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Posts Tagged ‘headphones

Yesterday I shared some wifi-related tips for the road warrior. Today I focus on hardware peripherals.
 

 
If wifi is like the air, then electrical power is the food and water of your devices. Since you cannot guarantee yourself a power point when you are on the move, an external battery that can charge a phone, slate, or even a laptop is a must.

I do not recommend skimping on quality when buying a battery and the cables that feed your devices. You do not want to risk damage to either the battery or your devices.

A good (but expensive) brand is Anker. (Disclosure: I am not paid to promote the brand.) If you choose to buy external battery packs and charging cables from Anker, I recommend you buy them online from the supplier instead of a store. A SGD24 cable online can cost between SGD5 to 10 more in store.

If, like me, you need to conduct seminars or facilitate workshops, you need a laptop charger and a dongle to connect to a projector. I recommend buying a spare charger from the maker of your laptop or go for a reputable brand.

If you have a Macbook Pro, you might only have USB-C ports and need to get a multi-purpose dongle that provides power, one or more USB-A ports, VGA and/or HDMI output, and a LAN (cabled Internet) connection.

If you can afford to, get one dongle and a set of cables for home and one for the travel bag. This avoids the inconvenience of disconnecting and reconnecting cables at home while ensuring you are prepared for whatever a new room throws at you.

My last tip is an expensive one: Noise-cancelling headphones. These drown the world out while allowing you to make clear phone or video calls. While some might baulk at the cost, noise-cancelling headphones are an investment for your sanity.

Oh, and get the over-the-ear headphones and not the stick-in-your-ear earphones. The headphones send others a visual signal that you are not to be disturbed.

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. -- Thoreau

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. -- Thoreau
 
I like taking public transport because I can read and work on the train or bus. The journeys give me a limited time to do something focused.

Unfortunately, no matter how efficient public transport might get, it suffers from one unavoidable flaw. It is public and often attracts the loud and boorish.

That is why I think that one of the best modern inventions is noise-cancelling headphones. These marvels of human ingenuity are expensive, but they help create “companionable solitude” by some measure. That peace amid the din is what enables me to think and work.

This simple image quote is courtesy of this photo shared under Creative Commons (CC).
 

 
Note: I am not endorsing the brand of headphones in the photo. The image was the best one I could find under CC. I use a different brand anyway.

I am a year older today.

It was one of the few birthdays I marked without loved ones beside me. I am away in London to deliver a short talk at Bett 2015 tomorrow.

Before I left, my wife bought me a pair of Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphones as an early birthday present. It was so early that I received it at Christmas last year!

 

 

The headphones have already helped me immensely.

They shut noise out so that I could think while I was out and about. They dampened the sound of a funeral downstairs while I was drafting this entry in advance of my trip.

They neutralized the ambient sounds on my flight to London so that I could create a cocoon of comfort.

The silence gave me pause for thought. Did I have to shut the sounds of the analogue world so that I could create content for the digital one? Was I favouring one world for the other?

Perhaps. When I need laser-like focus, I do what I can to provide an environment in which to concentrate. But when I meet people in person, I provide that same focus too, sans headphones.

I am planning to meet and will have already met folks here in the UK. The appointments were made because I have a social media presence and because they know me from what I create online. So there is no false dichotomy of digital versus analogue; one process leads to the other.


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