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What's The Ultimate Multi-Laptop Bag?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the maybe-smaller-laptops-too dept.

Portables 72

huckin_fappy writes "One great bonus of my job, I can be effective anywhere I can get a broadband point. If someone have a wireless router running, even better! The downside? Hauling the gear. The hazard of the job is that I need to be running WindowsXP and Linux. I experimented with all sorts of VMWare, Bochs, Wine, etc, and none of it cuts it for my needs. So assume you find yourself lugging around 2 IBM A31P laptops everywhere, with wireless cards, power supplies, wireless mice, etc. What's the best solution? Is there a large bag out there that is designed for such a load? Or am I better with two smaller bags? If smaller, are there bags designed to attach together in bizarre ways to mke them easier to lug?"

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Dual Boot? (3, Insightful)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842449)

Just setup the laptop to Dual Boot. 80gb internal Hdd, and a small external USB/Firewire HDD, Iv seen and used 60gb host powered usb drives that work in Winblow and Linux installed. -------- "Dear Diary, I seem to be dead." -Nny

Re:Dual Boot? (1)

Matt Clare (692178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843289)

If he's lugging two power supplies etc. for two identical laptops I don't think he's interested in an secenario where you are running one OS at a time.

Dual booting? (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10863503)

The guy makes clear that he needs both OSs at the same time. Dual booting is an idea from the nineties, and there is no way he wouldn't have thought about it first.
He says that he can't make it through software, and he tried.
Plus, he doesn't need two HDs for dual booting.

apple (2, Interesting)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842462)

Don't know how fast it would be.
But I say, sell your PC-equipment and buy a powerbook with virtual pc.

Re:apple (1)

i621148 (728860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842513)

i use a g4 power book with virtual pc.
windows xp runs great.
windows media center worked okay.
fedora core 2 runs great.
i am currently trying out suse on it too.

i really like os x and that is my new os of choice now. it has all the power of linux and the config gui's are highly polished and idiot proof. if you want more power over anything you can just open the terminal...

the only problem i had using virtual pc is that to share anything i set up a samba share in os x and then had to transfer files back and forth with the network to my windows installation. i wish there was some way you could just "mount" and see your apple hard drive directly in the virtual pc windows xp environment...

Re:apple (2, Informative)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844056)

Click the folder icon at the bottom of the Virtual PC window and share your drive. It will show up as a network drive in virtual PC with the letter you assign.

You can share a directory or an entire drive.

You can also copy files to and from your Windows and Mac environment by dragging and dropping them.

Finally, you can mount your Windows disk image as a volume in OS X (go to Settings in the virtual PC window).

Re:apple (0, Troll)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842549)

No no no no! He just needs Gentoo! All anyone needs is Gentoo!

How's it feel to be responded to by a zealot? Seriously though, if VMWare won't cut it, what makes you think VPC will?

Re:apple (2, Informative)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843271)

How's it feel to be responded to by a zealot? Seriously though, if VMWare won't cut it, what makes you think VPC will?

No joke. This guy may be marked a troll, but it's true: if VMware doesn't cut the cheeze, VPC won't. I I have a pretty badass setup- two monitors, two computers (one mac and one pc) and one kb+mouse, hooked up with win2vnc. I've XP on the PC, and wanted Linux too. First, I tried it under VPC, but it was so slow that I gave up. But under VMware it's quite nice- 5 times as fast. This Mac isn't the fastest on the block- a 1.25 GHz G4 PowerMac- but it's not like the PowerBooks are any faster, with the fastest at 1.5 GHz.

I totally dig my Mac, but VPC probably wouldn't cut it for this guy.

Re:apple (1)

i621148 (728860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10846745)

i don't know, i have been re-encoding dvds with dvdshrink using windows xp under virtual pc in mac os x on a powerbook and it is pretty fast. i have also been running pro-engineer from ptc which is pretty intensive app without any problem. the only thing i noticed is that when i first installed it, it was really slow, almost to the point of me giving up on it. after next reboot of the mac it was faster than my work pc...

