New Electronics, and Pouches For Them
When I travel, I frequently take my laptop (or my work laptop), and it's really a pain. I rarely need it for more than basic internet connectivity and entertainment, but it's heavy and it takes up a lot of room in my carryon bag. And even though I'm reasonably careful, there's always a chance that I'll break it, or that it will be lost or stolen. Ever since I started planning my trip to Europe, I've been thinking about alternatives. One alternative that I pretty quickly dismissed was going off grid for a couple of weeks--it's just so much easier to find information (and in English) if I have internet access. With seven different flights to catch in five different countries, there's plenty of room for delays or missed connections, and then there are baseball scores and blog posts to keep up with.
The alternative that I decided to go with is an inexpensive, very small portable computer, the Asus eee. Asus just released the Windows XP version this past week, and so far I'm pretty impressed with it. The computer has a small hard drive (4 GB, and it's basically full of the operating system), but there are a couple of different expansion options. I included the spool of thread above for scale. The screen is 7", and the whole thing weighs about 2 pounds.
And what does every tiny computer need? A tiny case! I whipped up a case for it on Saturday, using fabric that I had on hand, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The outside is a fat quarter of quilting fabric, and the lining is green flannel (you know, to keep the computer from scratching). I also used flannel as batting, for a little more protection without a lot of bulk. I sewed a pocket into the lining using vintage fabric. The pocket is really two pockets--I sewed a long rectangle into a pocket with a flap, and then sewed the pocket to the lining along three sides, with the top open. An elastic band holds it all together. There's no velcro (velcro is the enemy of yarn, and there's always yarn nearby!), no buttons, and it fits nicely into my small-ish bag. The pocket is big enough for a small external hard drive, or extra memory cards, or some cables.
I'm hoping to test out the travel-worthiness on a quick trip to Boston this weekend--I'll report back (or from the road!) with the results!