In my review of the Everki Atlas, I pointed that the outside pocket might collect water if it rains. While the rest of the backpack’s contents will be fine, items in that pocket might get wet. Everki does sell a backpack rain cover that can protect the backpack but it is outrageously expensive. Instead, I got the Ayamaya 40L raincover from Amazon. It is a fraction of the price and easily fits the Atlas.
Our family always brings a Chromecast with us when we travel so we can watch our video library on the TV. The challenge has always been getting it to work in hotels especially ones that require a password to access its wifi. The easiest solution is to have a travel router that connects to the hotel’s wifi and have all the devices (chromecast, phone/tablet) connect to the travel router. Only the router needs to be configured to access the hotel network and all your devices access the Internet through the router.
I’ve been using a Victorinox backpack for many years whenever I’ve had to travel. I can’t find a link to it since it’s no longer being made, but it is very well made, TSA friendly, side-loading laptop compartment, allows for good organization and can hold a good amount of items). It is not a light backpack and is pretty heavy when loaded up. Especially when traveling with the family which increases the number of electronics, I definitely started to feel the weight.
Setting up 2-factor authentication is an important step to keeping your online accounts safe. For many people, this comes in the form of having an additional code that must be entered in addition to their passwords such as those that is sent to their phones through SMS or using an app like Google Authenticator. Admittedly, this additional security comes with an additional inconvenience of needing to have your phone nearby and looking up the code which probably turns off a lot people.
Google Wifi is a new device that can create a wireless network “mesh” by simply adding wifi points to your network. It is super simple to setup. Simply plug it in and add it to your home network through the mobile app. Setting up a home network usually involves having a router (likely with wifi capabilities) that devices connect to. Single router solutions like Asus RT-ac68u and Google OnHubs have very good reach and for most situations are going to be all you need.
In a blink of an eye, two years has passed since I upgraded my primary system and it seems to be true that we’ve arrived at the end of Moore’s Law as I’ve not felt an urge to upgrade the system. I’ve not noticed slow down in performance of what I do on a day-to-day basis on the system which is primarily coding with VIM and browsing with Chrome. I don’t use this system for gaming and Linux is my primary OS which might contribute to everything still being relevant.
After reading about the Asus VivoMini UN62 from CES, I was very excited by the idea of a small (it fits into the palm of your hand) and nearly silent PC that had enough power to be an actual computer but with such low power usage that it can be kept running all the time if need be. It’s a barebones system which means it doesn’t come with an operating system, memory, or hard drive.
The trend at our house has been to move away from having large desktop machines to smaller specialized devices (e.g. having a NAS instead of a server with big drives). My wife’s primary machine, which she used mostly as a desktop replacement, was an older Thinkpad x300 that started to show its age especially when it came to watching HD videos. I decided to upgrade her machine but it must meet her criteria that it be small enough to fit into her desk drawer (don’t want clutter) and at the same time powerful enough to run her apps (including Photoshop, Picasa, etc.
Another app I’ve been waiting for has been released. WordPress for Android is now available. Each day takes me further from the iPhone.
I’ve done an unsual amount of traveling (for me) this past month. I spent two weeks in Taiwan and after returning to the states for a week I traveled to Seattle. These trips allowed me to test my travel gears including the Android G1 phone and the iPhone. I have had the G1 for awhile but no phone service for it. Since it is unlocked I decided to get a SIM card for it in Taiwan and use it while I was there.