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  • Omar

My Complete Everyday Carry

Updated: Jan 27

Laptop



The beating heart of my EDC.


I would like to make a public service announcement!


I want to make it clear that I shan't be getting in to Mac vs PC here, nor will I be entertaining the argument of IOS vs Android in my next paragraph.


Why do I use Mac? Quite simply because when I was a youth, Windows anti virus effectiveness were complete and utter shite. When I was around 14 I needed a laptop for my school work, after some research my parents came to the conclusion that a Mac with its bulletproof close platform design was probably a better idea.


Et Viola.


I have not found a reason to stop using one!


In full disclosure I do keep a windows laptop on my desk for other miscellaneous activities but we can get in to more detail on that in a future post.


As I am sure you all have noticed, people are now starting to trade out their laptops and replace them them extremely capable tablet and keyboard combinations.


All the cards on the table, I wish I was that guy, I wish I could ditch my MacBook on my desk, do my back a favour and carry an iPad,


but I can't bloody do it!


I promise, I've tried it and I'm extremely impressed with the capability of the new iPad m1, its probably just as fast as my MacBook but I still find myself enjoying the larger screen and the general laptop format.


So what is the machine that I actually carry?


As of right now its the 2019 MacBook Pro 16 inch, fully specced out.


I love this machine, I really do, its because of this laptop that I am able to do my job, run the podcast, write these blogs, and all the wonderful things we are able to do in 2021.


I am looking to upgrade to the 2020 16 inch M1 fairly soon as I have had a myriad of issues with my particular machine. Over its year an a half life it has had 2 top case replacements and a bunch of other bits and pieces done to it, this is really not ideal, albeit better then my previous 15 inch which had around 5 top case replacements!


I would like to make it clear that all the issues I laid out were admitted all dealt with via warranties and consumer law so thank goodness they took care of it.


I would probably be the worlds angriest man If I had to shell out all that dosh on constantly repairing it the confounded thing. Regardless, I love this laptop and regularly recommend it to friends and family, its powerful, fast, a great keyboard, amazing trackpad, brilliant screen and unreal speakers.


What else can you ask for?

Mobile Phone

Remember that Apple eco system I was talking about in the previous paragraph?


Well.


Its really thing!


Once your in it it really is rather difficult to remove yourself, the only people I know who have successfully done it typically have to consultant some kind of doctor and undergo surgical procedures to remove themselves from the appleverse.


To provide some chronology, I had a MacBook well before I had an iPhone, for most late-millennials we either grew up with Nokia or Blackberry, myself, a Blackberry was my first entrance in to the world of mobular telecommunications.


For a while I had a Samsung Note 3 which was fantastic but there was this sense of a lack of synergy between my then MacBook and iPad, when my upgrade came about I went for the iPhone 7 Plus and have never looked back. As I am writing this I currently have the iPhone 11 Pro Max but I do have a 13 Pro Max on order, do I feel an upgrade is required?


Absolutely not.


The 11 Pro Max as aged fantastically, its just as snappy as it was when I first got it and looks absolutely beautiful. The primary reason for the upgrade is my 11 Pro Max will be handed down and will thusly start a new life. My time with the device has been extraordinary positive, I have experienced no issues and have been regularly surprised with the capabilities of it.


A little fun fact for you, my phone connected to the Nyphy air 75 currently acts as my on the go workstation, in fact as I converse with you now I am sat in a coffee shop writing on my phone and keyboard set up.

Tablet



Remarkable 2 Taken on Nikon Z6

A device I have been enamoured with ever since the initial release of the Remarkable 1, my interest was essentially rooted in my fascination of E-Ink technology.


For anyone who has ever owned or used an Amazon Kindle - who hasn't? - you’ll be familiar with E-Ink,


But how does it work you ask?


Goodness, I thought you’d never ask!


From my understanding, without going in to the technical nuances, the screen is full of these tiny capsules, each with a fluid that contains negatively charged black ink and positively charged white ink. Remarkable 2 has millions of these micro capsules all over the screen.


