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The Road Warrior eTravel Kit
Your laptop is mission critical equipment
when you are on the road. Many of us hit the road everyday unprepared
for common travel related computer crisis and challenges. Here is a
list that I think will help make your life on the road easier and much
- Before taking off on
the trip always:
- Dust off the trusty lap top, turn it on
and make sure it works and that the battery is charged.
- If you have any programs that use on-line
updates, spend the time to download the updates. Examples would
be the OAG TIS program, Net-Roamer's
dialer and phone book and of vital importance, the anti-virus
program of your choice. When you travel you will be exposed to
disks from others and the ever-present e-mail threats. You should
assume that these all carry viruses.
- Software First-Aid
kit-take a CD carrying case with your Windows operating system
and key operational programs so that you can re-load if corrupted.
Make and carry an emergency boot disk.
- Bring a miniaturized
tool kit containing as a minimum pliers, wrench, Phillips
and flat head screw drivers. I use a nice kit put out by Leatherman
Tool Group Inc. If you use glasses, don't forget an eyeglass repair
kit also. A spare pair of eyeglasses is always a good idea. (Keep
in mind that with the new security restrictions, most of the tools
may need to be relegated to checked baggage.)
- Pack a complete telephone
connection kit. It should contain:
5. Power equipment:
This should be adapted to the destinations, but in general should contain:
- 2 RJ-11 extension cords (if
you only have one, the connector is sure to break.)
- an RJ-11 jack box from Radio
Shack pre-wired with two wires to the line one terminals and alligator
clips at the other ends of the wires. (There are still hotels out
there that do not provide RJ-ll jacks and you will need to un-screw
the wall panel and connect to the wires in back.)
- Radio Shack line tester - gives
a red/green correct wiring, reverse polarity and non-operational test
capability. If you need to use the above jury rig, this will ensure
that you connect the clips to the right terminals.
- a digital / analog line tester.
I use a nice inexpensive model put out by Targus.
- An RJ-11 2 to 1 splitter.
- An RJ-11 extension connector.
(This in case you need to connect the 2 RJ-11 cords together for a
- As you travel to different
countries, you will find some that use different type modem plugs.
(The UK is an example) Adapters for your RJ-11 cord are country specific
can usually be picked up from the bell captain at the better hotels
in the country. Buy it and add it to your kit if you will be returning.
- 1 or 2 extension cords. (Sometimes
the only 110 volt outlet is in the bathroom.) Also, the extension
cords have 2-3 outlets so that you can connect your peripherals at
the same time.
- An international plug adapter
kit, easily available in most airports, containing all the various
type plug adapters.
- A small 220 to 110 transformer.
Sometimes these come in the plug kits, but they are also available
in most international airports.
- One or more of the 3 prong
(2 flat hot and 1 round ground) to 2 flat converters. Most extension
cords, power converters and international plug adapters can accommodate
the two flat prongs, but don't have the round hole for the ground.
Rather than yank out the round ground connector from your equipment's
power cords, these adapters allow you to connect.
6. A "cheat sheet".
A sheet of paper containing all the critical settings of your computer,
e-mail, modem etc. This should include tech support numbers, serial
numbers, express service codes etc.
The items above, I consider
critical. Here are some items that may come in handy depending on your
portable office set up:
- If you carry a printer, make
sure to carry spare inkjet cartridges and the printer
manual for trouble shooting. Also, carry a supply of ink jet paper
in your preferred size (81/2 X 11 or A4). Availability of good paper
when on the road is haphazard, at best, and often you may have to
accept paper of a size different that your settings. That will require
you to modify the paper parameters in all your documents.
- For portable storage, nothing
beats a ZIP drive. The newest ZIP 250
can read and write to 100 MB as well as the 250 MB disks, and when
bought with the optional PCMCIA adapter card, is powered by the laptop
and does not require external power supplies.
- Finally - for security or Peace
of Mind. The DEFCON 1, put out by TARGUS, is a motion
sensitive, cable locking device that can be used to protect your laptop
when in the hotel as well as the carrying case when in restaurants,
airports etc. Keep in mind that the LOCK port on your laptop is only
plastic, and a determined thief can break that with a hearty twist.
I find that if you buy a second DEFCON 1 (or one of the cheaper, non-motion
detecting cable locks) and use the second to wrap around your laptop,
either under the hinges or on both axis, to prevent a cable security
that is much harder to cut. Then use the DEFCON 1 to tie that harness
and laptop to a pipe or some other immovable object.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Please visit www.net-roamer.com
for more great travel tips and to sign up for affordable dial up internet
access in over 150 countries. Or, sign up below to get more Road Warrior
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