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Portables Hardware

What's The Ultimate Multi-Laptop Bag? 72

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-smaller-laptops-too dept.
huckin_fappy writes "One great bonus of my job, I can be effective anywhere I can get a broadband point. If someone have a wireless router running, even better! The downside? Hauling the gear. The hazard of the job is that I need to be running WindowsXP and Linux. I experimented with all sorts of VMWare, Bochs, Wine, etc, and none of it cuts it for my needs. So assume you find yourself lugging around 2 IBM A31P laptops everywhere, with wireless cards, power supplies, wireless mice, etc. What's the best solution? Is there a large bag out there that is designed for such a load? Or am I better with two smaller bags? If smaller, are there bags designed to attach together in bizarre ways to mke them easier to lug?"
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What's The Ultimate Multi-Laptop Bag?

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  • Dual Boot? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shadow_139 (707786)
    Just setup the laptop to Dual Boot. 80gb internal Hdd, and a small external USB/Firewire HDD, Iv seen and used 60gb host powered usb drives that work in Winblow and Linux installed. -------- "Dear Diary, I seem to be dead." -Nny
    • If he's lugging two power supplies etc. for two identical laptops I don't think he's interested in an secenario where you are running one OS at a time.
    • The guy makes clear that he needs both OSs at the same time. Dual booting is an idea from the nineties, and there is no way he wouldn't have thought about it first.
      He says that he can't make it through software, and he tried.
      Plus, he doesn't need two HDs for dual booting.
  • apple (Score:2, Interesting)

    Don't know how fast it would be.
    But I say, sell your PC-equipment and buy a powerbook with virtual pc.
    • i use a g4 power book with virtual pc.
      windows xp runs great.
      windows media center worked okay.
      fedora core 2 runs great.
      i am currently trying out suse on it too.

      i really like os x and that is my new os of choice now. it has all the power of linux and the config gui's are highly polished and idiot proof. if you want more power over anything you can just open the terminal...

      the only problem i had using virtual pc is that to share anything i set up a samba share in os x and then had to transfer files back an
      • Re:apple (Score:3, Informative)

        by b-baggins (610215)
        Click the folder icon at the bottom of the Virtual PC window and share your drive. It will show up as a network drive in virtual PC with the letter you assign.

        You can share a directory or an entire drive.

        You can also copy files to and from your Windows and Mac environment by dragging and dropping them.

        Finally, you can mount your Windows disk image as a volume in OS X (go to Settings in the virtual PC window).
  • Get a Catalog Case! Maybe even with wheels to preserve your spinal integrity...
  • Backpack + Sleeves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechnoBoffin (709130) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:57AM (#10842473)
    I'd vote for a regular backpack and use separate sleeves for each of the laptops. That would give you individual padding on the laptops and lots of extra pockets for mice, USB thingys, dongles, power bricks, CDs, swappable drives, etc. If you're going to use the bag exclusively for the laptops, you could even fold up a towel or something to put in the bottom of the bag for extra padding in case of a drop, or just for the average setting the bag down. As a bonus, your bag won't stand out to thieves quite as much as a laptop-specific bag.
    • by Chaostrophy (925) <ronaldpottol AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:59AM (#10842493) Homepage Journal
      Most definately, your back will thank you! I caried too much for too long in a regular bag, the back pack is much nicer to live with.
    • I would take this a step further and get a laptop-specific backpack simply because it's easier to find laptop bags with scads of pockets. If you get one with enough space for notebooks and such, it should have plenty of room for a second sleeve.

      tho in my experience I still end up with a second bag because that second laptop is taking up all the space for notebooks and such.
    • by Techguy666 (759128)
      I work in a "laptop school" and one of my responsibilities is to review and research new laptop bags on the market. (Yeah, I have a weird job description.)

