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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

In-Depth Series

What's in My Toolkit

This is an open series where Hacker Public Radio Listeners can share with the community the items that they can't live without, what they find useful in day to day life.

Short review on a 2.5 inch SSD/HDD caddy - Tony Hughes AKA TonyH1212 | 2018-10-17

Well Ken made another call for shows and as my recent interview series has come to an end by the time you listen to this here is a short review of a USB3 2.5inch HDD/SSD caddy I got from E-bay a few weeks ago.

As many of you who have listened to my previous ramblings know I frequent a local Computer auction and recently they have had some cheap 128Gig SSD’s for sale and I managed to pick several up at a good price. After using some to upgrade some desktop PC’s to SSD I had a couple of these spare and as I have USB3 on my main laptop thought it would be good to be able to use one or two of these as portable storage or even for boot drives to test out odd Linux distro or 2.

So I purchased a caddy off that font of all things techie E-bay for £5.50, link here:

So after it arrived I plugged in one of the drives and tested it out. The first thing to notice is that SSD’s being 7mm in depth flop about a bit in the case but this is easily resolved by a bit of card under the drive to help it fit snug in the case and it does mean that the case will support the larger 9mm 2.5inch spinners if needed. I’ve not tested a larger older spinner but I suspect they will not fit as 9mm ones are very snug in the case.

Anyway the drive was detected by the PC/Laptop and works flawlessly and as it is so quick to swap drives in the caddy means I can carry large data files and my music and video library when on the move with the advantage that it is less likely to be damaged if accidentally dropped or knocked off a surface, which is quite likely with a portable spinner HDD.

I am very happy with this purchase and it has already become a regular part of my travelling tool kit/laptop bag.

My Pocket Knife - Shane Shennan | 2018-09-28

The pocket knife Shane talks about is the Number 6 knife made by the French company Opinel, It costs about $20 (Canadian). This version has a walnut handle.

Opinel pocket knife with ham and cheese sandwich

What's in my tool kit - bookewyrmm | 2018-06-12

If I expand the definition of tool kit to include the tool box on my pickup truck, I also have...

  • 10' telephone cord
  • analogue telephone (princes style) for testing
  • 3 spare usb keyboards 1 spare ps/2 keyboards
  • 2 usb mice
  • 2x 6' dvi-d cables
  • adjustable wrench
  • pliers
  • needle nose pliers
  • craftsman precision screwdriver set
  • X-acto knife set

  • socket set
  • Ratchet straps
  • 50' cotton bond rope 1/2" diameter
  • 50' nylon 1/2" rope
  • 7'x 8' medium weight tarp
  • Fluke #117 multimeter
  • Fluke Link runner AT 1000
  • and toner probe
  • machete
  • jumper cables
  • analog linemans handset/ butt set (harris TS30)

What's in My Bag - Shane Shennan | 2017-05-25

A computer instructor explains why there is a flashlight, a flash drive, a set of picture dice, a small notebook, and a cell phone in his bag.

What's in my bag for Podcrawl? - thelovebug | 2016-09-13

What’s in my bag for Podcrawl?


[Video on Periscope] [Video on Mediagoblin]


Mountain Warehouse backpack
I couldn’t find exact model (I believe it was in a sale), but likely to be a 10 litre backpack

Google Pixel C - Android tablet

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

AmazonBasics 7-inch Black Sleeve

AmazonBasics 10-inch Black Sleeve

Samson Q2U Microphone (USB/XLR)

Olympus DM-3 Portable Recorder

Marshall Major Headphones

Microsoft 3600 Bluetooth Mobile Mouse

Smartphone Audio Splitters
[ black one][ white one]

Neewer 3.5mm Hands Free Computer Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone

Samsung OTG MicroUSB Connector

Exibel USB Powerbank
(actually, these aren’t that good)

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

All other products mentioned are fairly generic and/or commonplace. Links are provided for information only, and do not represent a recommendation of purchase from any particular vendor, although I may have purchased the items from that vendor myself.

What's in my bag? - Windigo | 2016-07-20

If you should happen to find me on the road, don’t kill me! I’m an atheist!

