Paris Preparations

So here is the canonical question, “What do I need to pack for this trip?” Well, I’m taking trying out a few new things for this trip to Paris. I’ve ditched the old carry-on (after literally years of toting around the globe) and gone with something more Euro-trekky. I picked up the Osprey Farpoint 55.

This is a ‘duffle’ type bag that has backpack straps and a hip belt that can come out to be carried like a normal backpack. It also has one wicked cool feature—the 50L bag itself is actually a 40L bag + a 15L backpack that is zipped into the main pack. It comes off so you can use it as your daily, around-town backpack. It even has the ability to be clicked onto the front of the main pack—turtle style.

To both even the load but also this daypack has all your stuff in the front pocket (tablet, passport, etc.) right in front of you. Kinda excited about trying it out this trip.


OK, I admit it, I’m a computer guy. I never go anywhere without my laptop. However, that is because I usually never go anywhere that isn’t either work related (so I need to bring my computer) or if on vacations, I basically have too many things I was unable to finish before I left so it is necessary for me to use those early morning hours when I get up to try to get some work done while on vacation. This last part actually never works that well and this time I’m accepting the fact that this is not going to happen.

So a couple of options that I have for this trip. I have a PowerBook that I always lug around. Great machine. If I ever need to defend myself, I could really put the hurting on someone with a swift smack of the old apple laptop. Second, I have been trying to get used to Windows and have a Surface Pro (basically all the crappiness of a plain Windows machine but with the added benefit of coming with a crappy keyboard and a wired size for a tablet). I also have access to my daughters Chromebook Pixel, a light and versatile machine that works as if you only needed a browser.

So these are the options.

I’ve gone back and forth over the past few weeks, taking one or the other of the above options to work with me, trying them out for normal typing (blogging updates and such). The are all good options, except for the Surface Pro, that baby is getting the eBay treatment as soon as I get back!

So I went with the minimal arrangement. I went out and picked up the new Apple keyboard for my iPad Pro!

Together with the Lightning connector SDCard reader (for the camera) and the Apple Pencil, I think this will be able to handle all my needs. The keyboard is not any worse than the Surface Pro keyboard (the chromebook has a much nicer keyboard), in fact the size is not that bad (I’ve got the 10.5” iPad and it folds down into something that is not significantly more bulky than the normal iPad cover.

Now, realistically, this only works because Adobe has started putting things into the cloud. I have Lightroom CC on the iPad, so I can read in images form the this baby.

Apple Lightning to SD card connector of awesomeness

And then do the minimal kind of editing that is necessary to post on a blog like this using the online version of Lightroom. Post to WordPress, and (as my father says) “Ta Da.”


OK, the last part is the most geeky. In the past, when I’ve gone on business trips, I’ve mostly just taken my iPhone and called it good. A couple of times, when I go to places that are more visually important, I would bring a DSLR and associated lenses. I was a Canon guy, so I lugged around a huge device and associated lenses to wherever I went. Unfortunatley, someone nicked my Canon and most of the lenses last year and I’ve been without a more sophisticated camera than my phone. Now, the iPhone X takes some AWESOME pictures but it just doesn’t have the right lenses and look to really replace something like a DSLR.

In looking around, apparently camera technology has changed a bit since 2007 when I bought my last Canon EOS. Now, there are these things called “mirrorless” cameras. They have all the benefits of a DSLR at about 3/4 the size. After looking around a bit, I settled on the Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III. This has a Micro 4/3 sized lense (so it can use Leika and Panasonic lenses as well) and comes in a bit of an “old school” body. *

It has a 2x scale factor so this 17mm fixed focal length lense is equivalent to the canonical 35mm full lense on a full frame camera. This is a great lense and perfect for street photography.

I also picked up a zoom (80-300mm equiv) and it came with a kit lense that is roughly 28-84mm equivalent. All in all, this is an awesome little bit of kit and small enough to be put in a moderately sized pocket or hung over your shoulder without inducing a bit of carpel tunnel. *

Together with a Tep unlimited wireless hotspot for France, and we are go for video, audio, photo, and sharing.

This is going to be fun.

Father, Husband, Brewer, Professor

Middle aged guy trying to keep it all together and figure out how to best navigate the world as it is. Technology geek, practitioner of fermentation sciences, researcher, biologist.