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What's in Your Gadget Bag, Cory? 400

Cory Doctorow has taken a two-second break from his road warrior ways to pen this description of the crud he lugs around. Read it and weep, wanna-bes.
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What's in Your Gadget Bag, Cory?

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  • CmdrTaco (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prostoalex ( 308614 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:26PM (#8548352) Homepage Journal
    They also asked CmdrTaco the same question [] recently.

    • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:3, Insightful)

      by anethema ( 99553 )
      HAHA thats pretty funny.

      They say it hasnt really taken off yet.

      I would say thats pretty untrue considering there is an effect named after them of a site beeing taken down by a sheer number of click-throughs.

      I would consider than popular enough.
    • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FreakyGeeky ( 23009 )
      That c|net article says, "He called the site Slashdot, and while it hasn't really taken off yet (maybe that's why you haven't heard of it,) we wish Rob the best of luck with his little project in the future."

      Is that a joke, or is my opinion biased?
      • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Erik Hollensbe ( 808 )
        Someone needs to go to a harvey's or a improv. You obviously aren't getting enough humor in your life. :)
      • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's a joke. You can tell because he over-emphasizes that the site is small by saying it in 3 different ways.

        I find that those types of jokes where you simply say something not true in a believable way are quite often difficult to get. I think because we coders tend to take things too literally, :)

    • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:5, Funny)

      by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) * <`mrpuffypants' `at' `'> on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:33PM (#8548423)
      I predict that there will be at least two of everything in the bag, and taco won't realize until he actually sees them right next to each other or somebody says "Hey! You've got two PowerBooks! Ha! Dupe!"
    • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:5, Funny)

      by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:41PM (#8548494) Homepage
      Cory Doctorow has taken a two-second break

      Maybe he should have taken a 4-seconds break. He could then have used the two extra seconds to get a decent hosting service.
    • Stuff I always carry (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kendric ( 634134 )
      I always have a couple of nice pens on me, my TI-89 for the off chance I need to find the tax on an item, or a mugger demands all my money unless I can do a really tricky trig integral. An extra set of headphones in case an impromptu lan party were to spring up. My green laser to point and laugh at the people with the lesser red lasers. On my hand is my LAKS 256mb watch, filled with all sorts of neat stuff. I also carry a big package of mints in a Dilbert tin, for both my breath and others. And, finall
    • Re:CmdrTaco (Score:3, Interesting)

      This Cory guy is supposed to be some kind of Uber geek? Sorry to say it amongst the /. crowd, but my WIFE has him beat. She works in the fasion industry and travels for work a lot, so her stuff has to be small, reliable, and cool-looking.

      >His Phone: He bought a LOCKED phone? Twice? do any geeks do that anymore? My wife has an unlocked SonyEricsson Z600 -- virtually impossible to find in the states. Bluetooth, WAP, and a big color screen that all fold down into a dainty clamshell. She gets her e-m
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:27PM (#8548361)
    What's in Your Gadget Bag, Cory?
    filed under gadgets

    Cory Doctorow is the Nerd Prince of Blogging: co-editor of the popular, acclaimed science fiction author, and advocate for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A man this busy needs as much helps as he can get, and Cory isn't shy about what gadgets he finds useful (or awful):

    Fido Vtech prepaid mobile: this is the worst mobile phone I've ever owned. I have a bottom-of-the-line Nokia I use in Europe and a similar one that T-Mobile sold me in San Fran, and when I turned up in Toronto last week, I figured I'd just put a prepaid SIM into that one and go with it. However, the scumbags at T-Mobile *locked* the fucking thing, which meant that I had to go buy *another* phone (that's THREE phones in total, now!) and I ended up buying the Vtech used for 60 Canadian pesos at a counter in a Chinatown mall. It receives and sends SMS, but it doesn't have T9, so it's basically impossible to use for texting. The UI is utterly martian, like something designed by throwing dice, and the phone itself feels like it's made out of dried spittle and chewed-up paper. Worst. Ringtones. Evar. Oh, and it's FUCKING LOCKED to Fido. Rilly. Christ.