      You really aren't supposed to carry more than 15% of your body weight. Any more than that and your body's not going to be happy over a prolonged period of time. Two laptops, a mouse, power bricks, doodads, CDs, and a couple of hardcover manuals will load down a 160 pound man. Also, even with sleeves, laptops subjected to continually cramming into a b
    • Look for a Porta Brace DC-3 Director Case with Pocket for Laptop Computer. or a DC-2 or DC-1 if you want a really big bag

      I carry 2 laptops and a wireless router/access point in one all the time. Porta Brace makes cases for film crews and they know how to make great gear to carry heavy loads. They are also pretty well padded. Most film gear makes a laptop look like a happy meal toy in terms of cost.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      you could even fold up a towel or something to put in the bottom of the bag for extra padding in case of a drop, or just for the average setting the bag down.

      Plus, you'd always know where your towel is.
  • by i621148 (728860)
    i use a g4 powerbook with virtual pc. windows xp runs great windows media center worked ok fedora core 2 runs great i am currently trying suse... i really like os x. it is like having the power of linux but all of the configuration gui's are highly polished and idiot proof. and if you want more power over anything you can just open the terminal.
  • Both at once? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:58AM (#10842482) Homepage
    You need to be running them both at once, I assume? Otherwise, why not just dual-boot?
    • Why not just carry around 2 hard disks and swap them, if you don't like to dual boot?
      • Or if you have a modular bay hdd, install an OS to that and boot off the modular hdd.

        Ok, thats just me and my laptop. I never like dual booting. I believe in one OS per HDD.
  • Targus CUN1 (Score:4, Informative)

    by vasqzr (619165) <vasqzr@@@netscape...net> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:01PM (#10842509)

    We've had a Targus CUN1 [pricegrabber.com] for a few years. Carries our (not very small) Compaq Prolinea and Dell 8000. Also carries a Canon bubblejet printer and a ton of other crap. And it's a pretty small, tough bag.

  • Try Cygwin. You can run most linux apps on windows with it, but you would need to compile the programs, so it wouldn't work with programs that are only available in executable formats.
  • by nekoniku (183821) <justicek&comcast,net> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:03PM (#10842528) Homepage
    ...to help you carry all that gear everywhere. Either that, or a porter in a fancy uniform.
  • I'm just curious because I too have a job where as long as I have my laptop and a phone line (or broadband in some form or another) can do pretty much anything necessary short of pushing the reset button remotely. I've had great success running a Linux host with Windows in VMWare. It works great for me. What were the trouble points with VMWare?
    • I'm also a bit puzzeled, as VMware does work very well for me. The only issue I can see is with the pasthrou to the pcmcia card ? Ie Linux Host, Windows Guest, and no way to use the wireless card from Windows (Natively) or the otherway around.
      I'm also find it sometimes difficult to stop my Linux host to capturing and not releasing the integrated Bluetooth USB device, while I need it under Windows on VMware (HP Compaq nx7000).
      • To solve the problem of networking, I have just set up a host-only network between my Windows guest and my linux host. Then there's a firewall running on my Linux host which NATs the windows box to whatever network it (the linux host) happens to be using at the time. Works pretty slick. As far as the USB situation, you can tweak hotplug to not grab control of certain devices as they get plugged in. Then, later, if you decide that Linux needs control of the device, you can load the appropriate module man
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do you need to have windowsXP AND linux running at the same time?

    If you don't, a simple dual-boot will work fine.

    If you do, vmware should work great. It does for me.
    • He stated that vmware didn't cut it. It's not always the best solution. For example, last time I tried it was near to impossible to use a wifi card with vmware. Access to real physical peripherals in general is a problem. Speed can also be a big problem, depending on what you have to do. If it's anything graphical, good luck...
  • My Linux box does not play well with my wireless drivers, so I find myself stuck in Linux more than I'd like. However, I hardly notice this, because most of my attention is being directed towards PuTTY, which is running SSH to my nice shiny server. I can carry on almost all my affairs with that, FireFox, Thunderbird (or sometimes, just pine), and occasionally OpenOffice. I don't know exactly what kind of work you do, but that may be enough to let you live in Windows. You could even rig up Cygwin to let you
  • RoadWired bag (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nekoniku (183821)
    I've got a RoadWired camera bag; they seem to make tough, capable stuff. Here's a mondo laptop bag that might do the trick:

