The Mobilize 08 conference is less than two weeks away and both Kevin and I will be heading out to attend. I am really excited about this conference and the people I’ll get to network with and the topics that will be covered. Like I do for all trips of this sort I have been thinking about the gear I will take with me to keep me productive for the duration of the trip. I’ll be in San Francisco for 4 days and experience tells me that some of these days will be quite long which lends importance to having sufficient battery life for my gear. Read on to see what I am taking along.
The main gadget I’m taking with me should be no surprise as it isthe best travel computer I have ever used. This is the HP 2710pconvertible notebook that serves all of my needs so well. It is agreat travel computer weighing in at around 3 pounds and it is as thinas you could want. The 2710p has great performance and it is easy touse in any venue I might find myself. It is the best notebook forworking on crowded flights due to its small size and the swivel screenthat lets me use it as a slate if need be. This has saved my bacon oncrowded flights more than once as I can still work with the pen if needbe.
The convertible nature of the HP makes it perfect for the day of theconference as it will let me walk around with it in slate mode andfully productive even standing. I have done this so many times and Ifind myself at a tremendous advantage over those carrying "normal"notebooks due to this ability. Battery life is also very important forthese affairs as the day could easily go from 7 am to after 7 pm thatevening. The slice battery will ride in my gear bag until needed atwhich time I just snap it onto the bottom of the 2710p. This batteryadds at least 5 hours of battery life to the 5+ hours I getfrom the internal battery so the pair provides me 10 – 12 hours ofjuice with ease. This will get me through any day on a trip like thisno matter what goes down. I can’t state strongly enough how valuablethis is to me and why the 2710p is my device of choice on any trip.The only thing that would prevent me from bringing the 2710p with me isthe unlikely event that HP sent a 2730p to me which is the refreshedmodel. That would be so cool.
I plan on getting heavy usage out of my ExpressCard EV-DO modem fromVerizon on the trip as I know enough to never depend on available WiFieverywhere. With the high speeds that the EV-DO Rev A network gives meI don’t even miss WiFi. I have been disappointed at connectivityspeeds at hotels far more often than not and the EV-DO mitigates thatproblem. I have paid high prices ($10-12 a day) for "high-speed"internet connectivity in more than one hotel only to find the speedsare anything but high, if it’s even working at all. The Verizon EV-DOshould work at the conference too making concerns about WiFi not a partof my day.
I am also taking the HTC Advantage along in the bag for a couple ofreasons. It is a productive little device in its own right and enablesme to live blog from the event should I so desire. You may have seenmany examples of this as I used it repeatedly at the CES in Las Vegasback in January. It is so small and takes up almost no room in my bagso it costs me nothing to bring it along just in case. It also is3G-enabled so if my main EV-DO connectivity is challenged at any pointI have an easy to use alternative due to the Internet Sharing inWindows Mobile via Bluetooth. It makes a very good backup plan in thisregard. It has a T-Mobile SIM card in it right now but I can alwayspop the AT&T SIM from the iPhone in the Advantage should I need the3G. I have always gotten very good 3G coverage with AT&T and theAdvantage so this could be important.
On the phone front I will be bringing two with me. The iPhone 3Gwill come along and it will be accompanied by the Blackberry 8830.This conforms with my philosophy of redundancy for important gear ontrips like this. I have heard horror stories from a few people in theSan Francisco area about AT&T signal issues with iPhones so theBlackberry should step in if that’s the case. The Blackberry alsogives me a bit of 3G reduncancy since it is an EV-DO phone.
That is pretty much the extent of my gear for the trip. I prefer togo lean and mean for trips and this gear certainly fills that needwhile still offering full productivity. It’s a full office in a smallbag matter of fact. I will bring the Kensington SlimBlade mouse withme as it’s really thin and small. I do like me a real mouse when I’mworking back in the hotel at night to get real work done. Here is all the gear so you can see how small it adds up to be: