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hpr2022 :: Whats in my bag

What I carry in my computer bag when I hit the road.

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Hosted by Bitbox on 2016-05-03 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
laptop, Wacom tablet, hard drive, antenna. 3.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 00:26:27

What's in My Toolkit.

This is an open series where Hacker Public Radio Listeners can share with the community the items that they can't live without, what they find useful in day to day life.

  • Swissgear messenger bag (this link is to a newer version, closest I could find to my 7 year old bag)
    This bag has been with me since 2009, and for about the last 3 years did double duty, carrying both of my laptops with other assorted gear, and has held up beautifully, No fabric wear, not a stitch or seam broken anywhere. Both zippers are intact and still pull smooth and easily, they haven't even lost the pull-tabs (usually my first issue with any zipper). The handle and the shoulder strap are reasonably comfortable (for a single shoulder strap) and show no signs of wear either. Can't recommend this bag enough if you are looking for a tough messenger bag. If you are going to haul 2 laptops around (plus gear) I would strongly recommend something with 2 shoulder straps though, if you're doing any serious walking about.

  • Toshiba Satellite P855-S5312
    I beefed up the ram to 16gb and removed the optical drive in order to install a second hard drive. I also replaced the original 750gb spinning HDD. The new drives were both samsung evo 500gb SSD's. My only real gripe about this laptop is the screen resolution, which maxes out at 1366x768. IMHO, this is a waste of real estate on a 15.6 inch screen. I am looking into this, but replacement with a higher resolution screen seems to be unfeasible, from what I am reading. ( IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS OR KNOW OF A SOLUTION I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT!!)

  • The old HP Pavillion dv5-1235dx
    (I dont presently haul this one around anymore) Got this one in '09. nice screen doing 1680x1050 , but I didn't care for the plastic housing. I like the metal case on the toshiba. - although older, I really liked this laptop, and still prefer the keyboard (although somewhat cramped) over the one on my Toshiba. The feel of the keys themselves and the distinctive stroke and light click as you press down through the detent, just feels better than the chiclet keyboard on my newer machine. Incidentally, I once spilled a rum and coke across this thing, keyboard and all, while it was powered down. After dry out and a good cleaning, it fired up and still works. I don't recommend trying to re create this experiment though. Dumb luck, I suppose. I was sure it would be a deader.

  • Wacom intuos cth480 pen/touch tablet
    (this thing isn't available in this form anymore) these are very nice and work out of the box for me on debian, and mint, (cant speak for other distros). Getting the pen's pressure sensitivity settings in some drawing programs (krita, gimp, etc) can sometimes be a bit fiddly and sometimes hard to find. Overall works quite well, although I am not a professional artist. Trucker, remember? Fun to play with, and reasonably small so its good travel size.

  • Toshiba 2TB 'canvio' portable hard drive
  • Western Digital 2TB 'my passport ultra' portable hard drive
    I carry one of these (WD) for extra storage and backups of my laptop. The other ( the Toshiba) I use mostly for storage of my movies and TV series collections (gotta have your firefly fix, right?). As to which one is better, I prefer the case on the Toshiba, just seems more durable in that high impact plastic, but I will let you know when one of them fails me :)

and for those real long distance wifi signals (and/or getting into monitor mode):

(missed these in the audio)

  • zebra f-301 ballpoint pens, black ink, 2 in fine point and 2 in medium
  • several cheap highlighter markers and one sharpie

Just to be clear...I included many of the links here from Amazon and other shopping sites, or from c-net, because I couldn't see how to load my pictures in with the notes, not because I want to give product reviews or sell anyone anything. I know it can be done, because I see it elsewhere, I'm just too tired to figure it out now. next one. As I understand it, I owe at least 2-3 shows. Be patient with me Ken, I'm workin' on it.


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Comment #1 posted on 2016-05-03 22:32:28 by Jon Kulp

What's in your cab?

Excellent show! Thanks so much for the taking the time to record and also to put together such detailed notes. A couple of follow-up topics occur to me: 1. "what's in my cab." Always interesting to hear the kind of things people consider "must have" when they have to live in small spaces for a long period of time. 2. how to back up an 18 wheeler to a loading area. I've always been amazed at how professional truck drivers can back those giant things into the most awkward places. Much respect!

Comment #2 posted on 2016-05-04 14:57:58 by JWP

Great Podcast

Hey I really liked your podcast thank you for being so clear about wants in your bag. I liked your simple approach to your items. The Wifi whips you got to do a show about that stuff for sure. Please build on what you shared I liked the recorder part a lot as drive a lot to.

Comment #3 posted on 2016-05-08 01:22:23 by Christopher M. Hobbs

Tell us about truckin'!

Hey, wonderful episode! You had a lot of great tips about durable kit. I'm going to look a few of them up.

Would you consider doing an episode talking about truck driving? People see truck drivers every day and we don't know much about the world you're in!

Thanks for submitting a show and welcome to HPR!

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