What I am taking to San Francisco


Mobilize_plug_logoThe 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.

Cimg0819The 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.

Cimg0810The 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.

Cimg0808I 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:



Brian Kirk

I, along with a couple of colleagues from NetworkIP & Jaduka will be attending Mobilize 08 too. It’s the one event that we have all been excited about this quarter. In my carry-on bag I’ll have my company issued Dell Latitude D820 (also known as my 20 pound weight), my iPhone, & most importantly my running shoes. I never miss an opportunity to run the hills while in San Francisco.


Good time of year to visit…September and October tend to be just about perfect in the city. We’re having a heatwave right now (upper 80s low 90s — eek!# but that should break soon. I wasn’t aware of the conference — may have to track you guys down and say hello #:

James Kendrick

For this trip I am treating connectivity options more seriously than I normally would since both Kevin and I will have the same issues should they arise. It is not feasible that we not be able to blog for 3 – 4 days during the conference so I want to make sure that options exist.

Rick Huizinga


Were you able to grab the NetShare iPhone app during the brief period it was on sale in the app store?

It would be interesting how well the iPhone works for tethering. Heck, you could probably use the iPhone for live blogging too, in which case there doesn’t seem to be much need for the Advantage…???

Dean Terry

I’ll also be @ Mobilize (launching an iPhone app in the “Launch Pad”) Been reading your blog for a while. Maybe we’ll run into one another and talk mobile a bit.

Wally Rodriguez

One thing to keep in mind with the idea of popping your iPhone’s sim into the HTC…

I recently put my iphone sim into an HTC TytnII only to discover that 3G didn’t work. I called AT&T an they said it did not work because the iPhone is on media net and the HTC needed the regular 3G network. Didn’t make a lot is sense to me, but you might want to try it first because the tech support technician said it could mess up your SIM with the wrong network settings.

Don’t want to find out that it doesn’t work at the wrong time!


So uh, James ol’ boy….if you find you’ve brought “too- much-stuff” to the Bay Area when you get here and want to lighten your load for the return trip, send up a flare. The 7501 has gone AWOL out there and I’m still thinking I want one instead of the Redfly. I’m “guessing” you might be one who doesn’t mistreat their things, thereby allowing someone to even THINK of buying used equipment. Just a thought for your consideration…..

Kevin C. Tofel

I haven’t decided exactly what I’m taking (other than my lucky socks) but my list will be far shorter. While I believe in backup planning, if WiFi doesn’t work at the conference or if I can’t get an EV-DO signal, I’ll put the gadgetry away and enjoy the experience, the people and the city.

I’m taking one phone, one EV-DO USB modem and one computer. I don’t anticipate much walking around at the conference, so I *may* take the MSI Wind to see how it works as a primary device during the trip. I might add 2 or 3 pounds to the gadget bag and bring the Q1UP, if only to have both to show Om & company both devices. Either one would serve me well for this trip. I’ll finalize my list as we get closer to the conference.


Et tu, Kevin? I’m figuring he’ll be bringing the Samsung Q1UP for sure.


I totally understand why you need to take so much stuff but it’s a shame nonetheless. You really should be able to rely upon one phone these days and shouldn’t need to worry about network issue.

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