What’s in your gadget bag?

17 Comments

Kevin and I have been promising ourselves to write a joint article that details what is in our gadget bags.  We haven’t had time to get this done but I promise we are working on it, really.  In the meantime we both would be interested in hearing what you folks carry with you everyday in your bag and why you carry it.  Details are always good, such as any "must not forget" accessories and peripherals.  Why do you carry the kit you do and how does it make your work / life better for it.  If you have a different load-out for trips (I do) then tell us what is different from your "stay at home" gear.  Don’t forget to mention what bag you are hauling your gear in, too, because everybody is always looking for the perfect gadget bag.  :)  Let’s start sharing this information so add your kit contents to the comments on this thread.  Come on, what are you waiting for?

-jk & kct

17 Comments

AndyW

I am a self contained computer consultant. So, I carry my office around with me. My wallet and mobile phone are in my pockets.

:: Daily work bag ::
Compaq n610c laptop and brick
retractable USB cable
retractable CAT5 cable
2 moleskine grid notebooks
1 montblanc roller ball pen (2 refills, F, black)
iPod shuffle and headphones
various ID badges from clients
Turkish-English dictionary
2G usb drive for backup
a few spare pages blank A4 paper
key from hotel

:: Emergency Escape Kit ::
a zippered leather pouch
passport
money (enough to get back home)
printed phone numbers of important things, people (in case my phone dies)
printed numbers of cards (in case i lose my wallet)
printed sudoku puzzles (in case I get stranded)
mini pen (to do the puzzles and fill out the entry forms)
flashlight (you always need a flashlight)
eyeshades
ear plugs (3 different types)

I work overseas a lot, so here is my travel stuff. One tip, in the winter wear a scarf on the plane, you can use it to cover your head and neck to stay warm on the plane.

:: Travel carry on ::
daily work bag + emergency kit
iPods (backups)
External iPod speakers
Big drive, cables, brick
USB wireless network adapter (incase the laptop wireless breaks)
other USB keys
phone charger
camera case for media cards
MMC, SD cards, CF cards, Sim Cards
Ukulele, extra strings
extra set of clothes (shirt, pants, socks, underware)

:: Check in bag 1::
Song books
mini music stand
confidential papers and stuff for projects
running shoes
toiletries

:: Check in bag 2 ::
10 pairs of socks
10 underware
10 shirts
10 pants
2 dress shirts
2 suits
1 pair shoes
toiletries

I have lived for 6 months overseas with just the stuff above.

I gave up on palms and extra fancy phones. I use gcal to send me reminders via sms. I write all my notes with a pen and paper. I’ve found that simple is better and sustainable. Complex is fun, but takes too much work and time. I also take most of my pictures with my nokia 6230i phone so I don’t need a separate camera. Everything else I don’t need or can find in a local store. I’ve worked in Egypt, US, France, India, England and recently Turkey.

— Andy W

fury

A month ago, it would have looked something like this:

– M1200 Tablet PC
– Hardtop keyboard
– Charger for M1200
– Cell phone & charger
– Bottle of water
– Regular pen and pencil, for those rare occasions I need to do old fashioned things like writing a check or signing a receipt
– A few blank DVDs and CDs

As of right now, my Gateway CX2618 replaces the M1200 and the hardtop keyboard. I love it. :D

Rob

Bag: Timbuk 2 commute
Always:
Cingular 8125
Thinkoutside BT keyboard and mouse
Globesat BT GPS
Jabra BT 250(thinking of upgrading this to something that charges via miniUSB, any ideas?)
Various USB keys, for portable apps and data
iPod video 60G
shure e3 headphones
Adapters and retractable cords to charge all of the above via USB, wall, auto, air.

When needed:
Laptop of the month
3.5″ external drive of the month
These change often enough that models aren’t relevent.

Pat

I’m a Scientist, and this is what I carry with me to work everyday:
1)Compaq Presario 2267 and power brick – its the technological hub which all my other gadgets revolve around.
2)HP IPAQ 2210 + extra battery + 128Mb MMC + 512Mb CF -its a trimmed down version of my laptop, and carries data which I may need to reproduce in a pinch. Oh, and music/podcasts!
3)Targus Universal Wireless Keyboard – turns the pda into a laptop
4)CF/SD card reader – doubles as a thumb drive
5)Cheap $10 no-brand headphones
6)x2 AAA rechargeable batteries – powers the MP3 player
7)Generic 1Gb Flash Drive/MP3 player
8)Varta 15 minute charger for AA/AAA
and most of these (except for the PDA) lives in my Paklite Backpack, with a special padded partition for the laptop.

I’m big on devices that can perform more than one function, and all of my devices, except for the chargers and the wireless keyboard, perform double-duty. I do it coz I’m the forgetful type, meaning that I sometimes forget to charge/bring things, so its nice to have a backup device eg. If the laptop dies, I can enter data/practice presentations/review excel sheets on the pda; and if the mp3 player dies, I can listen to podcasts and music on the pda. Its my little way of getting around the fact that battery technology isn’t quite up to the stage where you can have just one gadget that you’d use for everything and still be able to use it the whole day.

bobm

I travel about one week a month.

When I’m home my work system is a 17″ Sony Laptop with a bluetooth mouse.

When I travel I take:

Ebookwise reader with a bunch of books to read.

Archos AV480 80g for tivo’d shows I like but don’t get time to watch, converted with tytools and then with pocketdivxencoder to get it into a mode that the Archos will accept. I also backup pictures and music. The downside of the Archos is that it won’t charge from the usb port so it’s limited on it usefulness as a hard drive. So I also carry ..

Western Digital 120G usb drive. This is one of the few that runs without a external power supply or a Y usb cable (using 2 ports). I use this to sync between the work laptop and my travel laptop. What I do in my consulting job is run my clients work in a virtual machine (Virtual PC) and when I travel i grab the virtual machine and have all of my work docs and code.

I carry a small Canon camera to take pictures of new places and stuff.

I carry a Garmin Forerunner for tracking new trails in new places.

I have an Ipod a replacement for a Rio and it’s just better (for me at least). Headphones and an FM transmitter so I can catchup on podcasts while driving/flying/running.

2 phones, my main voice phone and a backup that I use for data connectivity via bluetooth.

A pda for stuff I tend to forget and on some trips a bluetooth gps if I’m going to do a lot of driving. The pda is a Siemens SX66 that I no longer use as a phone and only use the pda functions, battery life (with an extended battery) just sucks if you use it as a phone.

a usb key for transferring stuff around.

a socket mobile power pack, this is really a cool product that can extend the life of the Archos and SX66 when I’m stuck all night at an airport.

2 bluetooth headsets, one that wraps around the ear and one that’s a speaker (handsfree) for those times I need to talk and drive and don’t want a ticket. I do manage to operate both of these without having to bring a charger which a plus.

The computer is a Sony T150, a neat 10″ ultraportable.

A bunch of cables and chargers for the laptop, Archos and data phone. Everything else either charges from the laptop via USB (even the voice phone) or lasts the time I’m away. A flashlight and some batteries. And my Bose noise cancelling headphones (I’m not overly thrilled with these). A memory card reader.

Throw in at least one book for the times I can’t use the ebook reader and some magazines.

I carry all of this in an REI (an outdoors company) softside briefcase. It’s not perfect but the closest I have found. It still manages to fit under most of the seats.

A good next question is what would you change?

Me — trade the ebook reader for an iliad or libre, move up to an ultra 12″ notebook with a really really big harddrive and get better headphones (the Bose hurt my ears after a couple hours).

andwewillbethere

As a college student I usually (unless finals, or a lab only day) carry the following:

Dell Inspiron 700m – with the extended battery, I usually get 5 hours using nonstop wi-fi on a 12.1 inch widescreen.

Palm TX – for scheadualing needs and some NES emulating action.

Nokia 3595 – I have a nicer newer Nokia but you can literally play hackey with this thing.

I toss these in an old Nike back pack that has served me well for 7 years.