Re:apple (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856162)

Maybe it's something about XP vs Linux? That is, I've never run Windows under VPC- I've always used it when I needed to do Linux/x86 development when a Mac was my main machine. Now I've the option, I use VMware for that. Perhaps vmware tools on XP somehow helps performance?

Go Old Skool (1)

the darn (624240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842470)

Get a Catalog Case! Maybe even with wheels to preserve your spinal integrity...

Backpack + Sleeves (5, Insightful)

TechnoBoffin (709130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842473)

I'd vote for a regular backpack and use separate sleeves for each of the laptops. That would give you individual padding on the laptops and lots of extra pockets for mice, USB thingys, dongles, power bricks, CDs, swappable drives, etc. If you're going to use the bag exclusively for the laptops, you could even fold up a towel or something to put in the bottom of the bag for extra padding in case of a drop, or just for the average setting the bag down. As a bonus, your bag won't stand out to thieves quite as much as a laptop-specific bag.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (3, Insightful)

Chaostrophy (925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842493)

Most definately, your back will thank you! I caried too much for too long in a regular bag, the back pack is much nicer to live with.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842839)

I would take this a step further and get a laptop-specific backpack simply because it's easier to find laptop bags with scads of pockets. If you get one with enough space for notebooks and such, it should have plenty of room for a second sleeve.

tho in my experience I still end up with a second bag because that second laptop is taking up all the space for notebooks and such.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (3, Interesting)

Techguy666 (759128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844013)

I work in a "laptop school" and one of my responsibilities is to review and research new laptop bags on the market. (Yeah, I have a weird job description.)

You really aren't supposed to carry more than 15% of your body weight. Any more than that and your body's not going to be happy over a prolonged period of time. Two laptops, a mouse, power bricks, doodads, CDs, and a couple of hardcover manuals will load down a 160 pound man. Also, even with sleeves, laptops subjected to continually cramming into a backpack will start to show signs of wear on the LCD. The keys of your keyboard will press into the screen and leave indents.

The short of this is, a normal backpack may not be the answer for everyone. Some people may need a combination of a backpack and one of those wheelie, travel bags with the extended handles. Some may opt for a bag with rigid compartments. Some may opt for a camping backpack with the funky bracing.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851378)

will load down a 160 pound man.

Luckily, the average slashdotter weighs twice that at least.

I've got something like this... (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 9 years ago | (#10873295) cat=CAR []

I was able to carry two laptops (A ThinkPad and a PowerBook) in my rolling bag. You have to put a second sleeve in there, but it works.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (2, Interesting)

HughsOnFirst (174255) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850051)

Look for a Porta Brace DC-3 Director Case with Pocket for Laptop Computer. or a DC-2 or DC-1 if you want a really big bag

I carry 2 laptops and a wireless router/access point in one all the time. Porta Brace makes cases for film crews and they know how to make great gear to carry heavy loads. They are also pretty well padded. Most film gear makes a laptop look like a happy meal toy in terms of cost.

Re:Backpack + Sleeves (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851431)

you could even fold up a towel or something to put in the bottom of the bag for extra padding in case of a drop, or just for the average setting the bag down.

Plus, you'd always know where your towel is.

os x (2)

i621148 (728860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842477)

i use a g4 powerbook with virtual pc. windows xp runs great windows media center worked ok fedora core 2 runs great i am currently trying suse... i really like os x. it is like having the power of linux but all of the configuration gui's are highly polished and idiot proof. and if you want more power over anything you can just open the terminal.

Both at once? (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842482)

You need to be running them both at once, I assume? Otherwise, why not just dual-boot?

Re:Both at once? (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843714)

Why not just carry around 2 hard disks and swap them, if you don't like to dual boot?

Re:Both at once? (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847341)

Or if you have a modular bay hdd, install an OS to that and boot off the modular hdd.

