Thursday, May 19, 2005

The perfect protocol, the perfect bag.

For most of my short life as a researcher, I've been dedicated to simulating an implementation of a network protocol in ns-2, which stands for "Network Simulator, version 2." It's a large piece of simulation software that's been passed around like chicken pox, like a three-legged dog, like a cussing parrot, like a bloody glove, like anything you never really want, but sometimes find yourself the special circumstances that require it.

The thing I've found most frustrating about ns-2 is that it wasn't really built to do many of the things that anyone would want to actually do with it. So, instead of designing software the way it should be designed, I end up taking on a sort of A-Team persona, building a network protocol out of parts I found when I was locked up in a garage by a rowdy group of insurgents; a garage filled with old cars and welding equipment

I'd been stuck on a particular problem for some time. I'd been stuck to the point of sobbing at my desk on any given night at 3 am in recent months. Today, after a short repreive, I fixed the problem. I fixed it in a way not really typical of fixing bugs, by adding another bug.

As a reward for fixing the problem--one of many that are still in there--I decided to some more on-line searching for THE PERFECT BAG. My current backpack is a security disaster in that the small pocket where you would put items such as passports and wallets has a tendancy to fall open. Combine that with a lot of summer travelling, and the need is desperate. However, in the last four months, I've yet to locate it.

Requirements? Hip. Fashionable. Small, but spacious. Something that I can carry while riding my bike or while on a night on the big town. I want organizational pockets that zip for security and are easily accessible when talking to the nice police officer or boarding a plane. I want it no larger than 15" x 15" x 3", so I can fit my laptop, a book, and my swimsuit. Any bigger is no good because when I did have a big bag, I just filled it with a lot of crap I didn't need.

In searching for this imaginary bag, I've found a few good contenders, and also a lot of cute little companies and artists who are making a living creating cool stuff. I wanted to highlight them here, in case you are on a similar search.

  • Kolobags is an LA-based company trying to provide fashionable means for carrying your laptop.

  • Anna Mull is a seamstress in Germany creating really neat messenger, diaper, and handbags with fabric that seems like it could easily be out of an Elvis movie.

  • Tom Bihn is a small company of folks making bags with a focus on carrying laptops. All their bags can be paired with laptop sleeves, and their site includes a laptop bag sizing guide. Their bags also have an interesting statement on their tag.

  • For way cute handbags Gracie Tom offers
    just what you might be looking for in the flowery, bohemian variety.

  • A lot of my favorite bags I found via this site which lists vendors who offer more than just cute handmade bags. You can find anything from vegan sex toys to button jewelry.

Have fun shopping.


shannon said...

I wish you luck on your quest. It is a quest I have known well and I am here to say mine has ended. I ended up splurging on a bag from a company called Levenger. They originally were just pens, but have spilt off and do luxury type items now. I've never in my life spent over $50 max on a bag...that I can remember...until this teal blue bag. I love it!!! You'll have to see it when you visit. I haven't felt the need to search for another bag since I got it in January and four months is a LONG time for me NOT to be looking for the next "perfect bag."

Tony said...

Most people I know like timbuk2 bags. I also like Manhattan Portage, but I don't think they make any laptop bags.