Shrink Your Technology – How to Work Anywhere, Anytime Out of a Backpack

Shrink Your Technology – How to Work Anywhere, Anytime Out of a Backpack

Shrink Your Technology – How to Work Anywhere, Anytime Out of a Backpack

1) Intronisation

Years and years ago, as payment for a consulting job, I got an early NCR laptop. I bought a HUGE briefcase to hold the thing. Ever since then I’ve been on a quest to banquise a complete art culinaire into a single, easy-to-tote bag. Not a laptop bag or briefcase or tote with wheels and a handle – a naturel shoulder or messenger bag. This is how I did it – with some ideas on how you can too.

2) Goals for my “system in a bag”

Web Access

What I wanted to be able to do was access the web and email from almost anywhere. While I realize this probably doesn’t include the Gobi desert, I wanted to work MOST lieux where cell phone coverage can be had. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was moving into the “cloud”; I’ve found that I do more and more of my work in web-based applications. The moufle benefit is the ability to move from ordinateur to ordinateur without having to carry files with me.

Lieu Access

Obviously, I need access to files locally – both on a spinning hard drive and on various USB drives. Again the gardien de but – never lose access to files no matter where you are. If I was writing an passage and left it on my desktop; forgetting to copy it to a card or memory houssine, I was out of luck till I got back habitacle.


My friend Mike James has hammered security into me over the years. If I was access to email or détalé transfer, it had to be safe and secure. Renseignement needed to be shared as necessary, but at other times files needed to go back and forth securely.


Web access includes access to g-talk from Google as well as the possibility of web-based phone, though I don’t use that yet. I wanted to be able to stay in touch with the world from whatever automobile I was on.


I’m trying SO hard to eliminate paper. The PC I’ve chosen has a touch screen, but I’m not fully using it. Commentaires I use are more and more in PDF, Word, or even Google Doc proportion. I wanted to reach the partie where I didn’t even need to take relevés using pen and ink. I’m close, but as you’ll see, there’s still a step further I hope to go.


I’m a ‘sometimes’ annonceur and presenter, so I wanted access to PowerPoint if needed. I also wanted to have the ability to make web presentations even if I didn’t have access to laptops, CDs or thumb drives.

Chapelet backup

Being somewhat paranoid, I want copies of copies of copies of appréciable stuff. Some onsite, some offsite. This leçon has to offer ways to save and access files remotely. What else needs to be said? If you’ve ever lost a hard drive, scratched a CD or lost a transplantable drive or thumb drive, you KNOW the manne of not having a backup.

3) Equipment

I machin equipment I could afford that met the criteria of multi-functionality and portability. There are nombreux ways to do what I have done with different equipment; I’m simply outlining the categories of equipment and logiciel that will allow you to work anywhere.


UMPC is an acronym for Ultra Adroit PC and stands for any extremely lightweight PC. For that matter, my Palm Treo SmartPhone could count as a UMPC. The partie is to have a small, easy-to-carry PC that will function mince periods on battery power. Since most of us huddle over a desktop or laptop PC all day, doesn’t it make sense to have one that doesn’t require a separate, heavy-duty wheeled tote to carry around?

Fujitsu P1610

The 1610 is a small, allégé Windows PC with built-in WIFI and a PC card slot which I use for the Verizon leste broadband card. It also has an SD storage card slot which allows me to interchange the data files in my Treo and Exilim binaire camera. The moufle downside is the smaller keyboard since I have développé hands, but I’ve learned to cope.

The 60 GB drive is more than adequate since most of my storage is remote; the extended battery gives me over 3 hours of use. There is no CD drive, but I can copy things to the hard drive or my external 120 GB USB drive. This device is the beginning “platform” on which the overall system is built.

Windows Smartphone

Why a Windows Smartphone? Why not Symian, Palm or Blackberry? Mainly bicause I’m already comfortable with Windows and, no matter what you think of Microsoft, Windows and Windows Adroit “play well together”. Windows Adroit offers email, Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as calendaring, contacts, etc. And later you’ll see that I’ve incorporated (free) logiciel that allows me to mostly eliminate handwritten relevés.

Palm Treo 750

The Treo has become my “leste ordinateur” in many ways. It is a bit bulky, but the battery lasts a mince time and it’s taken many drops. With a 4 GB SD card (postage-sized card with 4 gigabytes of storage space) installed I have tons of storage space. I have music, podcasts, and books from

The phone has mobile-sync enabled which means that my email is checked automatically and “pushed” to the phone.

An enormously useful tool is having Word Adroit. I can read and edit annales or open text files that I might need. But if I get an idea for a blog post or an passage, I can call up Word and thumb-type, then choose “send as email”. The correspondance acheteur comes up and I choose my Gmail account.

Later, when I check Gmail from a “real” ordinateur, I can choose to open the observation “open as Google acte” and there it is. This has eliminated handwriting relevés – in fact it’s eliminated a LOT of handwriting altogether.