When I go out at night it’s just the Nokia 7260

When I go out to play basketball, or go to work, it’s the 3595 (seriously, I ran this phone over and it still runs fine with a tiny scuff on the top of it)

Joel McLaughlin

In my bag are:

IBM Thinkpad T42 with 1 gig of ram, 40 gb hard disk, Pentium M 1.7 Ghz…
Kodak DX4900 Digital Camera (Taking a digital photography Class)
Aiptek PocketDV 5900 (recording stuff for my podcast and video)
HP iPaq hx2495 and it’s cradle
30 GB iPod and the charger and cable
Various Cables….(USB mini b and so on)
DVD/CD Notebook Thingy (for hold my disks)
SD Card Reader
USB to Serial/Parallel Adapter (came with the bosses laptop and I absconded with it when he threw it up for grabs)
Garmin eMap GPS (need to get a bluetooth unit)
Pens and my Glasses(only when on the computer which is all day).

Things to consider….order a extra power supply when you get a new laptop. Plug one in at work and leave it in and same at home. If your out and about alot (like james) get 2 or 3 batteries).

So far as what my bag is, right now it’s a cheap bag I picked up at microcenter. My preferences are for Targus backpacks. Backpacks are easier to deal with when you commute via bus. I have a Brenthaven at home only used when I need to take my Powerbook which is hardly ever. I love Brenthaven specifically for thier Apple line.

adlaw1

As an attorney with more than one office, mobility is key when it comes to my computing needs. My gadget bag:

1. I carry a Fujitsu Lifebook P1510D with Tablet OS. At 2.2 lbs (with standard 3-cell battery) and 2.5 lbs (with 6-cell extended battery) it is extremely mobile and allows me to take notes pretty much anywhere I am. With both 6-cell extended battery and the standard 3-cell battery, I can get a total of approximately 7-9 hours of battery life without charging (in powersaving mode). This is a convertible tablet and the keyboard, although tiny is useful for text input on the go. I use a d-link bluetooth USB dongle to connect to my mobile phone when there is no wifi connection available. Also , I find I am using the passive touch screen most of the time with my finger rather than pulling out the stylus. Having a keyboard gives this unit an advantage over an origami device in my opinion because they weigh about the same and both have touch screens and fairly similar screen sizes. (Fujitsu has a 8.9 inch widescreen) I use the tablet to take notes during client meetings (OneNote 12 beta), emails, websurfing and create documents on the go.

2. Cingular 8125 Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone (HTC Wizard). This is a gsm phone that I can use worldwide. I use the bluetooth connection to connect my fujitsu to the internet via the EDGE connection. Good enough for email and web surfing. This phone also has built in wifi which comes in handy. The battery life on this phone has been very good. I can get more than one full day’s worth of usage on a single charge. I also use a motorola H700 bluetooth headset with this phone. I store all my contacts, calendar and tasks on this phone.

3. Apple Ipod Video 30GB. Load my music from itunes etc..watch occasional videos.

4. Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard. I use this with my HTC Wizard and sometimes with my fujistu tablet when I want a full size keyword that can store very easily in my bag.

That’s it. Very light and very mobile is the way I like it.

Corry Haines

I carry this gear every day while I am at college. I use a Dell laptop bag as the sides are indestructible.

X41t Laptop – Can’t leave without it
Laptop Power Brick – To avoid wasting battery
Shure E3c headphones – They live in the bag
8ft Cat6 cable – For those high speed situations
TI-89 Calculator – Can solve anything
Gerber Multi-Tool – Can solve anything else
SureFire Light – Lets you see what you need to solve
ClifShot Powergel – Keeps you going
Flashdrive (various) – When e-mail fails
Magazine (PCmag/Maximum PC) – When eating
Batteries (AA/AAA) – Be Prepared
Nalgene Water Bottle
Sunglasses
Tissues

Adam

Having been in sales for 15 years before lauching my own company, I had all the gadgets.
Everyday use:
Fujitsu Tablet PC, T4200 Lifebook
Treo 700
InFocus LCD projector, LP70+
Garmin 2610 GPS

Road trips:
CardScan Professional
Portable DVD player for tradeshows
Black 30g iPod with video
Canon BJC-50 portable printer
Canon Elph camera
Sony Handycam Carl Zeiss Camcorder

Briefcase: Tumi small computer bag
Wheeled luggage is actually a TravelPro ‘toiletry’ bag with lots of zippers, pockets, space etc!

Of course there is a case for the iPod and Treo (nothing special, but I like them) and the Garmin GPS has it’s own little ‘bag’. I think that is it!

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