Ok, thats just me and my laptop. I never like dual booting. I believe in one OS per HDD.

Re:Both at once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10849530)

Why not just carry around 2 hard disks and swap them, if you don't like to dual boot?

Umm, maybe he needs to use them both AT THE SAME TIME? Dual boots / HD swaps won't give you two systems running with two screens at the same time...

Targus CUN1 (4, Informative)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842509)

We've had a Targus CUN1 [] for a few years. Carries our (not very small) Compaq Prolinea and Dell 8000. Also carries a Canon bubblejet printer and a ton of other crap. And it's a pretty small, tough bag.

linux apps and windows (1)

tech_guru5182 (577981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842518)

Try Cygwin. You can run most linux apps on windows with it, but you would need to compile the programs, so it wouldn't work with programs that are only available in executable formats.

You need to hire yourself a Sherpa (4, Funny)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842528) help you carry all that gear everywhere. Either that, or a porter in a fancy uniform.

Where did VMWare fall short? (1)

venom600 (527627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842555)

I'm just curious because I too have a job where as long as I have my laptop and a phone line (or broadband in some form or another) can do pretty much anything necessary short of pushing the reset button remotely. I've had great success running a Linux host with Windows in VMWare. It works great for me. What were the trouble points with VMWare?

Re:Where did VMware fall short? (1)

Erik_ (183203) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843686)

I'm also a bit puzzeled, as VMware does work very well for me. The only issue I can see is with the pasthrou to the pcmcia card ? Ie Linux Host, Windows Guest, and no way to use the wireless card from Windows (Natively) or the otherway around.
I'm also find it sometimes difficult to stop my Linux host to capturing and not releasing the integrated Bluetooth USB device, while I need it under Windows on VMware (HP Compaq nx7000).

Re:Where did VMware fall short? (1)

venom600 (527627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844101)

To solve the problem of networking, I have just set up a host-only network between my Windows guest and my linux host. Then there's a firewall running on my Linux host which NATs the windows box to whatever network it (the linux host) happens to be using at the time. Works pretty slick. As far as the USB situation, you can tweak hotplug to not grab control of certain devices as they get plugged in. Then, later, if you decide that Linux needs control of the device, you can load the appropriate module manually and use it under linux.

Ultimate Dork (0, Flamebait)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842563)

So assume you find yourself lugging around 2 IBM A31P laptops...
Assume you are the ultimate dork, with two laptops, and you manage to get a brag about it on the front page of Slashdot, under the guise of "One bag...or two!?"


Re:Ultimate Dork (1)

Matt Clare (692178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843376)

And if you are the ultimate dork, I'm sure you wouldn't mind a hiking/out dooor backpack. You'd have all the pouches and cases, plus the weight of all that hardware would no longer be on one side of your body. My one PowerBook and gear and a nice big book travel in a Targus bag with the plastic latch on the strap that I had to re-enforced. I probably sholud have a backpack, but I don't want to look like a dork.

you aren't clear on your requirements... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10842584)

Do you need to have windowsXP AND linux running at the same time?

If you don't, a simple dual-boot will work fine.

If you do, vmware should work great. It does for me.

Re:you aren't clear on your requirements... (1)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842788)

He stated that vmware didn't cut it. It's not always the best solution. For example, last time I tried it was near to impossible to use a wifi card with vmware. Access to real physical peripherals in general is a problem. Speed can also be a big problem, depending on what you have to do. If it's anything graphical, good luck...

Consider a remote Linux solution? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842673)

My Linux box does not play well with my wireless drivers, so I find myself stuck in Linux more than I'd like. However, I hardly notice this, because most of my attention is being directed towards PuTTY, which is running SSH to my nice shiny server. I can carry on almost all my affairs with that, FireFox, Thunderbird (or sometimes, just pine), and occasionally OpenOffice. I don't know exactly what kind of work you do, but that may be enough to let you live in Windows. You could even rig up Cygwin to let you run X applications remotly- though I'd hate to think of the latency that would have (I'm fortunate enough to be really close to my server).

