The following is an annotated inventory of my mobile setup, feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments!


Really any backpack will do, but I like this one because it's simple, has a padded laptop sleeve, a soft lined front pocket for glasses, and a water bottle pocket. The main pocket nearly opens up flat, making it easy to pack and unpack.

This 360 degree camera comes with AI tracking, hand gesture control and a few extra modes (like whiteboard detection!). It's a bit pricey but the quality is superb. Plus, when not in use it points downward, giving you a physical privacy shutter.

  • Laptop - 14" M1 Max 32GB 1TB

At the time I joined, the M2 generation Mac's were out but had some heat issues. I find 15+ inch laptops are too large for my taste, so I went with the 14 inch, and used the cost difference to upgrade to the M1 Max.

Headphones are an area where it really comes down to personal preference. I like these due to their great noise cancellation that works well enough for flights, ear-loop design taht stays in while I am running, and decent mic. They do however have a very large and clunky case that will not fit in your pocket.

There is a newer gen model that has a smaller case, and a more streamlined design, but I have not tried them yet.

I have never had a smartphone that was not stock Android (my first smartphone being the Nexus 5X). For me a phone should be able to do the following:

  • make calls
  • send texts
  • take decent pictures
  • store music
  • have good battery life

A phone is not a complete media platform, and I don't want it to be. I have a laptop/tablet for that.

I usually buy the A (midrange) model, but my Pixel 5A broke before the 7A was released, so I had to get the 7.

The Arctis line by SteelSeries is one of the few headsets that hits all of my needs:

  • comfortable for long periods of time
  • wireless
  • good retractable mic
  • good sound quality (not studio quality mind you, but good enough for gaming and calls)
  • fabric ear muffs (leatherette gets sweaty)

It appears the newest model went with leatherette for some odd reason, so I would recommend buying a replacement fabric set from Wicked Cushions.

Generic hard shell case for my headset for travel, fits the headset and the USB dongle it comes with.

In an Apple ecosystem, (sadly) you have to use Apple accesories. The gesture control alone is worth it.

This single brick eliminates the need to have a separate power supply for my phone, tablet, laptop, etc... It also comes with an extension cable that attaches to the brick, giving you an extra 5 feet of reach, and if you use 2M cables like I do, that's a total of 7 feet of reach, eliminating the need for a power strip. Newer models even go up to 200W.

Braided cables last longer and are more flexible than rubber cables. I use 2 meter cables because I like to be able to move around while charging.

I bought the SteamDeck for purely 1 reason; to re-play the same games I had on my PSP 1000.

For a time I had a 2nd portable monitor, but found it was too much of a hassle to set up and take down. When I really need a second screen, I use Apple's native Sidecar feature to use my iPad as a second screen, wirefree.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

With the M series Macs, the need for a dongle is greatly reduced, but I still carry this one old one around for some extra connectivity.

Back in my deployable communication days, I was re-formatting servers and cracking laptops on a daily basis. I needed a way to quickly re-image a machine without having to carry around a bunch of USB drives. The iodd Mini is a USB drive that can mount any system ISOs saved to it and emulate a CD drive, and has a built in keypad for entering a password. This allows me to carry around a single drive with multiple ISOs on it, be able to re-image a system at the speed of a USB drive but the compatibility of a CD-ROM, and only have to remember a single password.

Find a pen that works for you, and buy a hundred of them. For me that is the Pilot G2 0.5.

Similarly to pens, find a notebook that works for you and buy a bunch of them. I like the Oxford 1 Subject Notebooks because they are cheap, have a hard cover, and are spiral bound.

Screen Shine Go

Phillip actually told me about this one and said this is the brand they use at Apple stores. It's a screen cleaner that comes in a small spray bottle, and a microfiber cloth that is stored in the cap. It's small enough to fit in your pocket, is airplane ready, and is great for cleaning your phone, tablet, laptop, etc...

  • Road Warrior VPN - Tailscale + Netgate 4100

Tailscale is a mesh VPN that allows you to connect to your home network from anywhere. I have a Netgate 4100 firewall running pfSense at home, and have Tailscale installed on it. This allows me to connect to my home network from anywhere, and have access to all of my home resources, including my NAS, my dev server, my home automation system, and my security cameras.

  • Dev Server

After extensive research, I built the following server to be used as my dev machine for running Big Bang / compiling + testing Zarf.

I work from my Mac, but VSCode SSH remote into this box to do all of my development work, which also allows me to pick up my progress on any machine in my apartment. So I can keep developing in bed, on the go, etc...

It has the folling key features I wanted at a price that did not cost an arm and a leg:

  • 16 cores / 32 threads (Zarf now compiles 4x faster as compared to my M1 Max)
  • 128 GB RAM (Big Bang is a hungry beast)
  • 2 TB NVMe SSD (the mobo is PCIE 5.0, so I can upgrade the storage when 5.0 M.2s become available)
  • Silent cooling that is not water cooled

PCPartPicker Part List

CPUAMD Ryzen 9 7950X 4.5 GHz 16-Core Processor$558.99 @ Newegg
CPU CoolerNoctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler$109.95 @ Amazon
MotherboardAsus ROG STRIX B650E-F GAMING WIFI ATX AM5 Motherboard$278.79 @ Amazon
MemoryKingston FURY Beast 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-4800 CL38 Memory$207.90 @ Amazon
MemoryKingston FURY Beast 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-4800 CL38 Memory$207.90 @ Amazon
StorageSamsung 980 Pro 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive$139.00 @ Amazon
CaseFractal Design Meshify 2 Compact ATX Mid Tower Case$124.99 @ B&H
Power SupplyEVGA SuperNOVA 850 T2 850 W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply$204.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Generated by PCPartPicker 2023-05-14 20:43 EDT-0400

If people are interested, I can also do a post on my desk setup, and even my home lab network setup.