Hand-crafted sound system for iPod

This looks like a real space saver for those of us worried about clutter in our work and home spaces. The Vers 2x is one of the first compact sound systems for iPod which is priced within my meagre monetary means [$149.00US] and doesn’t look like it belongs in the Bed Supper Club. Sorry Apple but this looks better than your effort. The Vers 2x is made with hand-crafted cherry veneer – displacing 80% of what would have been plastic – and requires over a week to build. Obviously you need more than a great cabinet to create wonderful sounding speakers and to this end this system uses a clean class D amplifier driving 2 3″ 15 watt speakers which feature a dual port design for richer bass. This Vers 2x includes a 14 function remote with 25′ range, compatibility with most iPods, and a 3.5mm stereo input which allows compatibility with other mp3 players.
More information here. Purchase it here. More pictures after the jump.

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Beautiful iPhone and iPod touch wallpaper

Replace the standard and boring wallpaper on your iPhone or iPod Touch with this selection created by designers and illustrators from around the world. Curated by Poolga. These are the next devices whose ‘desktops’ we will be fanatical about customizing. View and download at Poolga

Unique iPod cases by Tinbot

Tinbot, the ultimate collectors iPod case is designed to add some flavor to your favorite mp3 playing gadget. Constructed from durable tin and shock-resistant neoprene with exterior artwork created by some of their favorite world-renowned artists. Unique attractive case to protect you iPod. More pictures after the jump. Via Trendinsights.

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TaskWatch whiteboard

A simply great idea. Map your reminders, task lists, and notes more intuitively to a specific time. My long term goals and tasks live on my whiteboard and I could see this easily replacing my current paper based daily agenda. It feels like a more natural process for me to actually write out my schedule on paper or a whiteboard than using one of the seemingly endless software based solutions.
As suggested by Apartment Therapy, you don’t have to wait to see the TaskWatch in stores as this is the perfect at home DIY project. Grab yourself a whiteboard (we have at least three in our home), a clock mechanism, drill a hole, and create something to represent the face of your clock and you are set.
More infor. on Art. Lebedev Studio’s TaskWatch whiteboard.

Room divider – Designers Eye Wall

Beyond what you can fit on or under your desk I tend to take only a passing interest in sharing design finds for an office workspace. I do think it’s important and interesting but their are plenty of people more knowledgeable than myself writing about this topic.
Being a mobile worker doesn’t always have to entail working in a café, airport lounge, hotel, or the beach (a dream) but for me it also means being able to quickly set-up my office in the kitchen, living-room, or on the roof of our house. This room divider allows you to redefine your workspace while giving you the privacy and (sometime) isolation you need. And it looks great too.
The Designers Eye Wall is a flexible screen system with sound absorbing wadding, covered with felted 100 % wool. Rolls up for easy storage and transport. The 50-inch-long screens come in two heights (57 and 69 inches), and join together at the ends magnetically, so that you can make as long a Wall as you want. Prices range from $595 – 699 depending on height.
Some other ideas:
Inhabit Triptic Slats Hanging Panels
Textile softwall by forsythe and macallen
Herman Miller Eames Molded Plywood Folding Screen

Mobile power strip

One of the typical scenes I encounter when siting in an airport lounge or popular café is the search and fight over power. It’s amusing and sad to see people roaming around frantic, power brick in hand, looking for that elusive free power plug. If you have multiple devices to charge or power, forget it. Unless of course you take with you what just might be a must have accessory for those traveling with multiple gadgets. The Monster Cable Outlet is small and compact, making it, unlike what you might have in your office, a viable addition to your travel bag. It might be a great space saver for you presentation go-bag too. It features 4-6 outlets, resettable circuit breaker, and cord management to eliminate dangling power cords. This might just win you some kudos if you can share your access to those valuable power plugs.
More information here.

25+ tips to being happy

Everybody gets moody. That’s why people go on diets, spend too much money for clothes, or suck up to popular people – because they think it will make them happy! That happiness often proves to come to us! However, if you get to know people around you, you will see what makes the happiest people crazy.

This is a theme not an indication of my current state of mind. For a variety of reasons I am working on getting healthy. As with any good advice it’s common sense, good health has a positive effect on many aspects of your life.

Be healthy. Give your body and mind what it most needs in order to function in an “optimal” way. “Optimal” in this case means being the healthiest you can be, and the most psychologically balanced you can be. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and ensure that you get all the vital vitamins and minerals that your body requires for its optimal biochemical functioning. Supplement your diet with the appropriate vitamins and minerals if necessary. Get plenty of exercise. This will prompt the production of the “feel good” hormones that make you feel happy (endorphins). Plus, there are all the other obvious fitness and disease fighting benefits, too numerous to mention here


How to Become Happier

Happiness is not the shallow state of feeling pleased and chipper all the time. Happiness is the state of a human being that has achieved cross-level coherence within herself, and between herself and the people, challenges, and institutions around her. Happiness comes from between.

Link. Via 37s.

Investing in Feeling Good

Playing with my kids feels great. Reading a book and organizing my day gets me into the flow. Follow the Simple Dollar’s list of suggestions via the link below.

My average morning starts off with a shower, a small and energetic breakfast, some logic puzzles, and then, eventually, a period of time with my kids. This is an awesome way to start the day – it fills me with energy, improves my personal appearance, invigorates me, and gives me a taste of the activity I enjoy most in my life, playing with my children.
See if you can’t identify a thing or two you can do in the morning to start your day off with a positive mindset.