    Exilim EX-S3: This is the BEST camera I've ever owned. The 2MP version of this thing was the first camera I ever owned whose UI made perfect sense to me, the first one small enough to carry around in my pocket all the time. The 3MP version is every bit as slick (and now I'm lusting after the 4MP version with the fast mechanical zoom lens), but higher rez. My only complaint is that you can't charge it off of USB -- I try to charge all my devices off of USB from my laptop using ZipLinq retractable cables: saves on shlepping around a bunch of bricks and is a total lifesaver in Europe, where I need only adapt my laptop to the local plugs. The only downside of this thing: it is so GODDAMNED COOL that it's impossible to just whip it out and fire off a couple casual shots: someone will always come up and ask to fondle it and get their DNA all over it.

    iPod 40GB: I've taken to using this to store video as well as audio: I have about 30GB of music and audiobooks, and the remaining 10GB makes for enough storage for several DVDs' worth of ripped movies that I can watch on the road when I tether the iPod to my PowerBook. (Indispensable iPod accessory: iSkinz rubber casing; friggin' iPods scratch if you look at 'em crosseyed).

    15" PowerBook G4 1GHz/80GB: Bought an Aluminum Book last September (I usually kill about one PowerBook/year) and am still loving it. The weight is a little bit much -- I've been a 12" iBook and PowerBook user for 3 years or so, and the extra pounds really add up -- but the screen real-estate and that high, high RAM ceiling, c'est magnifique.

    Linksys WAP-11 and WS824: I'm trading this rig for the office I borrowed for the month of April. I think that the FCC made Linksys take the 824s off the market cos they put out dirty, lobe-y WiFi at distance, but this building's got a stucco facade whose chickenwire guts act as a natural Faraday cage, so it's not like my signal's interfering with anyone else. Probably.

    Roadwired RAPS laptop case: I love this vecro-y computer diaper. It's wicking, padded, and sizes to fit any laptop (though the 15" PB is a tight squeeze). Much nicer than any sleeve for my money.

    RoadWired Ethernet cable: hands-down the best retractable Cat5 cable I've ever owned, and the RJ45-RJ11 adapters that hide in the case turn it into a phone wire for those craptacular 56K moments. Czech Plumber's Bag: The perfect-sized, durable leather shoulder bag. Looks like $106, and keeps on getting prettier the more I abuse it. Steel-reinforced handle is super-swell. I replaced the shoulder-strap with a RoadWired cushion strap for extra comfort between departure gates.

    TokyoFlash OVO DecisionMaker watch: this is the dumbest and coolest watch I've ever owned (my grandfather was a watchmaker, so I've owned quite a few). It has a built-in f
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Is that a gadet in your pocket, or are u just happy to see me?"
  • hahaha (Score:5, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:27PM (#8548365) Homepage Journal
    what a geek....oh wait.
  • Newton revisited (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:27PM (#8548370) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that a number of these functions could be easily combined into one useful "sub-tablet" much like the Newton used to be. For instance:

    1) I could not make phone calls on the Newton, but it seems to me that combining a WAP with code like iChat could easily be patched into a cellular network via a server which negotiates the call at perhaps a reduced price. VOIP, right? This way you don't have to worry about "locked" phones when you travel from one country to another or good around with those SIM cards. (where did I put that SIM card anyway? *as he digs furiously through his travel bag*)

    2) I am not sure why folks like using their phones as cameras, but Sony has been integrating cameras into their Clie's for some time now and could easily be done. Although, again.....I am not sure why people want this. The CCDs would have to get LOTS better and you still have to deal with tiny lenses with lots of aberration in them. I much prefer my Canon Elph.

    3) iPod. Well, and why not movies too? This functionality could easily be emulated on any OS and as I recall, there are many folks that even play .mp3's off their old Newtons.

    4) Well, the Newton was not a replacement for a full featured laptop, so if you want to do Photoshoppin or something like that, a sub-notebook will not cut it for screen real estate alone.

    5) Cables? What cables? Use 802.11x and Bluetooth. Done.

    6) Time? Apple for some time has had servers that are linked to atomic clocks so that you can set the time on your computer to an absolute time.

    7) PDA? This would be an uber PDA. We don't need no stinkin Palm.

    Shoot, there were people that were even using their Newtons as wireless web servers, so the functionality was there.

    So, there. Seven devices that folks are totin around that could be all one device. I hate to say it but why does not Apple get back into this market? They could do it right.

