March 4 2008: 6:59 AM EST
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Sun Micro's catnapper

Scott McNealy, 53, co-founder and chairman, Sun Microsystems


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(Fortune) -- Good thing Scott McNealy is a champion catnapper. The Silicon Valley veteran, who led Sun Microsystems as CEO for 22 years before stepping down in 2006, is traveling more than ever before in his current role as chairman. As he circles the world to meet with customers, partners, and employees, he books up to 15 appointments a day - and catches up on sleep wherever he can, often in a sales rep's car. Add to that his work on behalf of nonprofit Curriki, a wiki site for kindergarten-through-12 curriculums that began as a project at Sun (JAVA, Fortune 500), and McNealy spends about a third of the year in transit. We caught up with him on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., and talked travel as his car sped across town between meetings.

• Days on the road

I'm averaging three to four days a week, but I try to get home every weekend.

Pack it up

Any soft-sided duffel bag works for me. My briefcase is a rolling briefcase and holds my laptop, notebook, reading, and all my chargers. It's a Dakota bag by Tumi. I like it because my second son is named Dakota.

Always with me

My wife sneaks pictures of her and the boys into my briefcase so I have a fresh set when I leave. Every parent ought to have that in his to-go pack.

Dress code

I take one pair of dress shoes, a couple of pairs of blue jeans, a dress shirt for every day, and a sport coat. No ties. I'm working, so I don't need to get dressed up. I just met with a Marine Corps brigadier general, and he didn't even notice. He was in combat fatigues, and I was in my work clothes.

Reading material

I read trade magazines, newspapers, e-mail, briefing documents. The only pleasure reading I sneak time for is Hockey News and occasionally Sports Illustrated.

Top room service meal

At the Hyatt in New York City, right by Grand Central, you get an awesome burger and stunning fries. That's a real trick. So often you can't get good fries at a restaurant, much less from room service.

Hotel pick

The Hyatt in Tokyo, where "Lost in Translation" was filmed. They put me up in that exact suite. There's a great workout facility with an unbelievable view.

Local secret

I would tell anyone coming to Silicon Valley that the sleeper place that's totally casual, with great food and a great atmosphere, is the Old Pro in downtown Palo Alto. It has one of those mechanical bulls, lots of TVs, great beer. It's the best. I wish there was an Old Pro in every city.

Best brew

A cold longneck Bud Light. The new aluminum cans shaped like bottles are very cool and keep the beer really cold.

Pet peeve

Hotels that don't have fitted sheets. You end up sleeping on the bare mattress by the morning. I mean, Holy mackerel! Get a fitted sheet.  To top of page

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