility (ride comfort) of steel, and lighter than aluminum. Unfortunately, the cost is much higher with carbon fiber.
If you are on a budget, I'd agree that you're better off with steel than aluminum.
- Pro: More repairable (bend it right back!)
- Pro: More comfortable ride
- Con: Heavier
- Con: prone to rust if the finish gets marred
- Pro: No corrosion, even when the paint is gone.
- Pro: Lighter
- Con: Not repairable
- Con: less comfortable
All this to say, I agree with you, but there are more considerations than weight and ride comfort. My beater bike (ride around and lock up in the city, through salt and snow and any random crap) is aluminum and cheap. My commute bike is steel and more expensive, but takes a bit more care.
I have never once wondered "how do I do this?" when using my Dyson. From cleaning, to extensions, switching modes, and just plain using the thing, every inch of these vacuums is designed to the utmost degree to make them not only super powerful suction machines but also trivially easy to use.
My first vacuum cleaner was the DC-5, a superb machine that served me well for 14 years. When it broke, the Cinetic Big Ball had just been released, so I got one.
Now don't get me wrong; it's a marvelous piece of engineering. Extremely high sucking power and a completely filterless design that suits my allergic needs. But the UX s much much worse than the old DC-5 model.
It's death by a thousand cuts: For example, the power button is on the back of the machine, even though I'm in front of it when operating it. And it's a tiny button, whereas the DC-5 had a large pedal. The tube has a curved, rigid section near the grip that always gets in the way when I try to clean furniture. And so on.
Also have a DC25 (2009) and that's been great too. Nothing broken or cracked, works good as new.
I will grant you - you can't treat a Dyson like a shop vac. Trundling it down the drive way to vacuum the car is a no-no. It'll probably break apart on gravel or flag stones but that's why I have a Dyson hand held :)
And what I think was a major design flaw... When I turned it on, it took like 30 seconds to actually get any suction... when I contacted support on that they said it had to build up pressure. So I would turn the vacuum on, let it sit for a minute before I could use it. Total joke. I wasted time taking it to a repair shop that offered to replace the motor... for basically the cost of a new one. Dyson wouldn't cover it.
Anyway they don't make that model any more... and if you're happy with what you got, I'm happy for you. I wasn't happy with what I got and Dyson made me take it back to Costco instead of offering to stand behind their product. I want to say it was something like $400... seems like for that price they should stand behind it.
Costco though, I know a store isn't thought of as a product, but the fact you can return anything there -- no questions asked -- that's really nice! I started having issues with the vacuum 2-4 months into owning it (the hose disconnecting all the time was the first issue), returned it to Costco about a year after I bought it.
Heath Coffee Mugs
Trains in Switzerland (including the great app!)
Emile Henry Flameware (Dutch Oven)
Mountain Collective Ski Pass
Black Diamond Hiking Poles
For any train lovers out-there I'd heartily recommend visiting Switzerland just for that. Yes, the country is quite expensive to visit (I paid almost 20 euros for a pizza at a so-and-so restaurant in Geneva), but if you're into trains you won't be disappointed.
One flag, bought one for my dad about 18 months ago, and whilst still functional and holding its own, feels a little less well made.
Probably Cutipol - http://www.cutipol.pt/store-cutlery
Good stuff, household name for donkey's years.
The idea that this tiny device is assembled entirely from macroscopic, tangible, "grokkable", mechanical components, will run "forever" with no direct conscious input of energy and tells you reasonably accurate time is pretty unique.
Recent relevant HN thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13459616
EIZO monitors - http://www.eizo.com
uTorrent, the older versions.
Dead serious about uTorrent. One of the best designed and engineered pieces of software ever. Everything you need, where you expect it to be, doing exactly what it should be doing, and nothing more.
If you want something as deadly simple, have a gander at Free Download Manager. It also does download management - a genuine improvement over browsers. Open source.
Beyond the features they're also very nicely built.
Really not cheap though (for the high end ones I'm talking about). For a _lot_ less money if you weren't bothered about perfection then one of the Dell Ultrasharp displays would likely get you 95+% of the way there.
I have a model from nearly 5 years ago (2 in use, 2 stocked) as I'd like to give less stress to my eyes for everyday work.
Those are one of last LCD models as I don't like LED ones.
I wear jeans and a black T-shirt basically every day, but I noticed a lot of the black T-shirts I purchased wore out quickly and started to fade right away. So I Googled "best black T-shirts" one day and a Reddit thread led me to Dyer and Jenkins. I've been wearing them for a year now and they have hardly faded and look just about as good as when I first bought them.
Dyer and Jenkins often gives away half off coupons as well, so I normally wait for one of those deals before I order a new set: https://www.dyerandjenkins.com/collections/tees/products/3-p...
Edit: No v-necks, but will try either way.
We never think twice about them and that's the proof of their genius.
The best non-mechanical keyboard I've used is a $20 Anker 84-key Wireless keyboard. It's extremely comfortable, and extremely portable.
"To disable the “click” noise, press and hold the Progrm key and tap the piples/backslash key (the key directly to the right of the letter “P”)."
I had to train on it with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Typing_of_the_Dead for about 2 weeks before I was beating my usual typing speed. But after that, there's no going back.
No more wrist pain, ever.
The only thing that sucks is the rubber keys, especially ESC, especially for vim users. In contrast, having meta+ctl keys on thumbs for emacs users is huge.
Oh, and the Windows 95 interface, which everyone sincerely flattered with imitation for so many years. I haven't used any later Windows versions, but my Xfce desktop i still clearly modelled on the 95 design. I find the Mac-like stuff nearly unusable, or at any rate endlessly frustrating, on the thankfully rare occasions when I'm forced to interact with it.