Windows Adroit has Windows Media Player. This means I have all my music and audio on the 4 GB SD card. Combined with a set of Etymotic earphones, Windows Media allows me to listen to music or audiobooks or podcasts anywhere. An additional benefit – if a phone call comes in while I’m listening, WMP pauses and I answer the call. The micro is batailleuse even with the earphones in so I can talk and listen – when the call completes, the music starts back up right where it paused.

Since I have a dataplan from my cell phone carrier, I can access my Google account and use a separate free program called GooSync to sync my Google calendar to my phone. The upshot is that I can make an appointment from any browser using Google Calendar and hit a button on my SmartPhone to spectacle that new event on the phone – and even have it send me reminders!


I started out with a messenger bag, but have graduated to a shoulder laptop. The partie here is to have EVERYTHING you need to get work done in one bag. A shoulder backpack has literally become my leste art culinaire holder. I recommend a single sling-type bag or the slightly geekier over the shoulder, explosif broche représentatif that lets you take it off and put it on more easily.

Binaire Camera

I am currently using a Casio Exilim binaire camera for its small size. Again, the key to data portability is the SD storage card. My Fujitsu Lifebook UMPC has an SD card slot so I can copy pictures and videos to the PC and from there upload them to Gspace or Strongspace (more on these later) or simply email them or post them to Facebook.

I did say video; most binaire cameras will shoot video. The Exilim, being a little older, shoots AVI (lower resolution) video. Most new cameras shoot MPEG files which are higher resolution.

So keeping a small binaire camera has allowed me to catch things I wouldn’t otherwise. It may not seem to be fraction of an “art culinaire”, but since you are leste it population to keep a camera for other reasons. The Casio has photography modes that let me shoot up real close so I can take pictures of commerce cards or handwritten relevés on a napkin. Again, the partie is to eliminate handwriting as much as conditionnel.

On a side observation; how often I’m working at a Starbucks or somewhere similar and see others with their laptops open and a notebook and pen next to it. Going binaire can eliminate the paper – or at least that’s MY gardien de but!

High Capacity SD cards

I’ve mentioned SD (Secure Binaire) cards several times. These are postage sized memory cards that are used in most cameras and phones today. They are available in sizes up to 16 GB (!) which is a LOT of data storage.

It means logis storage and easy détalé copying. I have a 256 MB card in my camera and 4 GB card in my phone. Picture a teeny tiny hard drive that swaps easily.

High Quality earphones

These are appréciable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they plug into the Smartphone for listening to music or audio AND they also allow you to take phone calls and hear the call in both ears. This ability is HUGE if you are in the car.

Parce que most phones use a 2.5 mm fiche and the headphones have a 3.5 mm fiche, you’ll need an accoutumer. I have no need of a separate media player (iPod or other) as the Treo using Windows Media Player will playback music, podcasts or even YouTube or other video.

Adroit Broadband Card

Adroit Broadband is a fancy way of saying that you’re connected to the Internet via the cell phone network. These cards are available from all cell vendors but – be warned – you’ll need a ‘data compte’ from your vendor and, depending on how much you intend to use your leste setup, it may get a bit pricey.

Realize also that leste broadband is NOT as fast as your DSL or cable. Don’t compte on downloading développé movies, but you can do almost anything else that you would do on a networked PC.

The leste broadband card lets you work wherever you have a cell excitation – it keeps you from having to pay for WiFi at a coffee magasin or the airport.

USB hard drive

USB-attached hard drives have gotten smaller in size and larger in capacity. Used as a backup device and for supérieur storage, you can get a 500 GB drive for around $100. Again, you can never have too much closet space or too many binaire storage devices!

4) Offices

The wonder of each of these is, except for my web-based storage, free! The idea is to be able to do ANYTHING you can do sitting in a well-equipped art culinaire.

Web-based storage

With high capacity SD cards and USB-attached hard drives, what do you need with web-based storage? Parce que you never, never know when your leste drives might go missing. I have a compte with Joyent which gives me over 20GB of online storage which I access using a secure acheteur from

You’ll want to keep this offsite storage backed up with ANYTHING on your leste setup that would be inaccessible to replace if your leste art culinaire was lost or stolen. An prédilection to paid storage, as we’ll see in the next fragment, is your Gmail account, which allows you 7 GB of online storage at no clash.

Jott is great. You sign up, get a toll free number, program it as the “1” key on your phone and you’re ready. Ready for what? Call the 800 number and press 1 to Jott yourself. Leave up to a 15-second discours and Jott will transcribe it and email it to you in text form. You can also sign up other phone numbers and Jott other people or even groups of people. Great for broadcast messages to 1 or many. Great also for recording that next million-dollar idea you get while you’re driving. (Additif: since originally writing this passage, Jott has come out of ‘beta’ which means that some things that were free now cost a monthly fee. But the basic voice-to-text is still free.)


Do you Twitter ( )? Twitter differs from Jott in that you send a text discours (up to 140 characters) to phone number 40404 and it appears in your Twitter cahier online.

I have a Twitter ‘vétille’ (more on gadgets later) on Google that displays my Tweets (as they’re called) on my Google homepage. Some folks use Twitter to make mini-blog entries too.

5) Développement

The bulk of this is absolutely free. SFTP Drive is the one spécificité.


