RealNews

The New Road Warrior Toolkit

Regardless of what your notebook weighs, the serious road warrior’s carry-on bag weighs at least 15 pounds. I’ve managed to reach the low twenties on long trips. Here’s what’s in my bag. At the dawn of the serious road warrior era (circa 1990), I carried alligator clips to get a dial tone on hotel phones that didn’t have RJ-11 cables, and I had an acoustic coupler that fit over the handset of an airport phone. Now RJ-11 dial-up is everywhere, and enough hotels have broadband that I’ve taken to carrying a small wireless access point. Even if the hotel offers wired broadband, I can be anywhere in the room, not just tethered to the RJ-45 jack on the desk. The ASUS WL-330 WAP ($70 street) weighs less than half a pound with the transformer, a short RJ-45 connector cable, and a PDA-size carry wallet. It also functions as a wireless repeater and Wi-Fi adapter for non-Wi-Fi laptops. Not that I would ever do this, but I’ve heard of people carrying two laptops and a wireless router from Belkin, Buffalo, Linksys, or Netgear. (The router typically weighs about 2 pounds with transformer and would go in your suitcase.) This presents just one ID to the broadband billing system and represents a minor larceny, on the order of not telling the cable company you have a second TV attached at home. It also means a coworker a couple rooms down the hall could share the connection if he or she knew the SSID and password. But that, of course, would be wrong. Full Story

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