    • Re:Newton revisited (Score:4, Interesting)

      by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:55PM (#8548599) Homepage
      I for one wish they'd bring back the HPC format (NEC Mobilon/HP Jornada 6/700 series). They stopped making them in 2000. With today's tech you could have:

      • 640x320 65K color screen
      • An iPod-style Toshiba microdrive. 4GB oughta do it.
      • 256MB RAM plus whatever ROM you need for the OS and apps. MAKE IT FLASHABLE LIKE THE iPAQ FOR GOD'S SAKE
      • 75% size laptop-like keyboard with tactile feedback. Really, without a goddamn keyboard PDAs are just expensive toys. I chuckle whenever I see some dude trying to take notes in one of those during a meeting.
      • Built-in wireless. The higher end HP iPAQs already have this.
      • Sync to PC/Linux/OS X. I mean, c'mon. It's not rocket science.
      • Mofo battery life (8 hours or so assuming the HDD doesn't spin that much and the screen backlight is used carefully).
      • Handwriting recognition would be nice regardless of the keyboard - the HWR of the Palm Tungstens coupled with the WinCE interface would be good.
      • CF, SmartMedia and low-power 16-bit PCMCIA slots. No SD or MemoryStick please.
      • Decent media player. Goes without saying
      • Some sort of built-in scroller wheel like the ones on the Blackberry. I'd kill for that.
      • GSM or some sort phone add-on card... use with headset? Dunno. I wouldn't mind lugging a cellphone still.

      All this in a .7lb or so package. 1 inch thick and 8 inches wide. Now that would be shweet. I'd get rid of my laptop in a second.

      The Newton was very cool and ahead of its time, but you need a friggin' Mac to use it effectively and that pretty much eliminates 90% of the computer user population.

    • Re:Newton revisited (Score:5, Informative)

      by Serapth ( 643581 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:02PM (#8548636)
      I tried to go this route ( work was financing it, so what the heck :) )... and tried to merge all my misc crap into one device if possible. In the end I came to the conclusion that if you are on the road... you really cant do without a PC in the end, no matter how nice all this crap is getting.

      The point where it started getting a bit insane for me is when I found myself going on a trip from London, Ontario Canada to Italy, on business... and I looked at what I had in my bag. 1 Palm V, 1 Compaq 3850 PocketPC, 1 Ibm thinkpad laptop, 2 cell phones ( 1 cdma for in Canada on Bell and 1 for use in Italy ), 1 wireless PCMCIA B and 1 wireless PCMCIA G adapter.... Frankly, for what I needed to do, I truly had to carry all that crap around... so when I got back, I spent alot of time looking into "ALL IN ONE" type devices.

      First, I got a slightly newer ( 3980 ) PocketPC with bluetooth and a sleeve for it, with a wireless modem from Sierra Wireless. Truth is, the screen was just too small to use for much more then checking simple email. Plus, the Wireless card was just too slow, and way too expensive ( 500$ canadian at the time, plus 50$ a month thru rogers ). However, to get to any reasonable functionality and battery life... the compaq battery pack/pcmcia adapter doubled the size of the laptop. Also, the SW card's drivers were buggy as hell, and within 2 days, I started carrying my cell phone again. Not to mention talking into an Ipaq is wierd at best.

      Ok... so that obviously wasnt the right choice... the next idea was a tablet PC / cell phone combo... Figured that would be a good mix. Made a bad mistake at this point, and chose a non bluetooth cell, so I needed to carry a cable to use the cell as a modem. Speeds again were still truly painfully slow. The Tablet PC I got (loaned) was a compaq with a 12 inch screen and I believe a transmeta processor. I dont know much more, as I only used it for about two weeks before giving up on it. Tablet PC is a great concept with poor execution. Use one for a few days, and you will understand exactly what im saying...

      In the end, Ive settled on an ok combo... I bought ( personally, not through work :( ) on of those Acer Ferrari laptops that slashdot made fun of a few weeks back. It fight my requirements to a tee though. 802.11g, 4in1 card reader, bluetooth plus enough power to play games when im bored as snot in a hotelroom somewhere in Utah... Anyways, I coupled that ( for now ) with a Sony Ericson P800 phone ( bluetooth capable modem ) which is a decent Symbian powered phone. I bought it from, which means its unlocked and truly a world phone. So far this combo is working out very nicely for me. Sadly ive come to two conclusions... 1) wireless phones suck for modems... period! and 2) You need a big screen to do alot of the work you might want to do. I can terminal services into work via my cell phone, and type an office document, if I really want to... but... try doing it :)

      The all in one device, for now, sadly is a myth. However, the voq phone from Sierra Wireless is looking like a very good prospect going forward!