To generate an image or text a current or charge is sent through to these capsules, almost immediately like tiny soldiers called to attention the black and white pigment will start to arrange themselves to form either a monochromatic image or text.


Remarkable 2 Taken on Nikon Z6


Something magical about this technology is it is bistable, meaning the only time it uses electricity is while it is creating changes on the screen so essentially it can display anything on the screen without using any power or electricity. I wonder, is something still magical once it's been explained?


One issue with these types of screens from my experience is the resolution.


This is something I have complained about with the Kindle Paperwhite, for me, at regular reading distance I am able to discern fuzzy and pixelated edges of the text.


With the Remarkable 2 this is not an issue, in fact the sharpness and clarity of the display has been extremely impressive.

Anyway, lets get over all the technical mumbo jumbo, it's a great product.


Ive been using this for two reasons, firstly my research in to excessive blue light leading to macular degeneration has lead to me cutting down my screen time in general so that essentially meant changing my work set up from the MacBook and iPad to a MacBook and notepad. However, this goes against my efforts to go paperless, this meant I had to find an option that wasn't contributing to migraines, headaches and macular degeneration but is also digital.


Remarkable 2 Taken on Nikon Z6


Enter the Remarkable 2 which has essentially muscled out my iPad Pro from my EDC, having the Remarkable 2 as a handwritten format of data entry along with a laptop has allowed me to maximise not only my productivity but also my memory retention, in fact I have done an episode with Professor Danny Oppenheimer explaining why this might be the case.

Smart Watch



Apple Watch Series 7 + Pitaka Carbon Strap Taken on Nikon Z6


The final fruity (Apple) element to my EDC and one that has really surprised me. We have done so many episodes now its difficult for me to remember what I've said and what I haven't.


Regardless, I will assume I have already mentioned that I have previously ranted about my dislike for the Apple Watch. During my short and fairly sweet ownership of the series 5 I must confess, I thoroughly enjoyed the honeymoon period, the watch looked beautiful and was a game changer in the fitness department. However, this was short lived, love turned to resentment, the constant tapping and nagging on my wrist started to drive me crazy, every message, every insignificant notification I felt purged its way through my shield of impregnable calm and demanded my attention.


This was far from ideal.


Just to get some peace of mind I ended up selling it and returning to my automatic time piece.


A few years later I became engrossed, obsessed almost about the idea of having an Apple Watch. After the release of the Series 7 I took the plunge and got the 45mm midnight aluminium.


I love it.


I've been asking myself why the experience this time has been so substantially different, and to be totally honest, I'm not entirely sure. The Apple Watch kind of reminds me of the first time I tried sushi, I was 13 and tried a supermarket sushi roll, after wretching my guts out in the kitchen bin I vowed never to touch this evil food group again.


Fast forward over a decade and sushi is now one of my favourite foods, why? I really do think it's just as simple as we grow up, we change, our needs will and should never remain static.


At this particular point in my life having easy access to dismiss or attend to particular messages, calls or emails without constantly checking my phone is a load off my shoulders and not only helps with my efficiently but also my day to day anxiety.


Our views may differ but what is inarguable is how fucking cool that strap looks. Ive never been a massive fan of carbon but this pure carbon watch strap from Pitaka has really brought me around. Its light, strong and exceedingly comfortable, I feel as though having a selection of great watch straps to suit different occasions and modes is part of the Apple Watch experience.


Go Wild!



Mechanical Watch



Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue Taken on Nikon Z6


Allow me to straighten this out, do I wear my smart watch and mechanical watch at the same time?


My civilised side would love to quash and quell all insinuations that I might,


however,


I must hang my head in shame and say that sometimes its right hand Apple Watch, left hand time piece.


Sorry, but them just the facts.


For those of you that know, I have a huge problem with watches.


In fact, many friends of mine may make the statement that my career choices have been primarily to facilitate the purchasing of high end watches.


