Newsletter of Things

For those of you who personally know me, you've observed that I have a love for things. Not just anything, but electronic things (mostly). Since I was a kid I loved to take things apart and find out how they work. In the 4th grade I asked my father for a scanner for no other reason than I wanted to be able to scan things into my Mac IIcx and look at them on the monitor. Later I learned to OCR things and start digitizing things. Today this manifests itself in my insatiable quest to acquire the best things. In this case, things that I find "the best". As this is highly subjective and experiential, I tend to acquire, sell and acquire certain category of things. I read a lot of reviews and perform hours of research often investigating Amazon reviews, forums, and blog posts till I have developed a good sense of the product or category. My goal is to own and experience the best item in a given category. This doesn't mean the most expensive item, or the item you would chose yourself. That's OK, hopefully my opinion and perspective helps. My main goal is to learn. Lately, I have been discovering a number of interesting products on Kickstarter, a site for backing innovators and entrepreneurs that build cool things. Combined with Amazon and the internet at large, I have no shortage of interesting research tools to find cool stuff.

For as many years I have come to remember, I have been a source of advice for friends and family trying to decide on what camera to get, what laptop to get, what tablet to get, what kitchen faucet to get.... you get the idea. I've had this blog now for over 10 years and my blogging has declined primarily due to my being busy with our kiddos, my job, and my ability to tweet or share on Facebook which has reduced the "pull" to blogging. I have heard from my wife that some of our friends miss out on my posts, and I've heard from some friends that my Facebook feed resembles an Amazon one-click purchase feed (not sure that will change).

So, with that, I have decided to start a Newsletter, Omar's Newsletter of Things, to keep you up-to-date on the interesting items I've acquired. I decided on a Newsletter because it felt more intimate to me than a blog, and I know that a bunch of my friends / family out there don't know how to subscribe to a blog but pretty much anyone with an email account knows how to sign up to receive email.

The newsletter articles will cover the things I've recently acquired and answer some key questions for you (following this basic template):

  • What is it?
  • Why did you get it?
  • How has it made your life better?
  • Are you going to keep it?

I added the last item, Are you going to keep it, so that you have a sense of my confidence sticking with the thing. Some things last a few years, most last a year or less. Why? Well as some of my friends joke, my love this week is displaced a few weeks later. Some folks even get upset when they get something months after I've raved about it only to find out I've moved on. Sorry, but the half-life of some products is short due to my experience using it, or a better version that I've discovered. Some products are simply meant to be replaced often by this gadget loving geek (phones come to mind, digital camera bodies) and some products have resulted in boredom. Finally, sometimes I'm just not sure. So I buy and live with the product for a while. This is how I learn and understand what the future is going to be like. And I'll admit, I already think the future is marvelous. My watch just reminded me to go and pick up my kids!

Anyways, feel free to sign up for the newsletter and I hope you'll find it somewhat useful. If you already follow or subscribe to my blog, these articles will be published under the newsletter category.

Post will likely be short, and the newsletter will be sent weekly (if there is anything I wrote about that week). I may alter frequency based on posting habits.