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The Well-Equipped Road Warrior

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Episode 60
May 19th, 2006

I travel fairly often and service clients at their homes or offices even more frequently. So I keep a backpack stocked with everything I think I might need on the road right by the door. When travel time comes I merely toss in my PowerBook and power adapter into the backpack and hit the road.

The backpack itself is Shaun Jackson Design's BackOffice, which I've used for over two years and recommend without hesitation. I have yet to find a PowerBook bag that even comes close. I do wish it offered just a little bit more storage space, but other than that it's the best bag I've seen so far. (If you want to know more about the BackOffice, check out my review for the Houston Chronicle.)

What else is in my backpack? Glad you asked. In addition to the PowerBook and power adapter, my road warrior kit includes:

  • Ultra-Cord 13-Piece Connector Kit with USB, FireWire, Ethernet, and telephone cables and adapters. This inexpensive kit contains retractable cables and adapters for every occasion in a handy leather-like zipper case.
  • An Apple AirPort Express (US$129.99 - Amazon), which lets me use my PowerBook wirelessly in hotel rooms that only offer a wired Internet connection.
  • RadTech OmniCleanz and microfiber cloth, the best stuff I've found so far for cleaning flat panel displays (and eyeglasses).
  • I hate trackpads and avoid using them whenever I can. So the RadTech BT500 Bluetooth mouse is my mobile mouse of choice. This little gem requires no USB dongle and tracks smoothly on almost any surface.
  • A 12-foot VGA extension cable (from Radio Shack) for presentations where the projector is 13 or more feet away.
  • Pens and a note pad, for scribbling down information when taking the PowerBook out of the bag would be too much effort.
  • Chargers for my cell phone and Bluetooth headset. After forgetting to pack them for the umpteenth time I bought a second set that live in my backpack.
  • Kensington Flylight ($9.99 - Amazon), a little LED on a flexible gooseneck that plugs into an available USB port and sheds some light on my workspace. It's great for reading hard copy of my notes during presentations in darkened rooms.

There is one last thing-I always keep a RadTech Notebook ScreensavRZ between the PowerBook keyboard and display. This super-soft cloth prevents oil and dirt on the keys from being transferred to the display and can also be used to clean the display (or optical discs) without sprays or wet wipes.

So those are the things I don't like to leave home without. If there is anything in your road warrior kit that you can't live without, I'd love to hear about it. Please post a message below or send it by e-mail to RoadWarrior@boblevitus.com.

And that's all he wrote...

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has been a Macintosh user for a long, long time and has written 49 computer books including Mac OS X Tiger For Dummies and GarageBand for Dummies. He also offers expert technical help and training to Mac users, in real time and at reasonable prices, via telephone, e-mail, and/or unique Internet-enabled remote control software. For more information on Bob and his services, visit www.boblevitus.com.

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