Would I argue with them? Probably not.


As sad as that might be, horology has always given me great pleasure, both from an academic perspective but also kinaesthetically, handling these clockwork computers provides me with happiness.


Amongst my collection of watches I have always had a soft spot for Nomos, and the one in particular I have been wearing pretty much everyday is the Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue.


Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue Taken on Nikon Z6


I believe they come stock on a shell cordovan strap which - at this price point - is crazy, however, as extraordinary as the stock strap is I prefer it on this bracelet, something of which the longer I stare the more I marvel and wonder at how they made the fucking thing.


I have settled on the idea that some kind of witchcraft is a foot here.


Nomos themselves have an exceptional story. I have spoke at great length on this podcast about the watch making heritage of the Swiss and of course the Japanese however the germans should indeed be mentioned in the same breath.


Something I recently learnt is Nomos is "Nomos" means law is greek, as a law grad I find that to be another sign from the ether that Nomos and I were meant to be.


Anyway, enough of this romantic nonsense, lets get down to the facts.


Who are Nomos? in a nut shell - aside from one of my favourite watch brands - they are a German INDEPENDENT watch maker based in Glashutte, they were founded by a gentleman by the name of Roland Schwertner who from what I understand had no experience in the horology industry and was instead a photography and computer enthusiast.


2 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall he decided to start a watch brand and by god are they brilliant.


The simplistic, minimalistic nature of their designs, the Deutcher Werkbund influences that exist in the watches DNA is what I find about Nomos that entices me to reach of their timepiece over the. others in my collection.


In particular the Tetra has a more artistic, architectural Bauhaus feel to it with the square case and dial, it kind of reminds me of my Heuer Monaco but far more elegant and wearable.


Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 Midnight Blue Taken on Nikon Z6


The midnight blue dial has a mystery about it, under varied lighting conditions you see a myriad of shades of blue with a striking hint of organ in the sub dial. I always say this but to do something simply is perhaps one of the most difficult design feats to achieve. Unfornautely designers couple sparsity with elegance and sophistication, to me this design language leads to an underwhelming product that is difficult to form a relationship with.


Nomos are the only watch brand doing simply beautiful watches with respect, passion, utility and character.


I look forward to adding more to my collection!

Keys and Car Key

Orbit Key Key Organiser Taken on Nikon Z6


Rummaging around in my god forsaken rucksack only to hear the sound of keys jangling but find no sign of keys is perhaps one of the most archetypical first world problems I can think of but none the less is a genuine problem in my life.


After much poking and prodding at the world of key organisation implements, experiencing with key cases, wraps, rings and folios I fell on what I find to be the best option, the OrbitKey key organiser its a perfect example of a simple product worth more then the sum of its parts.


First and foremost, its beautifully designed, my particular example is wrapped in sumptuous black leather, it helps keep my keys not only together but in a pre ordained order, for example, my house key is on the top of the pile while my garage key is at the bottom, ordered in frequency of use.


This particular set up I have has a little multi tool in it too, one I thought id never use if im completely honest but damn, I use it at least 15 times a week to cut boxes open, pry stuff apart and crack open bottles.


This piece is the perfect example of a brilliant cost to performance ratio, very affordable yet affords me with effortless and stylish organisation.

External Keyboard



Nuphy Air 75 Taken on Nikon Z6

For as long as I can recall I have always been a hater, a hater of those damn ridiculous smartphone keyboards!


My gripe isn't because I think smartphone keyboards are rubbish, quite the contrary, my issue is any keyboard that reduces your data entry bandwidth from 10 fingers to 2 thumbs. I wouldn't say im a terribly fast typist, my WPM (word super minute) is around 135 respectively. At that speed I am able to essentially type as fast as ideas or thoughts are coming through. Any slower then I am unable to create any type of creative flow, my frustration grows and we can kiss any decent result good bye.


