I carry around a lot of pretty cool stuff according to a lot of people. I decided to document it all for some reason, since I often get a lot of questions about some of the stuff I have.
This is no longer accurate. I have since got a new bag and some other new gear. The vast majority of it I still have and carry in some form. Some of these items have Amazon links attached. These are not affiliate links! I do not make any money or profit from this site!
I have lots of stuff in my bag, and I wanted to list and describe everything that I have in my bag because I often get questions about some of the stuff I have, and also because I carry pretty much everything for a reason.
Honestly, I don't know. I bought this bag at Walmart many, many years ago because I needed a laptop bag. I don't know what kind of bag it is, it's just branded Targus and that's about it. I took a look at their website and I couldn't find anything that looked like it, so I don't think you can get it anymore. It has a lot of pockets for holding stuff, which I like. I don't like that it's currently falling apart, since I really like this bag.
The pins on it are from many different places. Some of them gifts, some of them I got for free at conferences or other events, some of them I bought for myself because I wanted them. I add more all the time, but some of them fall off sometimes.
This is my laptop. It's a Dell Latitude E5570. The specs are as follows:
I somehow crammed 2 SSDs into the machine, despite Dell saying that you are only allowed to either have a 2.5" Hard Drive, or an NVMe SSD, but I was able to do it using Kapton tape and hot glue.
I picked this laptop mainly because I got it at an auction for only $80 with a broken screen and a bad hard drive. I fixed it and upgraded it for only about $120, leading to a total cost of less than $200 for a laptop that is an absolute mobile powerhouse. Additionally, this thing has a TON of IO. VGA, HDMI, 3 USB 3.0 ports, full sized SD card reader, audio jack, and Ethernet. There are also some versions of this laptop with Thunderbolt 3. My model also has a 4G modem which also includes GPS for location tracking. Really, really handy for calculating satellite tracking when messing with radio stuff out in the field. It also has a really good trackpad, a really nice keyboard with numpad, a trackpoint -- Or nipple, if you will -- which I am a fan of, and a not too bad webcam.
It's absolutely covered in stickers, as have been all of my previous laptops, haha. Almost all of these stickers don't really mean too much, some of them have been given to me at cons, events, etc. A lot of them are from random things I've supported in the past and other stuff that I've done. I don't really keep track of where I get these or where they come from, so they're kinda just random.
This is the Anytone AT-D878UV Plus. It is a really awesome DMR radio and I seriously recommend it for anyone looking for a DMR handheld. Especially at a cost of only about $300, which is about a third the cost of many comparable radios from companies like I-COM, but still at a significant quality and feature advantage to Radiodity and Baofeng. Particularly, the programming software is actually really easy to use compared to other DMR radios. I think this one is specifically designed for Amateur Radio users, which is actually pretty awesome. There's also a lot of modifications available for this specific radio to do things like expand your frequency range. This radio is actually pretty capable of running on 220MHz, but it's locked out in software probably in order to get FCC certification. Here's a link to that specific mod list: AnyTone 878 Mods. Keep in mind that doing these mods absolutely will void your warranty, if that's something you care about.
Additionally, the Plus variant of this radio has APRS TX and Bluetooth built in. The APRS TX is really awesome, because this radio can be thrown in a backpack while biking, or sit in the cupholder of your car and be used as an offline GPS tracker. I've used it while hiking in a valley near my home where there's no cellphone signal, but there is a nearby APRS I-Gate. The Bluetooth is also really fantastic, since you can connect to your favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones. I've used it to carry out full conversations without looking like a weirdo or fed carrying around a bulky police-looking radio, since it also supports the integrated microphone. I've also managed to hook it up to my car, where it acts like a cellphone and interrupts my music every time the squelch of the radio opens, which can actually be a good thing while monitoring frequencies like 146.520 on a road trip.
There has since been a new version of the AT-D78UV released: The AT-D878UVII. It's exactly the same, but now has analog APRS RX support and a bit of expanded memory for the DMR ID list. It's the same price as the previous version.
