2018-10-29

simple living

examples and inspiration

cardboard or other boxes, open or closed, for storing objects in shelves. separate boxes for objects that are needed frequently or rarely. depending on the environment eventually foldable or sealable plastic boxes

shelves that are lightweight, relatively easy to carry and quick to assemble without tools. there are shelves with only two different types of parts that are sticked together

velcro band cut to custom lengths for cables

camping mat and small grain pillow

metal camping plates

water-ammonia absorption refrigerator for silence in small apartments. often marketed to hotels as mini bar fridge. they are absolutely silent, not even bubbling, electricity hum or anything. energy requirment is ok

mini oven with a layer of aluminum foil on the inside to make cleaning easier

bag holder stands for large garbage bags. bag size can be varied for type of garbage

opal glas cups. bright translucent white and more robust than porcelain and doesnt affect the taste and practically doesnt degrade, like ceramic

synthetic materials for clothing. temperature control, resistant, quick drying, no ironing, stretch materials ease movement, generate almost no dust, lightweight even when wet, cloth-eating insects hate it

clothes stored in boxes in a shelf. parts rolled to save space. separate boxes for seasonal or rarely needed clothes

neoprene shoes (aquashoes, watersport. lightweight, water resistant on the full surface, easy to clean, no shoelaces or velcro (both which offers surface for dirt to collect), stretch material, flexible and thick-enough sole, good grip and natural feel, very cheap. downsides: no protection for if anything falls on the feet, might wear down quicker because sole usually made from softer materials, might be slippery on wet surfaces

drying clothes with air by hanging them up. works in 1-3 days

powder food / future food. like plenny or soylent shakes. contains all needed nutrients. at least potentially optimal nutrition. can be alternated with other healthy food. it works, many people are already using it long-term. no other type of food can compare in optimum nutrition, space saving, price, simple and fast preparation, quick consumption and long shelf-life (a year or more). never be hungry, because full meals can be always available. eventually makes almost all kitchen appliances unnecessary (fridge, freezer, stove, microwave, blender, ...). lower detrimental environmental effects than other types of food (trash, transport, ...)

zip-lock bags to protect electronic devices in rain

matte adhesive foil instead of curtains. cant be seen through. because they do not need any attachments on the wall and are thin, they save space that would be lost by having a curtain in front of the window. no regular cleaning necessary

fixed gear bicycle with commonly available and cheap parts. cheaper for low weight. parts much easier to service. less things to think about when riding, less things to maintain, no shifters to adjust, bigger chain etc. under 11kg, under 600 euro. far lower recurring costs compared to a car (typically 300+ euro / month). if with gears then frictionless shifters

tabletop lamps and flashlight

pop-up tent that builds up by itself and can be folded back together in seconds

earplugs for reduced noise

noise insulating earphones that go in deep like earplugs

add haptical and visual markers where useful. for example a piece of tape, maybe colored or glow in the dark, can help differentianting things more easily

headphones with a flat frequency response and minimal sound coloration. this lets the source material as much as possible control the sound without any extra, fixed standard distortions usually build into headphones and speakers. etymotic and akg may be good brands for this

electric cars have much fewer parts than other cars and should require less maintenance

tiles with no or small gaps on floor and walls. the easiest to clean and most resistant

microfibre and maybe an air cleaner to avoid dust particles in the room. for example take a strong flashlight, darken the room, turn on the flashlight, what is floating in the air - lots of dust? is it everywhere in the room? that is what you are breathing. is that bad? might be. fine dust particulates are known to create lung cancer (any residues from combustion, exhaust, asbestos, textile dust). coal power plants, neighbors burning wood for heating and industry emissions are significant killers

battery driven handheld vaccuum. vacuuming in straight lines and checking with a flashlish the dust left

mop for hard floors, no fancy stuff. for large spaces check out professional gear used for cleaning schools or something. mopping uses water to solve and loosen dirt that the vacuum can not get. always vacuum before mopping. prepare two containers, one with clean water and one empty for dirty water. wet the floor to let dirt mix with the water, then mop over it to loosen it and soak up the dirty water, release the water into the dirt water container, repeat until the floor is dry enough