* AGA Oven - I don't own one, but my parents do and growing up this thing was just incredible. Still looks and works like new. I honestly have never used an oven which looks and cooks so damn good.
* Apple (Unibody) Macbook Pro - Despite my present feelings towards Apple right now cough Mac Pro cough. I can't really say enough good things about the unibody Macbooks - no other laptop surpasses it and it's been nearly 8 years since Apple's unibody construction was introduced.
* Devialet Phantom speaker - it's an engineering marvel - nothing like it.
* HP Proliant Servers - despite HP's awful website and support policies their Proliant range are the most well designed, well thought out servers I've ever used.
* And this garlic press - can't recommend it enough :)
Their ProCurve networking equipment is also excellent. They also have a lifetime warranty  (first owner) meaning if the switch ever breaks, they'll replace it. I've read online this even applies to 15 year old switches.
They changed the warranty somewhat after people started buying broken switches on eBay and RMA'ing them to HP for replacement. 
I've had personal experience with a dead HP ProCurve switch in a previous position. They sent us an advance replacement with next day shipping. I don't particularly like what they're doing to ProLiant line (e.g. firmware updates now require a paid support subscription, or a torrent), but I still recommend ProCurve switches to everyone looking for a good L2/L3 managed switch.
Also they're damn cheap these days. I was looking recently and you can pick up a managed 24 port GigE HP (1910-24G or 2910al-24G) for under $100 USD on eBay. My 1910-24G idles at 12W.
The 2910al will even accept 10Gbit expansion cards (on the back) so you can have up to 4 10GBit ports per switch.
I've used both, and mine is easier to clean.
You've hit on something though - it's amazing how many people out there suffer with badly designed kitchen utensils. it's like a blindspot where you don't realise that you could buy a much better vegetable peeler / potato masher / garlic press that would literally make your life easier every day, for the price of a cinema ticket.
It's incredible how much a good tool helps, and it really goes to show the difference between a rookie and a master even when they are both doing the exact same job by reading the steps from a sheet that tells you what to do.
I'd reach for a socket, he'd grab my arm and hand me a ratcheting wrench knowing I'd need it before we even cracked open the hood.
I'd try to unscrew a stuck phillips head screw from a rotor, he'd stop me and hand me a tool which you put in the screw and hit with a hammer and it gets it unstuck.
I'd start trying to pry an exhaust off, he'd hand me a blowtorch, tell me to heat it for like 15 seconds, then hit it with a hammer and watch it fall to the ground.
The receptacle swings open, making cleaning trivial.
(Explained here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13693661)
There are cheaper versions on Amazon, but I believe Joseph Joseph is the original design.
> HP Proliant Servers
The only complaint would be sometimes we wish it had the integrated stir stick that the Vitamix comes with. If there's not enough liquid in your smoothy it tends to not blend through everything without a bit of shaking the carafe.
Anyone ever tried Mazama Mugs? (made in Oregon, US).
Saw one on the shelf at a local coffee shop for $42! Had to pick it up and see what the fuss was about. I'm embarrassed to confess but I've never wanted a piece of crockery so bad!
I didn't give in, but wow, are they beautifully made (and heavy).
> Waiting on approval from legal dept & TPTB. If it were up to me, a Winamp 5.8 public beta would've been out months ago :)
09:49 - 5. Jan. 2017
The library functionality is so amazing and fast, but so simple. I just type in what I want to listen to and click on it. I don't have to hit Enter or wade through recommendations to get to what I want. It's just there. Playback controls are simple and I can easily assign global hotkeys. No buffering, no stuttering.
Most others use chemicals (I believe) to stop the fogging, which fades in effectiveness over time. Had this one for 5 years and it works perfect! Wish everything I owned just worked like this does.
These are 'Hacker-friendly' pens. With most pens the nib and feed are glued in, but in the Noodlers pens they are push fit, so can be adjusted. You can adjust the amount of flex and flow independently.
You can also take out the entire filling mechanism, and use the whole pen body as a reservoir. Neat.
It was a bold design concept to use 'modes', but it makes it so much more productive.
Vim got modal editing from vi, which stole it from Bravo...in 1976.
And actually, the "insert" mode was the innovation - previous editors were completely command-driven, being designed for use on teletype machines, where you could not have a usable "edit/append" mode.
The Noodler's also have the feed made of cutable ebonite instead of cheaper plastic, so you can carve out a deeper ink channel if you want.
You can still adjust the flow of the nib without tampering with the feed by just using a brass strip and running it through the slit in the nib (to increase the flow). I have never wanted to decrease the flow of a nib unit.
What you are saying is true though. Ebonite feeds have their advantages, like you can heat tune them as well to fit to a certain nib shape.
As someone who drinks a lot of hot water every day, I find this odd that someone would recommend a non-electrical kettle.
I had the same reaction as the OP. Here's my thoughts in no particular order:
This kettle is amazingly well-thought-out. It's a perfect size and shape. The angle of the handle is just right, and the handle itself is incredibly ergonomic. So is the lid tightness, and the holes to let out steam. The thickness of the steel is just so: it heats quickly but is still sturdy. The spout is just the right shape and size. There's no whistle, but it's unnecessary because it heats so quickly and you can hear it well-enough (it rattles enough to hear it, and I don't want to rely on a whistle for safety anyway; the lack of a whistle is maybe the one thing about it that I can understand someone's objection to, but that seems to be a personal preference issue... although maybe it always is a personal preference issue).
Why not an electric? Basically, because an electric requires an outlet and takes up extra counter (as opposed to stove) space. With an induction stove, the Sori Yanagi is a beast, and can't really be beat even by an electric kettle. Even on a regular electric or gas stove it heats noticeably more quickly than other traditional kettles I've used. I can use the Sori Yanagi kettle on whatever heat source I want, and it still works. I don't have to worry about electrical components breaking down: it's just steel and plastic (or whatever the handle and knob are made of).
