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8 everyday carry items for tech professionals

8 everyday carry items for tech professionals

It wasn't too long ago I came across the concept of an everyday carry. Now that may sound like something firearm related, but it isn't. An everyday carry is a collection of items a person takes with them on a regular basis to help them be prepared for most everyday situations. These items will vary depending on a person's job and industry. At that moment, I realized I already have an everyday carry catered toward the industry I have been working in for the last four years. Here is what I keep in my everyday carry!


Software

SupportDetails.com — Going to this website will present you with all the basic information of your browser and the device you are running it on. This information can be very difficult to acquire over the phone, which is why I love the form at the top to send these details to an email address.

Join.Me — Sometimes you just need to see what is going on or show someone else something to get your point across. I love Join.Me for this. It is a free remote desktop/presentation app. The best part is their home page has two large buttons, Start Meeting and Join Meeting. This makes it very easy to walk a less tech savvy person into starting a session for you to remote in.

Parallels — It doesn't matter if you prefer to use Windows, Linux or OS X, because at some point you are going to have to work with a combination of the three, if not all three. This is why I love Parallels. Currently I have virtual machines for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and CentOS all on my MacBook Pro.

Google Docs — Google Docs is a fairly recent addition to my toolkit. I am more than accustomed to using Microsoft Office, but Google Docs is so much easier to use in collaboration with other people. With Microsoft Office you have to open the application, create a file, save it, open your email, attach the file, and send it to the recipient where THEY have to download the file, open the application, make their edits, save the file, attach the file to their reply, and send it off. This cycle repeats every time someone edits a file. With Google Docs you can create a file, share it with your recipient, and they can make edits in their Web browser. That's it. You don't have to send any files back and forth because you are both editing a Web-hosted copy.

Hiren's BootCD — This ISO contains software for just about any situation. I have personally used Hiren's BootCD for creating backups, imaging new computers, recovering data and destroying data before decommissioning computers or servers. A whole post could be written about Hiren's BootCD by itself!


Hardware

USB drives — Right now I have half a dozen USB drives in my backpack, and I could use a couple more. These things get used for installing operating systems on computers, upgrading firmware, or just to give a client some files to take back to their office. Sometimes you get your USB drive back and sometimes you don't. (That is why I could always use more!)

Zalman ZM-VE300 — This is an external hard drive enclosure that can do something very powerful. A digital display on the enclosure allows you to choose from any ISOs stored on it, so you can boot to that image from whatever computer you have plugged in. This means I can store all my different operating systems and even Hiren's BootCD, but also boot to any of those images on the fly without having to burn a CD or create a bootable USB drive.

Grid-It — If you work in IT, then you are probably carrying three or four different cables on you right now. You have a couple spare charging cables, a couple different USB cables for your externals, and/or an ethernet cable. Well a Grid-It takes all of that and organizes it on a board covered in varying lengths of straps. What used to be a tangled mess in my backpack is now organized and accessible.


MATT WINFIELDAugust 4, 2015