      Oh, and before anyone suggests it... linux just wasnt an option... my enterprise is a MS shop... so my hands are tied. THus also, no PowerBook.
    • by cft_128 ( 650084 )
      When traveling cables are always needed. Every device needs a cable to charge (try as he might Tesla didn't quite perfect wireless power transmission) and some hotels broadband is either 100BT or (gads) 56k dialup.

      what is wrong with current PDAs though? Modern Palms, Zaruses (any ideas on the plural of the Zarus?) and PocketPCs are not as elegant as a newton but have quite the range of functionality now. I know for the PocketPC there is VoIP software, web serving software, photoediting software and many

    • Tri-corder.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ciroknight ( 601098 )
      Well, it's gonna sound retarded, but there is a point here. It's great to condense equipment completely, but there's really a point in which equipment doesn't need to be condensed.

      For example, the iPod fits the perfect niche of being a personal media playback device and a storage device at the same time. Adding video to this device would be a bit of a hack, and quite inconvenient considering the UI that the iPod uses. So why not just build wireless into the thing and have it talk to a Newton-like devi
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:29PM (#8548380) Homepage Journal

    An Electronic Thumb

    The Guide

    Last, but not least, a towel

  • Unlocked phones (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:31PM (#8548398)
    Is there anybody anywhere in North America selling a GSM phone that isn't locked to a provider? You'd think that true road warriors would want to either chip-swap or have multiple chips and enough brains to suggest which network to make a call on, or could be told by the user which one to use in software...
    • There are a few small companies that sell unlocked phones over the Web, but the carriers have generally done a good job of suppressing unlocked phones. I bought my P800 directly from Sony Ericsson because I couldn't tell which of the small companies are shady.
    • Re:Unlocked phones (Score:2, Interesting)

      by klausner ( 92204 )
      I'm told that Cingular doesn't lock tri-band GSM phones, on the grounds you bought a tri-band cause you might want to use it in Europe. Makes some sense.

      Also, unlocks for most phones that have been out for a while go for a couple of bucks on eBay.
    • Just because a phone arrives locked does not mean it must stay that way. DCT4 calculators will unlock all newer Nokias remotely, no cables needed and there are services which do it free. If you don't have a DCT4 phone then a data cable will let you unlock your phone, they only cost about $15 and I've never met a phone that can't be cable-unlocked.

      Is this not possible in America for some reason? It's commonplace here in the UK and very simple, not to mention alot cheaper then buying another phone.
      • In the USA, it's nearly impossible to buy a cell phone without a subsidy that ties it to a provider with the lock, and also a cancelation fee for not staying with the service.
        • Same in the UK, but you can still just unlock it and switch SIMs. The software change that ties it to the provider is very easy to reverse, and if you were thinking of getting another phone anyway then you would've either finished your contract or been willing to pay the fee.
    • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:35PM (#8548856) Homepage Journal
      T-Mobile will allow their phones to be unlocked after about three months of service. Just send email to with your name, phone number and IMEI number and they'll hook you up.
    • Unlocked phones are of course more expensive (my Z600 was not cheapie) than locked.

      Another thing, at least in California, is you can have the subsidy lock removed after something like 6 months (carrier gives you the PUK stuff to do it).

      I got my lady a T316 (she didn't want more even tho I offered, so don't call me cheap ;-) ) when they first came out from Cingular and it came unlocked already, so I'm assuming that's a fluke.

      I always like my phones unlocked, makes using my Swisscom prepaid SIMs all that m
  • by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:31PM (#8548405) Homepage Journal
    Darn! My Swatch [] has seen better days, so I was really excited about the "OVO DecisionMaker Watch":

    I relish the impracticality of a watch that makes you sit through a 10-second animation before showing you the time, and which periodically goes into "naughty mode" where it distorts the time so that you can't read it until you give it a "corrective shake" that's hard enough to trip the built-in motion-sensor.

    Well, the link from Cory "who the heck is this guy?" Doctorow's page was 404, so I googled around a bit and found out the bad news: they're sold out and can't get anymore. "Previously sold at Tokyoflash. Sorry, we can't get any more." [] Crap!

    Time to add another saved search on eBay...
  • by RufusFish ( 253008 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:32PM (#8548413)
    Apparently his kit doesn't contain a host capable of withstanding the first 5 minutes of /.'ing. Still loading.
  • server (Score:5, Funny)

    by CanSpice ( 300894 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:33PM (#8548422) Homepage
    Hope he's got a spare webserver in that bag because they're going to need a new one.
  • Missing! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:34PM (#8548430) Homepage
    I didn't see "a girlfriend" in that list...
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) * on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:39PM (#8548474) Homepage Journal
    Already there are a number of posts where people say "dude, you could replace 12 items with a single XXXX piece of gear"

    I challenge these people to a usability test. Can a camera phone do justice to a 3 MP camera? PRobably not. Does it make sense to put an MP3 player in a phone or pda, if you are limited to 256 MB of music? NO! Is it comfortable to walk down the street taking pictures and listening to music on your laptop? That's a recipe for breaking your laptop.

