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jest (4401)

jest
  {jester} {at} {panix.com}

Largely unskilled but enthusiastic JAPH. In my other life I hack the Oxford English Dictionary.

Journal of jest (4401)

Friday October 01, 2004
07:55 AM

CVS: the perfect laptop bag

[ #21135 ]

For several years, I've been looking for the perfect laptop bag. I have a very cheap nylon briefcase from my company, that happens to be very good: it's lightweight, small, but very expandable--I can put a few hardcovers in there if I need too--has the right amount of pen slots, etc. But it's ugly, and cheap, and unpadded. Yet everything else I've seen is inappropriate in some other way--so heavily padded that you can't put anything else in there, the size of a suitcase, heavy, ugly. I've even bought one or two that I never use, and from one of them I removed the padded liner and use it in my cheap bag.

It's only relatively recently that I've started to use CVS for my software. I'm a one-person operation, so it seemed like overkill, but one too many times of "Shit! This doesn't work anymore--what did I do to screw it up?" and I got onboard. Initially I just kept things there and moved them to the right location by hand, but then I wrote actual "build scripts"--it's an embarrassment to call them that, just a few shell lines looking like cp -r templates/ /usr/local/www/data/MyApp/templates/--but they work, and when I type "make install" I feel like a Real Programmer.

The side effect from this is that I never carry my laptop anymore. I have a few computers at work, I have a few computers at home, everything has about the same software, and all I have to do is remember to type "cvs commit" when I leave the office, and "cvs update -dP" when I get home. And vice-versa. It's really great, I must say.

I'm still looking for the perfect bag. I do travel, and need to program or show demos or whatever. But it's no longer the crucial thing that it used to be, thanks to version control.

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  • and Timbuk2's Commuter Bag [axis-of-aevil.net] wins.
    • Pfui! I like my Laptop backpack [ems.com] from Eastern Mountain Sports. (Though, I admit, the padded laptop insert's a touch small for the 15" Powerbook)
      • I'll bet it's hard to acessorize with that barf green :) Nerdy guys look ultra nerdy in those huge laptop backpacks since you know with the long shorts, pastey face and glaring white legs, those fuckers aren't extreme hikers hanging around the coffee shop looking for the nearest hiking trail. The commuter bag holds enough but not so much you look like some nerdy tard who has a gadget fetish that he has to haul around with him. It also comes in all black which is very easy to match to your wardrobe without l
  • Then I recommend you give booq [booqbags.com] a look.

    They make great stuff.

    But... if you don't think a high end powerbook is worth the $$$... then you may not think these are either.
  • Thanks for the various suggestions. Unfortunately, none of them are quite my style. Backpacks are out, and I'm not a casual Seattle sort of guy.

    I'll keep looking....

    • I've been quite happy over the years with Eagle Creek [eaglecreek.com]. They make sturdy bags that meet a range of demands -- from hiking the Himalayas to the daily grind that is midtown at rush hour. My first Eagle Creek bag is about 12 years old, and still sturdy and ready to use. If I were still in need of a black nylon laptop bag, I'd be using it (or one of their newer designs just to stay trendy).

      Their line is rather complete - a full complement of sizes and colors to meet the need to lug pretty much anything arou