There's really only one reason why I'd want something else, and that's to have something where the water is held at a constant temperature throughout the day. I can understand that, which is why I had thought about a Zojirushi. But those typically take awhile to heat (this is part of the efficiency point) and serve a somewhat different function. I consider a Zojirushi water pot another example of design perfection, but it serves a slightly different function, one that didn't seem quite right for my needs.
The lack of a whistle means you have to be in the same room as the water boils for the next 5-10 minutes.
It feels good, it tastes good as well (not many people believe me when I say that), if your tap water tastes shitty it makes it good, if it's cold it warms you up, can even help your digestion :]
In the end, it's kind of like tea, but with a different flavor.
Electric tea kettles are a single-task device, but they do that one task so exceedingly well a lot of people own one.
You're artificially limited to 1920W(cont. or 2400W short term) on a 20amp circuit and most kettles will barely do 1600W for safety reasons and legacy (houses with old wiring).
It takes an obnoxious amount of time to boil water using an electric kettle in the US. When I go back to EU to visit relatives, I am already drinking tea by the time the kettle boils in the US.
(I wish they still had the classic version, but the current version still beats any other keyboard out there, for my taste.)
Cast iron skillet. Lodge makes cheap, very high quality, pans that just work, forever (there are many brands, several are great).
and make perfect rice every time.
How did your cheap rice cooker sucked? Maybe you bought a "bad" cheap rice cooker :) I've had 5 different rice cookers so far, all different brands (moving countries...) and they never failed. It's a simple product really, people who try to sell you something expensive are mostly selling you fluff.
It's really just about washing the rice (not too much), how much water you pour in (not too much), and how long you let it sit while not touching it when it's cooking.
(Oh and, I used to live in China, ate rice everyday in all kind of restaurants. I know what is good rice.)
Fuzzy logic rice cookers do not burn the bottom and leave a little bit in the middle not quite cooked. This may not be an issue with all cheap rice cookers, but the ones I owned before the Zojirushi left something to be desired even with plain old white rice.
Nice rice cookers have a warming mode that keeps the rice at a nice serving temperature for as long as you need it.
I'm not saying a cheap rice cooker isn't an upgrade over a pot with a lid on the stove...it is. But, a nice fuzzy logic cooker (of which I have only ever used Zojirushi) is better still.
My Zojirushi works fine after more than a decade of use (probably more like 15 years, as it's followed me through multiple houses). I guess it seems pricey compared to a $20 cheap cooker, but amortized over many years of great nearly fully automated rice, I think it's a bargain.
Like what? That actually seems interesting. Although other kind of grains are usually not that complicated to cook (but I always want my rice perfect).
Now that I think about it, it looks like you can't steam food while you cook rice in this fuzzy logic cookers. I often steam fish, vegetables or even sausages on top of the rice.
> Nice rice cookers have a warming mode that keeps the rice at a nice serving temperature for as long as you need it.
I've never seen a rice cooker without that.
> Fuzzy logic rice cookers do not burn the bottom and leave a little bit in the middle not quite cooked
Never happened to me, a friend had an old rice cooker that did also. But I'm wondering if it's because he scrapped the bottom of it.
> a nice fuzzy logic cooker (of which I have only ever used Zojirushi) is better still
I'm not saying it's not an upgrade (although if you can't steam food at the same time...) but rather that for the price, it's not worth it. The upgrade is negligible.
> My Zojirushi works fine after more than a decade of use
Crazily, cheap rice cookers last forever as well. And these are a real bargain ;)
I used to steam and cook rice on the same pot, but didn't really like the flavors dripping down (broccoli juice is kinda bitter and weird in rice or pasta) so I stopped doing it. But I guess it's a good feature if you like that sort of thing, and it's true the Zojirushi doesn't work for that. It just makes rice and grains (oats, porridge, etc.) really well, consistently.
It's always perfect. The variability of my stove burners means that my rice on the stove never comes out exactly the same. With a good rice cooker, you never have under or overdone rice.
If you eat rice every couple of months, a rice cooker is pointless. I eat it two or three times a week, and I want it to be good every time and without me having to think about it (because rice is what goes under the food I'm making on the stove, so I'm too busy chopping and cooking to worry about rice).
Here's the Amazon reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing-ACS48-Computer-Speakers...
The other day I was trying to remember the brand of computer speakers that I had from the 90's that were so, so, so solid. Great sound (for computer speakers), and extremely robust. Dropped off the desk all the time and never had a problem.
Now to eBay to see if I can't find them.
Never realized they had a cult following. Otherwise I wouldn't have taken them to the electronics recycling center... :-/
It is simple and just works.
1) Soft aluminum cup on the inside can often become bent due to people banging the cup against the waste bin to remove the coffee grounds. When it becomes bent, steam will leak around the cup, it is almost impossible to get it to reseal properly.
2) The gasket material burns at a very low temperature.
The Ikea RÅDIG  is one of the most indestructible best engineered espresso maker I have ever used. All steel construction (except the handle) and the elastomer seal has never warped or burned. I know people who have melted the handle off and still can use the espresso maker w/o replacing the seal.
My concern is that every time I unscrew a Moka pot, I'm pressing against the (plastic) handle and worry one day I'll snap it off (or mess up the lid hinge). I wish someone would come up with a better shape for a user to grip and unscrew the Moka-style coffeemaker or a different type of attachment.
I know Alessi's 9090 clamps to the base, but it's also 5x more expensive than the original (and lacks the simple beautiful of it).
But I agree, it's a good product and design. Never read wiki, I always thought it comes from Spain, not Italy.
you need the little wire thingy so a small one can sit comfortably on the stove stand
Should be about 6 minutes on most stoves, though adjust for experience.
