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What's in Your Backpack?

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RichQ
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Something similar
RichQ   7/1/2013 10:47:10 AM
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I have a rolling computer case instead of a backpack, but much the same kind of stuff inside: computer, power supply, mouse,  cellphone, USB chargers, cables (USB with interchangeable  client ends and Ethernet), paper, pens, business cards, coffee cards, travel club cards...

Not nearly as much fun stuff as yours, though, Max.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Something similar
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 11:21:27 AM
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@RichQ: I have a rolling computer case instead of a backpack...

That's "So 20th century, my dear!" :-)

RichQ
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Re: Something similar
RichQ   7/1/2013 1:30:03 PM
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What can I say, I'm old and set in my ways. I still prefer programming in assembly, too.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Something similar
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 2:04:28 PM
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@RichQ: What can I say, I'm old and set in my ways.

But we still love you anyway :-)

RichQ
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Portable toolkit
RichQ   7/1/2013 10:50:14 AM
Over at Microcontroller Central, one of our bloggers (Adam Carlson) has written about the portable development toolkit he keeps in a backpack. Seems his day job is not about electronics, so in order to work on his home electronics projects at lunchtime, he created this carry-along lab bench. Check it out at Create a Portable MCU Tool Kit



Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 11:27:02 AM
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@RichQ: Over at Microcontroller Central, one of our bloggers (Adam Carlson) has written about the portable development toolkit he keeps in a backpack...

I just bounced over to MCC to read this article -- very interesting -- thanks for sharing

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Portable toolkit
Garcia-Lasheras   7/2/2013 6:35:43 AM
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Wow, Max!! You should be a tough man for carrying such amount of stuff around!! LOL

I always carry a leather handbag with all my stuff inside, but instead of carrying my own electronic devices, I carry a kit to fix -- or "parasitize" -- other people ones. Let me explain:

* 3-4 USB aimed with diferent bootable live OS images -- both 32 and 64 bits!!

* 1x 500GB USB external disk loaded with tons of useful software, including Virtul Box and virtual disk images ready to be played in any virtualization platform -- I've come to the conclusion that having my workspace in a virtual disk is very useful for making back-up copies and when you use to switch from one machine to another.

* An old S60 Nokia with integrated sliding keyboard -- yes it's an old device, but I've a lot of custom C apps running on it that I want to keep available!

* 1x MicroSD to USB conversor

* USB to PC cable

* 1x standard MicroUSB Charger

* ... and a load of tobacco, rolling paper, etc. -- time flows slowly when you are reinstalling an OS or compiling a huge application!!

 

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 7:09:27 AM
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@Garcia: ...and a load of tobacco, rolling paper, etc. -- time flows slowly when you are reinstalling an OS or compiling a huge application!!

Interesting idea to carry the systems on USB sticks and then just use whatever computer is handy -- it speaks to a day in the future when everything is in the cloud -- but it wouldn;t work for me at the moment.

 

Re the tobacco .... STOP .... one of my friends who smokes was just rushed to hospital a couple of weeks ago with a breathing attack -- he wa sin for about 10 days -- at one point they didn;t think he was going to make it -- now he's back at home with a portable oxygen tank -- they don;t know if he will ever be able to go back to workm, and he's only 58 years old.  Instead, carry a good book around with you for when time is flowing slowely :-)

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Portable toolkit
Garcia-Lasheras   7/2/2013 7:43:36 AM
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@Max: "carry a good book around with you for when time is flowing slowely :-)"


I'm working on it, but is a hard task... maybe I'll try to start changing my bad habits with the next book I'm going to read!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 7:47:32 AM
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@Garcia: I'm working on it, but is a hard task... maybe I'll try to start changing my bad habits with the next book I'm going to read!

If you work on giving up we'll all be rooting for you. With regard to a good book -- if you like Science Fiction I'm currently reading Existance by David Brin; if you enjoy a good fantesy that I LOVED Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

rich.pell
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Re: Portable toolkit
rich.pell   7/2/2013 8:08:03 AM
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And if you enjoy humor with your fantasy, check out the comic masterpiece Good Omens by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 8:16:30 AM
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@Rich: check out the comic masterpiece Good Omens by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

I agree -- that is a BRILLIANT read. Are you a fan of Pratchett's Discworld series? I know he is not well, and also that he's been working on other projects, but I really hope he does the one where "Moist" takes over the Tax Department (as a follow-on to Going Postal and Making Money)

rich.pell
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Re: Portable toolkit
rich.pell   7/2/2013 8:24:24 AM
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I've read a few of Pratchett's Discworld series and enjoyed some more than others.  Of those, Going Postal was definitely my favorite as I recall.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 8:33:23 AM
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@rich: I've read a few of Pratchett's Discworld series and enjoyed some more than others.  Of those, Going Postal was definitely my favorite as I recall.

