The Perfect Pack WishList

Did Daniel Craig get the TREG call?

Sorry, MI6 does not permit discussion of equipment for Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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With all due respect to Q, maybe a little more Jane than James would be appropriate for modern times …

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Now that idea has got legs.

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An ideal work scenario, TB-wise for me is:

I’m attending an event (concert, museum, whatever) after work, and I don’t want to carry my backpack (right now is a black Piquadro computer backpack which is very flat but can pack Mac Air, iPad pro, my current external keyboard which is not a TextBlade, tupperware for lunch and sometimes also a drink). Hence, I’d like to be as lightweight as possible: lightning-HDMI adaptor, my phone, TextBlade, optionally some phone stand that can hold it portrait. Also, I always carry a small notebook and a bullet pen. Ideally, I can keep the stand, blade and adaptor in the same bag/recipient and it fits in my pocket, bullet pen would be a plus, as well as 53’s Pencil which I have started using with Procreate Pocket for iPhone (it’s in beta and it’s terrific).

On that day, I’ll work mostly by SSH-ing into a remote instance, but working with an external screen for size. I may work more on design/architecture with my pen on paper, I may go to a quiet place with the TB, phone and stand. I could go anywhere.

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I bought an Anker cable for my phone and it came with it.

Great question - I actually have three different scenarios:

  1. Not on the road: this one is very simple - I stow my iPad Mini and portable keyboard in one jacket pocket, Swiftpoint mouse, extra battery and folding umbrella in the other, iPhone and stylus in my shirt pocket. This is not a special custom-made or gadget-oriented jacket - just a plain vanilla, off-the-rack jacket (or winter coat - it gets cold in the NE USA).
  2. On the road: I use a Brenthaven Collins Vertical Messenger bag - it is the lightest bag of its type I have found, and has “just enough” pockets (e.g. passport, charger and display cables), but not too many, and is not fussy about closures (simple but robust hook, no zippers or annoying Velcro to fiddle with). Unfortunately, Brenthaven decided to reduce its manufacturing costs by replacing the original excellent shoulder strap attachment (with high-quality metal swivel hooks) with a permanently sewn-on strap that saws into your shoulder as you’re running across airports. So, I’m hanging on to my original bag for now, and hoping that it does not need replacing in the near future.
  3. This one is not for me, but for K-12 students - who, if I recall correctly, were an audience of WayTools at the outset of the TextBlade project. Unfortunately, most school districts confuse the need to protect an iPad (or other tablet/laptop) from crushing/impact in transit (backpacks are not a friendly environment for tablets) with protection for day-to-day use. Result: I see kids burdened with a couple of pounds of rubber around their iPads that do nothing to protect them from crushing, but do a great job of making devices unpleasant to use. So, a great case would be one that allows students to carry a naked iPad, Apple Pencil, and TextBlade in as small and compact a crush-proof package as possible, and could double as a flexible stand/lap desk. Not a trivial design task, but a worthwhile one, I think.

Oh, and for people who say “you need to use MIL-STD-810G certified equipment with students”, I have two replies:

  • I’ve been working on K-12 learning technology projects since the 80s, and portable ones since the 90s. Projects that are well-run, with good support and clear goals have breakage rates comparable to or lower than Fortune 500 tech deployments; projects that are poorly supported and unclear in their goals, well…
  • You don’t know what MIL-STD-810G means anyway, do you?
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