Also, this will be the contents of my bag:

  • Stainless steel coffee mug, Stewarts-branded
  • Stanley stainless steel thermos
  • Kleen kanteen wide, 40oz stainless steel water bottle
  • 1½-foot micro USB cable
  • Ethernet cable (currently retractable)
  • Sony headphones
  • Handful of SD and USB storage, including 64GB primary on keychain
  • Maglite AA-powered flashlight
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Lunch, usually in a mason jar or metal box
  • If it’s Wednesday or Thursday, my backup drive
  • Dell Mini 9 with AC adapter
  • If I’m walking to the Tech Center, a ZaReason Verix laptop with AC adapter

Whats in My Bag - Tony Hughes AKA TonyH1212 | 2016-07-01

  • 0.00 Intro

  • 0.38 Lenovo x201

  • 1.10 Lenovo x200 Tablet

  • 1.30 Lenovo x61s

  • 2.25 Raspberry Pi stuff

  • 3.55 Portable HDD

  • 4.24 sign off

What's in my Bag... Again! - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2016-05-09

Just a look at what I keep in my bag these days, though I forgot to mention my beloved Zojirushi thermos (SM-JA48-BA)!

Whats in my bag - Bitbox | 2016-05-03

  • Swissgear messenger bag (this link is to a newer version, closest I could find to my 7 year old bag)
    This bag has been with me since 2009, and for about the last 3 years did double duty, carrying both of my laptops with other assorted gear, and has held up beautifully, No fabric wear, not a stitch or seam broken anywhere. Both zippers are intact and still pull smooth and easily, they haven't even lost the pull-tabs (usually my first issue with any zipper). The handle and the shoulder strap are reasonably comfortable (for a single shoulder strap) and show no signs of wear either. Can't recommend this bag enough if you are looking for a tough messenger bag. If you are going to haul 2 laptops around (plus gear) I would strongly recommend something with 2 shoulder straps though, if you're doing any serious walking about.

  • Toshiba Satellite P855-S5312
    I beefed up the ram to 16gb and removed the optical drive in order to install a second hard drive. I also replaced the original 750gb spinning HDD. The new drives were both samsung evo 500gb SSD's. My only real gripe about this laptop is the screen resolution, which maxes out at 1366x768. IMHO, this is a waste of real estate on a 15.6 inch screen. I am looking into this, but replacement with a higher resolution screen seems to be unfeasible, from what I am reading. ( IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS OR KNOW OF A SOLUTION I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT!!)

  • The old HP Pavillion dv5-1235dx
    (I dont presently haul this one around anymore) Got this one in '09. nice screen doing 1680x1050 , but I didn't care for the plastic housing. I like the metal case on the toshiba. - although older, I really liked this laptop, and still prefer the keyboard (although somewhat cramped) over the one on my Toshiba. The feel of the keys themselves and the distinctive stroke and light click as you press down through the detent, just feels better than the chiclet keyboard on my newer machine. Incidentally, I once spilled a rum and coke across this thing, keyboard and all, while it was powered down. After dry out and a good cleaning, it fired up and still works. I don't recommend trying to re create this experiment though. Dumb luck, I suppose. I was sure it would be a deader.

  • Wacom intuos cth480 pen/touch tablet
    (this thing isn't available in this form anymore) these are very nice and work out of the box for me on debian, and mint, (cant speak for other distros). Getting the pen's pressure sensitivity settings in some drawing programs (krita, gimp, etc) can sometimes be a bit fiddly and sometimes hard to find. Overall works quite well, although I am not a professional artist. Trucker, remember? Fun to play with, and reasonably small so its good travel size.

  • Toshiba 2TB 'canvio' portable hard drive
  • Western Digital 2TB 'my passport ultra' portable hard drive
    I carry one of these (WD) for extra storage and backups of my laptop. The other ( the Toshiba) I use mostly for storage of my movies and TV series collections (gotta have your firefly fix, right?). As to which one is better, I prefer the case on the Toshiba, just seems more durable in that high impact plastic, but I will let you know when one of them fails me :)

and for those real long distance wifi signals (and/or getting into monitor mode):

(missed these in the audio)

  • zebra f-301 ballpoint pens, black ink, 2 in fine point and 2 in medium
  • several cheap highlighter markers and one sharpie

Just to be clear...I included many of the links here from Amazon and other shopping sites, or from c-net, because I couldn't see how to load my pictures in with the notes, not because I want to give product reviews or sell anyone anything. I know it can be done, because I see it elsewhere, I'm just too tired to figure it out now. next one. As I understand it, I owe at least 2-3 shows. Be patient with me Ken, I'm workin' on it.

