Tools

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Cheap and Pretty Gerber MultiTool

This probably isn't as nice as the one I reviewed elsewhere, but on the other hand, you can't beat this price with a hand-cut stick. The price listed above is higher than you'll get on the order page for some reason.

I probably wouldn't want one of these for a daily use knife, but the price, size and features are just right for use as the knife that sits in your bug out bag or sealed up in your emergency kit.

Gerber MP400 Compact Sport MultiTool

I looked at a lot of online reviews when my wife asked for a Leatherman, and ultimately took the risk of getting her something different from what she asked for.

We both ended up happy. This Gerber Multitool is every bit as rugged as a Leatherman, but the pliers in particular are much more convenient. You don't have to open the handles up and do some crazy butterfly knife twist to access them, like with most leathermen.

Not too big, not too small, my wife carries it everywhere. While it is probably too big to comfortably keep in a pocket, (especially if your pants are tight) it goes very handily in a purse, messenger bag or computer bag.

Pocket Survival Pack: Worth Having

Got a pair of these, one for the wife and one for me.

While they're not going to turn a car wreck into a holiday brunch, the number of things carefully packed into this tiny little vinyl bag is pretty impressive.

All I added to it was a printed list of the most important phone numbers and addresses I have. Because it sucks to have access to a phone but no idea what number to call because you've gotten used to having your cell dial for you.

I love my Swiss Army CyberTool!

I've been carrying the Swiss Army CyberTool 34 around since Christmas of 2000 or so, when my wife gave me one. Aside from a season where temporarily lost it, it has been with me almost constantly.

It's great. The translucent plastic, once so mod as a sly reference to the original and second generation multicolor translucent iMacs, now seems quaintly retro. The plastic is the only part of this knife that shows any real wear.

If you're a computer person, you'll soon discover how handy it is to have a set of torx drivers always at hand.

I've also used it for all sorts of handiwork that convince me it would be useful in a survival situation. The pliers aren't as beefy as you would find on a Leatherman or similar tool, but it's smaller than that and I'm more likely to have it with me because of that.

I do find myself puzzled by one thing on this knife, however. What is that hook for? The only tool it resembles is a farrier's hook, and a tool for cleaning horse shoes seems an unlikely candidate for inclusion on a knife aimed at computer techs.

Dust Masks Cone Blue 50 ct. Box

Lightweight. Polypropylene. Good for everyday, general use. 50 masks per box.

A Master Plan

Here's a work in progress--a "how to" thought experiment on how to be ready for the future. This won't be aimed at the camo-wearing crowd--more the boingboing.net reader. You know, people who enjoyed When SysAdmins Ruled the Earth.

Bug Out Bag

When things go wrong, you rarely have warning. If you have to leave work, home, DEF-CON or your charming vacation home for any reason, it isn't good to have to figure out what to pack.  A bug out bag solves that problem. You put whatever you have to have in it and you don't mess with it, except to rotate out whatever might get stale or expire.  What needs to be in a bug out bag?

  1. A first aid kit
  2. Flashlight, preferably LED, best if it is crank operated.
  3. Required medications
  4. A knife.
  5. Matches
  6. Lighter
  7. A roll of quarters
  8. A list of important phone numbers and addresses
  9. Maps to whereever you can imagine going
  10. Photocopies of important documents: driver's license, passport, credit cards, deeds, will.
  11. Spare socks and underwear. Good shoes if you normally wear shoes more stylish than comfortable.
  12. Cash
  13. A filter mask.

Tom Bihn Super Ego Messenger Bag

I needed a new messenger bag. Happily, I was able to get the one I wanted from the get-go a Tom Bihn SuperEgo bag. This is a new bag from Tom, and it seemed to have everything I wanted.

Or pretty close anyway. In some good ways, it's much more than I required. In one very small way it doesn't do what I want. But that's mostly my fault, as I'll explain later. Plus, it's fixable.

Do you care about this at all? If so, then read on. But be warned this review is long, and it's full of pictures.

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