I've also got a few other accessories that I carry around for this radio as well. I don't really have any thoughts about these, but I'll list them here anyways.
I get a lot of questions about "That E-Ink Tablet". That's the Remarkable Tablet, a really... interesting... E-Ink note-taking/reading tablet. It's main gimmick is the pen, which lets you write on the tablet as if it were paper, and even claims that it feels like writing on paper (It doesn't). Primarily, I find it really helpful for reading long documents like datasheets, since reading long black-on-white documents on my computer screen really strains my eyes. It's also really good since I take classes at University, and it's really great for syncing notes and documents with my computer. It's honestly the best e-ink screen that doesn't run Android that you can buy. I really like it, but there's also a few things that might be dealbreakers for others.
One cool thing about the Remarkable Tablet is that they actually take the GPL -- that the majority of their embedded software uses -- seriously. They enable root level SSH access on every Remarkable Tablet by default so that you can modify and view all the software on the device. Don't worry though, the password for the account is randomized when the device is manufactured. In fact, there are also a lot of really cool mods for the Remarkable Tablet that enhance it. They add things like jumping to pages, brush sizes, alternative interfaces, etc. Check out r/RemarkableTablet for mods, and really the only Remarkable Tablet users community around.
The big thing is unfortunately the price tag. This thing cost a whopping $500 when it was brand new, but since the release of the second version the original Remarkable 1 has dropped in price to only $300 -- actually reasonable considering the majority of that goes towards the massive E-Ink screen. There is an upgraded "Remarkable 2" version of the tablet available, but the reviews seem to be mixed, and at $400 NOT INCLUDING A PEN it might not be worth it to chance it.
Buy on Website
I made a tiny first aid kit in an Altoids tin. It's absolutely not comprehensive at all, but if someone gets cut or needs allergy medication in the field, or somewhere you don't have a nearby larger first aid kit, it's perfect. Here's a list of stuff in the kit:
Additionally, I carry around a small tin for my personal medication. If you take any medications daily, I'd really recommend carrying around a few pills in case you're caught somewhere and need it. I also keep a lot more Tylenol in here since I can't take Ibuprofen.
This is the iodd Mini USB 3.0 SSD. Not exactly the most catchy name, but this thing is absolutely amazing. The main selling point for this device is that it supports full-disk encryption without needing operating system support like Microsoft's BitLocker, but it also does something else amazing. This thing lets you select from multiple VHD or ISO files to allow you to put multiple virtual flash drives together, and select them so that you can boot from them. You can carry around a whole collection of virtual flash drives in your pocket. I like it because it works really well for MacOS, which doesn't really play too kindly with putting multiple operating systems on a single flash drive. I also use it to carry around Windows install ISOs, as well as a few VHD files that contain important system backups. Seriously, if you are a computer tech, something like this is amazing. I wish I would've gotten the 512GB version instead of the 256GB version to just plain put more stuff on it. Unfortunately, once you buy it it is not upgradeable in the future, since the internal SSD is a weird small form-factor NVMe drive that I haven't seen available except to OEMs. If you have access to those drives, it may be possible to upgrade but I haven't been able to try it. I've also had issues with overheating. Since it's literally just an NVMe SSD inside, and since the SSD has a plastic case there's no heat sinking. If you do lots of long-running operations (writes in particular) the drive heats up really fast and can disconnect from your computer. Having the long cable seems to help since you can move it away from any possible exhaust vents on whatever computer you're using it on.
This is the Bittboy Pocket Go 2, a tiny Chinese handheld emulation console. It plays everything from Atari 2600 to Playstation 1 games. This thing is extremely powerful, and at only $50 it's absolutely worth the money. I keep an SD card in there full of pretty much every retro game ever made. Sure, you could do this all from your phone, but nothing at all beats having physical controls sometimes. The battery life is pretty good, about 5 hours from a single charge. There are a few issues, the analog "stick" isn't very good, and the software is a bit weird. This thing also runs Linux, which is really cool, since the filesystem is just stored as EXT4 one of the two included SD cards and the device is totally hackable and modifiable if you have the skills. It runs the same firmware as many of the similar devices that exist, which is a huge upside, because as a hacker or developer you have access to many toolchains, documentation, and existing packages that have been around for a long time. Similar, more powerful versions of this handheld also exist, but they're a lot more expensive in many cases, and many of them are not this small.
