Being a Programmer on an RV

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As a hobbyist programmer, I need access to a computer on a regular basis. There’s not much space for a computer on an RV, but I do have a laptop (specifically, an early 2011 13″ MacBook Pro). If I don’t have the luxury of working outside because of weather or other conditions, there is a fold-down desk that I use that’s located adjacent to the jackknife couch. Since I have to fold it up at night, I put my laptop (and its cooling stand) on the counter, with the (Bluetooth) mouse and my phone somewhere behind it.

When we’re on the road, I use power from an inverter (the main rig inverter is currently out for repair 🙁 ) to run my power strip, including iPhone charger, laptop, and anything else I might need. I have a small selection of reference books that I keep in a storage box in the overhead cabinet above my desk area.

binz-rv-storage-containers-004The other main problem is Internet, which I need for Wikipedia, manuals, Google, StackOverflow, Git hosting, and so on. When we’re at our home base, we use an Apple Airport Extreme which I’ve configured with an array of settings, such as a few fixed addresses, link-local IPv6, and TCP port forwarding across NAT.

When we’re in a park, I generally either use their local network or try desperately to get along without using Wikipedia – I use it for not only programming, but also to learn about everything from The Emu War to the story of Sergeant Reckless. When we’re on the road for a couple hours, we either use one of the phones’ personal hotspot, or, again, try desperately to get along without Wikipedia.

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