A little more than a decade after Amazon introduced the Kindle and turned the eReader market on its head, Knightwise reminisces about some of the earlier reading experiences and provides recommendations for a bunch of great reads.
What’s in the bag…?
- Logitech K811
- MS Sculpt
- Macbook Pro + DongleTown
- iPad Pro + Apple Pencil
- Ikea USB Charger
- Quechua Trekking Bags
- Knightwise.com Facebook Group
Episode produced by Keith Murray
This week Knightwise dives back into a topic to help you make better use of
hostile foreign computers. With the proliferation of high-speed high-capacity USB thumb drives it’s easier than ever before to carry your computing workload with you and run your life from a stick.
With all these amazing guest bloggers showing us what gear they use and what is “in their geekbags” I feel a little intimidated showing you what I drag around. My “Bag” is my daily companion for the days I work onsite as an IT consultant. It is focused on portability AND the ability to facilitate my creative and commercial activities while i’m out the door.
The Bag : I have a thing for bags. I don’t have just one : I have several. As my wife jokes from time to time “I’m like a woman” when it comes to computer bags. Perhaps she is right .. The thing is : I don’t believe in “one bag” for every occasion. Depending on where you are going, what you need to take with you and what kind of venture you are attending … a different bag (or even a different setup of selected gear) might be required.
So in this case i’m showing you my “Day to day – on the road” bag (and its contents). The bag I carry around is a Thule Gauntlet 13. It was orignally designed for a 13 inch Macbook pro, but as I talked about it in the INITIAL REVIEW I did for Knightwise.com, it is a bit of a “Too tight fit” for the 13 inch Macbook but perfect for the setup I use it for. The bag is more of a ‘hard-case” then a messenger bag. This makes it compact AND keeps you from “over stuffing” your bag with things you don’t need. Like an old ‘attache’ case, it offers sturdy protection but also allows just a finite amount of stuff you can cram in it. This is both a positive and a negative thing. The bag is stylish (important) rugged (it protects my gear) organised (it has pockets and compartments) and waterproof (I tested that by aiming a garden hose toward it.) You can go for a detailed review HERE .
The laptop : I have a 15 inch Macbook Pro I use for just about everything. But I also held on to my 11 inch Macbook air that I got last year. Partly for sentimental reasons (its just a great device) but also for practical reasons : I would be terrified taking my 15 inch Macbook Pro on the road with me every day. Its too valuable for me (and also a little bit too bulky). The Macbook Air is also my ‘experimental machine’ to run Linux distro’s and stuff. It is encased in a clear plastic hardcase I bought on Ebay (i’m also a little bit of a case-afficionado) and on its 128Gig ssd drive I’ve dual booted Osx Mavericks and Elementary OS Linux.
Headphones : My wife bought me a pair of Philips Headphones (I don’t know the type, threw away the box) that sit snugly ON my ears (not one of those sets that goes AROUND your ears). I like them because they are still quite discrete and stylish to use on the road, yet offer good sound quality. I also carry around a pair of apple in-ear earbuds. (not in the picture). These are great for recording audio, listening to podcasts while walking outside .. and they are just plain indestructible. (I have had my pair since Christmas 2012 and they have been through the washing machine 5 times now…) What IS in the picture is a pair of el-cheapo Samsung earbuds I keep in my bag as a spare. Yeah .. triple redundant headphone/earbud setup.. i’m a geek.
Cables : Very few. A charger for the Macbook Air and a micro usb cable to charge my phone, the blue thing is one of those adapters that lets you transfer files from a usb stick TO your phone. I have no idea why I keep carrying it around since its a little redundant .. but I haven’t taken it out yet.
“Writing utensils” : Pens : As few as possible. A highlighter, a black and a blue pen (a blue STAR WARS pen !) and a couple of small post it notes I use religiously to keep tabs on whatever paperwork i’m dragging around. I also carry around a manila folder (the red one) for every slip of paper I need to handle. It keeps the paperwork free from creases and prevents me from losing any document/piece of important paperwork that is smaller in size then a sheet of wallpaper. I don’t carry around a notebook or one of those snobby Moleskin books. I don’t believe in paper.
Harddrive : A one terabyte Western Digital Hard drive (usb powered) for those situations where I need to carry stuff around that does not fit on the drive of my laptop. It is pre-packed with some movies, some music and some tv shows to watch, should I get stuck on an airport or a train station. I NEVER plug this drive into a foreign computer and have thought about encrypting it too.
Usb sticks : 2 Usb sticks , one 8 gigabyte ‘Darth Vader’ one that sports a Live usb version of TAILS (the super secure privacy oriented linux distro that Snowden used) whenever I need to work on a computer that is “not trusted”. There are also some portable apps on there when I’m working on a foreign Windows machine. The other 16 gigabyte stick is just there to “sneakernet” data across.
Box of business cards : Running your own company means carrying around business cards. My super geeky wife found out that these little plastic “wallets” are perfect for doing just that.
Not in the picture.