RoadWired bag (2, Insightful)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842762)

I've got a RoadWired camera bag; they seem to make tough, capable stuff. Here's a mondo laptop bag that might do the trick:

RoadWired Laptop Bag []

The video on their site of a guy unpacking one of their bags is impressive and kind of amusing at the same time -- sort of like when all those clowns get out of the little clown car.


thinner (2, Insightful)

dleifelohcs (777508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842813)

Those are definitely not light, or thin laptops. Get a smaller, thinner one. And Dual boot or VMWare.

Very sparse on the details of why you didn't like VMWare or even if you tried Dual Booting.

Try it again.

Two laptops? Save your back (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10842880)

Unless you got the thinest and lightest under powered over priced gadgets this is going to weigh tons.

Yet man kind has invented something for this. Wheels.

Get one nice laptop with a nice screen and get a powerfull one.

Get a professional carrying case with wheels. Something they use to haul tv equipment in. You are a geek, look like a geek.

Fix one the powerfull ugly laptop in a permanant way but so you can still operate it. If you get a suitcase like model, screw the display to lid. so that when you open the lid of the cause you can then let the bottom of the laptop fall and have access to the machine without losing it if you need access.

Lift the better looking laptop out of the case. Close case and put away. Hoopup good looking laptop to equipment in case and use vnc or similar to then have both oses running at the same time on their own hardware. If even VNC isn't good enough then use two ugly laptops, fix them permently inside and buy an LCD monitor mouse and keyboard and a KVM switch.

Problem solved. Sure you look like a dork but this is /. Better then carrying two laptops in a bag. I did this for a while. Damn that shit is heavy.

Re:Two laptops? Save your back (1, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843421)

They make nice looking luggage dollys for people like paralegals and others who need to constantly transport large amounts of paperwork. They are expensive (but are generally leather and have laptop padding) so you often see people just using the fairly inexpensive ballistic nylon hand luggage (the kind with the extendable handle and two wheels). I'd say one of those two options is your best bet. The professions that need to cart about the same amount of stuff from place to place (usually to court) has already solved this problem.


LL Bean backpacks (2, Interesting)

Darkness Productions (143908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843053)

You could always go for an LL Bean backpack. They've extremely comfortable (to me at least), have lots of padding for your back, and have a good amount of room inside the 2 main pockets. As a bonus, you get lots of other pockets to stick 'stuff' in.
LL Bean Backpack []

already been discussed (3, Informative)

nstrupp (51933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843124)

This subject has already been covered about a month ago here [] . Personally I've been using an older version of this bag [] for about 5 years. I've recently considered purchasing a Crumpler [] bag. I know they have several bags capable of carrying more than 1 laptop, or a camera and a laptop. Specifically, look for Brian's Hot Tub [] . Another user reported toting 3 laptops in this one!

More specifics (2, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843281)

I don't know how you travel... but your best best is to get a good-sized targus wheeled bag... they have several models designed to hold a printer & laptop -- you'll easily fit a 2nd laptop in there.

As an added bonus, you won't have numb shoulders from lugging nearly 20 lbs of laptops & junk.

Carry only one small laptop. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843294)

Setup a linux box someplace runing VNC and just use your XP Laptop to long into it. I do a lot of work on my linux box at work with my laptop at home using putty but then again am mainly doing server stuff.

Re:Carry only one small laptop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10843473)

VNC is so yesterday. Try the stuff from A version is included on the last knoppix I got.

Re:Carry only one small laptop. (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844753)

Which is great...until you are out in the field somewhere and don't have net access...or your net access is dial up...or your remote computer is down...or any one of a number of other possibilities.

Re:Carry only one small laptop. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844995)

Well he said he could could work anywhere he had a netconnection. The remote computer going down is pretty rare with a linux box. You could have X lockup but then you just ssh in and kill it and restart x.
For an emergency back up make the laptop dual boot.