    RoadWired Laptop Bag [roadwired.com]

    The video on their site of a guy unpacking one of their bags is impressive and kind of amusing at the same time -- sort of like when all those clowns get out of the little clown car.

    nn
  • thinner (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dleifelohcs (777508) *
    Those are definitely not light, or thin laptops. Get a smaller, thinner one. And Dual boot or VMWare.

    Very sparse on the details of why you didn't like VMWare or even if you tried Dual Booting.

    Try it again.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:36PM (#10842880) Journal
    Unless you got the thinest and lightest under powered over priced gadgets this is going to weigh tons.

    Yet man kind has invented something for this. Wheels.

    Get one nice laptop with a nice screen and get a powerfull one.

    Get a professional carrying case with wheels. Something they use to haul tv equipment in. You are a geek, look like a geek.

    Fix one the powerfull ugly laptop in a permanant way but so you can still operate it. If you get a suitcase like model, screw the display to lid. so that when you open the lid of the cause you can then let the bottom of the laptop fall and have access to the machine without losing it if you need access.

    Lift the better looking laptop out of the case. Close case and put away. Hoopup good looking laptop to equipment in case and use vnc or similar to then have both oses running at the same time on their own hardware. If even VNC isn't good enough then use two ugly laptops, fix them permently inside and buy an LCD monitor mouse and keyboard and a KVM switch.

    Problem solved. Sure you look like a dork but this is /. Better then carrying two laptops in a bag. I did this for a while. Damn that shit is heavy.

    • They make nice looking luggage dollys for people like paralegals and others who need to constantly transport large amounts of paperwork. They are expensive (but are generally leather and have laptop padding) so you often see people just using the fairly inexpensive ballistic nylon hand luggage (the kind with the extendable handle and two wheels). I'd say one of those two options is your best bet. The professions that need to cart about the same amount of stuff from place to place (usually to court) has a
  • You could always go for an LL Bean backpack. They've extremely comfortable (to me at least), have lots of padding for your back, and have a good amount of room inside the 2 main pockets. As a bonus, you get lots of other pockets to stick 'stuff' in.
    LL Bean Backpack [llbean.com]
  • by nstrupp (51933) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:53PM (#10843124) Homepage
    This subject has already been covered about a month ago here [slashdot.org]. Personally I've been using an older version of this bag [spireusa.com] for about 5 years. I've recently considered purchasing a Crumpler [crumpler.com.au] bag. I know they have several bags capable of carrying more than 1 laptop, or a camera and a laptop. Specifically, look for Brian's Hot Tub [crumpler.com.au]. Another user reported toting 3 laptops in this one!
  • More specifics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by duffbeer703 (177751) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @01:05PM (#10843281)
    I don't know how you travel... but your best best is to get a good-sized targus wheeled bag... they have several models designed to hold a printer & laptop -- you'll easily fit a 2nd laptop in there.

    As an added bonus, you won't have numb shoulders from lugging nearly 20 lbs of laptops & junk.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @01:07PM (#10843294) Homepage Journal
    Setup a linux box someplace runing VNC and just use your XP Laptop to long into it. I do a lot of work on my linux box at work with my laptop at home using putty but then again am mainly doing server stuff.
  • I have to agree with other posters, RoadWired! I purchased my RoadWired MegaMedia [roadwired.com] bag (actually it was a gift from my wife) a couple years ago. I haven't changed bags since. At the time I was working in the Tech Support industry and traveled frequently with loads of support stuff. This bag was the only bag I ever owned that held everything, and was rugged enough to survive both Urban and Desert (Middle East) environments.
  • I am a luggage snob. I ran a luggage and leather goods store for almost five years in California. The best bag ever made for your application is the 19" ErgoGrip Executive Mobile Office. Amazing construction, and tough as nails. I have the 22" version (I don't think they make that any more). One of my customes carried 3 laptops (he was a CCIE for PacBell in the mid-nineties) and raved about it. I think I sold five on his word alone.
  • Tom Bihn, once again (Score:2, Informative)