Turn off the heat when the spitting starts (or turn it low for another 30-60s).
Here's my top list:
The Optimus 00 kerosene stove. Hardly a thing has changed in over a century of production. Utterly unbreakable, not a single superfluous component or feature. Just plain works.
Moccamaster drip brewer. Probably the drip brewer to beat. The product is eminently drinkable, it is a reliable and consistent performer, not much that can go wrong except breaking the beaker (no worries, a new one is $20 a five-minute walk from home) - and they even sell spare parts - any component; mine is 28 years old and still going strong, having had its thermostat replaced once.
BRIO toy trains. (Tie with LEGO) - unbreakable, and their long-term commitment to compatibility is fantastic; I can buy BRIO odds and ends in the toy shop today which interfaces perfectly with stuff my parents bought for me when I was a kid. Same goes, to a slightly lesser extent, for LEGO.
Personally, I really like its look. Furthermore, its cheap and the battery lasts forever.
* Motorola Razr V3i
It just looks awesome! Unfortunately, the great design doesn't extend to its software. :(
* Roland JV-1080
This one is first and foremost interesting for its engineering achievement. It offers musicians hundreds of great, sampled sounds which are stored on a 8 MB ROM! They make up for the limited amount of material by skillfully layering samples and the application of DSP algorithms.
* Palm Vx. At the time this thing has fantastic functionality (all that freeware!), the OS had great charm, and I still think it looks really handsome.
* Sony Ericsson w580. One of the last really small cell phones before huge screens took over. And the slide mechanism was really satisfying - the ultimate fidget
On the other hand you cannot eat a steak with one hand, neither with chopsticks nor with a fork.
I think that the good design is in the food, rather than in the chopsticks.
There's just a certain simplicity and universality to chopsticks that appeals from a design sense... That said recently I've been into using a Spork which works great for some foods and is another interesting study in design...
Good design doesn't have to be user-friendly. I like how chopsticks can be implemented out of almost any material, are dead-simple, and are "opinionated." They impose severe constraints on what/how you cook, and help create food culture.
For some reason, these mice are awesome for me. Neither are made any more, and I will cry when mine finally die.
_Such_ a good mouse.
* Bentology metal fork and spoon. I got a full lunch bento box set. But never liked it much. However really like the silverware. Just the right weight, size, and balance. I just went to check if I can get more, and they are out stock apparently)
* Moab Merrell hiking shoes. Really good all-around shoes. Light, sturdy, comfortable. Good ankle support.
* Nissan stainless steel thermos. Just very sturdy. I like the cap design. Doesn't leak. I got another one after 4-5 years of a different size, so now have both.
This comes from a developer of some apps that already exists for mobile devices called "Human Japanese" and "Human Japanese Intermediate".
I've been learning Japanese for a year and a half now, and this site is hands down the most enjoyable experience I have ever had the opportunity to use. It provides audio with the articles, provides look ups for words in line, it allows you to add words seamlessly to your review list, it is suuuppper awesome on my mobile device (my primary review tool),and it is just amazing. Even better is the review cards are done within context instead of being the words by themselves, and it goes out of its way to provide many different types of articles.
I absolutely love this site.
My only regret about it is that I'm not using it enough, and that's just because I'm not being diligent enough with my team.
It is seriously such a wonderful experience.
- 15" Macbook Pro w/ Retina display, iPhone 7
- BNC connectors
- The Xtrend Professional Rabbit Wine Opener. (Super cheap on Amazon and it has an incredibly well-designed mechanism)
- The Mezlan Cordoba men's shoe -- high quality, no break-in needed, durable, fashionable.
- Crocs -- indestructible, comfy.
- Joybird furniture (good prices, high quality)
- Liberté yogurt. Incredible texture.
- The Uber app (I think that amid the weird culture at least one person there really understands mobile UX)
- HN -- the only place where I look forward to reading the comments more than the articles.
Why these are so berated really dumbfounds me. I love my crocs. So easy to slip on, comfy. Good for all seasons, summer without socks, winter with socks. And (imho) they look awesome too.
Really? I'm not a fan of the Uber app at all, particularly with the latest redesign. It is insanely annoying that they no longer show you the wait time until you've put in your destination address. Their suggested destinations are almost always terrible (even though I'm a very predictable user -- there are like 3 destinations I go to on a regular basis, but instead of those, Uber will suggest places I haven't been to in ages), not to mention that you have to close the keyboard to see half of them. There's also a lot of confusing icons without accompanying text, and just a lot of occasional wonkiness and unexpected behavior.
The Lyft app isn't as "pretty" as Uber, but it has everything I want to know where I expect it, makes good suggestions, and just works -- I much prefer it.
Yes! Fast, intuitive, responsive and rock solid. Uber might be a very, very sketchy company but man have they engineered and designed a great UX - I can't think of any other iPhone app with the same level of 'fit for purpose' as Uber's app.
Superb build quality, agreed. but the thiness and insistance on staying quiet make it get extremely hot when doing anything remotely demanding, which is not a sign of good design.
* they just look plain good, no unnecessary flourishes and the few "unnecessary" features (the locking lid) turn out to be pretty much necessary in the end
* the opening mechanism is just perfect, it has great feedback, is hard to misuse, it's extremely well designed on its own, the double-action opening is just gorgeous
* the entire assembly trivially comes apart for inspection and cleaning
* the heat retention is so good it's a bit too good, filling with fresh coffee early morning and scalding your tongue all the way to mid-afternoon is a bit extreme
I mean... it has a button called "A Bit More" and another one called "Lift And Look", which do exactly what you think they would. It's fucking fantastic.
Eddie Bauer Boxer Briefs, the most comfortable underwear a man could get, while still looking sexy. (Seems they don't sell them currently? Too bad, they make up 100% of my underwear.)