Re:Carry only one small laptop. (1)

jhoffoss (73895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10846592)

He also said vmware, wine, etc. didn't work for him. in previous attempts.

Laptop bag (1)

blankgm (792859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843304)

I have to agree with other posters, RoadWired! I purchased my RoadWired MegaMedia [] bag (actually it was a gift from my wife) a couple years ago. I haven't changed bags since. At the time I was working in the Tech Support industry and traveled frequently with loads of support stuff. This bag was the only bag I ever owned that held everything, and was rugged enough to survive both Urban and Desert (Middle East) environments.

Andiamo means "let's go!" (2, Interesting)

ross_winn (610552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843442)

I am a luggage snob. I ran a luggage and leather goods store for almost five years in California. The best bag ever made for your application is the 19" ErgoGrip Executive Mobile Office. Amazing construction, and tough as nails. I have the 22" version (I don't think they make that any more). One of my customes carried 3 laptops (he was a CCIE for PacBell in the mid-nineties) and raved about it. I think I sold five on his word alone.

Tom Bihn, once again (2, Informative)

rich3rd (559032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843605)

As in the last time someone asked for advice on a bag (wasn't it pretty recently?), Tom Bihn is the maker for rugged, utilitarian cases. The Brain Bag has two laptop compartments and other pockets galore for all your other gear. It may cost more than other cases, but it will last five times as long, so it's worth it.

Colinux on top of windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10843685)

I am a mobile user for a windows centric software vendor where I am NOT allowed to dual boot, and do not have administrative priviledges on the laptop. I do my work using colinux and a usb key drive to work in my distribution of choice. No need to dual boot, and data can be shared between linux and windows on the key drive as it is a vfat formatted partition.

Great Cases (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843815)

I really have had good luck with Tenba. They make a wide variety of quite flexible products, and will even do custom jobs.

Targus Matrix Backpack (2, Interesting)

||Deech|| (16749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843875)

For my money, the Matrix is a really nice pack to carry a bunch of stuff in.
It has a padded compartment for one laptop, and another compartment in front of that with a nice elastic support divider where a second laptop nests nicely. I carried my IBM thinkpad T22 and a Compaq Evo N400C and all the associated power bits, along with a full folding tool kit, a digital camera, a digital recorder, my PDA, an MP3 player, a full size set of padded bose headphones with a boom mic, my braces, and misc. geek crap (cd's, wallet, a few cards, parts, etc) all very comfortably. The pack adjusts fairly nicely and has a waist strap and nice cushy shoulder straps with a very handy case for your cellphone on the strap and a nice hole to run the cable of your headphones out of. It's got a padded pocket sized for a cdplayer as well (but I only use that for my software cds)

Oh, and it has a nice netting pocket with elastic straps for your jacket.

Hope this helps. At about $50 or so, it's not a bad backpack at all. I've been pretty happy with the quality.

Re:Targus Matrix Backpack (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10873933)

Your computer is in the Matrix? This is a Soviet Russia joke waiting to happen.

That's a bonus? (0, Flamebait)

bconway (63464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843877)

One great bonus of my job, I can be effective anywhere I can get a broadband point.

I hate to tell you, but that's not a perk. Any job that you can do from home can be done from India.

I'd like to know (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844036)

Why VMWare doesn't satisfy your needs? Get twice the laptop and carry half the crap. I do cross-platform development on the road with a single 2GB 2GHz Athlon SXGA+ laptop. I can run a dozen virtual machines simultaneously in a wide variety of network configurations. I'll carry a powerbook sometimes, but since my OSX testing requirements are fairly minimal, I'm inclined to run OSX clients in a PearPC emulation, running on a minimal VM for checkpointing (so I don't have to endure the emulated boot times).

May I suggest.... (1)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844228)

Here [] are [] some [] little [] suggestions [] .

