What's in Your Bag?

May 14, 2021


People sometimes ask what equipment I use. So here’s a list:

Computer Software

Computer Hardware

  • Laptop: Framework Laptop. The Framework is expected to live "forever" by upgrading components. (My Review) And they recently issued an upgraded CPU board, keeping their promise of upgradeability.

  • Previous Laptop: Dell Studio 1558 (My Review)

  • Chromebook: an old Asus Chromebook running Debian Linux I no longer buy Chromebooks due to their featuring a built-in expiry date, producing tons of eTrash.

  • Desktop: an ancient generic PC running OpenBSD, that lives forever by upgrading components.

  • Server: Virtual, via Vultr hosting (previously: colo with Clarity). Also with Atlantic.net.

  • Router: PC Engines APU2 running OpenBSD

  • Printer: a 25-year-old HP6MP "boat anchor" that just keeps going and going

Computer Troubleshooting

  • ISOStick USB device: stores arbitrary number of bootable ISOs, lets one be nominated to be the "USB Boot CD/DVD" image. Doubles as a regular USB memory stick.

  • MediCat for when I need to boot into MS Windows.

  • I prefer wired Ethernet over WiFi because of ionizing radiation concerns (probably groundless but "an abundance of caution") and speed (WiFi 6 finally caught up to gigabit ether around 2020). So I use this Paladin Tools cable tracer (out of manufacture; still findable online a few places) for cabling issues.

  • Generic Asian multimeter

  • Generic PCI bus card for PC hardware issues.

Audio Hardware

  • Studio work: Maonocaster AU-AM-100 studio kit portable podcast studio mixer (My Review)

  • Less-demanding work: Plantronics Audio 478 USB headset

  • Earphones: the above Plantronics, and Pixel Earbuds that came with my 6A.


  • Current ISP: Bell Wireless (LTE) 50/10, the most I can get out here.

  • Local ISP (which I won’t promote by naming) given megabucks to run fiber, annoyingly and irrationally stopped 500M short of my house. So:

  • Planned ISP: Starlink.com, or fiber from any other provider, whichever gets here first.

Cell Phone

  • Current: Google Pixel 6a with Android 12 or 13.

  • Previous: Pixel 2 from 2017 - still in great condition but Google dropped support for it :-( so it runs LineageOS, the community build of Android 12.

  • Alternate: Teracube 2e modular, repairable smartphone (My Review) Stuck on Android 10, alas; dev team seems to have stalled out on updates?

  • Test devices for mobile app development - the above, plus a few older phones & tablets


  • Camera: Trusty old Nikon DSLR

  • Lenses: Nikon, Tamron

  • Bags: Tenba "Shootout" (as in, "shooting outside"; discontinued, replaced by their Axis line, a rare waterproof bag on the market)

  • Drone: DJI Mini 2 (obsoleted by the Mini 3 soon after I bought it).

  • Drone carry case: Nanuk 910.

  • Photo Software: DigiKam cataloging, Gimp, DarkTable, LightZone. Occasionally Photoshop, Lightroom.

  • Video Software: Shotcut, occasionally an out-of-support copy of Camtasia.