I'm constantly amazed by the amount of research he puts in and the "hidden stuff." In Making Money he describes what is essentially a water-based analog computer used to model the financial systems of the city ... I later discovered that this was based on a real-world machine!!!

chrisshore
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Re: Portable toolkit
chrisshore   7/3/2013 5:53:12 AM
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Indeed it is. It is based on MONIAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MONIAC_Computer). There is one in the Economics department here at Cambridge but I have not yet managed to make the time to go and see it.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/3/2013 7:53:53 AM
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@cshore: It is based on MONIAC...

Thanks so much for sharing this link -- I'd forgotten the details -- of course the machine described in Making Money was much more .... Discworld-ish" :-)

Pho99
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Re: Portable toolkit
Pho99   7/3/2013 5:54:16 AM
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-- A water based Analog computer -- seems interesting -- you will have to tell us more --

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Portable toolkit
Max The Magnificent   7/3/2013 7:55:22 AM
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@Pho99: ...you will have to tell us more...

Check out the comment from cshore about MONIC

rich.pell
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Re: Portable toolkit
rich.pell   7/17/2013 6:48:27 PM
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Just FYI, a Discworld reference/guide iOS app - Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map - just went on sale to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Discworld.

DrFPGA
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Less Stuff
DrFPGA   7/1/2013 11:04:01 AM
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Max-

My backpack has much less stuff in it but there are some similarities...

1) Laptop with power brick and power cord

2) iPAD and power cord (Nice case from Design West!)

3) Headphones (and Microchip wireless speaker!)

4) iPod

5) Books (about as much weight as the laptop. Usually library books- we have an excellent library system here in Bellingham WA)

6) Pens and note pad

7) Phone and power cord

8) Flash drive (just one- 8G is enough for me)

9) Diet Dr Pepper Cherry (In outside pocket. Must have pre-security check-in drink.)

10) Trail Mix 

 

Anyone else have any favorite travel "comfort food" items?

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Less Stuff
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 11:34:27 AM
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@DrFPGA: Nice case from Design West!

They were giving iPad cases away at Design West? I missed that ... but it really doesn;t matter, because I can't see me ever not using my leather iPad case from Saddleback Leather ... this just "Stands Proud in the Crowd" :-)

DrFPGA
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What's in Woz's Backpack (Circa 2012)
DrFPGA   7/1/2013 11:07:52 AM
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Max- Your post made me remember this one:

http://gizmodo.com/5926598/the-amazing-contents-of-steve-wozniaks-travel-backpack 

 

Would be interesting to know what has changed since then...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: What's in Woz's Backpack (Circa 2012)
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 11:32:22 AM
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@DrFPGA: Your post made me remember this one...

Thanks for sharing -- that's great -- I once met "The Woz" (see Who Woz that masked man?) -- he's a real nice guy

kfield
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Heavy load
kfield   7/1/2013 11:33:56 AM
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Good grief Max, sounds like you need a steamer trunk to lug all this stuff around. I travel very light, and borrow what I need from people like you!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Heavy load
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 11:36:30 AM
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@kfield: I travel very light, and borrow what I need from people like you!!

And I cannot tell you how happy that makes me feel (LOL)

Did you check out that link that DrFPGA posted about The Woz and his backpack .... very interesting!!!

Brian at Impulse
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Your backpack is like Batman's utility belt!
Brian at Impulse   7/1/2013 12:02:41 PM
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Hey Max, 

You travel like a socially maxed out teen-ager. I'm an old f*rt by comparison. Just my laptop, notebook, chargers and a pair of noise cancelling headphones.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Your backpack is like Batman's utility belt!
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 2:03:17 PM
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@Brian: What sort of headphones do you have? Back in 2011 I picked up some Sony MDR-NC500D headphones and I LOVE them!!! (Click Here to read my blog on them)

Brian at Impulse
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Re: Your backpack is like Batman's utility belt!
Brian at Impulse   7/1/2013 2:35:03 PM
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Very nice (I ready your review). As my noise cancellation requirements are more coffee shop than 747 I get by with a cheaper pair of folding Sennheisers. They don't create total silence but are good enough for Peet's.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Your backpack is like Batman's utility belt!
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 2:38:45 PM
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@Brian: Re the title of this thread "Your backpack is like Batman's utility belt!"