And this windproof USB-rechargeable flameless arc lighter: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DEVKI4Y/ref=oh_aui_se...
It reminds me a lot of the first time I held(/fondled) the very original iPod - it felt (at the time) like damn-near-magic alien technology. (Somebody else mentioned an eInk Kindle, for me that doesn't come close - sure that screen is really nice to read, but as an _object_ it feels, I dunno, plasticy and uninteresting...)
Cutco knives. All my life I've known what makes a good knife and that you should pay a lot. I think this is fine in the rare case that you have some someone to sharpen and hone them for you every day. Since getting Cutco knives I've come to realize that no other knives are for regular home use where you never have the time or skill to properly care for "other" knives.
Fixed gear bikes. I ride bikes a lot and when I finally got a fixie it was like that was finally the bike that felt like an extension of myself. I watched some videos about how cassettes work and understand the effect of being directly connected is what I'm feeling.
Plus the "guilt trip your neighbors/friends/parent's coworkers into a sale" strategy doesn't really sit well with me.
Counter-example: Tojiro DP... Amazing knives for the price.
Unfortunately, sending them in to be sharpened is not likely to give you a sharp knife either, most sharpening services are crap. There is no way to really sharpen a knife for $5. A specialist who does hand sharpening is going to cost at least $30.
To reliably have truly sharp knives is best to sharpen them yourself. Start with a decent blade, eg an entry level Japanese gyuto something like a Fujiwara FKM, JCK Carbonext, Tojiro DP, or a Sugimoto cleaver. Sharpen with Japanese waterstones. Diamond is bad for the knife, oilstones and ceramics are way way too slow for modern hard knife steels. Get a medium (1000-2000) and a fine waterstone (5000-6000), the Bester 1200 and Suhiro Rika 5000 are excellent and not very expensive. Then learn how to sharpen. It takes a bit of study and practice and will feel awkward at first, but once you get it, it is not at all difficult or time consuming.
The difference is everything. For example, the reason you cry cutting onions is because your dull knife is crushing the cells and spraying onion juice aerosol everywhere. A sharp knife does not do this. Chives cut with a dull knife turn mushy right away because of the tissue damage but will keep hours if cut with a sharp knife.
Cheap knives even tend to be softer steels which are easier to sharpen.
This won't lead to the very sharpest knives, but for most people it will still produce a vast improvement in sharpness and it's only $15 gone if they decide they'd still like better stuff or to throw the stone in the trash.
Once you can get your own knives from "crushes tomato" to "I didn't even realize I'd take off the the tip of my thumb until I realized there was blood everywhere, doctor" in ~20 minutes of work on the stone you'll never want to go back.
Just don't fall down the straight razor hole. It will consume you and turn you into a shaving bigot.
They usually are dirt cheap, and allow you to steam any kind of food. It's healthy, it's tasty, it's easy, it's fast, ... Just drop whatever in it and wait 15 minutes and that's it.
And they're fairly cheap, all things considered (picked up this model for about $45 on sale at Fry's last time I built a computer).
* Amazon.com: Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black: Computers & Accessories || https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-Two-Gaming/dp/B00...
It's meant to be tool-less all the way, you can change almost everything (RAM, CPU, HDD) using at most one or two screwdrivers. And the way the hinges and interlocks work together is amazing. Not to mention its build quality.
* The Wirecutter || http://thewirecutter.com/
That camera's served three generations of my family very well; my grandfather and father each used it for years, and I learned the basics of photography with it. It's honorably retired now, but if I ever start to shoot film again, that's the camera I'll use to do it. And if I don't, I'll still have benefited massively from having used it, because the Nikon D5300 I now use (and used to take , a few minutes ago) can still take any glass with an F mount - which not only means that I can still use Grandpa's and Dad's old glass, but that if I want, say, a 500mm tele, which I do because the moon is far away and hawks take it amiss when you approach to improve your shot, I can spend $100 on a manual lens that I already know how to use, instead of spending $10,000 or more on one that supports automatic focus and aperture.
dell keyboard Model number: SK-8115 (felt like machine gun for the first time)
Qt c++ framework
npm install --save # dont have to edit the package.json, awesome
pm2 # npm package to make the node app as service. Just mindblowing.
ssh-copy-id user@ip # no need to type password always for ssh session
I'm not even sure the change was required at all. Actually checking it with 'git blame' the only thing modified was a WorkingDirectory, which didn't change between versions, just wasn't set the first time around.
> compared to the third party tool like "pm2 <generate_script_whatever>" it is atleast 10 times the work.
Installing and running a second service management layer isn't 10x easier than just using your OS.
I'll add these to the list:
* Clipmate. The BEST clipboard database.
* AutoHotkey. Seriously, play with this a bit and you will see uses all OVER The place.
* Midnight Commander for Linux installs. Makes it a LOT harder to shoot yourself in the foot as well.
It is incredibly well thought out, and every time I learn something new about it - it blows my mind how elegantly and beautifully it is implemented.
I don't know about any open source alternatives. The closest thing I can think of is Nuke, also commercial, which is a compositing software built around the same principle, and also really well designed.
I've heard that Unreal Engine has some sort of a node-based system, but I'm not a game developer, so I haven't used it and don't know how it compares.
Also Blender has a node editor, and I think it's the closest open source thing to Houdini, but it's not the same thing, and is nowhere near as good, so I would not call them similar.
One is 'sverchok', the other which may soon become part of Blender core is 'Animation Nodes.'
Jimmy Gunawan of Blendersushi goes into fantastic detail about these two on his youtube channel if you're interested.
Oh and the best designed item I own?
Swiss Tech Utilikey. A key shaped multitool with such a satisfying opening action. I use mine every day.
- the scissors on the tiny swiss army knife. BEST nail scissors ever.
- Freeplane . Mind mapping software that I find new uses for on every project. So many export options too.