The Market Bag

Shaped somewhat like a pleated skirt, The Market Bag’s “a pretty big bag for carrying big pretty things (laptops, books, more books, ipods, iphones)”. You’ll love the carefully stitched seams, the durable material and the understated styling…” Moop’s The Market Bag is made from navy blue heavy weight twill and lined in gray cotton. There are 6 pockets on the inside and 2 d-rings for keys and phones and pouches.

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iStick concept

Alexei Mikhailov’s iStick. The iPod shuffle’s big brother.

Big square icons and Coverflow let you navigate the Mac way. What’s interesting is his surface design. All four surfaces are touchscreens which could present some interesting and unique interface design. The integrated WIFI also enables you to browse iTunes.

Fanciful at best but I’m a sucker for neat concepts and renderings. More picts after the jump.

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Red Rose 17″ laptop bag

Style trumps protection. If Valentines day hadn’t past this might make a geeky gift for you laptop toting significant other. Kajsa Rydberg’s Red Rose laptop bag features an embroidered design and is manufactured with a 4mm Memory Foam inner and 3mm Neoprene outer. It’s simple and attractive. £62 at funktionalley.

Coworking: a definition

Co-working is the popular new way to affordably share a proper office with like-minded professionals. Rather than rent an entire office yourself, a number of independents rent an office together.
Why co-working?
Most co-working arrangements are a mix of café culture and shared office space. They provide that important “home base” and a professional place to meet clients, a huge step up from the usual loud, messy, and disorganized laptop-and-cellphone-in-Starbucks.
Co-working also gives independents all the benefits of a room full of peers — keeping up with the latest industry news, people to turn to when you’re stuck, and someone to buy you a birthday cake — without the tedium of office politics. Let’s face it, not everyone can stand being alone all day long!

Thanks to FreshThinking

Coworking going mainstream

This kind of arrangement would solve many problems for me. An office with office mates without the politics and exorbitant rent. Alas, excluding small sme incubators, there is nothing of this kind in Taiwan.

Contemplating his career path a couple of years ago, a young computer programmer named Brad Neuberg faced a modern predicament. “It seemed I could either have a job, which would give me structure and community,” he said, “or I could be freelance and have freedom and independence. Why couldn’t I have both?”
As someone used to hacking out solutions, Mr. Neuberg took action. He created a word — coworking, eliminating the hyphen — and rented space in a building, starting a movement.
While coworking has evolved since Mr. Neuberg’s epiphany in 2005, dozens of places around the country and increasingly around the world now offer such arrangements, where someone sets up an office and rents out desks, creating a community of people who have different jobs but who want to share ideas.

Link. Via Robert Paterson’s Weblog.

How to deal with long flights


As someone who regularly has to travel 24 hours or more, I can say with some certainty that no matter what you do it’s going to feel a bit like torture. With the luxuries or first class outside mine and most peoples reach, we need to make the best of a challenging experience.

There are some strategies I use that help make the experience more pleasant.

During the flight

  • Get plenty of sleep during and before the flight. For long flights try to travel at night when you naturally feel like sleeping. Traveling is exhausting, sleep will allow your body to rejuvenate and repair itself. I don’t recommend self-medicating, but some people report some success using Melatonin to help regulate heir sleep patterns.
  • Drink plenty of fluids as you can get dehydrated quickly inside a plane. If I don’t drink I can see a noticeable difference in my skin. When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrated. Severe dehydration can even lead to death, but most often you are going to feel sluggish, irritable, weak and may suffer from headaches.
  • Do as much stretching as possible and get up and walk around whenever you can. Avoid sitting with crossed legs. This is far more convenient if you are able to snag an aisle seat. I hate stepping over people all the time.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks during the flight as they will lead to dehydration and tiredness. I cheat a bit with a cup of green tea before arrival. I also try to stick to warm drinks when I can – it’s a habit I picked up from living in Taiwan. Lastly, avoid tomato juice. Why tomato juice? It’s full of sodium. This I remembered thanks to a helpful stewardess who shook her head when I considered it as a drink choice. Rely on your stewardess, they are full of information.
  • Eat light meals during and before the flight to avoid an upset stomach. Since you are immobile during the flight it’s hard to allow proper digestion. Despite having experienced great onboard service, I always feel much worse after eating a big meal. Even the best food is relatively unappetizing. Eat light snacks, fruits and a fresh salad instead (airlines would have to work hard at getting fruit wrong). Lately I’ve taken this further with avoiding in-fight food all together. I bring some nuts to keep me satiated and just continue to drink water. I arrive hungry, but refreshed, and ready to eat whatever is offered locally.
  • Take your shoes off and wear loose socks. Your feet and ankles swell immensely on long haul flights – even with exercise. This will increase your comfort (it took a couple days to remove the ‘cuts’ from my socks after one particular flight) and reduce your chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Upon arrival

  • Eat a light protein rich meal at the local time zone meal time. Make it fresh and avoid processed foods. This will help your body recover and not further stress it with greasy, hard to digest food.
  • Reset your watch. Don’t think about it, just immediately adhere to the new timezone.
  • Drink as much water as time and your patience will allow, 5 plus glasses should be your target.
  • Exercise!
  • Go to bed when everyone else in your new time zone goes to bed. It’s important to disciplined about your sleep time. You may be surprised just how fast you adjust to the new time zone.

As I find travelling light adds to my comfort, so I don’t recommend bulking up with books and magazines or carrying many devices. A decent airline will provide you with enough entertainment to get you through 3-4 hrs of idle time with a kindle or iPad helping you get through the rest. And when you land you will appreciate the reduced weight on your shoulders.

Photo via ton3vita.