    It seems like Cory has the "convenience first, hard-core gear later" ethos down pat (heck, he even plans for those times when you have to use dial up! Egads!) First line is a camera that fits EASILY in a pocket (I love my Canon Powershot, but I need pants with roomy pockets!) and a phone, iPod in another, working our way down to a PDA and ultimately a laptop. His statement where he uses the laptop to recharge everything makes it sound even more like its his "base- station away from home" and less like an on-the-go device.

    I mean, I could hook up my Visor Neo to my Cingular phone and ssh, but why when I have broadband at home, broadband at work, and don't travel? (did I just lose my membership in the Geek/Nerds Unified Technology Society by admitting that?)
    • by Saint Stephen ( 19450 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:49PM (#8548549) Homepage Journal
      When I was a road warrior my thing was to travel lighter and lighter and lighter. 12"/3lb laptop/6hr battery->add a pound, good headphones (not earbuds, real headphones), ac, ethernet. Pair of underwear, shirt, deodarant, hairbrush. Money. Small Nokia phone.

      Then start jetting around the planet. There's a zen towards having no stuff.

      I got stopped coming back from Europe for a week because I had just a bookbag, and everyone else had two big giant suitcases. They figured I must be a smuggler.
    • "Does it make sense to put an MP3 player in a phone or pda, if you are limited to 256 MB of music?"

      I have a Sony PDA with a 256Mb Memory Stick full of MP3s. That's about 2 hours with excellent sound reproduction. Every night the MS goes into a reader and half the songs are replaced by other ones from my HDD by a bash script (the first half consists of my favourites). Since I only listen to 1-2 hours of music a day, I have as much variety as I would have with a 40Gb iPod. This way I only have to carry aro

      • intriguing.
        So you use just 1 stick?!

        I have an olde sk00l Yepp-32 player 32MB on board, with 32 MB smart media cards. Yep. Thats ALL it takes, 32 mb- can't handle 64 or more!

        So, that's 64mb total, and since I only use it on planes, trains, or raised-floor labs, I rip mp3's to 64kbps mono. So I can fit more than an hour of music. But juggling 32mb cards is annoying. I like your automated method...
    • >I challenge these people to a usability test.

      I challenge this guy to a race. He must have 10 lbs of stuff he carries around.
    • by MsGeek ( 162936 )
      I could hook up my Visor Neo to my Cingular phone and ssh

      I wouldn't SSH over GPRS. Too much latency. GPRS works for web, email and IRC (the latter just good enough) but SSH overhead brings GPRS to its knees. Don't even think about playing games over GPRS.

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) < minus caffeine> on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:39PM (#8548475) Homepage of the things he does NOT carry around is bandwidth.

    Site Slashdoted
  • why should i weep? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by didjit ( 34494 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:42PM (#8548506) Homepage
    i don't understand what's to be upset about. he has normal geek stuff that most /.'ers own. I probably make way less than him, but I have a laptop, bag, digital camera, wireless router, and cell phone. and while i've yet to buy the ipod, i have had multitools and pda's in the past. i clicked the link expected crazy stuff. there's no gps. no plasma tv's. no rackmount servers. its cool to see what's in his bag and cmdr taco's but ... its not like i should 'read and weep.'
    • I was a bit underwhelmed as well. I carry around a laptop, digicam, PDA/Phone (with PalmOS SSH and S/KEY), WiFi router, subnotebook etc. etc. etc. When travelling on business I carry at least as much shit as mentioned in this article, except for the iPod because I have zero interest, but I do have a 6GB handheld drive I use with the camera, so basically the same thing. In short, Big Fat Hairy Fscking Deal.
  • by ocularDeathRay ( 760450 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:53PM (#8548580) Journal
    This guy needs to check his priorities. He has all that crap with him just in case... but what if he gets laid?

    Lets face it... nerds dont get that many chances... so we should all cary condoms at all times. It would be terrible to have the chance of a lifetime and not be prepared. They are much cheaper than child support and antibiotics.
  • by jafo ( 11982 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @07:58PM (#8548616) Homepage
    I'm also a fair bit of a Road Warrior, but with a slightly different feel. I work at home, and most of my time spent away from the office is to local coffee shops or geek gatherings around town, with occasional trips to the next town or out of town. I make these trips probably an average of once a day, though, and carry my laptop with me everywhere.