Big Sturdy Bags (1)

ohsmitt (832004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844348)

The Bags from Timbuk2 are awesome. Some of them are really bg and very well designed. [] But if you are going to carry 2 laptops around all day every day you should just get a rolling luggage bag to save your back!

This won't work? (3, Funny)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844376)

Have you considered a pilots flight bag (case)? (1)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844974)

One of many sources for flight bags [] .

Addition of a little fold up cart and some bungies and you'll be able to tote your toolbox as well.
I would guess you're using one of the boxes as a network sniffer. Otherwise, dual boot, running one OS on a remote system, or kexec would save a lot of toting.

If you go with the flight bag, a chunk of foam cut to fit the bottom and covered in a bit of cloth will limit shock when you drop the bag. You will drop the bag.

One poster commented that your job could be done from India. Perhaps a solution to 'the outsourcing problem' would be a trade agreement such that the country from which the work originates would be allowed the option of a work visa for anyone from that country who might prefer to move with a job provided he is willing to work at the same scale as workers in the country to which the job has been moved.
Some discussion and perspective on this will be interesting.

BYO (Build Your Own) (1)

karearea (234997) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845338)

I've done this a couple of times to get exactly what I've wanted - the philosophy doesn't just apply to software!!

Work out what you want, maybe build a couple of cardboard laptops and the bits and pieces and shuffle them around using some tape until you can get a size and shape you like - remember to take into consideration that the laptops will be heavier :-)

Then make up some templates for the shape you want and either (get and) learn how to use an 'industrial' sewing machine or take it to an upholsterer. Don't forget to think about the material you want and any appropriate padding and strengthening.

Depending on how you do it may cost a bit more initially - but you get exactly what you want and in the long term the TCO may be better :-)

The Solution! (I have two notebooks to tote also) (1)

cypherz (155664) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845387)

These guys make nifty rolling gear cases. The large one holds my 17 inch HP and my Averatec 3250. Sturdy enough not to worry when you have to gate check it getting on a "puddle jumper" aircraft. Downside - expensive. Upside: rolls and will last forever!


Nice mid-price large carry (1)

bindlestiff (191806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845737)

Those tombihn cases sure do look nice but if you need to spend less than $90 I'm doing OK with a large Victorinox brand laptop bag from the local office supply. I put some rolled up eggcrate at the bottom of the bag for shock. It could do two laptops plus gear easily, I think I paid $79.00.

travel case (1)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10846132)

A lot of people around my office (we're all laptop-toting consultants) use the travel suitcases are small enough to carry onboard airplanes, but big enough to store laptops and a whole lot more.

Saves your back because of the roller wheels, and is built for travelling so it's tough and durable. Can't go wrong there...

Backpacks and safer alternatives (1)

Raptor CK (10482) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847209)

I'd recommend the Targus Deluxe Sport Backpack, if you're looking to carry this load on your back. You'll need a sleeve for the secondary laptop, but I can easily carry my laptop, a pile of wireless gear, assorted cables, and so on in this bag. It's not great on specialized mini compartments, though, so you'll have to augment it with additional carrying cases. I use two small bags, one with my daily essential tech gear (USB cords for my main devices, a few spare NiMH cells, a pocket NiMH charger,) and the other with the less useful gear, like A/V cables, Gameboy carts, and a Bluetooth mouse. The mouse is nice, but I have a working touchpad, so I'll live without it most of the time.

Alternately, how well designed is the laptop? I had a Toshiba which I could swap harddrives on in under a minute. You could try that, although you'd end up carrying a drive in an antistatic bag. You're already carrying 15 pounds of computer, even without wireless cards, AC adapters, mice, etc. You would be much better off with a dual boot system, unless you need to run both OSes at once.

This seems more like a problem of a suboptimal gear loadout than one of a suboptimal packing solution. I don't want to judge your methods, but I am worried about the strain you'll put on your back with a mobile office of that magnitude.

