Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance

Owning: Things I Own

I was trying to write a EDC article, but realized that I don't even carry keys very often.

Digital Gadgets

  • MacBook (2015): Portability is king. Trust me. I can go hiking with this bad boy.

  • iPad pro (first gen): For hand-writing/drawing and occasional YouTubing. Bought this for college. Served perfectly for the cause.

  • iPhone X: Why not.

  • Apple Watch Series 4: Fantastic for health tracking, weather tracking, and dictating reminders.

  • Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones: Best noise-canceling device I could purchase early 2019.

  • Gigabyte FORCE K83 Mechanical Keyboard: My first mechanical keyboard. Great tactile, great price (got for $50 from Amazon).

  • Apple Airpods Pro: Immediately became my daily driver now.

Degradation of MacBook battery. The MacBook is showing some wear after 4 years of heavy use, especially on the battery. Around late 2018, I started to notice reduced capacity in the battery, and the battery icon in the menu bar started shouting "service battery" out of blue. In January 2019, I started monitoring remaining full charge capacity with CoconutBattery every so often. In December 2019, it happened for a couple of times that the battery dies with a remaining charge of 30% or 60%. Similar sudden deaths happened to my previous phone (an iPhone 6, for your information) after 3 years of use. Such incidents warrant a replacement in battery, which would mean a cost of $200. This might not sound awfully too expensive, but it might be avoided if I elect this old MacBook to be my new home server and keep it on its charger all day long.

Is it a good idea to repurpose my MacBook as a home server? Here's a few considerations:

  • โœ… Its low power consumption is ideal for a personal server.

  • โœ… Although deteriorating, the battery can serve as a UPS in case of short power outage. This is some enterprise-level feature an ordinary desktop cannot offer without extra purchase.

  • โŽ I enjoy its portability. If I decided to leave it at home forever, what should I bring with me in case I want to do some computing outside of my room?

    • the next best choice for carrying would be my iPad. Can the iPad serve as a computer? Not if I cannot at least run *nix programs on it. How to make it run *nix programs?

      • โŽ Jailbreak: Some programs requiring x86 CPUs will not work.

      • โ“ Emulator: I'm trying out iSH for this reason.

    • โ“ Can I buy another laptop? An immediate question is WHAT to buy.

      • Another MacBook?

        • โŽ A MacBook or a MacBook Air? Maybe try something else.

        • โ“ A MacBook pro 16'?

          • โœ… Great performance.

          • โœ… Familiar macOS experience.

          • โŽ In terms of portability and (lack of) touchscreen, this device seems a better fit as a home server.

      • A PC laptop? Not until I can feel comfortable using a linux desktop environment!

        • โ“ A Dell XPS 13?

Or would I be better off getting the MacBook battery serviced and -- if I really want to -- buy another computer as a home server?

I'm debating on whether I should buy desktop PC, mainly serving as a home server. Due to mobility requirements, I am looking at tiny-factor machines. Some possible options include:

  • A latest Mac mini with highest configuration ($3,199.00). The tiny factor can be vastly appreciated when I relocate. It occurred to me that re-selling a full-factor desktop PC is not economically ideal, and I will always easily find a monitor and peripherals to plug in a Mac mini wherever I move to. OR:

  • โ€‹NUC10I7FNHAA.

Me and My Backpacks

In early 2016, I bought a Herschel City Backpack while sightseeing with my mom in Toronto. It was stylish and convenient, but too small in volume to accommodate all my carryings as an undergrad.

Me and my City Backpack

In mid-2016, I bought a Herschel Pop Quiz off a classmate for CAD$15. After 3 years of daily use, the backpack got extremely worn off. Sadly, I had to ditch it in September 2019.

Since then, I has been using a Lenovo OA33911 backpack. It works for light trips in the bay area, but seems 1) too heavy-duty for commuting (I don't carry any laptop to/from work) and 2) not as stylish to carry to social occasions. As a matter of fact, I deliberately left it at home yesterday (10/17/2019) so that I didn't have to carry it to a mixer.

I'm considering buying another City Backpack, but in the meantime I heard of a potential free swag in next week's new employee orientation event. Might need to hold off for that!

Everyday Carry (EDC)

My money clip was repurposed from a Modori Traveler's notebook pen holder. I always wrap a ID card with the bank notes. I never put my ID card together with a bank card.

The money clip. The currency is called Chinese Yuan, once popular before mobile payment took off.

For this reason, I have also a wallet in my backpack that holds bank cards (credit cards, debit cards, etc.) and extra cash. Very often I also have loyalty cards there.

Me and My Mattresses

The first mattress I could call my own was bought off from the previous tenant of the bedroom I leased from mid-2018 to mid-2019. The tenant, Y, happened to be an acquaintance and a schoolmate of mine. We later developed great friendship, and even started working at YouTube together.

During that year, I also received a free mattress from a visiting student, D, who was moving away. I hope all is well with D in Europe and her career.

The third mattress I own was bought off a fellow Googler, Z, for $208. By coincidence, Z got a refund for the seller, felt bad for keeping my $208, and Venmo-ed me back that amount. I ended up with another free mattress, as well as another friend.

Z wanted to get rid of his mattress because he thought it was too soft, which might induce backaches. Indeed, my upper back hurt so much after spending a month on that mattress, so much so that I slept on the ground for about a week before my new mattress arrived. This new mattress felt much better, and it was also the first mattress that I purchased ever.

Although that was my first mattress purchase, I did not research much into which mattress to buy before placing the order on Amazon. This might be a wrong move, considering that 1/3 of our life is spent on a mattress, but I was in a mindset that I would like to invest as little as possible into immobile goods.


I'm a loyal UNIQLO frequenter. Guess that's why my date weren't always impressed.


I'm thinking of buying a customized ("tailored", "bespoke", "made-to-fit", or "fitted", you may say) suit, mainly for attending a ceremony that falls in 3 weeks. Listed below are a few shops that I might visit. Sadly, the usual process time stretches to 3 months (with the quickest turnout to be 6 weeks), so I might have to stick with off-the-shelf (i.e., pre-made) ones if I so decided to buy one.