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The modern geek’s travel kit

Filed in: lists, tech, travel, Wed, Dec 31 2003 02:00 PT

I have mad kit. This is all of the techie junk I’ll be traveling with in 2004:

  • PowerBook (800MHz, 512MB RAM, 40GB disk, combo drive), AC adapter and spare battery
  • Nokia 3650 phone
  • Cisco ATA 186 Voice over IP box, Radio Shack mini-phone and Plantronics in-ear headset (hopefully, Vonage will support USB-based VoIP in 2004, and I can replace all this with a single USB VoIP handset)
  • iPod (40GB)
  • Palm Tungsten T
  • iConcepts USB HotSync and Charger cable
  • SanDisk 256MB SD card (only $45 at Costco. Woohoo!)
  • Sony DSC-P7 3.2MPix camera
  • Belkin F8T001 USB Bluetooth adapter
  • Lexar Media JumpDrive Trio USB Memory Stick/SD/MMC reader
  • Apple iPod Dock Connector to USB 2.0 + FireWire (allows me to use my iPod storage with any device that supports USB or FireWire)
  • (2) Super-thin Ethernet cables
  • Ethernet crossover adapter
  • (2) CD-RW discs

I find myself wishing for an AC/car/airplane power adapter with ports for my laptop and phone, but that’s not likely to be purchased until the second half. I also suspect I’ll buy a SD-based 802.11b adapter for the Tungsten, since that would make it a handy-dandy remote control device at home.

So, here’s what I can do with all of this junk. I can read all of my media without carrying around cables. (I do keep two I otherwise don’t need in exchange for speed and recharging.) I can transfer small amounts of data (<256MB) via my SD card to any device with USB. I can transfer large amounts of data (up to 8 gigs) via my iPod. I can access the Internet over GPRS from any Bluetooth-aware device. I can access the Internet on any Bluetooth device via a wired or wireless connection on my PowerBook. I can connect to any wired Ethernet port, anywhere. I can sync all of my Bluetooth devices over the air. I can save TV shows I’ve recorded on my home PC to my iPod for convenience. (Or, I can burn them to DVD.) And, I can have a phone number in Cambridge, Mass., anywhere in the world that has broadband connectivity. (Helpful hint: If you do this, and you go to Japan, unplug the terminal adapter while you sleep. I once got a wrong-number call at 2am from a car mechanic. It’s really hard to explain why you sound like you just woke up in this situation.)

I suppose the most difficult concept to swallow is that I am not the alpha geek of W3C. That title is shared by Masayasu Ishikawa, who wears a utility belt that would put Batman to shame, and Ralph Swick, our one-man audiovisual department, telco, and Semantic Web guru. I am at best a distant third. This is why I love my job.

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