Here are objects I like. It feels to me that having good objects is underrated.

General rules I follow:

  • It’s okay to pay for something if it gives you more value than however-much-the-subscription costs.
  • Minimize unnecessary physical objects, but don’t be afraid of having good ones around.

Other People’s Objects

Other people have good objects, too. Many of them are probably better than mine. An incomplete list:

(I wonder if there should be a central list for this, or something.)

The Physical

Physical objects are very annoying. They have to be moved, stored, gotten from another room, etc. But some of them are worth it.


  • MacBook Pro 16”, 2021. It’s good.
  • AirPods Pro for wireless earbuds that don’t hurt my ears over time
  • iPad + Pencil + a paper-like screen protector for Anki, scratch writing, and RemNote review (currently)
  • Kindle for reading (coupled with Calibre + USB transfer for ebooks)
    • I have the Kindle KT7, but there are better models these days.
  • Spectre C35 for an external monitor
    • There are better monitors out there, but this one was a nice balance of cost and performance for me.
  • Magnetic USB-C adapter to make plugging in and out ridiculously convenient
  • Ergodox EZ for an incredibly quality keyboard that doesn’t squish my hands
  • Logitech G602 for a fairly speedy wireless mouse
  • Flexispot Motorized Standing Desk Converter for an effective standing desk that can fit in a dorm
  • A good USB-C hub for a desk setup where you can plug in and out with just one cable
  • A USB charging station with enough ports to top off every single device I own at a time

Environmental Augments


  • Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 Electric Scooter for a lightweight, portable, zero-effort, and fun way to make short trips (<10 mi) without the overhead of owning a car
    • You may ask: why not a bike? Well, I’m lazy, and also bikes tend to get stolen fairly often on campus where I am (scooters avoid this since you can store them in your room when not in use).
    • You may also ask: why not a used car? Well, cars require a lot of maintenance, are expensive to buy and park, pollute the environment, and ultimately I don’t make enough long-distance trips that it’s worthwhile (I can go with someone else, or take the Caltrain to most anywhere). Plus, I don’t trust my driving skills that much.
    • For more on why electric scooters are cool, see The Rise of the Electric Scooter.
    • Note: this scooter might not be the optimal one for you (it was for me due to needing light weight + high range + cheap). To compare scooters, check out ESG’s Electric Scooter Database. Another very good option is the Segway Ninebot MAX G30LP. A cheaper option is the Xiaomi M365.
    • This scooter also isn’t officially sold in the US, so you’ll have to buy from a third-party seller and won’t be able to use the warranty (although in practice, most scooter issues can be solved by hand and don’t require warranty service).
    • Related:
      • Kryptonite Mini-7 with Flex Lock (Wirecutter’s best bike lock, although bike locks are sort of useless)
      • WingLights for turn signals
      • A cheapo $10 phone mount on Amazon, for Google Maps navigation
      • Bontrager Solstice Bike Helmet (Wirecutter’s best bike helmet)
      • Tile Sticker as a tracker in case it gets lost (a better option for iPhone users is likely AirTags)
      • Custom firmware to enable direct power control rather than the jumpy default speed-control throttle
        • Essentially, this makes the throttle control power like a car, rather than adjusting a target speed.
        • This also removes the speed limit, so be warned.
      • Silicone caulk + tape to seal all water ingress points for DIY waterproofing
    • Obligatory safety information
      • ALWAYS wear a helmet when riding! Scooters are far closer to a car than a bike due to the indirect control (via a throttle rather than your feet), and they are far more unstable than bikes as well. If you hit a curb at 15 MPH without a helmet, you will experience instant death (or at least a lot of pain).
      • Consult your local regulations before purchasing. Here in California, you need a driver’s license to ride one, and you can’t ride on the sidewalk or on roads with a speed limit over 25 MPH (unless there’s a bike lane). As of 2021, they are banned on all public roads in the UK. Try not to violate the law!
      • And make sure to register your scooter with the local bike registration service! In case it gets stolen.

The Digital

A note: many of these apps are Apple-only. This is kind of unfortunate. I suspect there are alternatives that are about as good on Windows, though.


  • Krisp for never having to worry about noise in video calls again
  • macOS-only:
    • Things for a low-effort and pretty way to capture tasks
      • Shout out to Emacs Org Mode, though, which I used for several years prior.
    • Alfred for a slightly faster Spotlight
    • Karabiner-Elements for fixing macOS’s insane keyboard problems
    • SensibleSideButtons to fix the forward/back buttons on my mouse
    • Rectangle for window hotkeys
    • Dropover for making drag and drop ridiculously easy
    • MultiTimer for naming timers and counters
    • Intermission for resting eyes every 20 minutes to avoid eye strain
    • AlDente to limit the maximum charge percentage to 60% when plugged in, preserving battery life in the long term
  • Linux-only:
    • i3 for an efficient tiling window manager. (Sway is another option, but Wayland still has a lot of rough edges wrt screen sharing and cursor lag, so I wouldn’t recommend unless it’s required, e.g. for a mixed DPI setup.)
      • Flameshot for a powerful snipping tool
      • Redshift for making screens nicer in the dark
      • kitti3 for a quake-style dropdown terminal in i3
      • xidlehook for a better idle locker daemon
    • PulseEffects + Pipewire for noise suppression that’s only slightly buggier and lower quality than Krisp


  • Anki for learning a language (currently Chinese!)
  • RemNote for a powerful knowledge base and amazing flashcard system
    • I tried Roam. It was okay, but it felt kind of cobbled-together (markdown? paste random js into your editor to add plugins? no spaced repetition by default?). RemNote is definitely buggier, but I feel that it wins out just because it seems like it got the data structure right.
  • Instapaper for queuing things to be read later without getting distracted in the moment
  • Mathpix Snip for amazing screenshot-to-LaTeX abilities
  • macOS-only:
    • GoodNotes for handwritten notetaking
    • Apple Books for a book syncing system that works well enough
      • I also used to use Calibre, but I realized that I don’t really need all of its complexity.



  • Element for an open-source, end-to-end encrypted chat application with nice UX


For More Information

If you have any questions about stuff here, or just want to talk, feel free to reach out any time.