monitor desk mount. a metal arm to reversibly attach to the table and monitor. not expensive. the monitor must have vesa screw holes, which many do. takes very little space on the table, perhaps 6 square centimeters, and can offer a maximum of ergonomic flexibility. the monitor can be turned around or rotated out of the way and it cant fall over

white daylight led or cfl light bulbs (usually better color reproduction index). can help staying more productive in the evening

outside accesible harddrive slots. makes backups and replacements easy. with the direct sata connection transmission rates are just like with internal drives

camping equipment

mobile mini hotplate

speak english. life is simpler if more people can speak the same language and understand each other

program in scheme

exercise. it is important for keeping up the efficiency and strength of the heart, lungs, blood flow and many other parts of the system. less breathing is required even when resting or with less air in the environment, movement and good posture becomes easier, bone structure hardens. within limits, trained bodies are healthier than untrained bodies and aid a longer life. "what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable"

tower computers or mini-pcs have benefits in extendability, replacable parts and performance. the parts are more widely available and easier to replace. laptops might not last as long and if one part breaks, like just a fan, the part might be irreplacable or hard to get and it might be easier to buy a complete new laptop. prefer passive cooling components or large fans and ssd drives to ideally have no noise emissions. i get the best cooling with a single big fan in the case which is at the top of the case, blowing upwards, right above the cpu cooler

black isolation tape to cover leds

good office chair. a chair molds the body. can cost 300 euro or more but usually last a long time (10y or longer)

wall-colored doors

silent computer mouse that makes less audible clicking noises

avoid recurring costs and contracts. avoid long-term contracts, you never know what will happen. make payments in larger intervals, for example bi-yearly, yearly. cleans up the bank statement

try to never make any debt ever. the worst that can happen without debt is being without money. with debt it can get worse because it is less than nothing

enough backup drives to have at least two backups of all data you would not want to have lost. mix different types of storage, flash/magnetic/optical/m-discs/etc

slim keyboard with flat laptop keys. flat keys usually easier to press from all approach directions. smaller keyboards often have a numpad on the letters accessible via fn key, whoever needs it. more room to have the keyboard almost in the center and the mouse right next to it. typical keyboards are big with more useless keys

non-qwerty keyboard layout. i used dvorak for several years before i switched to qgmlwb and given that qgmlwb is more colemak like, i would probably recommend colemak. using a too uncommon layout has downsides when being on computers of other people or for on-site coding challenges for job interviews

external dac (digital to analog converter, basically a sound card) sound card and headphone amplifier combination (may be built in). sound cards can make a huge sound difference. audio equipment can be very expensive, a dac can easily cost between 50 and 10000 euro. quality is influenced for example by a combination of resolution (how much can be reproduced at the same time and how clearly), dynamics (how quickly it can change frequencies without slurring so to say) and frequency response (if x goes in what comes out). as a sound enthusiast i would buy in a 500 to "what you can afford" range

alternatives

air mattress

  • con: air has to be refilled about once per month. will get punctured sooner or later. made of plastics which might contain health affecting chemicals
  • pro: can be quite comfortable, easy to clean, easy to carry, easy to throw out, easily moved

sleeping bags: more of a hassle to get in and out, harder to clean

modafinil/coffee/tea

peltier/electricity based refrigerators use much more energy (3x) and sometimes have a fan

common refrigerators make loud compressor noises

cloth stand and hangers: more of a hassle than open boxes

microwave/oven combinations are expensive, heavy, and not good at any of the two modes

wallpaper: very easy to scratch or discolorated by contact with other objects. can grow mold easily. hassle to put on and remove, have to be repainted or replaced regularly. never looks as clean as stone

big tile gaps. a traditional style choice. the gaps are less mold resistant and much harder to clean. soak in liquids. makes it look less-uniform and gives areas a distracting, never quite clean/comfortable look

speakers are better at producing low frequencies, but room configuration, materials, placement and position in front of the speakers have great influence on the sound that is heared. i find speakers impractical since the room reflections add a significant room dependent standard distortion that is hard to control. and loud music can easily annoy neighbors, especially subwoofers