Thoughts and Writeups

by Davis Haupt

Renting in New York City

I just signed a lease for my second apartment since moving to New York City after college. Some friends asked me for advice on how to find an apartment here, and I didn’t realize at first how many opinions I have on the whole process. I’ve tried to distill my thoughts and approach here.

Renting an apartment in New York is all about tradeoffs, mostly between time and money. If you’re willing to spend more time seeing apartments in person, then you’re much more likely to find a great apartment that others are overlooking because the information online is incomplete or hard to find. If you’re willing to spend more money or give up something that most other renters are looking for, you can find a nicer apartment without searching for a diamond in the rough.

If you can put in the time to develop an intuition for the types of apartments on the market in your budget, you’ll be much more confident in your decision when you ultimately sign a lease.

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Task Management in Obsidian

Obsidian is first and foremost a Markdown editor with first-class support for internal links between notes. But just because it wasn’t built as a to-do app, doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Community plugins and external tools have made Obsidian work just as well for me as any task management app I’ve used in the past. As an added bonus, because I’m keeping notes about my day and what I’m reading, it’s easy for me to keep tasks in the context of the thoughts that spawned them.

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Thinking with Obsidian

This is the first part of an in-progress series on the Obsidian knowledge base. You can find all the articles with the obsidian tag.


I’m not an organized person by nature. I tend to try to just commit important things to memory rather than write them down in any systematized way, which means I end up forgetting things about 20-30% of the time, and just hoping I remembered the most important things in some kind of implicit neural priority queue. I’ve tried a bunch of different task management and notetaking systems before, but nothing really stuck. At the end of the day it’s because I always struggled to organize my thoughts in a single hierarchy. Even a regular paper notebook is organized implicitly in a timeline, with older notes in the front and newer notes in the back. I always spend way more time thinking about where my note should fit in the hierarchy than I do actually capturing my thoughts.

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Digital Mindfulness

I’m not normally one for new year’s resolutions. Mostly because I’ve found it hard to make lasting changes to my habits in the past. This year, though, I’ve got a pretty open-ended one: to be more mindful and intentional about how I use digital technology and the Internet.

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PiClock: Waking Up to the Unix Philosophy

I built a clock! It runs Linux. Sounds like quite the over-engineering project, but I learned a ton along the way and was able to flex some muscles that had been lying dormant for a while. I write a decent amount of code, but I hadn't worked on an electronics project in years and had never really embarked on a 3D modeling or design project outside the classroom.

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