These are the things I don't think are particularly interesting, but I feel like I should also list out.
I have this little thing inside my bag usually at all times. I use it to hold smaller things that don't fit anywhere else, and also stuff that I can take out and use as a separate toolkit if I really want to. Here's a list of everything inside there.
This is my tiny toolkit. It's a really dense package of tools and other stuff that I use for physical security, electronics, and general "up-to-no-good"-ness. It's a lot of gear, but the whole thing compacts down pretty small. Not small enough to fit in a pocket, but small enough to fit into a small bag or large coat pocket. Of course, the pieces can be taken off individually and concealed if you so desire.
This leather organizer is by a brand called Dodrio. I had never heard of them before until I saw a video by LockPickingLawyer on Youtube where he showed off this exact organizer. It appears to be real leather, and the whole thing is actually pretty well built. I think the company is Chinese, and for the price this thing is really good.
Speaking of LockPickingLawyer, this is the Covert Companion from his Covert Instruments website. While it's absolutely not the best set of tools available it's certainly the most compact way to carry a lot of lockpicks and bypass tools. I find myself using these a lot to get into things I am definitely not supposed to have access to. In addition to the Covert Companion, I also carry this small little piece of a bent metal that I made into a makeshift turning tool. It's absolutely not the best, but it gets the job done. I will eventually be adding more tools to it, such as bump keys, when they come back in stock on the relevant stores.
The Covert Companion does not come with a pocket clip, but since I love pocket clips I had to find a workaround. Since the Covert Companion is built out of a standard Keysmart, I figured that the generic Keysmart pocket clip would work just fine, and it does. If you don't use more expansion kits, you may have to remove some of the tools from the covert companion. For me, it's not a problem because I had extra expanders laying around from other Keysmart kits I had.
Please keep in mind that the mere act of carrying lockpicks with you may make you guilty of breaking-and-entering even if you didn't do anything. PLEASE check your local laws and guidelines before carrying lockpicks anywhere.
This is the Leatherman Wave +. I bought this because it came highly recommended by a lot of people. Mainly, I really like the screwdriver that it has, because it has both a Phillips and flat bit.
The pocket clip is a stylish version by a company called Donk! on Amazon. It's pretty cheap, and is really lightweight. There are a few different designs available for it, I just picked the one I liked the most.
This is the Olight I3T EOS. It's nothing particularly special. I bought this because it was popular. It's available for about $20 on Amazon. It has 2 brightness modes: low brightness and high brightness. They claim that the low brightness mode lasts about 20 hours, and the high brightness mode lasts about 20 minutes. I have found that the high brightness mode lasts more like 30 minutes with Costco brand batteries, so I think that they just underestimate it for the advertising. As always, YMMV.
This is the tiny little screwdriver that I carry. I bought this at Harbor Freight in a 3 pack for $9, and gave the other two to friends. It holds a few bits inside the handle, as the very top unscrews and you can dump them out. I originally carried it with the original bits it came with inside, but I found that I didn't really use the mediocre set of bits that were included, so I replaced them with a better selection of security bits. I found that I can fit about 9 bits inside the handle if I stack them together just right.
Here's a list of the bits I have inside:
I've found these are the bits that I used the most often from other sets. Of course, it would be awesome to have a full sized screwdriver set in my pocket, but this is about the best I've got in the smallest form factor possible.
This is a tiny butane lighter I found on Amazon. I think it's originally designed to fit in cigarette packs. I don't use it super often, but I find it really helpful to just have some sort of heat or flame source for general work, whether it be for heating up a knife to cut plastic easier, lighting candles, or most commonly heat-shrink tubing.