    So, here's some information about what I carry in my "kits":

    In my pockets:

    • An LG-5350 cell phone. I like that it's a flip-phone, which reduces the opportunity for breaking the display as I did with my previous Nokia phone. I bought it largely because it has a charging cradle that can be used with the USB cable to provide long-term net access if necessary.
    • Casio Exilim EX-Z4 4 megapixel camera. I carry this literally everywhere with me. It's an amazingly capable camera that is no bother to carry everywhere. I selected it over the Optio S because of the much larger display.
    • Photon Micro Light 2. I prefer this over the 3 because I've experienced much longer battery life and I think the user interface is better on the 2.

    In my computer bag, which I carry 90% of the time I go anywhere. My computer bag is an Eagle Creek small shoulder bag with upgraded padded shoulder strap that includes a sticky ruberized side to reduce sliping off your shoulder.

    • IBM ThinkPad X30. This is my primary computer, and I think it's a great mix of portable and useable. It's small, less than 4 pounds, but has a totally functional keyboard. People are amazed that I can carry a full computer in such a small bag. In fact, my bag's main compartment can carry two of these.
    • Sennheiser PX-100 headphones. These aren't the smallest headphones, but they're very comfortable, sound fantastic for a $35 pair of headphones, and fold up into a small "eye glasses" carry case. These replaced some in-the-ear Sony headphones that were much smaller, but less comfortable and sounded dramatically worse.
    • Knoppix. Fantastic for checking out hardware or "fixing" the public terminal at the coffee shop when it gets too infected with Windows viruses. Or when someone asks "What is Linux like?"
    • Merlin C-201 CDMA card. This gives me net access in places where there's no net access.
    • Prism-based Mini-PCI card in my laptop. I love this card because I can easily set it up to run in Access Point mode, and so for free I carry an Access Point with me everywhere. Great for allowing my SO to get net access via my laptop and the CDMA card. I have the laptop configured so when I insert the CDMA card it sets up as an AP and does NAT, with a DHCP server running on the WiFi network.
    • USB cable for connecting my cell phone to my laptop. I almost never use this, unless the CDMA card is acting up.
    • Slim AC power adapter. Even with my second battery, eventually I'll often need to charge up. Also useful since my SO carries so many books with her, that she's stopped carrying her own power.
    • A Sharpie pen. Writes on nearly anything.
    • A backup Sharpie pen. Yes, dual redundant Sharpies.
    • Screen Wipes for when my display or glasses get too dirty. I currently use Techspray "zero charge screen and keyboard cleaners", which come individually packaged, but tend to leave an annoying residue behind unless you use some other dry wipe immediately (or sooner) after cleaning. Not entirely happy with the residue, but the packaging is great.
    • Individually package hand wipes. Handy to have around.

    Finally, I periodically have another larger bag which I carry in my car for our weekly Hacking Society [] or other geek meetings. It has a pile of stuff in it:

    • HP 8-port switch (donated to Hacking Society by HP). Auto-MDIX so we don't have to worry about cross over cables.
    • 25 foot extension cable.
    • 6 different power strips. Handy for LUG meetings and at hotels where they often don't have enough power
    • Ok I was holding back, not wanting to brag and all that but now that it has started here we go. Get ready for the most eclectic asortment of stuff you probably have ever herd of a geek caring around with them.


      1 Palm Tungsten

      1 Sony Clie (It's always good to have two palms incase you need to go over some data with some one that dosn't have one)

      1 Toshiba e750 Wifi PocketPC (Curently runing that crappy Microsoft os. I'm going to put linux on here as soon as I get my hands on a 4 gig microdrive)


  • I'm a 3rd party Dell on-site tech. It comes in handy to have lots-o-stuff on the road. Here's my list of crap-in-a-car.

    -Dell 400 CPI-A w/802.11b wifi pcmcia(loaded with Winamp 2.8 and a case full of MP3 CD's and a cassette adapter to play over the car stereo) in Dell's leather multi-pocketed breifcase type laptop case.

    -Xircom 10-100 +56k PCMCIA nic (in pocket of case w/several boot disks) just in case

    -Handy-dandy Knoppix 3.3 CD

    -Kodak 3.2 MegaPixel cam
    -1 Silver Jam Cam 3.0
    -1 Blue Jam Cam 3.0
  • by Lebofsky ( 141548 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:21PM (#8548748)
    Not that this makes me feel special, and I certainly don't mean to sound righteous, but when I am done sitting in front of a computer all day I am done with technology. Obviously I understand the fun part of being wired, but it's just not for me.