Don't even get me started on my utility belt :-)

Brian at Impulse
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utility belt
Brian at Impulse   7/1/2013 3:01:06 PM
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You have a laser? Or an exploding fake moustache?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: utility belt
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 7:04:25 AM
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@Brian: You have a laser? Or an exploding fake moustache?

Funny you should ask about the moustach. One evening at Design West 2013 I was invited by a company to an evening event that featured the "Moustache Camera" that was at the show -- by some strange quirk of fate I just happened to have a carved wooden moustach on a stick in my backpack (I always carry one in case of emergencies :-)

 



 

rich.pell
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*Paperback* books?
rich.pell   7/2/2013 8:15:25 AM
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All of these electronic devices - some of which are capable of storing hundreds if not thousands of electronic books - and you still carry paperback books? 

chrisshore
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I tend the other way...
chrisshore   7/3/2013 6:01:10 AM
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Like you, I used to travel with the most amazing pile of stuff. Then I saw the light! These days, I am fanatical about taking as little as possible. I have not checked a bag on a business trip in over 10 years. Most of my trips are long-haul intercontinental, lasting up to ten days so some discipline is required.

 

As far as computing and electronics goes, all I take is:

- an iPad

- video interface for iPad so I can deliver presentations with it

- a laptop (the smallest the company will buy for me). Sometimes I will leave the laptop at home and survive with the iPad. If all you need to do is give presentations, keep up with email and keep in touch with the office, who needs a laptop?

- a Kindle (I used to get through 4 or 5 books in a trip and books are heavy. Buying a Kindle was one of the best things I ever did)

- Power supply for laptop (complete with international adapter)

- iPhone, plus USB lead. I charge it via may laptop overnight so no need to take a separate charger)

- a Power Monkey for those awkwards moments when you get low on power in an airport or on a train or somewhere. This has saved my professional and personal life on occasion.

- The wireless interface for my hearing aids. Although I would not wish hearing loss on anyone, believe me whenI say that in-ear hearing aids with wireless audio streaming make the best noice-cancelling headphones every invented. Plug the magix wireless box into the aeroplane entertainment system (or into my phone if I want to listen to music), mute the microphones and there you go.

And, seriously, that's it. I find travelling much easier now I have slimmed down what I take to the absolute bare minimum. And my back feels much better too!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I tend the other way...
Max The Magnificent   7/3/2013 7:59:44 AM
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@cshore: I find travelling much easier now I have slimmed down what I take to the absolute bare minimum. And my back feels much better too!

I hear you!!!  If I had a choice for what I travveled with, it would be my leather messenger bag with my iPad (& charger), headphones, and a paperback book. My problem is that I spend every day writing, editing, and posting articles -- along with creating graphics and processing images -- to do this I need a notepad PC, and having been caught short when I dropped my PC several years ago whilst on the road, I now carry two ... and so the story gos (and grows)

 

But I envy you!!!

chrisshore
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Re: I tend the other way...
chrisshore   7/4/2013 5:05:43 AM
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All my stuff goes in my nice black Saddleback messenger bag too. One of the nicest things I own. I guess I have you to blame for that!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I tend the other way...
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2013 7:27:17 PM
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@cshore0: All my stuff goes in my nice black Saddleback messenger bag too. One of the nicest things I own. I guess I have you to blame for that!

I certainly don;t mind accepring responsibility for that. The only problem when you get it is that it looks so new. These things look better and better the older they get and the more the see the world. I've been carrying mine around constantly since I got it, and it's only now starting to show a little "character" based on the bumps and knocks it's received.

In fact, it was just a couple of days ago that I emptied it out, took all of the straps off, and sat out on our back porch rubbing "leather liniment" into it to keep the leather supple and conditioned -- it's amazing how fast that stuff soaks in (I use the "Chamberlain's Leather Milk" that they sell on the Saddleback Leather website -- I think it's created by the owner's browther-in-law or something -- I like the sense of homor, like the label on the back that says "Do not drink or throw thsi product into your eyes, nor toss from a moving vehicle." :-)

This bag really is something to be handed down from father to son (or best friend if my teenage son doesn't stop being so "bolshy" :-) 

uwezi
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zip-bags for cables
uwezi   9/25/2013 6:25:46 AM
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Actually I also independently discovered the big advantage of individually zip-bagged chargers this summer. Not only while travelling, but also for storage at home and in the lab.

We should spread this "invention" ! I have no idea why I didn't get the idea earlier!

 

 

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