- Raspberry Pi. You can do everything with this guy.
- My girlfriend's Mitsubishi colt Z30. It has great system of adjusting backseats (you can move it back and forward, so that either trunk or cabin have more space). It has also roof quite high (and I'm tall so that's important for me in small cars)
- KitchenAid mixer classic. It's just rock-solid.
- Karrimor X-Lite X2t. This guy is maybe a little one, but
it's drying in miliseconds, has great setting-up system and is light as a feather. Although it's quite tight for 2 persons, it's the best small tent I've
- Ricoh GRD IV. The best camera I've ever used.
- HackerNews. Obviously.
When that came out it was just so obvious that it was the best way to do it, but now it is gone.
It had a nice interface, but I moved to the HTC One (installed GPE on it), got a rock solid case and after 14 months it feels like it hasn't aged a day.
Any recommendations on what particular sub-model to keep an eye out for?
There are many other makers of kitchen knives that are comparable to Masakage knives, but if someone who was serious about cooking asked me for a single recommendation of which knife brand they should buy into this would probably be my response. Their knives are reasonably priced, feature beautiful aesthetics, have personality, and perform as well as anyone could reasonably need.
Perhaps not the best, but from a design standpoint and the exquisite feeling using them, their blades are perfect for what I use, and their handles are sublime. I went into the shop to spend a huge whack on a set of Globals, but they just felt off. These were perfect.
My late 90s Honda Civic. Simple and reliable. Nothing is more fancy or complex than it has to be.
Aeropress. Simple, makes great coffee, promotes a ritual.
The HP-41C. Just enough programming to be useful. RPN. Great keyboard feel.
May just be a bit of nostalgia speaking, but the things that little machine could be made to do... wow.
Bosendorfer 214CS piano
1986 Fender Performer guitar
1959 Fender Stratocaster
Yamaha YBL 321 trombone
Yamaha Q series alto sax
Any Zojirushi rice cooker
Sony SRF-M37w radio
Golden Gate Bridge (walk it)
Any Porsche 911
Toyota Sienna minivan
Any MacBook Air
Duluth Trading Longtail T shirts
Visual Basic 3.0
Turbo Pascal 3.0
Eggs, bananas, bell peppers, cocoanuts, water
Fender Precision bass
Almost anything Frank Lloyd Wright
And if you're gonna have the GG Bridge, can I propose the 747as well. They're still building them now, almost 50 years later - the first one rolled out of the factory in '68 (first test flight wasn't till '69)
Basically no interest in the passenger or freighter model at this stage (the newest series, the -8I/-8F, has attracted barely over 100 deliveries). Same story for the A380, whose orders basically stopped in 2014. Freight and passenger service are both moving to more efficient twin-engine wide-bodies.
Can you give some specific examples of "more efficient twin-engine wide-bodies"? I'm very interested in the aviation industry, but terribly ignorant of it.
I'd say definitely. One of the most used designs. Built like a tank. One of the most used and abused microphones in my opinion.
Best mechanical pencil I've ever used. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into every aspect of its design. The Rotring 800 is similarly well-designed, but I prefer the grip of the Pentel.
Some nice things about it:
- The tip is metal, so it doesn't flex and break the lead when you're writing.
- The clip is metal, so it won't break off after a couple months of use.
- The eraser is about an inch long, so you won't have to replace it every week.
- The rubber grip hasn't deteriorated in the 5 years I've had mine.
Easy to use (no button to hold down, just spin the wheel), easy to do maintenance, will light unless you got it really really wet or forgot to refill it.
I'm suddenly reminded of the Zippo scene from Four Rooms.
I don't smoke cigarettes anymore, but I did for many years. I'd lost my old Zippo and bought myself a new one (straight from the company) about a decade ago. After daily-use, then sitting in a box for three years, and now using it a few times a year while camping, it works perfectly and looks practically new.
Logitech trackman wheel from a decade or two ago, perfect to have a desk with 3 or 4 machines on. Must have thousands of hours of FPS and minecraft on it, feels new, feels perfect.
The original Radio Shack wire wrapping tool, you could pay up to 100x more for something less reliable or slower or harder to use but I built entire 8-bit microcomputers with mine. The wire stripper which is perfect for 30 gauge wire wrap wire stores inside the tool. You could pay more for something faster but less reliable or whatever bad engineering tradeoff, but somehow this cheap tool had the perfect engineering tradeoffs.
The hyper orthogonal PDP-11 assembly language instruction set. Essentially you wrote C in assembly. That and the 6809/68hc11 general family are the only two architectures I ever miss programming in assembly, everything else is perfectly doable but a chore.
I grew up with a surplus Tektronix 531 oscope, the kind with pluggable chassis. There's just something about tools designed by engineers specifically for engineers where everything just feels perfect and everything just worked. If it weren't for weighing a hundred pounds and drawing half a kilowatt every oscope would be a Tektronix 531.
Somehow I did electronics for over 30 years before buying a top of the line digital Hakko soldering station. I was so dumb, I should have invested in something of that quality level decades ago. Its perfectly repeatably capable of anything; after some flux cleaning I've had people ask if I own a wave soldering machine given a couple hundred perfect and identical joints on a board. Its weightless in my hand, perfect heating, ESD proof, and a joy to use. It cannot be improved.
I just got into Electronics and while buying some basic kit (cutters, wire, etc) I had to think hard about my soldering iron choice. I don't expect to solder a ton immediately as I'm still learning, but over time I may do it more. Thus, I was wondering whether to just pay out for a high quality iron, one I would never have to replace (or at least not soon).
I went with the Hakko. Bought some extra tips for the long run, and it's simply fantastic. Heats up incredibly fast, is very accurate, and easy to use. Sitting in my closet at the moment while I get a workbench eventually, but I eagerly have been using that thing every chance I get for the past several weeks. It's just fun to use and well designed.
I think the only thing the Hakko FXD could possibly improve is perhaps slightly improving the UX for preset temperature configuration. I'm not sure this feature even matters for anyone who isn't soldering constantly, though (I can basically get away with 750 every time).
Otherwise I agree, it almost seems perfect in every way.
It's possible that the only reason I care about RS going out of business is that I lost mine and want another. I don't do wire wrap any more, but the stripper that came with it made perfect strips on 30 gauge wire.
Counter intuitively people assume short neat wiring is lower capacitance therefore better, actually complete rats nest has lower capacitance and lower coupling. You aren't going to be running much above maybe 20 MHz but that was OK in the days when a 2 MHz nmos Z80 was "pretty fast".
Everyone does something dumb once like wrap an entire 8-bit microprocessor system using the same wiring color, but back then it was easy to get multiple colors and do your data bus in green and address bus in red or whatever.
Another anecdote back in the old, old days original "TTL", no series like LS or HC, was kinda power hungry and 30 gauge wire is not thick and people would daisy chain from power pin to power pin and 20 hungry chips later be perturbed that 5 volts comes in but there's only 4 volts at the power pins of the last chip. Lots of people hand soldered larger gauge wire for power and ground along with hand soldering on decoupling capacitors.
Another anecdote from the ancient days WRT cross coupling and interference the electrical noise a circuit generates is almost solely proportional to risetime / falltime of gate which depends on gate family not clock speed. So a 10 MHz plain TTL board was much more electrically quiet than a 0.89 MHz "quarter colorburst crystal" circuit made with "F" family chips, this is very counter intuitive to many people.
What a color burst crystal is, and why they were so cheap until the 00s or so, is beyond the scope of this post LOL.
Nothing forces people to learn RF/analog electronics as well as trying to do fast digital electronics.
Takes a quite complicated set of things going on (control signals from phone, data signals from internet), and turns them into a seamless intuitive experience.
I find the initial setup process particularly excellent. Getting a device with no user input onto a wifi network would normally be a nightmare, but the magic they do with setting up a temporary access point on the device is excellent.
I tried watching Youtube on the desktop recently and was appalled at how terrible the interface was, esp without Red and no ABP.
Chromecasts are my go-to Christmas gifts every year.
Why can't I buy something to just stream my screen? Like the steam link but for everything. Not just steam.
I buy box sets from Amazon Video and watch them (which has to be laptop). My girlfriend watches a lot of BBC iPlayer, we both watch Netflix. On occasion I'll download something and it'll happily stream from my phone (Localcast) or laptop (Videostream).
Typing feel is exceptional and it's in a small form, so every key is within your reach. (Doesn't mean the keys are small.) Especially great for vim mode typing. You can even easily carry it with you.
Being using it for nearly 10 years and not failing. Highly recommended.
There's also a one without a print for serious typers which I use.
(Lite version is a completely different thing, I don't consider it worth buying.)
I also had a knife I used for work and the pants had a special pocket at your knee especially for your knife. It was so perfect because it was always available. I could be ankles-deep, laying on my side, in some wall or other, but I just reach down and grab my knife if I need to cut something.
Both not exactly what I had, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again:
So easy to operate all of the functions on it that it can be done without ever taking it out of your pocket. Navigate through playlists without having to look at it all. Battery life lasts seemingly forever. It made commuting by public transport in the cold so very much better than fiddling with the UI on a phone. And training meant not having to carry a huge and heavy phone when running because it clips onto your pockets-less training clothes somewhere.
Hands down the best designed device I have ever used.
First problem - we didn't had any Mac or Windows at home. So no iTunes. But that's an iPod problem in general. Her dad didn't know this / didn't think of it.
I've tried to use the device - but it was unusable for everything we wanted to use it. She didn't like it for music - too little space (1GB), no full albums, just a Playlist (which was pretty hard to update if you don't use iTunes). Listening to music didn't work for me too (I like listening to whole albums). So I've tried to listen to Podcasts (30 minutes to 1 hour) with it. Didn't know where in the podcast I am, fast forward for 15 minutes was cumbersome.
Didn't work for me at all. It was small, it was robust, but it didn't fit any of our requirements.
But for what it is worth 1 GB may be fine. Handling 30 albums would be a nightmare with the Shuffle.
It works (as the name says) if you want to listen to a playlist in shuffle. But for me (and my ex) it didn't work for anything else. So we both found out we didn't had any use for this device.
For me it was definitely the wrong device. I don't have any use for this device at all. The "reading out the names" sounds incredible kludgy for me.
To everything his own.
I just wanted to share my experiences with the device.
But at my new office, we have a good old-fashioned water cooler. Except that it's a newfangled water cooler with a redesigned interface between cooler and water jug. Now, instead of peeling a wax lid off the top of the jug and spilling a couple cups of water as you throw it on the cooler, you just pull off a sticker and sort of plug it into the water cooler. No more water spills.
It seems so simple and obvious. Yet how many Olympic-sized swimming pools full of water did we have to spill before someone designed it? I love it.
Here's the first video I could find that shows one of them in action (in 3D!):
2. DasKeyboard Model S Ultimate.
* The USB charger that came with the Nexus 4 - it's only been replaced because I finally got a decent QuickCharge charger.
* A Grundig AM/FM radio with Aux-in, still going strong after 10+ years as a bathroom speaker. One dial broke off. Oops. Still one of the best sounding speakers I have in my house - possibly due to it being wooden
* Yamaha NX-P100 Bluetooth speaker - used to use it for the APT-X capability, now I use it because it supports 3.5mm jacks, and USB sound input. Practically bulletproof although the battery life isn't as good as it was.
Also, I find that mine accumulates a blob of ink on the tip after a period of inactivity that needs to be wiped off before use.
