Monday, October 19, 2009

Gadget Bag Re-Hash Part 1: My everyday bag

It appears it’s time to update the “What’s In My Gear Bag” post, particularly in light of the Skooba Design “Master of the Digital Universe” contest. 

I have 2 bags, my everyday bag which I take to work or when I think I’m going to need some substantial connectivity when I’m away or on 1-2 day trips , and my going away for a week or more bag.  

Although I work for a single employer, I am typically in the office only one day per work.  Most days I work from my home office or if I am feeling like I need a change of scenery I grab my day bag and head for the local library or a coffee shop where I can take advantage of cheap or free wireless.

The bag itself is the shoulder bag portion a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) backpack that unzips from the main portion of the backpack.  I initially bought on eBay with only a vague idea of what it looked like because I am partial to the color orange (did you notice all the orange Velcro cable wraps?)I’ve added a couple of minor modifications (sewn rings and snaps into an inner compartment to help hold things in place, and added some re-enforcement to high stress areas around the handle). After 2 years of almost constant use its starting to show some wear and tear as evidenced by the torn mesh of the outer pocket.  The material on one of the internal dividers is also ripped and some parts of the fabric on the outer portion of the bag are also getting thin.  Despite all this I have yet to find a bag that is easier to access and better suited to my everyday needs. For you jkontherun fans this is the same bag Kevin refers to in his April 30, 2009 Web Worker Daily post  What’s In Your Bag, Kevin C. Tofel?

Although I could make my load lighter by using the same devices for both work and personal use, for the most part I tend not to overlap my personal and work life in terms of data and services.  This means that I carry a Blackberry that is dedicated to work e-mail and a Windows Mobile 6.1 based Samsung i910 Omnia cell phone that I also use for my personal e-mail.  In addition to these two devices, a Marware iPod case with a 60BG iPod Photo, iPod wired remote and iPod ear buds go with me everywhere. 

Daily Gear bag and contents

Go to Flickr to see this photo with identifying notes.

My primary PC is a Lenovo X61 Tablet (Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, 4GB memory 500GB HD)which serves as the central platform to host and charge all of the above devices when I am on the road.  When in laptop mode I use it with a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 which can be used as a remote controller when presenting. A Caselogic 6 Capacity USB Drive Shuttle is used to hold the necessary cables to connect the Blackberry Samsung Omnia,  and iPod to the Thinkpad.  In addition it holds the FM radio antenna for the Omnia. a retractable audio/video output cable for the iPod, the USB soundcard for the Logitech headset (next paragraph) and 4 SanDisk micro thumb drives.  An outside mesh pouch holds a Secure Computing Safeword card for authenticating to the corporate network.

Additional tech includes the power adapter for the Lenovo, a ten foot UTP Ethernet cable ,a Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000 for videoconferencing, and a Logitech Premium Notebook Headset with a Seidio adapter that lets me convert a standard PC headset/microphone with 2 3.5mm plugs to a single 2.5mm plug for use with a cell phone.  This combination performs far better as a phone headset than any other headset I have ever tried.

Rounding out the contents of my bag are a Boorum & Pease record book I use to keep my notes at work (if you want to know why a guy with a tablet PC uses a paper notebook see my Old School post), a Moleskine Pocket notebook to jot down quick ideas not related to work, pen, pencil, eraser stick, highlighters, and Sharpie in the obligatory geek pocket protector, a pair of double ended whiteboard markers, my passport, and a cheque book.  Also tucked inside my bag are a small Maglite on a  keychain with the key for my docking station and a microfiber cloth to try and remove fingerprints from my touch screen devices.

On the shoulder strap of my bag are two camera cases.  One holds a Kodak EasyShare C533 (5 megapixel) digital camera with a 1 GB SD Card and the other holds a variety of personal hygiene item (folding toothbrush, dental floss, nail clipper, Chapstick, Tylenol, Motrin, gum and Kleenex).

This setup packs everything I need on a regular basis into a very compact, relatively light, load that I take practically everywhere.  And despite the small size there is still enough spare space to tuck in a collapsible umbrella on rainy days.


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music note While writing this, I was listening to " - Latin Jazz" in iTunes radio.

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