What's in your bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. Show us your bag in this forum post. This week, we're featuring the esteemed Dante D'Orazio.
What you’re looking at here is what I carry in my bag everyday. This is what I take with me from my apartment to my desk at the Verge’s New York City office; this is the bare minimum that I carry, and is therefore what I hold most near and dear. When I head off to cover a press briefing, event, or convention, my bag swells quite a bit, but I’d say 95 percent of the time I carry everything you see here — even if I’m going on a weekend trip or a vacation. Back in my school days I favored carrying everything I had in a big backpack (why sacrifice computing power for a couple of pounds off my back?) — including that damned 1000+ page AP Euro textbook my teacher mandated his pupils to haul to class everyday. Needless to say, that’s all changed, and I now put a premium on weight.
Freitag F17 Joe Messenger
In Manhattan a car is at best a luxury and at worst a complete inconvenience, so what becomes the status symbol of public transit-savvy New Yorkers? Backpacks, messengers, briefcases, purses, totes, and other baggage that carries everything you need for a long day trekking around the city. I've long looked on in envy of those with Freitag's distinctive and beautiful bags (all made from bike tire inner tubes, truck tarpaulins, and car seat belts, supposedly), and when I decided to outfit myself for Verge duties I looked to see if one of the company's bags would fit me — and my stuff. This one's great not only because it's small and lined inside to cradle all of my electronic goodies, but also because as I can wear it high and tight and quickly weave my way through congested sidewalks (on foot) or city streets (on bike) without it getting in my way. I chose white instead of some of the more flashy options from Freitag so that I could show up to work-related meetings and look somewhat professional.
Oh boy, here we go. Another MacBook Air. How boring. I'm a long-time PC user who really could not stand Mac OS X, and before this 13-inch Air (2011), I carried a nearly seven-pound, 15.6-inch Lenovo ThinkPad T61p. After years of bringing that laptop with me everywhere, I grew tired of the weight and knew I had to downsize. While I considered getting the outlandish Sony VAIO Z, I found at the Verge that when it came to researching and getting news on the site I was fastest with a Mac. I've been incredibly happy with the Air ever since its first tour of duty on the CES show floor this past January.
Galaxy Nexus (GSM)
My first smartphone was a hand-me-down Samsung Blackjack without a data connection, and after that I got an iPhone 3G. After over a year with Apple's worst iPhone hardware to-date, I grew very bored with what's now called iOS, and when the Nexus One came out I couldn't resist to join the unlocked bandwagon and give Android a try. I've had every Nexus device since, and I've been a very happy user. Android 4.0 is a joy, I get decent battery life, and the high-res screen is great — I just hope the next Nexus device finally ditches the Pentile Matrix subpixel arrangement.
Nikon D7000, 40mm, 18-200mm
I had the fortune to have a mother who let me take, use, and learn on her Nikon D70 (often for weeks at a time), and when it came time for me to get a camera of my own I knew it had to be a Nikon, and the D7000 really fits the bill. Shooting at up to 6400 ISO with few repercussions is a revelation, and the high-resolution images, excellent ergonomics, decent weight, and HD video recording afforded by the camera doesn't hurt, either. On Nilay's recommendation, I got the excellent Nikon 40mm, f/2.8 macro instead of the stalwart 35mm f/1.8, and I've got the 18-200mm VR, too. In addition to UV filters on both lenses I have a Hoya HD circular polarizer for the macro that helps avoid glare on those pesky smartphone screens. I hate the included Nikon camera strap; I use a Domke Gripper Strap.
Nook Simple Touch
I was hesitant to pick up an e-reader at first, but I made an impulse purchase when Barnes & Noble took $20 off the Simple Touch for Black Friday last year (the white border marks it as one of the "special edition" models sold on that day). The E Ink screen is miserably low-res to my eyes, but it's a godsend after a long day of staring at LCDs. I use it almost exclusively as a New Yorker machine — I still read books the old fashioned way.
Notepad, Pencil, and Pens
This Moleskine Reporter notepad is my primary means of taking down notes when at meetings. I keep it in my back pocket at conventions and events, allowing me to quickly remove it and scribble down some garbled text. For writing, I've got a carefully-selected group of instruments. My mother was once a pen salesperson at an upscale stationery store in New York, so I've got an appreciation for pens. The green pen is a Mont Blanc Noblesse rollerball that's well balanced, but it's not so nice that I'd be crushed if I were to lose it. I vastly prefer the smoothness of rollerballs, but I have a Caran D'Ache ballpoint that's good to have around because it doesn't smudge. It's emblazoned with the words "I ♥ Switzerland," and it was gifted to me from Swiss family friends who visited last year. The mechanical pencil is a 0.7mm Faber Castell GRIP that's served me well.
I've had these earbuds for years. Shure offers a fantastic warranty program and has replaced these anytime I've had a problem with them. I don't have space for headphones, so I knew I had to get the best-quality earbuds around (at a reasonable price). I love how these things sound all these years later, and the triple-flange tips block lots of ambient noise.
People still like swapping contact info on these little pieces of paper, so I oblige. It is faster and easier than other methods, after all. The photo on the back is one I took in Berlin of a scaffolding on a building under construction.
Logitech Performance Mouse MX, Odds & Ends
Remember what I said above about how I carry all of this stuff around all of the time? Well, I lied, because I usually just keep this mouse on my desk at the office. The miniscule wireless receiver is great for going portable, and I love a full-sized mouse like this with lots of hand support. The high-speed scrolling doesn't hurt, either. I also carry around this 4GB Cruzer Titanium USB flash drive that cost a silly amount when I bought it years and years ago. Haven't bothered replacing it. Not pictured, I carry lip balm, the cheap microphone-equipped earbuds that came with my Galaxy Nexus (good for Skype calls), and a microfiber cloth for wiping gadgets down before photos. That's right: I don't usually have any power adapters on me. Thanks, MacBook Air.