My dad was an airline pilot for a now defunct airline Braniff International. When I was younger I had really wanted to fly planes – my dad had a great story of how, when he was 15, he lied about his age to enroll in the Marines for WWII and flew combat (Corsairs) in the Pacific. Luckily, he had the foresight to know that my days spent with my Commodore 64 were probably a better investment than flying lessons. Besides, once Microsoft Flight Simulator came out, who really needed lessons (hehe). …but was he ever right! I’d still love to learn how to fly someday — maybe I can bug my buddy Stephen who bought a plane, but doesn’t know how to fly yet (haha) — but for now I’m happy just being a passenger.
Being a passenger is something that I’ve been doing a lot of the last couple years. Now that I’ve left Microsoft to start Telligent Systems I was hoping to travel a little less. That was supposed to happen (at least in theory), but here I am at 12:30 AM packing for another trip. Last week it was Montreal, Houston, and Austin and now Amsterdam.
No complaints though, I love to travel! I just thought it might be fun to blog about my roadwarrior gear and what I consider the ‘essentials’:
- iPod – 10GB only because I’m all about the ‘deal’ and bought an open box that someone else had returned; I saved a bundle. I’m not a Mac fan. In fact, as much as I love looking at the Mac when I go into a store using a Mac drives me absolutely nuts. That said I LOVE my iPod. Form, function, battery life and besides it just looks cool!
- Blackberry 7320 – A battery that never seems to drain, getting emails and being able to reply to them from anywhere, and a built-in phone, calendar, and address book that all syncs with Outlook makes this my ‘can’t leave home without it’ device. Negative, it runs Java. Someday it will be perfect and run managed code, but for now I’m content with just using it and not developing for it.
- IBM Thinkpad T40i – After 6+ years of Toshibas at Microsoft I surveyed the usual cast of characters (non-MSFT presenters) that I see at every conference. I now see why they have a Thinkpad — after having a brand new Toshiba breakdown on me 3 times over the last 6 months I was at Microsoft. It’s solid, fast, light, and super-swappable. Love it.
- Tumi Laptop Backback – I travel as light as possible and prefer to have my laptop on my back instead of a shoulder bag. The Tumi backpack is great. It fits under just about any airline seat and has enough organization and space to house all the other stuff. Again an example of always looking for the ‘deal’ I haggled my way down to a 1 year old version of this backpack for about 1/3 the retail cost — new they’re really too pricey.
- Targus Universal Power Adapter – One power adapter that is modular enough to support various power inputs and output cabling for laptops and other devices for US and European power.
- 5 foot Ethernet Patch Cable – Never know when you’re going to need it, but always handy to have.
- Microsoft Laptop Mouse – So nice…
- Pad of paper – or at least until I buy a tablet Slate. Both Marcie and Julia helped me see the Tablet PC light at DevTeach.
- 50 Business Cards – Never know when someone wants more info on Telligent Systems 🙂
- 3 foot USB Patch Cable – Again, always useful.
- Retractable RJ-45 Phone Cable – Haven’t used it in a while, but still carry one just in case.
- 64 MB USB drive – So, so useful. I use this on just about every trip I go on.
- CDs – Backups of all PPTs I’ve ever presented and some others that I like to reference (with Demos included)
- CD copy of last laptop backup – just in case something goes horribly wrong
- Passport/Hotel/Car/Airline program cards
That’s it. I do throw some other stuff into the bag occasionally. Such as spare laptop batteries or the chargers for the iPod or Blackberry, but only for 3+ day trips. Of course clothes too, but I’ll spare you the details there 😀
What don’t I take? No hardcopy reading material, such as books and magazines. Too much weight and usually not as interesting as you orignally thought — or you just read it faster. It’s easy to throw a magazine away, but lugging a 5+ lbs book around…