    I never owned a laptop, or a palm pilot. I certainly will never own a cell phone. I'd like a digital camera but never got around to researching which one to buy. Anyway, film works just fine for me still. Basically all I got is occasional use of my wife's iPod.

    Does this make me less of a person in the eyes of /.?


    • Does this make me less of a person in the eyes of /.?

      Not at all, I hate carrying around tons of stuff. I think all those gadgets are cool, but they're expensive too. What would you rather have, a new laptop or a down payment on a house? I chose the house.

      I had an IBM laptop once when I worked for IBM, it was cool to have, especially as a portable game server or extra client for the occasional LAN party, but it was paid for by the company and as much as I'd like a new T40, I'd rather spend the $4000(c
  • by edwardd ( 127355 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:21PM (#8548749) Journal
    You only need two things. Duct tape and WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.
    • I always heard it this way.

      Duct tape and a hammer. If it doesn't move...smash it. If it moves, duct tape it in place and smash it.

      hmmmmm, I may have a new sig.
    • A "real" geek would use kroil []

      This is the greatest lubricating oil ever made (well, at least industrial lubrication like WD40 that is).

      I'm actually being serious here on the greatness of it (along with the bit of humor). We use it on almost any metal-to-metal moving parts we own. From guns to the inkjet plotter. It beats 3-in-one oil, WD40, REMOIL, anything we have ever used. I have literally had rusted bolts that with wd40 or remoil I could not remove with a torque-wrench and the kroil allowed removal wi
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:24PM (#8548773)
    I goto war, err work and school, with just a couple of multi-purpose gadgets:

    1. A t-mobile sidekick. Sure it has some duct-tape helping keep the screen in place but it does all my email and its an excellent browser. It also has AIM and an ssh client. I leave the computer at home where it belongs. No more lugging around a laptop and hurting my back.

    2. Neuros MP3 player/recorder. The thing transmits to FM so I don't need any damn cables. It has a 20gig drive in case I need to move data and don't want to burn a CD. (it also records line/in and has a built in mic. It also tunes FM)

    3. A small case of CDs. Lots of utils and knoppix when things get serious.

    4. A 128 meg USB drive. Contains (among other things) putty, tightvnc viewer so I access my windows machine, lots of school docs, some work stuff, etc.

    5. Watch? I don't need no stinkin' watches. (there's one on the phone)
  • And that's about it. Oh, and my keys and my phone.
  • Author keeps bitching about Tmobile and Fido cause the phones he bought from them are locked... Could you European folks just please check out the facts before you call these companies "scumbags" (from the article, about Fido).

    The fact is that both Canadian and American phone companies have to fund phones to make them cheaper for consumers so they can get 'em at decent prices. Vtech phones may be shit, but you paid CDN $60, while it woulda cost you about US $200 to get it in Europe unlocked. So buy your c
  • by Tony ( 765 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @08:56PM (#8548987) Journal
    All right. I know I am not the only one here who thinks this: I'm so tired of the phrase "Road Warrior." I like and respect Cory Doctorow, but he is not a "Road Warrior." Neither are those wanna-be geeks who go out to sell technology instead of do technology.

    Until I see some souped-up buggies with frickin' lasers, I don't want to hear about road warriors. I hate that phrase more than I hate iSomething, or eOtherthing. Hell, I even hate it more than I hate "My Foo." All that was clever the first time, cold pancakes with no syrup the second time, and absolutely grating the third time.

    Frickin' lasers. Until then, zip it.
  • by Eosha ( 242724 ) < minus bsd> on Friday March 12, 2004 @09:49PM (#8549227) Homepage
    I've got more than that in my left hip pocket alone!

    Of course, the 15" Powerbook chafes a bit, but...
  • by The Gline ( 173269 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @10:00PM (#8549281) Homepage
    A computer. ...what, you were expecting a whole bevy of singing and tapdancing gerbils?
  • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @10:02PM (#8549295) Homepage

    Cory forgot to mention his enormous, throbbing ego, which he carries around with him all the time.

    I saw Cory speak at a conference last year. He got a legitimate, well-reasoned, nicely worded question from the crowd. Because it didn't agree with his world-view, Cory belittled the guy and didn't address the questioner's point at all.