I used to use the Apple Magic Keyboard which is a really great option, its slim, sleek and extremely compatible with an Apple fan boy (me). But I must concede, I thoroughly enjoy a keyboard with a measurable amount of travel in each key but yet doesn't require the force of a greek god to press.


Enter the Nuphy Air 75 keyboard. With regards to build quality, it is truly an equal to the Magic Keyboard, a beautifully machined aluminium chassis provides the keyboard with a reassuring rigidity while typing. In fact, this is the keyboard I am using to write this post!

External Mouse



Pointer Instrument Taken on Nikon Z6

This mouse is no joke.


I’m sure that everyone has an experience of using one of those £10 injection moulded plastic mouses that provide you with minor lacerations every time you run your finger against a joint.


I think I can speak for everyone and say its not pleasant.


I view items like a keyboard or a mouse as my tools, they are tools to help and encourage me to conduct my work in an effective and enjoyable fashion.


To say this mouse is exquisitely finished would be a grand understatement, it is hand made in London of peerlessly polished aluminium and flawless full grain leather. Although its not as functional as the ever popular MX Master mouse I find a lot of that functionality is lost on me, as I guess it would with most users.


What I do value in an external mouse is the ergonomics, since I suffer from carpal tunnel an ergonomically adequate mouse is absolutely an essential and the Lunar mouse ticks all the boxes for me in that department. The last thing I would like to say which should sum up my thoughts and feelings on this product is it really doesn’t lend itself very well to being a travel mouse, nevertheless I have relished the experience of it as a desktop mouse that I now deal with the size inconvenience and carry it around with me. Need I say more?



Wireless Earphones/Headphones

Cleer Audio Ally Plus II Taken on Nikon Z6


Did you guys know that the Apple AirPods have become Apples largest selling product, ever?


When I heard that I experienced a simultaneous feeling of shock and palpability, I mean, I guess it makes sense, its a relatively cheap product for Apple and therefore highly accessible.


That thought then lead me down a rabbit hole of trying to understand why, what makes them so damn special? They don't sound especially brilliant, they aren't especially cheap and arguably they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing.


As an owner of the AirPods Pro I definitely see merit to their ownership, but for £250 its pretty exorbitant.



Cleer Audio Ally Plus II Taken on Nikon Z6


As the world of true wireless is exploding, people are trading wires for convenience, the youth of today know not of the dreaded entanglement of wires that everyone pulled out of their lint filled pockets.


It was almost like a rite of passage, if you can some how work out how to untangle these fucking earphones then you are worthy to listen to your tunes.


By time I have undone and solved the mysteries of the universe I would be so frustrated I needed my music just to relax and calm me down, nothing like the sound of James Brown reverberating in to my ears to do just that job.


Anyway, I digress, as usual.


The industry has moved so much further than just AirPods, we have Sony, Bose, Bowers and Wilkins and others all getting in on the action. But there is another lesser known name that has been close to my heart for a while called Cleer Audio.


Cleer Audio Alpha Taken on Nikon Z6


From what I can gather, the ethos over at Cleer is to create well made, thoughtfully designed products that perform well above their price point, and good lord have they achieved just that.


The two items in particular that have pervaded their way in to my EDC is the Cleer Audio Ally Plus II and the Alpha headphones.


I must say I am stunned.


The value for money is rather mind boggling, typically when dealing with products that undercut their competitors in price, you find them cutting corners in a particular department. For my experience with products like the JDS Labs Atom they decide to sacrifice design and build quality for a superior internal components.


Cleer Audio Alpha Taken on Nikon Z6


This doesn't seem to be the case, the Alpha headphones in particular are built , although perhaps laking the highly design nature of the Bose NC 700 I would say that the caliber of materials used in on par with anything Sony or Bose are knocking out.


Premium soft touch plastics, cold metals and soft leathers padded with memory foam. The same can be said for the Ally Plus II, however, im not entirely sure if im a huge fan of the window on the case but thats down to personal taste.


