...when suddenly, with a resounding "thunk" and associated "crunch", my backpack hit the floor...
About a year ago (as I pen these words) I was heading out to England to present a paper at the Embedded Live conference in London.
Since I was going to England anyway, I decided to set off a couple of days early so I could visit with my dear old mom over the weekend.
Upon my arrival in Manchester airport I needed to visit the restroom, wherein I hung my backpack containing my notebook computer on a hook on the door. When I say “hook”, this was actually a piece of metal sticking straight out of the door. I actually remember thinking to myself “That’s really useless … it won’t be long before someone’s bag drops off that.”
No sooner had this thought flitted its way across my brain when – with a resounding “thunk” and an associated “crunch” – my backpack hit the floor. I was terrified to look inside… so I didn’t. Instead, I decided to wait until after I’d caught the train over to Sheffield and arrived at my brother’s house where I was staying.
When I did eventually come to open my backpack, my notepad initially looked OK from the outside, but when I opened the notebook itself it was glaringly obvious that the display was not as happy as one might wish. Of course, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” according to the English poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), so I tried powering-up the little ragamuffin, but the display was indeed as dead as dead can be.
Suffice it to say that I was NOT performing my “Happy Dance”.
In addition to giving my presentation at the conference, I needed the ability to write articles and post them to the EE Times' Programmable Logic Designline website, to check and respond to emails, and to perform all of the other computer-related tasks one takes for granted (until one carelessly drops one’s computer on the floor).
Fortunately for me, my brother’s home computer was equipped with a cheap-and-cheerful, rinky-dinky 15” Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), which I immediately commandeered. (This was also fortunate for my brother, because I ran out and purchased a much bigger and nicer display for him as a “thank you”.) I ended up carrying his old 15” display around Sheffield with me as I trolled back and forth between my brother’s and my mother’s – and I also took it down to London with me for the duration of my stay (I eventually gave it to the Taxi Driver who ran me to Heathrow airport because he said his young son could use it).
As soon as I returned home to America, I headed down town to purchase a replacement computer. At the same time, I picked up a Swiss Gear IBEX Computer Backpack, which is capable of holding any notepad up to a 17-inch display. This rugged little beauty is padded and protected and is just really, REALLY well designed and implemented (even the handle on the top has a steel cable running through it).
Your computer itself goes in a specially padded and reinforced area in the middle of the pack, but there are numerous other pockets all over the place to hold papers and power supplies and travel documents and … all of the stuff you end up carrying around with you when you travel.
Suffice it to say that I have nothing but good things to say about this backpack (and my new computer), both of which I carry around with me everywhere…Editor's Note: Please share your
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