My phone : I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on a daily basis, combined with a 1st generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Note3 takes care of many of my entertainment and communication needs. The Note3 is also the main “connectivity device” when I’m unable to smooch off some free wifi.
This week we offer you a treat ! Some of the best guestbloggers from the Knightwise.com community (each allstar bloggers, podcasters and content producters) have joined forces to write up a series of articles about “what’s in their bag”. What do they carry around on their geeky roadwarrior adventures. How do they use it and why . We kick off with Tim King. A voice many of you know since he closes up every single Knightwise.com podcast. You have the floor Tim.
Most mornings I start off by putting on my flat cap (1.) as I walk out the door of my house and drive to work. Pretty soon after I arrive I plug in my portable hdd (4.) strap on my headphones (6.) and crack open iTunes for some music. My Bendigo Bank (2.) security token is important if I need to pay any bills or transfer money no matter where I go so I usually have it with me.
Data transport can be a difficult issue sometimes so I carry three flash drives (10., 11., 12.) with me just in case I need to grab a file or give something to a co-worker. I also use the microSD card reader (13.) if someone hands me a card from a camera, tablet or phone.
Because I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 (8.) which is getting a little long in the tooth I often have to top up the battery with my phone charger (5.), can’t wait to get an iPhone 6 shortly! I also take with me a small notebook (7.) so I can jot down the crazy ideas I have for technology solutions, short stories (I’m an avid writer) and generally how to solve the problems of the world.
The male-to-male audio cable (3.) isn’t really a critical piece of gear, but I have it just incase I need to record audio off a weird device like a digital note taker or someones phone.
As I mentioned before I’m a hobby writer, so I like to keep myself well read, hence I bring my Kindle Paperwhite (9.) to work for a quick read during my lunch break. Currently I’m reading the classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer by William Gibson.
Finally I cram all that into my bag (14.) fairly neatly and I’m good to go!
The list :
1. Roger David – Teddy Flat Cap
2. Bendigo Bank Security Token
3. Belkin MIXIT Coiled 3.5mm Male-to-Male Audio Cable
4. Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500 GB Portable HDD
5. Samsung Portable Charger
6. Sennheiser HD 408 Headphones
7. J.Burrows Pocket Coloured Journal – Black
8. Samsung Galaxy S3
9. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (Second Gen)
10. Dyna Store 8GB Hook USB 2.0 Flash Drive
11. Lexar JumpDrive 16GB TwistTurn USB Flash Drive
12. Sandisk Cruzer 8GB USB Flash Drive
13. SanDisk MobileMate Duo Card Reader
14. Bells Beach Crossbody Shoulder Bag
Could not find a link.
You can find Tim online over at regravity.com
So have you ever wondered what the humidity level is like in your living room ? Or how far the temperature drops outside during the night. Would you like to know the decibel level in your house during the night or the overall air quality ? It might not seem essential information you CANNOT live without but its just a small selection of the information offered by the Netatmo weather station.
Now some say that weather stations are for old uncles with bushy nose hair who like to smoke a pipe, drive a volvo and quote Carl Sagan during birthday parties. Who tell you (while using dramatic gestures) that the amount of hectopascal pressure is ..”Too damn high” for the time of year.
And lets face it .. as an information junkie having access to this kind of information is just too cool to pass up. But you’re not a creepy uncle (yet) and surely lack the bushy nose hair .. and you are a geek .. So what do you do.
169 euro’s later you might find yourself the proud owner of the Netatmo weather station. Forget old school weather station contraptions that are bolted to the outside of mouldy cabins in the woods. These 2 battery powered cylindrical devices (one for the inside and on for outside) have sensors for temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, Decibel levels, Air quality and more. Nice if you are “in the room” but with the wifi hookup you can access this info anywhere you go.
A very easy setup process lets you setup an account with Netatmo and install their mobile application on your favorite Android or IOS Tablet or smartphone to access your weather station from anywhere.
I must be honest : At first we thought .. What are we gonna DO with this ? But the fact that you can access the “real time” indoor and outdoor weather stats on your portable device ANYWHERE is pretty darn cool. But the real fun starts when you start looking at the “logs” of all the sensory information collected by the Netatmo. Instead of just “sayin” the weather was good the last week, you can just whip up your phone and show off a very detailed graph of the moisture level in your garden over the last 23 days.
The power of the Netatmo lies in its well designed apps for the IOS and Android platform. Though the sensory range of the Netatmo is “limited’ ( We find that a Geiger counter would be a nice geeky addition) the total package is pretty cool. The sound meter is great but may give you the accidental ability to find out what weeknights your parents have sex. Whether you will be using your Netatmo on a daily basis once the gadget-factor wears of is something that we don’t know but it sure is cool to play with.
At a 169 Euro’s for the basic set (additional outside modules available) the Netatmo is not cheap but if weather stations are your thing , this is one of the best geek-friendly ones you can get. With its high build quality, pretty design and perfect app execution the Netatmo never ‘rains on your parade’ .