Cleer Audio Alpha Taken on Nikon Z6


When it comes down to sheer performance I would say the Alpha's reminds me very much of the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones in sound signature, clear, articulate but with a impactful and strong bass, a brilliantly crowd pleasing sound signature. Compared to the AirPods Pro I would say the sound of the Ally Plus II is fairly similar but the Ally Plus has more depth and a larger sound stage.


On both products the noise cancelling is profound, albeit the Bose just edge out the Alpha and the AirPods Pro building less pressure in the ear canal but is the difference large enough to justify the significantly higher price? I don't think so.


To be fair, aside from these I am extremely interested in the Final UX3000, but maybe that will be a future blog post!


If you are based in the UK please refer to this link for the Cleer Audio Alpha and Cleer Audio Ally Plus II.

Premium IEM's

Final A8000 Taken on Nikon Z6


Along with either a wireless earphone or headphone I will always carry around a premium or audiophile level in ear monitor.


Why?


A couple reasons.


With my life I am mostly on the go and have very little time to sit and enjoy the sonic prowess of my headphones at home. Having a pair of IEM’s with me allows me to have that experience wherever I am.


But the primary reason I keep a pair with me is for editing episodes. Regardless of how great Apple, Sony, Bose or Clear Audio might be, there is still a lack of clarity and quite significant colouration which provides an inaccurate reproduction of the sound. When I am editing episodes I need to hear exactly what the audio will be like.


For a while my choice IEM has been the Campfire Audio Solaris, the first IEM to take my breath away and provide me with a border line spiritual experience.


However, after receiving the Final Audio A8000 IEM’s things have changed for me. Are these as powerful in the low end as the Solaris?


Absolutely not.


Regardless, what I find mind blowing about these earphones is the sheer transparency and detail that these delivery without being fatiguing, sharp or shrill. Their ability to image and soundstage is nothing short of scary.


Closing my eyes and playing Ludovico Einaudi - I Giorni I find myself transported to a private concert where Einaudi is perched just to the right playing in his effortless, cursively Italian fashion. It is in these moments where my environment, my stresses and concerns drop away, floating gently to the ground like a feather, leaving me immersed within the music.


What the Final A8000's do for me is tear down any barriers between the music and I, providing me with an unadulterated, shockingly honest presentation of the music I love. It almost feels as though I'm listening to a track I've heard a thousand times, for the first time.


If you are based in the UK please refer to this link for the Final A8000.


Wallet



Ettinger Bridle Hide Card Holder Taken on Nikon Z6


With the introduction of Apple Pay - or any respective android alternative - do people still carry around a wallet? Well if you arent then for god sake do yourself a favour and invest in one!


I can't tell you the amount of times I have committed to the future of technology and left the house with no wallet, confident in the super computer in my pocket only to find that I can't book my Uber home because my bloody phone has died.


Jump on a bus you say?


Negative, I have no credit cards because I foolishly thought old boy Steve Jobs had my back. My final option is to walk in to a cab office and deal with some trusty cash, but wait, I am a millennial, and no self respecting child of tomorrow would dare be caught with anything as archaic as cash!


For those of you accusing me of being over dramatic, to you I say, what's the point of having a blog if I can't dramatise a simple situation?!


Do I love technology, of course I do, but I am a strange fellow, I am just as ardent a fan of beautiful craftsmanship and tradition. I still remember the first wallet I received, I was 12, about to join high school and needed something to carry some pocket money and my oyster to commute to school.


Just as an aside, for my international readers, I didn't carry shellfish with me, an oyster is a card that we use to use public transport like buses and trains.


The acquisition of this folding piece of leather had similar significance that my first watch did, it signified adulthood and freedom, a rite of passage if you will, from boy to man. Ever since I have always carried a wallet, although the formats of wallets I carry have evolved greatly but I have no settled on a fairly brilliant system.