This is literally just a cheap pair of milled aluminum tweezers I found on Amazon. I think I paid about $10 for a set of these and a much smaller pair. They're OK. I don't particularly like them, but I also don't particularly dislike them. They're a bit too bulky to be used for fine electronics work, so I don't particularly use them that often. I usually find myself using them to reach small screws that I dropped in tight spaces, or pick apart larger objects with a bit more precision.
Just another Fisher Space Pen. I use it a lot. I like the click ones better than the bullet style ones, since I find it much more satisfying to click the pen than taking off a cap, and it's also one less thing to lose. There are lots of fake Space Pens on Amazon and EBay, but as long as they use the original cartridges, they will write the same as the real ones.
This is the thing that people ask about the most from this toolkit, so of course I saved it for last. This is a Keysmart with a bunch of keys on it, as well as a Keysmart pocket clip like I mentioned before.
This is my ultimate collection of keys that access cool stuff. You've probably seen some of these keys on lists of "Most common keys" or more commonly in talks by Deviant Ollam. While I do carry lockpicks as a way to open most locks, why would you waste time picking locks when you can just carry the key? I don't want to list the uses of keys here, since there are so many, nor will I link where to buy them since the mere possession of some of these keys may be a crime in your state or municipality. If you are curious about these keys and their uses, I encourage you to take a look at one of the many talks by Deviant Ollam on YouTube, I promise you will be entertained as well as learn a lot of stuff from it. I don't have all the "Deviant Ollam" keys here, and I've also added my own that I've found to also be common. If you're going to seek out these keys, please keep in mind that possession of these keys might be a felony where you live, especially the 1284x key, and the 2642 key. Please remember to do your research before you buy. As always, keep it all legal and only open stuff you have permission to access.
Here's a list of all the keys I have here.
I carry a bit of stuff in my pockets or on my person every day. These things are always in my pocket, and I literally have these with me wherever I go.
This is my iPhone SE 2020 (Also known as the iPhone SE 2). It's 256GB of storage, and that's really about it. It's nothing special, really. It does what I need it to do as a phone. I don't like Apple, but it's the best "budget" phone that's compatible with Verizon at the time I last updated this document. I got the iPhone SE over the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, mostly because of cost, but also because I really don't like Face ID, and the SE still has Touch ID.
This is my knife. I literally have this on me at all times no matter what. It's a Kershaw Chill. I like the color, it's really light weight, and the blade is long enough to be useful while still being somewhat compact. I chose this one in particular over other knives available, since I really don't like the serration that most "EDC" knives have, since I find that it gets in the way.
It's a leather wallet. It holds my credit cards and sometimes cash if I have any (Which I usually don't). I don't know where it came from, but it's branded Calvin Klein.
I keep some stuff in here besides money, actually. Mainly the things listed below
This is the Arduboy. Not the new fancy one with hundreds of games built in, it's the original model from about 2016 that can only store one game. It's a cool novelty to carry around and keep yourself entertained if you need to waste a few minutes waiting somewhere. It's not particularly practical or anything, but it's interesting.
These are the USB devices I keep on my keychain.
This is just a 128GB Samsung USB 3.1 flash drive. I use it to store pretty much everything that I work on. I use it mainly to carry work between computers, as well as a few important programs that I use regularly. That's about it, really. These high-capacity flash drives used to be really expensive just a few years ago, but thanks to modern technology you can now buy one of these for $20 on Amazon or at Walmart.
This is TurboTool. TurboTool is this absolutely insane diagnostics and repair toolkit that I created in order to save my friend the hassle of carrying 10+ USB drives on a keychain for work. Simply boot to TurboTool and then choose the bootable program you want to load. It's that simple. Find out more here.
2FA is really cool. Hardware 2FA is even cooler! I have tried to set it up as much as possible for online accounts. This particular model also has NFC support so it's supported on my phone which is better than relying on Google Authenticator on the same device. I haven't set it up for use with Windows or my remote servers, since I usually don't use domain accounts, and Yubikey authentication for those platforms usually requires domain usernames and accounts for login purposes.