What to carry in your sysadmin toolkit

From TechRepublic plus some other things that I find happy to have with me most days.

  • Backpack to carry all this junk
  • A laptop
  • A smartphone
  • Tripp-lite keyspan serial to USB converter
  • Big thumb drive (32GB+)
  • Maxtech 16521MX 32-Piece Precision Bit Set
  • Ethernet cable
  • Small variety of USB cables
  • FireWire cable
  • Male DVI to Female DB25 VGA adapter
  • Extension cord
  • Notepad and pencil- tried and true and always useful.
  • Dropbox or Box.net- you can keep files there and access them anywhere with an internet connection. Also perfect for sending links for others to download patches and hotfixes.
  • Ninite- this one-stop-shop for common downloads is the best thing since sliced bread; in one download you can get antivirus, iTunes, OpenOffice, and a host of other free utilities.
  • Rubber bands I always keep a handful of rubber bands in my kit to keep things organized and many times the rubber band has been the most important tool I carry. How’s that you ask? How many times have you been replacing a hard disk in a server only to find the head of the screw is stripping? The fix? Place a wide rubber band between the screwdriver and the screw — and the rubber band will fill in the stripped area. Try it and you can thank me later.
  • Portable Apps
  • CyberTool or Multitool
  • Telescoping magnet
  • Zip ties
  • Velcro ties
  • Bent paper clip
  • Linux boot disk. Many different options here.
  • Carabiners
  • Dedicated flashlight rather than app
  • Anti-static strap
  • Console cable
  • Hemostats
  • Ziploc bags
  • Canned Air
  • Duct Tape
  • From Ron: Way back when, working my way through college installing air conditioning and heating systems (this is pre-computers), I had to run thermostat wires in some awfully tight locations.  I found a 6-foot length of beaded chain, to drop down inside walls invaluable!  Now I carry it to fish cables up from behind desks, etc.  Just a cheap hunk of chain with an alligator clip on the end.

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