First and fore most, as you guys have noticed from my previous 5 essential items blog post, I have an affinity for Ettinger, a UK based leather good brands that is steeped history and royal warrants. In fact, I would not hesitate to say that they are by far my favourite leather good brand right now and have been for at least 5 years. Trust me when I say I have tried many wallets, ranging from high street shit i.e the Topman's and Zara's all the way to Louis Vuitton and Goyard and there is a reason why I went through a 3 year stint without changing my Ettinger card holder, because it really is a bit better then the rest. After having my previous Ettinger card holder for just over 5 years I have now changed it, and finally we get to my system.


For every day use I stick with a slim card holder, the one I carry is the Ettinger Bridle Hide Flat Credit Card Case. Rather different to its predecessor, the nature of Bridle Hide provides the leather with a beautiful sheen and immaculate finish. I have noticed this finish seems to lend itself to charmingly saturated colours, my example has an exceedingly deep black and a wonderfully vibrant yellow.


Back to the point, slipping the card holder in to my trouser pocket or backpack is extremely convenient. However, at least twice a week I find myself either at a dinner or some kind of event that requires me to ditch my tech uniform of t-shirt, chinos and sneakers and exchange it for a blazer, shirt and trousers. I might be alone in this but hear me out, I find the exposed nature of the cards in a card holder to lack a certain degree of finesse and elegance.


My favourite wallet format has been the slim card case, it has the satisfying folding element of a billfold wallet but the size and practicality of a card holder. Slipping something like the Capra Slim Card Case in your inside jacket pocket really steps things up a notch and in the black colour I must say, it makes me feel like James Bond.


Ettinger Slim Card Case Taken on Nikon Z6



Pill Case



Ettinger Capra Pill Case Taken on Nikon Z6


Perhaps one of my favourite items in this entire EDC.


Over the last couple of years I find myself having to carry out an inordinate amount of meds, vitamins and supplements. I used to use a pill case I purchased from Muji but unfortunately it would regularly open in my backpack and wasn't the most attractive nor satisfying thing to handle mutiltple times a day.


I have already explained and justified my love for Ettinger so upgrading to the Ettinger Pill Case has now turned a some what depressing and asinine procedure of taking my allotted meds for the day in to something I look forward to.


Aside from the genuinely beautiful craftsmanship in the leather work and silver stamping the level of bona fide practicality of this pill case is astonishing. One of the biggest issues with other pill cases ive owned and used is the commonality of all of the days meds to be jumbled together, leaving the task of knowing what pill to take when during the day almost impossible. The inclusion of adjustable dividers in each little sleeve is huge for me.


Thank you again Ettinger for making my life that much better.



Tech Survival Kit + Extra Essentials





I won't be going in to a tremendous amount of detail about this but I always carry my tech survival kit in this beautiful Richard James leather folio. Its the perfect size to fit the items I need with me, As of right now these are the items I am carrying in the bag sleeve!


Aside from what is in the pouch, since I mentioned my Apple Watch I think I would be remiss to mention other wearables that I wear with as well.


As I am sure you guys know, I am a big fan of jewellery - not that plasticky fashion bullshit you buy that enviably ends up in the Turkish landfill mountain - it has to be precious, silver, gold or platinum to be precise.


I find jewellery a brilliant way to express your personality is an extremely permanent way, your clothing you change day to day but your adornments can last a life time. On my right hand I wear a white gold Cartier Love Bangle and a Stephen Einhorn white gold cuff. as rings I wear a white gold Cartier love ring on my middle finger, a white gold Ruffs signet ring on my pinky and on my left hand rests my Boodles platinum engagement ring. There will be some interesting further additions to my capsule jewellery collection shortly from Deakin and Francis.


On my face, as of right now are my favourite glasses when using my computer, my Tom Davies bespoke acetate frames.


I hope you guys understand why I have blitzed through this section, there will be a future blog post exploring all those items and more in a lot more detail. But for now, I bid you all adieu, thank you for your time and attention, I hope you are all staying safe and more importantly, staying curious.




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