    by rich3rd (559032)
    As in the last time someone asked for advice on a bag (wasn't it pretty recently?), Tom Bihn is the maker for rugged, utilitarian cases. The Brain Bag has two laptop compartments and other pockets galore for all your other gear. It may cost more than other cases, but it will last five times as long, so it's worth it. http://www.tombihn.com
  • I really have had good luck with Tenba. They make a wide variety of quite flexible products, and will even do custom jobs.

  • by ||Deech|| (16749) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @01:50PM (#10843875)
    For my money, the Matrix is a really nice pack to carry a bunch of stuff in.
    It has a padded compartment for one laptop, and another compartment in front of that with a nice elastic support divider where a second laptop nests nicely. I carried my IBM thinkpad T22 and a Compaq Evo N400C and all the associated power bits, along with a full folding tool kit, a digital camera, a digital recorder, my PDA, an MP3 player, a full size set of padded bose headphones with a boom mic, my braces, and misc. geek crap (cd's, wallet, a few cards, parts, etc) all very comfortably. The pack adjusts fairly nicely and has a waist strap and nice cushy shoulder straps with a very handy case for your cellphone on the strap and a nice hole to run the cable of your headphones out of. It's got a padded pocket sized for a cdplayer as well (but I only use that for my software cds)

    Oh, and it has a nice netting pocket with elastic straps for your jacket.

    Hope this helps. At about $50 or so, it's not a bad backpack at all. I've been pretty happy with the quality.

  • That's a bonus? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by bconway (63464) *
    One great bonus of my job, I can be effective anywhere I can get a broadband point.

    I hate to tell you, but that's not a perk. Any job that you can do from home can be done from India.
  • Why VMWare doesn't satisfy your needs? Get twice the laptop and carry half the crap. I do cross-platform development on the road with a single 2GB 2GHz Athlon SXGA+ laptop. I can run a dozen virtual machines simultaneously in a wide variety of network configurations. I'll carry a powerbook sometimes, but since my OSX testing requirements are fairly minimal, I'm inclined to run OSX clients in a PearPC emulation, running on a minimal VM for checkpointing (so I don't have to endure the emulated boot times)
  • The Bags from Timbuk2 are awesome. Some of them are really bg and very well designed. http://www.timbuk2.com/ [timbuk2.com] But if you are going to carry 2 laptops around all day every day you should just get a rolling luggage bag to save your back!
  • by stinkyfingers (588428) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:35PM (#10844376)
    http://www.glad.com/trashbags.html

  • One of many sources for flight bags [mypilotstore.com].

    Addition of a little fold up cart and some bungies and you'll be able to tote your toolbox as well.
    I would guess you're using one of the boxes as a network sniffer. Otherwise, dual boot, running one OS on a remote system, or kexec would save a lot of toting.

    If you go with the flight bag, a chunk of foam cut to fit the bottom and covered in a bit of cloth will limit shock when you drop the bag. You will drop the bag.

    One poster commented that your job could be done from
  • I've done this a couple of times to get exactly what I've wanted - the philosophy doesn't just apply to software!!

    Work out what you want, maybe build a couple of cardboard laptops and the bits and pieces and shuffle them around using some tape until you can get a size and shape you like - remember to take into consideration that the laptops will be heavier :-)

    Then make up some templates for the shape you want and either (get and) learn how to use an 'industrial' sewing machine or take it to an upholsterer
  • http://www.portercase.com/

    These guys make nifty rolling gear cases. The large one holds my 17 inch HP and my Averatec 3250. Sturdy enough not to worry when you have to gate check it getting on a "puddle jumper" aircraft. Downside - expensive. Upside: rolls and will last forever!

    cypherz

  • Those tombihn cases sure do look nice but if you need to spend less than $90 I'm doing OK with a large Victorinox brand laptop bag from the local office supply. I put some rolled up eggcrate at the bottom of the bag for shock. It could do two laptops plus gear easily, I think I paid $79.00.
  • A lot of people around my office (we're all laptop-toting consultants) use the travel suitcases are small enough to carry onboard airplanes, but big enough to store laptops and a whole lot more.

