Archive for January 20, 2023

What’s In My Tech Sling Bag – The 2023 Edition

Posted in Products with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2023 by itnerd

Often when I get a phone call from a client from a client to assist them with some sort of tech issue, I need to grab a handful of things that I know that I will usually need on a job and go. For years, I’ve sort of scrambled to find what I need on a moment’s notice, and that came to a head when I lost my Victorinox Cyber Tool. Thus I decided that I needed to do something different and have a bag that has the most commonly used items that I need when I go see a client. That way I know where everything is, and I can get out of the house quicker. Not to mention reduce my chances of losing something. I decided on a sling bag as that is compact enough to fit inside a backpack or a laptop bag, but holds everything that I need. This is the sling bag in question:

The is the tomtoc Explorer-H02 EDC Sling Bag in the 8 inch size which has an outer compartment that holds miscellaneous items, a compartment in the back that holds one item that I will get to in a moment, and a middle compartment that holds the majority of my gear. Because it is a sling bag, it goes over my shoulder which is handy if I am just using it by itself. But it will also fit inside my laptop bag or backpack. Another plus is that it will fit some of my EDC should the need arise. Be it my sunglasses, AirPods Pro or anything like that.

As for what’s inside of it, here’s the current list.

I’ve got an Apple AirTag in it so that if I misplace it, I can find it easily. It’s inside a Belkin AirTag holder which makes sure that I can attach it to a loop inside the sling bag.

In the back compartment is this GearAid HeroClip. What this is for is to allow me to hook, hang, and carry my gear. I have it because if I have to use a public restroom, there is often no place to hang a jacket, or the sling bag, or a laptop bag. Thus making this piece of kit extremely handy. I got the large size to make sure that I could hang anything that I needed as it has a 100 pound weight limit.

I also carry some Woosh Screen shine and a microfibre cloth as I never know when I might need to clean a computer’s screen or keyboard. Be it mine or somebody else’s. This stuff works really well and it’s currently my go to for my computer cleaning needs.

I carry two cables with me at all times. The first is an Anker USB-C cable that does power delivery, as well as a RollingSquare InCharge XL which is my one cable to rule them all. I say that because it will cover any use case that I may need when at a client’s location as it is good for data transfer and for charging.

On the right is a replacement Victorinox Cyber Tool as I find this to be extremely handy to do everything from open boxes to disassembling computers. On the left is a 1TB NVMe that I use to transfer data at a customer’s site. This is something that I built myself so let me explain what went into building this. I started with a SABRENT 1TB SSD Rocket NVMe m.2 4.0, Gen4 PCIe M.2 SSD which is one of the fastest drives that the company makes, then I got my hands on this four pack of thermal pads from Amazon as NVMe SSDs tend to get hot, and I wanted to make sure that it didn’t nuke itself while I was using it. I also got my hands on this enclosure from Amazon that did USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps transfer speeds. That’s more than fast enough for my needs. Plus it’s made of metal so it will dissipate heat. Putting it together was a bit tricky as I wrapped the thermal pads around the SSD which made sliding it together a tight fit. But by using the thermal pads, I can be assured that the heat that the SSD generates would be transferred to the case and then dissipated from there. I will say the case does get hot when it is used for extended periods of time, but that does not concern me given the care that I have taken to put this together.

The next thing in my sling bag is this Ugreen Nexode 100W USB charger. This allows me to provide power to my MacBook Pro or customer’s computer, tablet, or phone should the need arise. And you would be surprised how often that happens. Because this adapter is 100W and doesn’t take up a lot of real estate, I am covered for almost any charging related issue.

If I am away from a AC outlet and I need to top off my iPhone, or a phone belonging to someone else, I have this Jackery Mini charger along with the RollingSquare InCharge X which between the two of them allow me to charge any smartphone to past 50% at the very least.

Finally, I have the Bic 2 in 1 Pen. This is a lightweight pen plus stylus for any capacitive touch screen device which is handy for an iPad or iPhone. I have an emergency pen as part of my EDC, but it doesn’t hurt to have another one in my sling bag.

I have a CR2032 battery in this sling bag. Why? I can’t count the number of times that I have come across a PC with a dead clock battery, and then had to find a battery either at a corner store or a local “The Source” store in a panic. Thus I keep one in my possession at all times.

So that’s what is inside my tech sling bag. This works for me, but I would be interested in hearing from you in terms of what you think I should add to it or change. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Google Becomes The Latest Tech Company To Axe Thousands Of Jobs

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2023 by itnerd

Following on the heels of Microsoft, Google has announced via a blog post that was based on an email sent by CEO Sundar Pichai that the company will be slashing 12000 jobs:

Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

The email also reads like Google is really trying hard not to be perceived as handling this the way that Elon Musk’s handling Twitter layoffs. But other than that, the email is a bit of a rallying cry to those who remain as I am sure that some of them will be heading to exits as well.

Expect more stories like this to come in the days and weeks ahead.

Twitter Officially Bans Third Party Clients And Dooms Itself In the Process

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2023 by itnerd

Engadget last night reported that Twitter has banned third party clients in a move that likely will send many fleeing from the platform and dooming the platform to extinction:

The “restrictions” section of Twitter’s developer agreement was updated Thursday with a clause banning “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.” The addition is the only substantive change to the 5,000-word agreement.

The change confirms what the makers of many popular Twitter clients have suspected in recent days: that third-party Twitter services are no longer permitted under Elon Musk’s leadership.

Now if you really want to go into the weeds as to why I think this will doom Twitter to extinction, you can read this writeup on the subject. But here’s the TL:DR for those who want me to get to the point:

Taking away choice from individuals is a sure way to drive them off the platform. But it’s worse if you’re a business. That’s because you may use a third party app to do a deep level of social media monitoring. As in what is the sentiment of your customers? Or are there issues that are trending related to you that you need to address? Even how stuff appears on Twitter is controlled by third party apps that businesses use. That sort of functionality isn’t going to be found in the native Twitter app and businesses would be less than pleased about being forced off the social media tools that they use. In fact, it seems to me that the number of Tweets from brands appearing on Twitter seems to have fallen sharply since this whole thing started. Now that’s just anecdotal to be clear. But if this is actually fact, then Elon has a huge problem on his hands. Revoking these APIs might be the final straw for businesses and advertisers who didn’t immediately head to the exits when Elon took over Twitter. Those businesses and advertisers will quit Twitter, depriving Elon of money and send Twitter into a death spiral that there will be no recovery from.

Elon Musk is about to find out that this move is the wrong one to make. And the day of reckoning is coming very soon with a rather hefty interest payment due at the end of the month with no sign that he can cut that cheque among other issues like advertisers heading to the exits and the potential of governments taking enforcement actions against Twitter. Thus the only conclusion that you can come to is that Twitter is doomed. It’s now a matter of when and not if at this point.