    All Cory is about is promoting Cory. Remember a few months ago when he got press for being on the Atkins diet? Cory would get into necrophilia if he thought there was an upcoming "Necrophiliac Geek Trends" article in Wired that he might get mentioned in.

    • Very likely Twid was the person who asked that question. I've been at several events that Cory has spoken at and know him reasonably well. He always engages, not lectures. He always answers, not hectors. So either it was a rare moment or the question was offensive or stupid. Or I don't know Cory as well as I think I do from my several experiences with seeing him answer dozens of questions from audiences that ranged from sympathetic to vaguely hostile.
  • by 4mn0t1337 ( 446316 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @10:10PM (#8549328)
    Yeah he's got a lot of gadgets, and does a pretty good job, efficency-wise, of transporting them. (I always take a look at what he's got with him this time, to see what good ideas he's got.) But all of those gadgets add up...

    I roomed with Cory for a little bit, and I'll tell you right now, with that many geeks around, the mains outlet real estate becomes quite valuable. (I think I had no less than 10 items that needed recharging and Cory, even with USB chargers, must have had way more than I.) So it was a first-come-first-serve battle for recharging.

    Kinda like an Oklahoma style land grab for power outlets.

    Thankfully, he carries a mini surge protector that at least gives you a few more places to plug in.

    Since I've seen him do that, I've taken to carrying one in my bag when travellling, and it makes a big difference. Hotels never have enough outlets.
    And I guess a multiple outlet surge protector really isn't a "gadget" per se, but everything else in the bag can be made useless quite quickly without it...

  • A reality check (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Friday March 12, 2004 @10:56PM (#8549516)
    It's times like this when I recall the old TV show "Connections" by James Burke. He said he liked to challenge people to empty their pockets or purse and try to find one object that wasn't mass-produced. Keys, coins, paper, pens, money, etc, it's all mass produced. I've tried this on dozens of people, and only one person had a single non-manufactured object, my sister had a fossilized shark's tooth she carried as a lucky charm. Everybody carries around nothing but manufactured crap. It's all instantly replaceable garbage, nothing of any intrinsic value. If you were stripped naked, you could replace all of it without difficulty, if you had some cash to buy new crap. Is that how you want to live, with a disposable lifestyle? Even worse, do you want to live a craphound lifestyle, reveling in consumerist crap like Cory does?
    • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Saturday March 13, 2004 @12:33AM (#8549895)
      > Is that how you want to live, with a disposable lifestyle?

      Wait, so the only "real" "non-consumerist" you found was a credulous superstitious person who carries a lucky charm? Yeah, believing in fantasy, what a wondeful saving grace. Maybe next time you'll find someone with an "real piece of the original cross."

      > Is that how you want to live, with a disposable lifestyle?

      Nothing like an english speaking westerner with a computer and an internet connection telling us to go back to the woods. Its called hypocrisy. You happen to be using a large "disposable consumerist gadget" yourself.

      >If you were stripped naked, you could replace all of it without difficulty, if you had some cash to buy new crap.

      So if there was a fire in my apartment its good to know I can get back to my business, my lifestyle, etc with minimal effort. Heck, these evil "consumerist goods" are compatible with my off-site backups! Comrade you have truly awakened me!

      >Even worse, do you want to live a craphound lifestyle, reveling in consumerist crap like Cory does?

      Craphounds look for junk with no resale value like a clock found in the garbage that has a 1950's pinup girl painted on it. (its called ironic appreciation) Going to the local thriftsore or garbage-bin to collect 'crap' is the polar opposite of consumerism.
    • Re:A reality check (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kurosawdust ( 654754 )
      I have had the wonderful opportunity of being able to check out all the Connections shows on DVD from my local library (they're by far the best non-fiction TV programs I have ever seen), and I recall this particular bit. At the risk of splitting hairs, I don't believe he was hammering the point of everything we carry being mass-produced; rather, he was saying that if you ask the average person to empty his or her pockets, you'd find that pretty much everyone carries the same things (keys, money, pen, lighte
    • by Vagary ( 21383 )

      To paraphrase: the first rule of The Accidental Tourist is to never travel with anything that isn't easily replaceable. If you take the opinion that you can never be sure what'll happen to you, even on a walk to the corner store, then you should never carry anything irreplaceable, ever. (And it would seem to me that someone who needs a lucky charm at all times would certainly agree with such an opinion.)

      The problem is, ID cards and whatnot are actually a pain in the ass to replace. So you have people carr

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam