Archive for September, 2010

Money-band / Rubber band for wallet

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I’ve been seeing quite a bit of traffic from mnmlist, which turns out to be another site from the prolific Leo Babauta, creator of Zen Habits. I often feel like a fraud of a minimalist, given the amount of clutter in our house, but hey – Leo mentions the money-band, which is essentially a rubberband you use to hold all your stuff together. Looks nice, but I’ve been using those thick, small rubber bands that hold broccoli together for a long time now, and it is great. Works very well around credit cards, with cash folded twice stored on one side, and receipts jammed into the other. I used to have an enormous wallet, which was actually wearing wallet-shaped holes in my pants and giving me back problems. This fits in my front pocket really comfortably.

Rubber Band Wallet

Just One Club Card is also a boon to reducing the thickness, and works great here in Canada as well as in the USA. When I use it, it gets reactions ranging from “does that really work?” to “I need one of those.”

Really old laptop improves my focus

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

I decided to upgrade to a newer Thinkpad laptop. Luckily, my old machine had still retained most of its value – I sold it yesterday morning for about what I had purchased it for a year and a half ago, thanks to Craigslist. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet ordered the replacement, waiting for a good sale might take a while, and I have to have something to use in my programming / project management job.

So I find myself typing on an old Thinkpad T23, a seriously amazing computer if we were still living in 2002, that I pulled out of a trashcan a while back. Seriously. It is like a wake up call. First of all, I can’t believe it actually works with the latest version of Ubuntu. It is slow, and I have to watch what I do since it only has 512MB of RAM, but it is surprisingly usable.

In fact, it is like a breath of fresh air in some ways. When I’m running my programming environment, I can’t really have my email program or a web browser running at the same time. So I have to focus on one thing at a time, and it really improved my concentration today since I hop around much less, and stay on track rather than continuously checking email and websites.

Although it is tempting to try and live with this machine long-term, I know that isn’t practical, as it does have some severe limitations that are going to cost me time and energy. But I’m actually looking forward to what I’m viewing as an experiment in tech minimalism for the next few weeks.