I carry two, too! (1)

sobiloff (29859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847760)

I've been using a Brain Bag backpack from Tom Bihn [] for the past year to carry an IBM ThinkPad and a 12" PowerBook G4. Add a couple of Brain Cells (padded computer sleeves) and a Snake Charmer (organizer for cables, mice, etc.) and you're good to go! I also use a Freudian Slip to organize my papers.

It ends up being nearly $300 for everything, but it protects your equipment well and it makes it possible to carry everything you need in relative comfort. The bag is made of very high quality materials and has proven to be quite durable, even though I fly around 3,000 miles a week and take my backpack with me as carry-on luggage every time. It just manages to fit under most seats, but it might not fit in some cases if you have two full-size laptops in it.

Go Shopping (1)

Xife (304688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10849129)

I suggest CompUSA. My wife found a case with wheels for her oversized HP Pavailion. She actually stores the notebook in a separate folder and uses the laptop designed compartment for other stuff.

Browse CompUSA for notebook accessories and bags, then go bargain hunting.

Drop the A series! Go X or T. (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10849137)

If you have to haul two of them you should consider getting two X series Thinkpads. If the X doesn't cut it then two T series laptops. I often travel with three laptops, from a selection of various Thinkpads. I can tell you that I much prefer hauling a T40 and two T21s to hauling a T30 and an A31.

If you have a friend that works for IBM ask them about the friends and family program. They just upped the internal discount to 35%.

Eagle Creek bags (1)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852306)

I have one of these bags [] made by Eagle Creek.
It easily holds two laptops, or one laptop and several books, maps, accessories, lunch, etc. It has one padded laptop compartment, you'd need a padded sleeve for the other one. You can carry it by the handle on top, the shoulder strap, or pull out two concealed straps that clip on to make a backpack.
I use it for hauling stuff to places where my usual Karrimor 30l backpack just won't look so good. I don't like carrying heavy things with my hands, so the make-a-backpack feature gets used until I'm round the corner from where I have to look businesslike, then I turn it back into a briefcase-a-like and walk in carrying it.

Different idea. (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 9 years ago | (#10861666)

Ok, this response isn't what you asked for, but there were plenty of other helpful posts.

So my question to you is "Why can't you have two home PCs, one Linux and one Windows, and then use VNC or PC anywhere to access them?"

That way you only need one laptop, that uses any OS that can open up a virtual desktop to your full powered PCs at home. Need access to two different OSes? All you need is two windows open.

You need network access to be able to do your job, might as well take advantage of it.

OT: RANT: Re:Different idea. (1)

jhoffoss (73895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10901775)

(To everyone who ignored the poster's comment about not being able to use VMWare)

Okay, did you ever think that perhaps he's not developing, but is instead consulting? Or will be firewalled with limited outgoing access? Perhaps he'll actually be on an air-gapped LAN. Maybe the stuff he does requires actual access to the hardware/native drivers/etc. I've experienced this using security tools. This can be especially true since VMWare does not pass through wireless network cards or the PCMCIA slot reliably, if at all. Sure, there are ways to hack around this sort of stuff, but that's probably not what this person gets paid for.

In short, answer his question or don't waste our time responding.

No offense to anyone in particular.

Thanks for the useful tips (1)

huckin_fappy (644176) | more than 9 years ago | (#10863332)

Lots of good ideas for bags...thanks For those who can't stand the thought that maybe I'm an idiot, and want to tell me how to do my job, here's a few responses:
  1. VMWare is not working due to the memory needs I have. The apps I work with, and the databases accessing the data, can easily hit 1+ GB. Try running a couple og VMs that size
  2. I need both OSes running at once. The interoperability of the tools I'm developing is critical, so I routinely test on both.
  3. Leaving boxes running at home and accessing them remotely via VNC or such sounds nice, but the reality is:
    • Our wireless ISP is pretty flaky at times
    • Our household power is flaky at times
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