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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Time for a new backpack for work

Trekking back and forth to the office every day, laptop in hand, has inspired me to go shopping online for a new backpack. My old one is slightly torn near the handles so one of these days it’s going to give away entirely and poof, there goes my laptop. No thanks.

So, I decided to do what I always do before I buy something and searched for some reviews online. This was when I found a great site called which had plenty of great guides to help find a good daypack, including the guide that I used on the best backpacks for men. I wanted something that worked as well with my frequent traveling as it does going to and from work, so I chose an airport checkpoint friendly bag that was large enough to hold my 17 inch laptop.

The bag, a model from Targus called the Drifter II, fits laptops up to 17 inches and is perfect for New York weather, it is rain, snow and wind resistant with a highly durable cover. I like the fact that it holds not only my laptop equipment in a padded compartment, but also holds my paperwork, a bottle of water, my apartment keys, phone, cash, and everything else I need for my work day, even a change of clothes if I want. Not only that, but I can easily lock the compartments closed with luggage locks to keep pick-pockets unhappy. Now I don’t have to worry about my high tech equipment getting smashed, stolen, wet, or lost.

It comes in a black/grey combination which works for me, I guess. I don’t need a lot of fancy-schmancy colors, although green would have been cool. But colors aside, I love being able to get to my office at work and not having to paw through my old, torn bag anymore, looking for the right papers or the right memory card, and just exactly WHAT did I do with my stupid thumb drive?

Now everything is in its own compartment and as long as my head can recall which stuff went where, I can just unlock, unzip and reach inside, grab the item and be about my business. I think I have trimmed at least three to five minutes of backpack searching time from my schedule.

I have a really large laptop, which has a 17 inch screen, so many backpacks won’t comfortably cover it. My old one did, but only because there was a huge rip inside the lining, which was probably caused by repeatedly cramming my too large laptop into a too small bag. This new bag fits my laptop perfectly, with room to spare which is perfect for taking my power cord and mouse with me. I hate using the touch screen on my laptop, it’s too time consuming and inconvenient, so I always use a mouse.

With this bag I have all the room I need for my extra components. In fact, there is even a pocket inside that bag for my 10 inch tablet with room for its power cord and memory cards. Every day I find new uses for the bag, including hiding snacks inside it that I can eat at my desk, but don’t tell my boss.

When Advertising Renders a Website Completely Useless

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If there is one thing I hate, it’s looking something up in a hurry, which translated, usually means on my tablet computer or phone, and finding myself on a webpage that is almost entirely made up of advertising. I’m scrolling and searching for the information and most of the page is nothing but rot trying to sell me something. Then I finally get to the information I want and there is almost nothing to it. I learn virtually nothing and have wasted several minutes of my valuable time. Not my favorite thing to do.

There is a site that I sometimes go to that does product reviews and my time is wasted clicking ads off so I can search for something. More often than not I have found myself on web pages where at least one pop-up ad follows you down the page and covers up the block of text so you can’t read anything until you’ve clicked off that ad. Those are the most aggravating ones of all because there is no way under the sun to ignore them. I also hate those huge blocks of advertising that take longer to load than the rest of the script on the page so while you are trying to read something important the text is bouncing all over the place, and you have to keep scrolling to find your spot.

Ads on websites were becoming more and more prevalent until a certain search engine started making changes in how it searches, deliberately making it more difficult for sites that are overly populated with ads to come up on the first page of a search. As a result, a lot of sites shut down temporarily to upgrade their systems. I’m thinking this is probably a good thing and will help put a stop to the over advertising that so many sites were indulging in. The good sites will change along with the new standards while the greedy ones will simply disappear into the shadows of the web, like last year’s spider food.

I hope that the new changes don’t go too far and make the internet harder to use in the long run. The more complicated things get the less likely people are to spend time browsing. Although, for some of us who are continuously glued to the web, that might actually be a good thing as people have to rediscover green grass, blue sky, walks in the park and that huge, bright orb in the sky whose light we like to bask in every summer.