* Why The Honda S2000 Is A Future Classic || http://jalopnik.com/why-the-honda-s2000-is-a-future-classic-...
"Most people will never drive in the best rpm range (7000 to 8500), shifting too early. Our advice is to treat the S2000 like you hate it and you'll get the most out of it. We did and loved every minute of it."
2) They knew the target audience; didn't have any distractions. Just what you needed to enjoy the drive... leather seats, a top that came off, a gear stick and some pedals... Very minimalist and focused.
3) Easy to maintain, relatively cheap to buy. Biggest expense was new tires every 15-20k miles. Honda makes reliable stuff. $31k I think I paid for it new. 7 years and 80k miles... never needed more than a fresh coat of wax to make it feel like new.
Bonus) I loved how it was a conversation piece. Pull up to the pump... instantly people ask you what kind of car it is... they can't believe it's a Honda... or better yet they have one too and they want to chat about it... Had a cop stop me when I was clearly speeding and say, "I'm going to let you off with a warning... I'd be speeding too if I was driving one of these. Man it looks fun."
Totally regret getting rid of mine... didn't want to leave it garaged for a year while I traveled for work.
* Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Honda S2000 || http://twinrev.com/cars/Mazda-MX-5-Miata-vs-Honda-S2000
I think the BMW Z4, Jaguar F-Type, and Porsche Boxster are probably all fine replacements (that's what all the S2000 forum nerds say anyway) -- if you have 2-3x to spend. I drove an F-Type and it felt very busy inside. Like... fundamentally a different audience than the S2000. I drove a used Z4 too, but only an automatic since that was all they had on the lot.
Nissan 370z looks promising, but I haven't tried it. I don't love the look.
It's a bit of a sore spot... I don't feel like there is a true replacement for the S2000 on the market at present and it's getting very hard to find a used one that wasn't modified or doesn't have a ton of miles.
- The Palm Pre (1st edition). It is an absolutely amazing, brilliant piece of hardware (especially back in 2009) that fits just right in my hand like a pebble. The curved screen is brilliant to the eyes and to the touch. It also has an interface that is not cluttered and busy like shit in other mainstream OSes then, and now.
But I mainly like things that are designed for ease of maintenance:
- The iPhone 4s and iPhone 5. Like the iPhone or hate it, but the iPhone is a marvelous engineering feat. First, the amount of components it could hold. Second, how strong and robust it is for such a small body. Third, how easy it is to replace the most vulnerable component, the screen.
- The iPod Nano 2nd Edition. It is such a timeless design that is extremely small and practical. It is really easy to open up the iPod Nano should you need to replace the battery, too.
- Dell Chromebook 13 and Acer Chromebook 720: It took 8 screws to open them and get to the battery, CMOS, RAM, SSD, CPU, WLAN card.
- Sony Walkmans. It was an eye-opening experience to see a player that is barely bigger than a tape, with features packed in it in the era of tapes, moving motors, pulleys, cogs and such.
But my most admired understated design has to be the Thinkpad line.
About 10 years ago, when computers were hot, clunky, and easy to break; I had a friend asking me to look at her coffee spilled Thinkpad T42 or T43 (I think). I just moved to the US for college for a month and had only a screwdriver toolset. Thankfully to its brilliant design , it only took a single screwdriver to lift the whole keyboard and touchpad up and get to everything, including the CPU. And the keyboard was spill resistant, so not that much liquid leaked either. I asked my roommate to take me to the nearest Radioshack to get a tube of heat spreader, and dried the whole thing with a hairdryer. It worked like new.
I could still remember the horror of opening Dell D6x0 laptops at my college IT department. What a fucking joke of a design - there is nothing good I could say about those "business machines" on the inside. It got to the point that if anything went wrong with those computers, the IT department just called the "Dell guy" to go fix it.
5 years ago, I even bet my roommate to pour a cup of water on a running Thinkpad. It survived.
And the Thinkpads now are barely different from the Thinkpads then and the Thinkpads from the beginning. It says something about the design, does it?
I must admit that it doesn't Chrome too well though. It copes but it swaps a LOT and I can literally see garbage-collection happening - typing or scrolling locks up for 300ms every ~10 seconds. And it can't do >360p video.
I can't recommend them enough to Web developers who want to build fast, responsive websites, however. :D (So many sites that cram 1080p MP4s into their page backgrounds.....)
(Slackware / 2GHz Pentium M + 2GB RAM)
The T42/43 was a tank. I saw one take such a hard fall that the frame bent and it still booted up.
The system board and everything were all fine... but the LCD copped it :( only displayed sad rainbows (IIRC).
I'm not sure if I bent the heatsink slightly off as well;
I tried to fix it but I may have made it worse. The thermal design on the T60 is a disaster: the part of the heatpipe that extends over the GPU has nowhere to bolt it down (see http://i.imgur.com/lUOwImO.jpg - the rightmost part, see how there are no screws, it literally was not factored into the design, it's held down solely by the copper itself) and because my heatsink is fractionally misaligned, my GPU consistently idles at 75°C (!) and can reach 90°C (!!) if I actually try to do anything!
Modern Thinkpads are crap. I've had the W450, T450 and X1 Carbon. All of them look basic and had really bad screens.
Yeah, gotta love a laptop that has friggin' drainage holes in the bottom of it. :)
No worries about power outages. No worries about WiFi. No need to keep the user guide around. No need to worry about whether guests would be able to figure it out. No batteries to run down. No programming/re-programming hell. No dependency on updates being bug free. I can't believe how horrible thermostats have become - I think most people have forgotten how easy and effective they used to be.
Never thought I would be a knife guy, but I was given one gen years ago and I'm still smitten with this thing. There is nothing quite like the snapping sound when it opens perfectly.