Travelling with a Mac

Posted on 1/18/2014 @ 6:25 AM in #Apple by | Feedback | 1673 views

I travel quite a bit, and my work must not stop when I’m on the road. This takes significant planning, and forethought, almost to a ridiculous level. Yes I’m the guy who tried charging my laptop with an extension cord from the plane’s bathroom, and got yelled at.

One of my biggest annoyances with some hotels, some hotels want you to use only one device per internet connection that you pay for. Seriously!? I’m not joking. I’ve been in hotels where they charged me as much as 25euros/pounds/dollars for internet, only to find out, after you have paid, that you are restricted to one device.

Really! Not even my virtual machines could come online. SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE HELL!

This is especially an issue for me. I’m not the “gadget for the hell of gadgets” guy. I don’t want many devices, its just more to carry, more to go through security with, and more things to charge. I like being lean, mean, and to the point. But still, last year, in a PC world, I had to carry,

  • 1. An iPhone, and spare mophie case.
  • 2. An iPad
  • 3. A Kindle (because it was lighter than an ipad)
  • 4. A Mac
  • 5. A huge heavy PC with 3 extra batteries.
  • 6. And all their chargers.
  • 7. Frequently, I had additional laptops because some clients didn’t want me VPN’ing in on anything except their issued laptops.

Now, I changed my gadgetry to Macbook Pro + iPad mini. And here is how my life has suddenly gotten better.

I carry iPad mini, iPhone5, and Macbook Pro. I also carry a lightening cable, a macbook charger, and a thunderbolt to ethernet, and thunderbolt to VGA. All my cables fit in one small pouch.

The mac, charges both iPad and iPhone easily. What I like the most is, the Mac can act as an external battery to iPhone – yes – with the mac shut down, all within my bag, I can plug the lightening cable into a USB port on the mac, and it charges both my iPad and iPhone. Neat! Or when the Mac is plugged into AC, it can charge both too. The PC’s USB port never had enough power to charge the iPad atleast.

iPad mini – is almost as light as Kindle. I do miss ePaper, but the small size is now enough for me to ditch Kindle.

Now, coming back to internet on my devices. There is a feature in Mac called internet sharing (yeah I know windows has it too, but it’s not even 1/100th as smooth and reliable). With Mac’s internet sharing, I can,

  • 1. Get my mac on wifi and share internet over bluetooth to iPad and iPhone.
  • 2. Get my mac on wifi, and share internet over thunderbolt to ethernet to any other machine
  • 3. Get my mac on ethernet, and create a wifi network.

I’ve tried doing this on Windows. In fact, thats what I used to do for the past many years. Its not very reliable on a PC, the speeds are not there, bluetooth sharing never worked, wifi network was iffy, and on Windows 8x it didn’t work until I did some registry settings, run as admin BS.

With 100% connectivity, and a lighter backpack, I’m unstoppable. Bring it on! :-)

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