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Updating my road warrior kit

My wife works for APC, so APC stuff is readily available. Here are a few things that I am looking at for my road warrior kit. I'd like to get to the point where I just have 1 plug and I am almost there. The TravelPower adapter plugs into the wall/car/plane and it then powers any USB devices like the mobile wifi router and the iShuffle (if I had a cellphone - I hate cell phones, it would power that too), and then the main power feeds into the universal battery which in turn powers the Powerbook. When I unplug from the wall the battery takes over and combined with the internal Powerbook battery I have about 130 Watt-hours, which for me translates into about 7 hours of laptop use. This is what it looks like:

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What's in your travel bag?

I travel quite a bit and a couple of people have asked me what I bring along. So here it is. I emptied my computer knapsack onto the table at the Vancouver hotel I am in after yet another conference. Roughly from left to right:

  • Spare wireless cards - Rarely used, but sometimes it is handy to have two wireless nics in the laptop to bounce a signal along or to lend cards to people.
  • Charger for the Canon S400 travel camera (camera is taking the picture, of course)
  • S-Video cable and 8mm to audio left/right cable used for connecting the laptop to the hotel TV so I can watch movies on a screen bigger than my laptop screen.
  • USB cable for offloading the camera and also for connecting the flash mp3 player
  • Case for the camera
  • Toiletries
  • Targus Air travel power supply
  • Lightweight extension cord
  • USB memory stick which doubles as a pen
  • RSA Key to connect to the work network
  • 2-foot omni-directional wifi antenna
  • WRT54G + power supply
  • Spare AAA battery needed for both mp3 player and noise-cancelling headphones
  • Watch
  • DVI-VGA Adapter cable (critical for presentations)
  • Credit cards and ATM card
  • Passport (preferably from a non-war mongering nation)
  • Laptop + power supply
  • Network cable
  • USB Mouse (because trackpads suck)
  • mp3 player
  • Noise cancelling headphones

Nothing really out of the ordinary here except perhaps the rather large antenna. Also, make sure all your power supplies are 110-240 safe and avoid any surge-protection powerbars (they are too big anyway) since that stuff tends to blow up when you plug them into a 220V outlet.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Powerbook

After the rather abrupt loss of my T42p I needed a new laptop quickly. The delay in getting the Thinkpad originally combined with the headache of getting Linux working on it nicely and also to some extent IBM dumping their PC division all contributed to the decision to go with a 15" Powerbook. If IBM would have supported a real OS on their hardware I would have bought another one in a second. I have never been a Mac fan, but I needed a working Unix laptop quickly. After years of having an absolute crap operating system, they finally have a good one. This thing is a 1.5GHz G4 with a half a Gig of ram and the 128M Radeon and then another 512M from Crucial ( added on. Would have been nice to put 2G in it, but those 1G sticks are really expensive.

After using it for a week and a half I am quite pleased with it overall. Plenty of little gripes, but overall it is a useful little machine.

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