On the road to WWDC, what to pack?

I’m starting my preparations to head to this year’s WWDC and as part of that, I’m working on my list of stuff to jam into the Brenthaven backpack. Since I’m going to be hauling this across the country, as well as through a week’s worth of conference, lightness and utility are the two things I always need to keep in mind. Toss in that I’ll have to do everything I normally do using only the computer equipment that’s in the bag, and getting the right stuff into the bag becomes even more important. With that in mind, here’s the list so far:

1. PowerBook G4 with AC adapter- Without the laptop, why go? Almost everyone at WWDC has a laptop with them. Last year, my informal poll had 99% of them as being Apple PowerBooks, with a few people using Dell or IBM laptops.

2. Airport Express – For me, this is a must-have for the hotel. I know where I’m staying has broadband hookups in every room (one of the reasons I stay there), but the only wireless is down in the lobby. Packing one of my Airport Expresses along means I’ve got wireless in my room. It’s also more secure, as I can lock down access by MAC address and enable WPA encryption. I can also take it with me to the Moscone center to have it available for those times when the conference wireless gets overloaded, which happened a few times last year.

3. External 2.5″ bus powered Firewire hard drive – Half the fun of WWDC is trying out the software. Toss it onto my work machine’s boot drive? No thanks, I need that to be working later. Instead, I’ll clone a copy of my boot drive onto the Firewire drive and run the software I’m testing off of that.

4. Two spare batteries for my PowerBook – People will be lining the halls of WWDC, mobbing the community areas, and hunting along the walls, all in search of the almighty AC wall outlet. If you can’t find a wired network connection, there’s always wireless. But power. Everybody needs it and nobody has enough juice to last the whole day without recharging at some point. The extra batteries will help me out in this area, making me less tied to my power cord.

5. Retractable Firewire, USB, Ethernet and phone cables – The less space in the bag, the better and especially when it comes to cables.

6. Treo 650 sync and charge cable – My Treo’s also running on battery power, and sometimes syncing via Bluetooth isn’t fast enough. With this, I can kill both of those birds with one stone.

7. DVI – VGA adapter – Never know when this might come in as useful.

Anybody else heading out on the road this summer with your Mac? What are you taking? Let me know in the comments.

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