Whats in my virtual bag - Nacho Jordi | 2016-03-08

Programs mentioned:

What's In My Bag - m1rr0r5h4d35 | 2016-03-01

Links to the gear I mention -

Whats in my bag - swift110 | 2016-02-15

I describe the contents of my timbuk2 messenger bag today

  1. Sony Vaio VPCEB42FM 6 pounds weight
  2. Lenovo x201 3 lbs
  3. iPad 3
  4. Galaxy Tab 3 lite
  5. charging cable for android phone
  6. charging cable for iPad 3
  7. Usb wall adapter to use with either iPad 3 or phone
  8. Ipod classic 6
  9. 6 usb drives ranging in size from 4 gb to 26 gb but mostly 8 or 16's
  10. screen cleaning cloth
  11. mini phillips head screwdriver
  12. Charging cable for laptop (has multiple heads that can be switched around to use for a variety of laptops)
  13. One thing that I forgot is to mention is a usb mouse.

Also I got the bag in January 2014

What's in my case - Dave Morriss | 2016-01-11

What's in my case

I'm a fountain pen geek and I thought I'd share my geekiness on HPR in case there are any other FPGeeks out there.

I have a pen case which I bought from China through eBay, and so I felt that this allowed me to add this show to the 'What's in my ...' series.

I have written out a long set of notes to accompany this episode and these are available here

My Linux Tool Box - Fin | 2015-11-17

Tools I use:

  1. Htop - Command line system monitor
  2. Firefox - The best web browser
  3. Pluma or Gedit - Great gui text editors
  4. Yaourt or Synaptic - Simple yet powerful package managers
  5. Gucharmap - Character map for all your unicode needs
  6. Markdown - Distraction free, simple document writing.
  7. VLC - The one true media player.
  8. Cinnamon Desktop Environment - My favorite desktop environment.
  9. LibreOffice - For my limited office application needs.
  10. Evince or Atril - Simple, effective, reliable PDF readers.
  11. mtPaint - Pixel art programme.
  12. Inkscape - Vector graphics tool. Great for drawing.
  13. GIMP - The Gnu Image Manipulation Programme.
  14. Gnome Terminal or Mate Terminal - My preferred GUI terminals.
  15. Redshift - Ease your screen viewing when the sun goes down.
  16. Alarm Clock Applet - Used for the Pomodoro time management technique.
  17. Gparted - My preferred partition management tool.
  18. Steam - Lots of freedom hating games.
  19. Play on Linux - Tool to play other freedom hating games.
  20. Gpick - Simple colour picker and colour scheme generator.
  21. Thunderbird - My preferred email client. The best of a boring bunch.
  22. Skype - My nessecessity for human contact.
  23. Transmission - Torrent client. Great for downloading lots of Linux Distros!
  24. Uget - For when I need a large file that doesn't have a torrent.
  25. Java - I use OpenJDK and OpenJRE as java is my first language.
  26. Asunder CD Ripper - For ripping audio CD collections.
  27. Audacity - For recording this podcast!
  28. Music Brainz Picard - Tag, accurately, all those freshly ripped CDs.
  29. Virtualbox - Try all those .iso Linux distributions you just downloaded!
  30. GUFW - GUI Uncomplicated Fire Wall. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
  31. Numix Theme - A very complete theme with a lovely icon set. Flat style, very modern.

What's In My Bag - b-yeezi | 2015-10-14

What's in My Bag Show Notes

Here are some links from the highlights of the episode

What's in my Bicycle Repair Tool Box - Jon Kulp | 2015-07-02

Tools Mentioned

Unless otherwise stated, all are made by Park Bicycle Tools:

  • SPA-1: Pin Spanner: Green
  • SPA-6: Adjustable Pin Spanner
  • SW-7: Triple Spoke Wrench
  • XLC bike tools crank tool TO-C02 (Crankarm removal tool):
  • SCW-13, SCW-15: 13mm, 15mm Shop Cone Wrenches
  • DCW-1: Double-Ended Cone Wrench
  • FR-1, 2, 5, 6: Freewheel Remover tools
  • BBT-22: Bottom Bracket Tool
  • CN-10: Professional Cable and Housing Cutter
  • Avenir "Third Hand" Cable Puller: 94-27-403 (
  • HCW-5: Crank and Bottom Bracket Wrench
  • CT-3: Chain tool
  • HCW-15: Headset Wrench
  • Ferrules for cable housing
  • Cable End Caps
  • TW-1: Torque Wrench
  • SR-1: Sprocket Remover / Chain Whip
  • Vise Grips (small and large)
  • Adjustable wrenches: 6", 8", 10", 12"

What's In My Bag? - Matt McGraw (g33kdad) | 2015-07-01

The blog on which inspired/sourced this episode:

The photo of my gear:
photo of gear

What's In My Pickup Toolbox - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-03-04

The mystery of my pickup toolbox.

