Friday, August 17, 2012

What do I carry in my Backpack?

I was on the airplane yesterday scrolling through my RSS feeds and came across Adafruit's blog post, Asking Readers about what they carry in their backpack as people got ready to go to school.

so here it goes... 


What's in my backpack?
My backpack at the Alamo in San Antonio while I was there for the ASEE Conference. 
My backpack is a combination of a purse, demo-box, life line and project transporter. At any moment the contents can drastically change, but for the purposes of this post I've decided to highlight only the things that are regulars (or have been in my pack for longer than a week). 

First, my backpack... is simply awesome. It's called the Off-Grid from Voltaic Systems (a really neat company that makes rugged solar panels) and was actually my second bag from them.  Some of the high points. 

1. It has multiple pockets that can really carry almost everything that I need to.  I like to compartmentalize things, and having the options where to put things is really nice. 
2. I can split the solar panels between multiple packs instead of just using the one that it came with (they expose the junction box for you to re-wire if you want). 
3. It fits, even fully stuffed, under the seat in front of me in the airplane. 
4. It has a wire from the panel pack to the shoulder pocket, so I can charge my phone AND use it with headphones (thank you for that). 
5. I can detach the front panels and take them with me even if I need to leave my backpack behind (e.g. Picnic at the park). 
*I'm going to limit my gushing about Voltaic Systems because easily this post will become all about my amazing backpack. Instead, I'll get into the contents!

First things unpacked- Sitting at Gate 16 at the St. Louis Airport. 

1. The back section

a. My personal laptop 13 Inch MacBook Pro  Neon Green is kinda my colour, so I have a cover + a keyboard cover on it. 
b. My work laptop. It's some version of a Dell. It runs Windows 7 now. The only reason why I use this one is for Code Composer Studio, National Instrument's LabView and to do official VPN things. I did get a skinit sticker on it that shows the TI portfolio. Once CCStudio becomes compatible with Mac then I'll stop carrying this thing around and just use my regular mac computer exclusively. 
c. 1 copy of Space Games Kenneth and his sister told me a story about how they got seriously into programming when they were children because of a library book. Curiosity got the better of me so I ordered a version of the book. I've been going through some of the games and love it. I'm hoping to write a couple of these myself one day. 
d.  Amazon Kindle DX with Otterbox Case-  around Christmas time they had a huge sale on and I got one of these for 200! The Kindle (original size) was my favourite piece of technology. Getting it's big brother has also been just as satisfying (and useful!) Primarily because it's large enough to read datasheets and manuals. 
I like the otterbox case (only complaint is there is no screen protector).
e. Plain old composition book: I use these to do my speedwriting and just idea dump. After school supply season is over you can get these at target for $0.25. I go through one probably one every two weeks. 
f. MoleSkine Voliant XLarge Notebook: this is where I do my creative planning or note taking.

2. The Middle Section

This is probably the most interesting section of my backpack. 

a. My Favourite Battery Pack:  Energizer XP4001 This is my life saver. It power kits and it powers my phone. I like this particular pack over all of the other ones I've tried because there are two USB ports. 
b. Charger for above battery pack: I did label and put my phone number and email on the charger.( I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally left this charger and had it returned to me. Moral, make sure to put your phone number on your adapters!)
c. charging adapter for Work Computer. 
d. Misclaneous Kits. (covered below)
e. My Sonic Screwdriver- Pen: What girl doesn't have one? :-)
f. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen- Charcoal Medium Nib: My favourite pen... that I've had for years. Here's a fun post to explain this weird affinity. 
g. Slap Bracelet ... that is also a ruler 
h. My headphones: Foldable Darth Vader Headphones  using the Apple Core Wire Keeper 
i. macbook charger
j. lipgloss
k. chap stick
l. Sony bloggie HD Camera
m. hairbrush
n. FRAM For Dummies book I'm reviewing. 

