With my OmarKnows Newsletter you can participate in my quest to find the best things (mainly gadgets). Selected articles from this blog will be published to the newsletter. Newsletters are delivered no more than once a week (Sunday 12pm PST) on weeks where I have written an article. If multiple articles have been published during the week you'll receive all of them in a single email.
You can also visit the Archive of old articles.
Each of you spends probably a third of each day in bed. As you can guess, I spend a fair amount of time researching (and now enjoying) fine sheets.
You don't have to spend a fortune on sheets (but you can) and for a long time now (15 years I guess) I have enjoyed what I consider a good investment in sleeping.
I replace my sheets about every 5 years. I have two sets and we alternate between them each week.
I have settled on Sateen sheets made of Egyptian cotton. If you are a linen nerd you might care to understand the differences between Sateen and Percale (the two most common types of weaves) and if that's the case read this article on the Parachute blog.
I'll make it simple. Sateen appears a bit shiny at first and gets softer and more "dull" or normal looking over time.
It's a momentous occasion when Apple launches a new product.
On friday night I swung by the Apple Store Bellevue to get my white HomePod.
As an owner of 10 Sonos devices and 5 Alexas I was excited to finally get my hands on the HomePod.
If you get a lot of packages, you know that this involves opening them up - usually with a handy, available sharp object.
About a year ago I discovered these ceramic cutters on Amazon and love them.
I have them scattered around the house, garage, and in drawers. I prefer the auto-retractable ones so our kids don't get hurt. The blades stay sharp for a long time, and you can also order replacement ceramic blades. They are really great and I highly recommend having a few of these.
For Christmas my kids wanted a 3D Printer. A few months ago I decided I wanted a 3D printer for them - so as luck would have it my Toybox 3D Printer arrived. I backed this project on Indiegogo and the timing could not have been better.
3D Printing is a subject I know little about - except that from the people I know that have tried, it can be complex. I wanted easy. I wanted to print from their iPads to the printer and I got just that.
The 3D Toybox is a joy. It costs $399 which I find very reasonable. High end 3D Printers will cost you $1,500 to $3,000 - but that's not the entry price I was looking for. Low end 3D printers can end up being more trouble than they are worth. The key for me was can the kids print on their own?
This is the last post of the year for OmarKnows and I thought I would end the year with something you should all consider for 2018 if you have not done so already and that is securing all your accounts with strong passwords - and also organizing all the important information for your family (bank accounts, passport info, etc).
A few years ago I did a comparison of password managers and chose 1Password. Since then the 1Password team has been busy adding new features. The most significant is their own cloud and Family Plans which makes it easy to setup and use but also share among family members.
I have been a happy subscriber of 1Password for Families. I use it on Windows, Mac, iOS and so does Lora. Eventually the kids will as well.
I'm a little late with my Holiday Picks this year, but I hope this helps some of you shop for your family (or yourself).
Let's just get this out of the way. This is the best iPhone Apple has ever made. My first iPhone was the 3G and so this is my 10th iPhone (3G, 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 6 Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus). When I think back to the big shifts a few come to mind
- The stainless and glass iPhone 4
- The "taller" iPhone 5 with an extra row of icons and the retina screen
- The Plus sized iPhone 6 which thrust giant sized phones into our lives and faster Touch ID
- The Plus sized iPhone 7 with two lenses and the buttonless Touch ID
- The Plus sized iPhone 8 with true tone and true motion screen
The reality is that for the iPhone 6, 7, 8 Apple has been perfecting something that is a bit over 2 years old. That's not a bad thing, just not life changing. The camera on the phone has gotten so good that in a few more years we'll probably never see point and shoot cameras again. Computational photography will re-define what we think of as "good" and "artistic" and maybe SLRs will get squeezed soon.
But the iPhone X is nothing like the iPhones of the last 5 or so years. It's an entirely new beast.
I have been using an iPhone 8 Plus for a few weeks now and have already gotten used to some of the "new" features found in the X and of course iOS X. So the surprises of the iPhone X are even more profound for me. Yesterday was a magical day of discovery - ways this phone would make my daily interactions better and more delightful. There are months ahead of small things and big things that I will appreciate and come to define a new set of expectations.
In the time Apple meanwhile has already made us use to seamless interoperability of watches, headphones, tablets and computers. iMessages are effortless to read and reply to, headphones work across phone and watch and so on. It's a powerful ecosystem that will command Apple nearly 85 billion dollars in revenue this quarter. That's right, Apple is on path to having a market cap of nearly 1 trillion dollars.
So, let's get into the details on what I love about this phone.
It's nearly impossible to step away from the Gillette Razor machine. Even Dollar Shave Club is now owned by Gillette. I've been shaving with a Gillette razor since I started shaving. In that time I have tried a number of mechanical razors but never loved how it made me feel. I don't find it much of a time savings at all and prefer to have the same shave every day.
For the past few years I have been shaving with a Gillette Razor and custom handle and getting my blades from Amazon Prime, replacing them about once a week. A few weeks ago I saw an add for the OneBlade Core, which looked very intriguing. The quality and feel of this razor looked fantastic and I was also curious about shaving with a traditional single blade.
I have to say. I am floored by this razor. For background OneBlade started out with an exceedingly expensive stainless steel handle called the Genesis. It costs $400.
They then brought to market the Core which is plastic and steel and that brought the cost down to $50.
I took a pretty big break from writing this summer. We did a lot of fantastic travel but I also wanted to maximize the weekends which meant cutting back on my writing time. With fall here, I hope to get back into a regular rhythm, but to set expectations I also have a lot of fall and winter travel so I might end up on a twice a month or monthly schedule.
To kick off the fall I thought I would recap all the interesting things I’ve acquired this summer.