How Much Gear Is Too Much?

(image courtesy Zazzle)

I have jury duty this week. My only other experience with jury duty was in Boston, and I remember sitting all day in a cramped room reading a book, and almost escaping being put on a jury. So I am anticipating a long day of “hurry up and wait” and have begun packing for the day accordingly.

My original plan for what to bring was fairly extensive:

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Computer (for logging into the office)
  • Kindle
  • Eers headphones
  • Extra book
  • Chargers
  • iPhone
  • iPod touch (for games)

However, when I realized I was treating jury duty like I was going on vacation, I stopped to think about whether I really needed all that, or if I was just being an over excited geek. After all, this is either one day or one trial, and if it’s a day I can survive with less, and if it’s a trial I won’t have much time for Plants Vs Zombies anyway. So my list has been pared to just the basics: iPad, iPhone, paperback, wallet and keys. I can read via the Kindle app on my iPad, I have an ear infection so headphones are out, and my iPhone can handle any light gaming I want to do while hanging around. And while it was a nice thought that I could get work done on the go, the five minutes of work I get done aren’t worth lugging a whole computer with me. The paperback book is a backup, just in case I can’t use my iPad or run out of juice.

It gets way too easy to be caught up in carrying around “stuff”, but there’s something satisfying in realizing all of it isn’t necessary. Really, the only thing that is necessary is that I show up, but anything to make the day go by faster!

Any good tips for getting through jury duty quickly? Or a good book to bring with me? Let me know in the comments!


Categories: Gear Bits

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3 replies

  1. I had jury duty last month, and bought only my phone (with the Kindle app) and the latest New Yorker Magazine. We were released at about 11:30 am, when it was clear that there would be no jury trials that day. I almost brought the Kindle, but decided that the phone was enough.

    There was a guy trying to work on his laptop (successfully), though he had to move to find one of the few outlets in the room. He was lucky that there weren’t a lot of us looking to use power. I’d say something like a well-powered Kindle or iPad is both enough and plenty.

  2. I’m finding that with a decent keyboard cover I am able to use my iPad for a LOT of my computer tasks and e-reader(especially with the gorgeous resolution of the current iPad) so I usually carry that and I don’t carry a computer anymore.  Even at work I find I’m more portable using my iPad to web into servers or telnet into them or whatever.  I always seem to have my phone no matter what, though.  On my last long trip I also had my laptop, but on the plane it ended up acting only as a charging station for my iPad – LOL!

  3. The last time I did jury duty (I’m from the Boston area too), electronics were fine in the waiting room, but the moment you went into court, all electronics had to be left behind.

    Let me state that again. All electronics must be left behind in the waiting room. The waiting room is guarded and/or locked, but your bag of goodies can be out of sight for several hours once you leave the waiting room.