What's in my Crate - Mike Ray | 2015-02-24

Back in the summer of 2014 I started going to the Surrey Linux User Group.

I was asked to give a short presentation about Linux accessibility and how, although I am totally blind, I still write code and muck about with Linux.

I was then asked to give the same presentation at the Portsmouth LUG.

This time I made it more comprehensive and took more kit.

So I take this opportunity to give my version of the "What's in my bag" shows that some folks have been doing. As I am unemployed, like a lot of blind folks, I have been unable to justify this before now because I don't lug an interesting collection of stuff to and from work.

Here's a simple bullet list about the crate and it's contents:

  • The crate is a 35 litre capacity 'Really Useful Box'
  • First in were 2 Dell Latitude D630 (64-bit) laptops
  • Next in was a Dell Inspiron (32-bit) laptop, clunky and slow
  • The three laptops were sandwhiched between 3-ply layers of bubble-wrap
  • Next in was a Seika 40-cell refreshable Braille display
  • Next was a clear polycarbonate, zip-up pencil case stuffed with audio leads
  • Then a 'Mesh' Bluetooth and line-in external speaker
  • And a Braun external speaker/FM radio/micro-SD boom-box
  • A four-way mains power splitter
  • The three AC adaptors for the laptops
  • On the top of the box, because it was too wide to go in, was a USB keyboard
  • Mobile phone charging battery 'brick', for the Raspberry Pi
  • A Raspberry Pi, a Banana Pi and some Arduino bits and pieces

Here's what I demonstrated with two of the laptops:

  • Trisquel Linux and accessibility in the Gnome desktop with Orca
  • Accessibility in the console with Debian and the Braille display on the Inspiron

The second Latitude was with me so I could get some sighted help with BIOS settings.

My thanks have to go to Tony Wood for the lift to and from both of these accessibility presentations. I could not have done either, especially the Portsmouth one without his help.

Thanks also to Lisi, the coordinator of the Portsmouth LUG and to the folks of that LUG for their enthusiasm.

Here's the link to the HPR show about my Raspberry Pi tts code fix:

What's in my bag - Ken Fallon | 2014-07-02


$ cat pringbooklet

#HTML Input --> HTML 2 PS --> PS 2 PDF --> PDF Output
#lpstat -p |awk '{print $2}'

if [ $# -lt 2 ]
  echo ""
  echo "Usage: `basename $0` {pdf file} {printer name}"
  echo ""
  echo "Available printers: \"$(echo $(lpstat -p |awk '{print $2}' ) )\""
  echo ""


if [ $# -eq 3 ]

if [ ! -e $FILE ];
  echo "Can't find the PDF file $1"

pdftops -level3 $FILE - | ps2ps - - | psbook | psnup -2 -Pa4 | ps2pdf - |\
    lp -d $PRINTER -o media=a4 -o sides=two-sided-short-edge -n $COPIES -

What's in My Bag - Thaj Sara | 2014-05-29


What's in My Bag? - Charles in NJ | 2014-05-16

This episode is a just-for-fun show in which I walk systematically through the bags I was carrying to work on a particular day, and describe what I have found inside.

Whats in my bag, and other stories - James Michael DuPont (h4ck3rm1k3) | 2013-10-15

In the show I discuss my philosophy of travelling light, how to travel without baggage or computers, how to setup disposable accounts and protect your accounts from compromise. Also I talk about how I am adjusting to living without a car in Kansas, and other topics.

What's in my bag - jrobb | 2013-09-02

In this show jrobb goes through his laptop backback and details the contents. I had a few minutes while the wife had most of the kids out running errands and figured I'd make another HPR.

If anyone is otherwise interested, this is my second recording, which was made with audacity. I ran the noise removal (which is basically magic), and then I ran the compressor tool which seemed to bring the volume level up a bit.