    Saves your back because of the roller wheels, and is built for travelling so it's tough and durable. Can't go wrong there...

  • I'd recommend the Targus Deluxe Sport Backpack, if you're looking to carry this load on your back. You'll need a sleeve for the secondary laptop, but I can easily carry my laptop, a pile of wireless gear, assorted cables, and so on in this bag. It's not great on specialized mini compartments, though, so you'll have to augment it with additional carrying cases. I use two small bags, one with my daily essential tech gear (USB cords for my main devices, a few spare NiMH cells, a pocket NiMH charger,) and th
  • I've been using a Brain Bag backpack from Tom Bihn [tombihn.com] for the past year to carry an IBM ThinkPad and a 12" PowerBook G4. Add a couple of Brain Cells (padded computer sleeves) and a Snake Charmer (organizer for cables, mice, etc.) and you're good to go! I also use a Freudian Slip to organize my papers.

    It ends up being nearly $300 for everything, but it protects your equipment well and it makes it possible to carry everything you need in relative comfort. The bag is made of very high quality materials and h

  • I suggest CompUSA. My wife found a case with wheels for her oversized HP Pavailion. She actually stores the notebook in a separate folder and uses the laptop designed compartment for other stuff.

    Browse CompUSA for notebook accessories and bags, then go bargain hunting.
  • If you have to haul two of them you should consider getting two X series Thinkpads. If the X doesn't cut it then two T series laptops. I often travel with three laptops, from a selection of various Thinkpads. I can tell you that I much prefer hauling a T40 and two T21s to hauling a T30 and an A31.

    If you have a friend that works for IBM ask them about the friends and family program. They just upped the internal discount to 35%.

  • I have one of these bags [eaglecreek.com] made by Eagle Creek.
    It easily holds two laptops, or one laptop and several books, maps, accessories, lunch, etc. It has one padded laptop compartment, you'd need a padded sleeve for the other one. You can carry it by the handle on top, the shoulder strap, or pull out two concealed straps that clip on to make a backpack.
    I use it for hauling stuff to places where my usual Karrimor 30l backpack just won't look so good. I don't like carrying heavy things with my hands, so the make-a-bac
  • Ok, this response isn't what you asked for, but there were plenty of other helpful posts.

    So my question to you is "Why can't you have two home PCs, one Linux and one Windows, and then use VNC or PC anywhere to access them?"

    That way you only need one laptop, that uses any OS that can open up a virtual desktop to your full powered PCs at home. Need access to two different OSes? All you need is two windows open.

    You need network access to be able to do your job, might as well take advantage of it.
    • (To everyone who ignored the poster's comment about not being able to use VMWare)

      Okay, did you ever think that perhaps he's not developing, but is instead consulting? Or will be firewalled with limited outgoing access? Perhaps he'll actually be on an air-gapped LAN. Maybe the stuff he does requires actual access to the hardware/native drivers/etc. I've experienced this using security tools. This can be especially true since VMWare does not pass through wireless network cards or the PCMCIA slot reliably, if

  • Lots of good ideas for bags...thanks For those who can't stand the thought that maybe I'm an idiot, and want to tell me how to do my job, here's a few responses:
    1. VMWare is not working due to the memory needs I have. The apps I work with, and the databases accessing the data, can easily hit 1+ GB. Try running a couple og VMs that size
    2. I need both OSes running at once. The interoperability of the tools I'm developing is critical, so I routinely test on both.
    3. Leaving boxes running at home and accessi

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