The Writer's Cheap and Easy Go Bag
The bag and the contents were chosen for their maximum portability, functionality, and (of course) minimum stress on the wallet. Though I wanted to save cash, I did not want to sacrifice functionality when I traveled, which is quite often for work. With this setup, I believe that I have achieved a balance between expense, mobility, and working efficiency. At the very least, it works for me.
1. Eastsport Messenger Bag – This lightweight, yet roomy messenger bag provides enough room for all of the items listed here plus some and it cost less than $20.
2. 10.1 Gateway LT2016u – I know I am going to get grief about my four year old netbook, but you can not beat the battery life on this thing. Furthermore, after replacing Windows XP with Bodhi Linux and adding the specific programs that I needed/wanted (libre office, skype, vlc, firefox, steam, Gimp, etc), the OS has a sleek modern look that allows me to get a full days work just off of the battery. It also is equipped with an on-board SD card reader which comes in handy.
3. Charger – I think that explains itself.
4. Car Charger/ ACDC converter – I carry this to use in my vehicle or when I am in a rental car. Not only can I charge my cell phone, but I can charge the netbook with it as well.
5. 4GB SD card with TAILS Linux OS– Because I often work in a library, coffee shop, airport, hotel, etc and I often work with sensitive material, I carry a TAILS linux Live SD Card, which focuses on security. Also, since the distro is run from a SD Card, it provides no access to my HDD and the RAM is wiped on shut down. I just pop it into the SD port, boot up, and I am good to go.
6. SD card reader – Not every computer as an SD port; therefore, I carry a card reader on the off chance I need to move files from the card to another computer.
7. 8 GB USBs color-coded with electrical tape – Each USB has a specific purpose whether it be for backups, research or active projects since I do not really keep files on the netbook. I caught these on sale for about $4 a piece, but only the black ones were on sale for whatever reason. So, I color-code them for ease of use.
8. Samsung Galaxy SkyRocket (Not pictured. Hey, I had to take the picture with something)– This is my electronic multi-tool that I can use for calls, Skype, email, texts, podcasts, RSS feeds, calendar, music, etc. But since I do not use the 3G functionality on the netbook, I also use my phone as a wireless hotspot in the event that WiFi is unavailable.
9. Multi-tool – These are not just for Les Stroud. It always seems like you need a screwdriver, pliers, or something; even if it is just to get gum unstuck from the bottom of your shoe.
10. Pens & Mini Composition Notebooks – because sometimes nothing beats a simple pen and paper.
11. Ear Buds – Music and I also use them in conjunction on the netbook's on-board mic for conference calls.
12. Booklight – I use when I am working at home or in the hotel and I need something a little softer after being under bright florescent lights all day, but it also makes a handy mini flashlight, too.
This bag may not win me any fashion awards, but you may notice everything is black because I hear black goes with everything. Nevertheless, it is an inexpensive setup that provides a great deal of functionality and allows me to easily carry an entire working desktop with very little effort.