Coffee Shop Coding: Gear

 

Ok so you have heard the call to get out and work in a coffee shop, but what gear should you bring?

This is obviously a subjective question due to each person being different and having different needs. Not only that but each shop has different features, some have couches and tiny tables while others have large tables and no couches. I’m going to tell you what items are good for what but first here’s a complete list of things I ever need and some facts about them.

  1. Laptop
  2. Laptop bag
  3. Laptop charger
  4. Laptop lap stand
  5. Cellphone
  6. Extra Cell phone battery
  7. Cellphone charger
  8. Wired headset
  9. Micro powa bar
  10. Small Evernote notebook
  11. A few dollars in change
  12. Pen
  13. USB Stick
  14. Wireless mouse
  15. Bluetooth headset

All these things fit comfortably in my laptop bag but that’s because not all of them are your everyday item. Let’s go over the unique items that make all this so portable. After that I’ll get into which of these items you don’t want to bring with you and when.

Change

This is a very important item to bring, infact it’s almost your top priority item! Without a few dollars in change you can not give a good tip to the wait staff who have to put up with you. I know that in some countries tipping is not a thing but I live in North America and our wait staff is paid trash so tipping is a requirement, %15 of the total bill is the minimum.

Laptop

My laptop is not actually a laptop because it’s a notebook which means it has no CD drive. I don’t feel the need for a disk drive in the current day and age because everything is digital. The lack of the drive makes the laptop very thin and that’s a necessity for better portability. The last important thing about the laptop is that it’s 15” which is a big deal if you have to have a a couple windows visible at once.

 

Laptop Bag

Ok, so my laptop bag is not expensive (not much of my setup is) but it is rather unique. The (take a breath) Solo – Urban Convertible Laptop Briefcase Backpack converts from a shoulder strap bag to a backpack, the pictures below shows how this works.

 

Highly convenient!

Headset

Portbility is an important part of the rig and my headset adds to that because it comes apart, check it out!

The Steelseries 5h v3 has a great all around sound because it doesnt go over the top on anything e.g. bass. It has a modular design for ease of travel. The mic is on a retractable boom as well which is a killer feature. Here’s a great write up if you have more questions.

Micro Powa Bar

This item is not getting a lot of use but when it does it is great. As respectful CSCs we only want to use one power outlet but often times we just need more powa! Especially for those rare occasions when you need to share the table that has only one outlet with a stranger who needs more than one plug, this thing is awesome.

 

Wireless Mouse

Arc Touch Mouse

I use the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse because of its sheer portablility factor checked almost all the boxes. I want to note that I didn’t buy the bluetooth version of this because I find bluetooth connections are a bit spotty on my current laptop. This will change in the future when I buy a Microsoft Surface Book.

Bluetooth Headset

Why do I have another headset? Well this one is not a normal headset either, this headset im proud to say is a pair of the infamous Jaybird Bluebuds X!

They allow for me to”go naked” which I will discuss below. I insist you click the link above because my words just don’t do justice. These are amazing for music but are also a fully funtional headset with a plethora of inline features.

When Not To Bring Thing

In my experience there are a multitude of variables that dictate what to bring. The first is when you are couching/comfy chairing it. This situation usually requires a laptop lap stand, the stand helps keep the laptop from falling off your lap, overheating, and tilts it for a better typing experience. Another variable, mentioned above, is if there is only a few plugins to go around, then you need the powa bar. Most of the items for me are pretty mandatory unless im only going to be at the shop for a relatively short time. In this situation I will somtimes “go naked” which means I am only bringing my laptop (in a slim bag), wireless mouse, USB stick, and my Jaybirds. When I buy the bluetooth mouse I could litterally fit my “go naked” items in my pocket and use them with my Android phone as my PC.

 

Ok so there you have it, my full write up on CSC gear, if you have any questions please leave them in the comment sections, I read all the comments.

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