Inspired by another post I saw on t’internet, I thought I’d write about the crap I carry in my laptop bag – usually when I go to work, or when I’m off to Kev’s to fix his computers, or to RedBus to replace servers…..

Swiss Army Knife CyberTool 34. I bought this about eight years ago for 50ukp, and its been worth every penny. Funny thing is I use the screwdrivers more than the blades. The original Victoronix too, not some immitation rubbish. Its designed specifically for techies – it has torx/hex bits for VGA connectors, screwdrivers for motherboard screws, DIP switch pins and also a toothpick!

Cisco serial console cable – RJ45 to DB9, works nicely with Sun LOM’s too. I’ve also got a DB9 adaptor that plugs into a regular piece of CAT5.

USB-to-RS232 adaptor as nobody seems to fit serial ports on PC’s these days. For use with above.

At least two pieces of CAT5e patch cable, a nice long piece of CAT6 for gigabit work and a very small bit of crossover cable – useful for two racked 1u switches that don’t have auto-MDI/MDI-X.

2-port plus uplink switch. USB bus-powered so no power block needed. Has a strange quirk that you can make the two network ports into uplink ports and the uplink port into a network port – and it does naughty bridging! Its about the size of a mobile phone.

UTP loopback adaptor. Basically a RJ45 connector with an inch of cable on it suitably twisted to fool computers into thinking they have a “link up” state. Handy for VMWare usage when you’re not plugged into a switch.

USB cable for my Sony Ericsson T631 mobile. Charge your mobile anywhere you can find a USB port.

Selection of USB drives from 256Mb to 2Gb. I really must ditch them and just get an 8Gb drive (although I do have a 2.5″ 6Gb laptop drive in a USB enclosure that’s bus-powered). I’m waiting for a cheap 16Gb drive really, as 8Gb isn’t even 2 DVD’s.

Kensington loop lock – handy for when you have to leave the laptop in a server cabinet somewhere.

Acronis True Image boot CD – a bootable CD (or USB disk) that can ghost any Windows/Linux PC to a network image, clone disks etc. Sometimes I also carry a Linux rescue CD and a blank CD-RW.