PUBLISHED WORK > Connected Traveler: Office in a Backpack
PC Magazine March 01, 2008
Office in a Backpack
Our road warriors, Karen and Eric, give you the inside scoop on the portable gear they use to stay productive.
By Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl
Our three-year road trip takes us to some amazing places, but it's anything but a vacation. We're constantly researching and writing stories about aspects of our journey. Since we're living out of a truck, there's no room for clutter. So here are the portable devices we depend on to work on the road.
Keeping track of expenditures used to mean sifting through crumpled receipts in our glove box or laptop bag—until we found the NEAT Receipts portable document and receipt scanner ($229.95 direct). At a mere 10.6 ounces, it fits easily into a carry-on bag. Version 3 of the software improves reading accuracy and lets you convert letter-size documents to PDFs.
For printing photos and docs on the road, we use the 4-pound (2) Canon Pixma iP90v Photo Printer ($249.99 direct) 2.1 by 12.3 by 6.9 inches—for its print quality and versatility. Our only caveat is to stock up on cartridges, since it uses ink quickly.
On our long journey our laptop hard drives fill up fast. The toughest external storage solution we've found is the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 250GB external drive ($189.99 direct). Its scratch-resistant aluminum shell and shock-absorbing bumpers make it tough enough to take a few drops.
For Internet access anywhere, we use the Verizon UM150 USB Modem ($129.99; subscription, $59.99 per month). It attaches via USB, so you don't need a PCMI or ExpressCard slot—and it's compatible with Macs. And for an office in a backpack you need a good bag. A solid choice is the Jansport Rockridge ($80 street) a rugged, high-tech pack that you can carry three ways.
Copyright © 2008 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings, Inc.