10 gadget lessons learned on the way to California

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I’ve arrived in California with my 11.5 pounds of "mobile" gear and am now unpacked and settled in to the hotel that I’ll call home for the next few weeks.

The flight went smoothly and my tray-table gadgets (HTC Shift, Sansa Fuze, Tekkeon MP3450, iPhone 3G, and Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro) worked out so well that I’ll definitely repeat the setup on my way back to Hawaii.

Waiting at the gate for about an hour and then sitting on a plane for another five gave me a lot of time to think about my gadget choices. And what I discovered was quite unexpected.

And mostly nonsense.

1. Just because my AT&T Laptop Connect card (Option GT Max 3.6 Express) gets 1582kbps download speeds at home doesn’t mean it won’t get a measly 331kbps at the airport.

2. Eating pretzels while wearing Ultimate Ears headphones nearly blows out my eardrums (crunching = bad) and drowns out my music.

3. Taking a bite of a sandwich and drinking from a plastic cup while wearing Ultimate Ears headphones breaks the seal around the silicone tips, allowing a rush of muffled airplane noise to fill my head until I close my mouth.

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4. The seat pocket in front of me is perfect for holding the Tekkeon portable power station, and it keeps the HTC Shift running for the entire flight.

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Shift_tray

5. The Shift fits nicely on the tray table, allowing me to write this post with lots of elbow room to spare.

6. The iPhone 3G’s camera, whose photos are used in this post, needs a flash and zoom.

7. Using the iPhone’s camera is much more inconspicuous than using a real digital camera, which has previously been the cause of many strange looks and stares. "Why is she taking a picture of that thing on her tray table?"

8. If the person sitting diagonally in front of me has a full-size laptop (instead of a UMPC), I have a clear view of what he/she is doing through the crack between the seats. Proof: The guy whose user name is ONELOVE on his AMD-powered Compaq notebook tried to play a movie in VLC (in a small window on his desktop, which was wallpapered with a nighttime photo of Diamond Head) but didn’t have enough battery left.

9. I can’t convert my fellow passengers into Shift lovers because no one casts a curious glance at what I’m pecking out this post on. Contrary to expectations, the Shift does not turn heads in public places or transform me into a target for in-flight mugging. How can this be? Reminder: Kindly suggest to those around you that they get their eyes checked.

10. No amount of gadgets will block out another passenger’s BO.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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