What's in my Bag - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2013-08-26

My contribution to the "What's in my Bag" series. Contact me at

What's In My 2 Bags - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2013-08-20

CPrompt^ records his first podcast. Talks about what he does for employments as well as what he carries around on a daily basis. Not all hackin-geeky stuff but it's still carried around.


What is my bag - MrGadgets | 2013-08-19


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MOLLE (pronounced molly, as in the female name) is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and rucksacks utilized by a number of NATO armed forces, especially the British Army and the United States Army. The system's modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing as rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories.


What's in my Bag - Accipiter | 2013-08-06

In this show, I tell you all about my bag. I start with the back compartment, and work my way to the front, so from magnetic card to keys on a tether. I carry a 1 Terabyte drive with me, which is a full backup of my computer. This is a weak version of offsite backup because sometimes it is not offsite. I have no office or other place where I can store it, though. It's better than nothing. One recommendation I do make is to carry a jeweler's loupe. They are not that expensive and can make it possible to read tiny model numbers on parts or just tiny print.

Listeners, this is my second attempt at a show. It's not that hard, and I would like to hear from others about what's in their bag.

What's in my Bag - Jon Kulp | 2013-07-25

I go through the usual stuff in my bag. One thing I forgot to say is that my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite with i3 processor, 6gb of RAM, 750gb hard drive running Crunchbang Linux. Here are links to two of the items mentioned in the episode.

Mobile Hackspace (what's in my bag) - NYbill | 2013-07-23

In todays episode NYbill talks about what is in his bag. Not just the every day computer bag, but also his 2600 bag of hacking goodies.

The Postcard Club:

The Blue Bag:

Surface mount component book:

What's in my bag - David Whitman | 2013-06-12

A short episode by me: "David Whitman" about things I carry in my backpack which is my go to work bag. Normally there would be food in there but it is Sunday morning and thankfully I have left no food in the bag. Food ideally goes to work and is consumed but there have been those times.........the forgotten orange etc.

What's In my Bag? - Mike Hingley | 2012-10-31

Kit Description
My Backpack
My Backpack
My Backpack - note the HPR Badge - this is the bag I take to work every day.

My Acer Aspire netbook
This is a refurbed type unit I got from the Acer Direct.
My Kindle 2
My Kindle 2
This kindle was a birthday present from Rachel, last year. She knows me so well :)Its loaded with a load of ebooks from the great folks at O'reilly.The case for this was from Tesco
My Car-pod ipod
My Car-pod ipod
When I upgraded cars the biggest disappointment for me was that going from a Kia Cee'd , where I could plug in USB keys with pod-casts on - I now no longer had a USB port in my SEAT. Rachel bought this for me from CEX. I've replaced the firmware with rockbox.
My newest iPod
My newest iPod
My newest iPod - this used to belong to my Rachel, but the screen has started to go - She looked at getting it repaired - pricey as it is out of the warranty period - so she got herself a new one (cue a long process of me transferring her songs to the new iPod :() and I acquired her old one. I have replaced the Apple firmware with rockbox, and it works great under Linux.
My 2GB USB Key
My 2GB USB Key
This key contains nothing (at the moment) apart from a design for a leaving cake (Keep calm and Google it) and a file called ldlinux.sys, left over from the previous contents. Google cake
Google cake

My Conference Folio
This is a pleather folio I picked up ages ago from I know now where - probably before Opal Telecoms was bought by TalkTalk. Currently the old web address ( seems to redirect to which seems to redirect to TalkTalk, only it actually doesn't work.
My Folio Contents
I keep an Oxford pad (i like the paper) in here.
I keep an Oxford pad (i like the paper) in here.
My Microsoft mouse was missing from my bag, as I had been using it with my Raspberry Pi - but it's like this. 

Whats in my bag / Portable Apps - Digital Maniac | 2012-03-12

In today's show Digital Maniac becomes our newest host and shows us what's in his bag. He also gives us a run down of his favourite

Pocket Full of Miracles - lostnbronx | 2010-01-29

lostnbronx talks about the contents of his pockets, in this latest edition of the "What's In Your Toolkit" series.

Whats in My Toolkit Part 3 - dwick | 2008-12-09

dwick describes what's in his toolkit

What's in my Toolkit part 2 - Cybercod | 2008-11-10

Cybercod talks about what's in his toolkit

What's in your toolkit part 1 - threethirty | 2008-10-28

threethirty talks about what he carries around in his backpack