Backpack to the future
My two portable storage drives - one for backup, the other exclusively for running Windows and Ubuntu under Parallels - go here:
Add to this a shitload of cables and adapters, plus the external Blu-ray/DVD drive frustratingly missing from the MacBook and other things that I have found to be useful when you’re on the hoof, such as stationery, wet wipes and spare shoelaces. An umbrella is hidden in a side pocket.
The largest compartment is forced to contain two iPads (a ‘2’ and a ‘new’), books, two notebooks of the traditional paper-based variety, and my packed lunch. Last month, I was working double shifts, so had to cram in lunch and dinner.
I’d love something better designed but thorough in-store testing - much to the annoyance of staff at PC World - leads to disappointment. Judging from the bags currently on sale, I gather that practically no one else carries more than one computer device, nor do they need space in that bag for their power cables, let alone tuna, ham and tomatoes in an onion bagel.
HP does an extensive line of laptop luggage, from simple sleeves to suitcases, and there are some pretty rugged shoulder bags with wide straps in the range.
I also like the look of Wenger Swissgear rucksacks despite having to put up with unfunny Arsenal jokes from colleagues every morning.
Unfortunately, these bags only give you one padded pocket. Unless I squeeze everything together into this pocket, all jangling around, bashing and scraping each other, my tablets still have to rub metaphorical shoulders with my lunch.
One answer might be an overnight travel bag, which offers additional protected compartments for shirt, shreddies and deodorant right up until the latter’s confiscation by airport security. However, these ugly black cuboids are not comfortable to carry, and I’m worried that the ones with wheels will make me look prissy. I worked with someone who dragged her kit around in a Samsonite wheely case, and this bizarrely always made her look as if she was just about to leave the room – not a good look for a contractor.
As for Superdry laptop bags, don’t even bother. What a load of crap they are: thin material, lack of padding in the base and a hideously enormous logo to identify you as the office chav.
The most thoughtfully designed bags are produced by Crosskase. I tried out the Crosskase Fusion, which has lots of compartments, including separate - and perfectly sized - laptop and iPad pockets, both well-protected. Unfortunately, none of the other pockets are fat enough for your sandwiches unless you don’t mind them pancake thickness by lunchtime.
There’s a lot more space for my bananaguard in the Crosskase Solar 15, which incorporates a solar panel, battery pack and a zillion adapters for recharging your gadgets, but unfortunately again, there’s only one properly padded pocket.
One day, my ideal bag will come but it hasn’t yet… unless you know differently? ®
Alistair Dabbs is a freelance technology tart, juggling IT journalism, editorial training and digital publishing. He believes that one of the most valuable yet underrated perks of permanent employment is the provision of desk drawers with a lock. Imagine what it would be like if you had to carry the contents of these drawers to and from work every day...
Universities don't generally require an ICT A-level anyway, so he's better off taking further maths or physics. If he's a proper geek then taking drama will help round off his personality and meet lots of girls too.
>> Is it just me or is there something really offputtingly creepy about that leer with the "something for the weekend, sir?" headline next to it?
It's just you. Tell me about your mother.
Re: Shouldn't this be in Bootnotes?
This is AD channelling Private Eye's ace columnist, Phil Space.
Kenneth Grahame had a few thoughts on the matter...
The Toad, having finished his breakfast, picked up a stout stick and swung it vigorously, belabouring imaginary animals. `I'll learn 'em to steal my house!' he cried. `I'll learn 'em, I'll learn 'em!'
`Don't say "learn 'em," Toad,' said the Rat, greatly shocked. `It's not good English.'
`What are you always nagging at Toad for?' inquired the Badger, rather peevishly. `What's the matter with his English? It's the same what I use myself, and if it's good enough for me, it ought to be good enough for you!'
`I'm very sorry,' said the Rat humbly. `Only I THINK it ought to be "teach 'em," not "learn 'em."'
`But we don't WANT to teach 'em,' replied the Badger. `We want to LEARN 'em--learn 'em, learn 'em! And what's more, we're going to DO it, too!'
If it's good enough for Mr Badger, it;s good enough for me!
Bags channel on The Register
El Reg definitely needs a Bags Channel - luggage isn't just "hardware". It's lifestyle, utility, culture, image, quality, ergonomics and a cash sink to rival any Volvo. Anyway, for my tuppence, the Tom Bihn Brain Bag looks a good bet