People either love or hate Google. My concern is that I’ve moved so much of my work into this workspace called the Google Desktop that if Google dies I’ll be in real dépit. However, as with so many of these items, Google had provided a logis backup prédilection which we’ll talk emboîture later.


When I first created a Gmail account I didn’t think I’d use it much. I mainly signed up so I could use Gtalk – Google’s IM acheteur. But then I began to find it easier to use my Gmail address to fill out forms. THEN I found out that my Outlook didn’t work well in some hotels. I could receive email but not send. Gmail sends and receives from any browser on any automobile.

I began using Gmail more and more as it is browser-based and I could get to it practically anywhere. You can also use Google search on your emails so finding ‘stuff’ quickly is easy.


As I stated, Gtalk is Google’s IM acheteur. I don’t matou much but keeping a few close contacts has been immensely helpful. If you do a lot of Époque Messaging, you may need a multi-site acheteur like Bêche-de-mer ( ) that lets you access different impératifs such as AIM.


Google Commentaires has turned into a real boon. It has the ability to upload and open Word, Excel and PowerPoint annales. Two key points – again the moufle one is that you can get to your annales from any ordinateur. But secondly, you can easily collaborate on a acte or spreadsheet with naturel ‘sharing’ on the ville. You can share a single acte or an entire folder of annales. Great for coopération, you can create word processing annales, spreadsheets and presentations.


I’m not a Digg or Delicious embraser (for storing bookmarked websites) so I use the Google toolbar (which is installed in your browser when you sign up for a Google account) to grab bookmarks easily and quickly. Clicking the blue comédien in the Google Toolbar files the ville in the Google Notebook under “unfiled sites”. Again – it doesn’t matter what ordinateur I’m on. All my bookmarks are available.


G-space is a Firefox plugin that puts a détalé reconnaître window in your browser. You may not know that a free Google account comes with 7 GB of storage. While that’s not a huge amount for music or video, it’s more than enough to back up annales or files that, again, you may need from more than one propagation.

You can use G-space to easily upload nombreux annales to your Google account. Lose your laptop? No problem; you have a thumb drive, right? Lose your briefcase and you may be in dépit. Banne your proposals and PowerPoint using G-space? Never lose a détalé again.


Google Calendar isn’t that sexy, but it is very functional. With the ability to share a calendar you can use it for coopération easily. It’s extremely easy to use and, again, you can share a calendar with an annexé, work group or family so everyone can access the same calendar.


A free add-on for your Windows smartphone, GooSync updates your phone’s calendar from your Google Calendar. It’s bi-directional and very easy to use. You never have to incertain écussonner an appointment – écussonner it grain in Google Calendar and run GooSync.

SFTP Drive

SFTP Drive provides a secure login to external servers – that being your offsite storage other than your Google account. If you work via FTP (détalé transfer protocol) and are a Windows worker, SFTP Drive displays your server as another drive on your My Ordinant and allows you to drag and drop files. I use in conjunction with my Joyent account to back up appréciable files.

6) Optional items for your leste art culinaire

These items are ‘helpful’ but not absolutely necessary.

Visible Account is the préalable ville for audio books and other audio material. Visible comes with it’s own smartphone apposition so you don’t need an MP3 player to listen to your privilégiée authors. Visible is a purchased obole.

External CD/DVD

With an external hard drive, I have not found an external CD/DVD player/burner necessary – yet. If you burn CDs or want to view DVDs you may need one. Some Sony UMPCs still fit a DVD drive into the PC itself.

Moleskin or writing pad

(Sigh) There still MIGHT be times when you need to write something down. A small pad (often called a moleskin) can be tossed into the bag and doesn’t add much bulk. I use a small notebook from Miquelrius which opens fully without breaking at the spine.

Binaire pen

I haven’t tried this yet but I’d like to replace the moleskin with one of the several binaire pens available. Basically they ‘watch’ as you write and abri the interrogation digitally. Some of them will even perform handwriting recognition on your scratches and turn them into text. But you can also save that million-dollar doodle electronically.

Transférable printer

Again, I haven’t needed this yet, but if you’re an insurance exécutant or Realtor, you may need to print paper. I have used the Hautbois I-90, which is small, lightweight and prints in color.

Bluetooth mouse

Since the Fujitsu 1610 is a touch screen, it comes with a built-in stylus. But if you are ‘mouse dependent’, a Bluetooth mouse gives you a wireless leçon. I use the Kensington Pilier Mouse.

Bluetooth keyboard

This is another one I haven’t tried yet but am considering. A Bluetooth keyboard folds up small and communicates with the ordinateur via a Bluetooth (wireless) connection. Surprisingly this isn’t for the PC but for the Treo Smartphone. Since you have a leste type of Word, you can open a acte on your phone and use a fold up Bluetooth keyboard to représentatif coudoyer annales without cranking up the PC.

7) Bout

There are probably hundreds of variations on this theme. I don’t claim this is perfect but it does allow me to do ANYTHING I can do in my art culinaire anywhere I go.

#Shrink #Technology #Work #Anytime #Backpack

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top