a.The expanded Slap Bracelet I got into trouble with TSA for storing it like this. (Apparently it looks like a knife blade when going through xray. Make sure your slap bracelet is rolled up if you are planning on flying. )
b. My accessories box (covered below)
c, d. Kits box 2 (boris on the cover)
e. Sun Glasses (prescription but I never seem to ever use them because I am seldom in the sun ;-/
f. My real glasses
g. Beaglebone Tin
h. My Pens Box (covered below)
i. The Launchpad Box: I found this card container at the container store (that is perfect so this will fit in the back pocket of jeans).
j. My mobile hotspotL A life saver for internet wherever I am. 
k. car keys
l. Badges for Both the TI sites and the National Sites
m. Toothbrush and paste
n. My Livescribe Pen 

3. The Kits I carry

a. BeagleBone revision A6 in the A5 Special Edition Tin.
b. Anaren AIR Module for the MSP430 It's the node part of a demo I have for my Chronos Watch
c. MSP430 Launchpad for the Launchpad in the Wild Photos, 
d. Captouch Boosterpack 
e. The Happy Earplug: An inside joke that began with an earplug that had a smiley face put on it. 
f. 5529 MSP430 Kit- Prime kit for education I'm testing some of the lab exercises on. 
g.  Hotel Key card- I forgot to return a while ago, but have found useful as a scraper or prying tool. 
h. Short IPhone Cord: Oddly useful. 
i. various adapters for Voltaic Backpack
j. Square Reader: For taking payments at seminars. 
k. Voltaic Battery Pack that came with the backpack
l. C2000 launchpad just released
m. C2000 LED Booster Pack
n. breadbaord
o. Ardunio uno

4. The Pens Box
a. pen holder (it's actually a sushi holder I found at the 100 Yen Store when I was visiting the Tokyo office)
b. Extra ink refills for the livescribe pen
c. Eraser and sharpener (although no wooden pencils...)
d. Post-its. 
e. The best give away ever. ADI had these mini screw drivers that were pen sized you could change the heads from. I haven't been able to  this yet. 
f. Sharpies: dark blue and black. Also super useful in a pinch.
g. Pen I stole: From the waiter in the Dallas Ft. Worth Airport Chili's... that I never got around to taking out. 
h. Drawing Pens: for better doodles or when I'm feeling artistic
i: I forgot this letter...
j: Various Japanese Mechanical Pencils: I think japan has some of the neatest stationery. I always pick up a few in the gift shop when I am in Japan. 
k. My favourite pencil of all time- it's a drafting pencil I've had since University.
l. Appropriate Pencil refills (0.7mm for the drafting and 0.5mm for the Japanese Pencils). 
m. This pencil actually belongs in the below box 

5. The front pocket + Accessories Box

a. Mini Tweaker Speaker, USB charged and powered. Surprisingly loud. 
b. Extention cord ZipLinq 
c. Retractable iphone cable
d. retractable mini mouse originally I had it for the BeagleBoard XM demo, but ended up using it as it's a really good mouse. 
e. USB Memory Stick: given to me because it turns into Anakin Skywalker #bestgiftever
f. mini pen if I run into a spot where I forget mine. 
g. retractable Ethernet : these come with all of the Stellaris Ethernet Kits
h. Retractable Audio
i. USB female to USB micro male (needed for the Stellaris LM4F Kits). 
j. Retractable USB: Male to female extension
k. USB micro charge only (needed for the WiFi Hot spot, like the iPhone short cord, this is useful when charging off the battery packs. 
l. USB charger with 45 degree angle for USB Mini good for demo kits and also the Voltaic Battery pack
m. USB Micro Cable (for kindle and data USB Micro). 
n. another skipped letter... 
p. Game Piece Carry Case  bought at the container store. 

before dissembling.

Proof it all fits.

getting ready to get on the plane with my bag.

Happy Earplug :-)

So that's what's inside of my backpack!

No comments:

Post a Comment