Create a strong exoskeleton for your laptop backpack with a cheap in tray

I’m paranoid when it comes to my gadgets, especially my Macbook. I spend a fair amount of time lugging it around in my backpack, and from time to time I put the backpack down a little too hard or bump against something.

Now I use a cheap in metal in tray to protect my Macbook.

1. Buy a cheap metal ‘in’ tray.

Make sure that it’s just a little larger than your laptop so that you get good coverage. I found one with a curved lip at the end, which is better for easily sliding your laptop in and out of your backpack.


2.Check that your laptop fits in the tay

My laptop lives in a pouch, so I measured it while in the pouch, it fit just fine.laptop-exoskeleton-2


3. Insert the tray in to your backpack’s laptop compartment

With my Targus backpack, the tray slid right in with no issues, I’m showing it peeking out here, but the tray is fully concealed in side the compartment. Make sure that the back of the tray is facing the back of the pack.


4.Slide your laptop in to your new exoskeleton


Now that I have this in my backpack, the bottom of my laptop is protect by the bottom of the tray, so if I do put the back down too hard, the tray will take the hit. The back is also protected. This isn’t an issue when you’re wearing your pack, but it can be a lifesaver when your pack tips over or someone¬†accidentally¬†kicks your pack when it’s on the floor (it’s happened, it was ugly).

Overall, the in tray hack doesn’t add much weight to my backpack, and what little weight is does add, I’m more than happy to live with when I consider the added peace of mind this little lifehack affords me.

Sharing Mac internet connection with phone via Airport

This has been driving me nuts for the past two nights now…

Sharing your mac's internet connection with a Symbain smartphone

I have a wired ethernet connection on my Macbook. I also have a Symbian S60 smart phone running the Nimbuzz application. So I figured that instead of being tied to the Mac, I could walk around the house and still use IM on Nimbuzz by sharing the internet connection on my Mac.

The first time I did it, all went well – easy connection to the new access point. The next two nights – nada. Connection not available. The problem is that I got lazy – I removed the password from the network I had created on my Mac, since I would be the only one using it. It turns out that Airport will not allow a non-apple device to share internet without a password. As soon as I re-enterted te password on the network, the connection worked just fine.

What a waste of two hours.