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"Cyberspace is a metaphor that allows us to grasp this place where since about the time of the second world war we've increasingly done so many of the things that we think of as civilization."
- William Gibson

Oxygen Hip Flask  
  A small, portable source of pure oxygen for breathing.  

In the novel, it turns out that there is a small minority of people who are very adversely affected by higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They turn to a source of quick relief.

Whispers diminished to an occasional giggle as people bumped awkwardly. A cough. A faint, familiar hiss as someone in the crowd took oxygen from a hip flask, followed by a mumbled apology.

Remi knew he was a dozer when he lifted an inhaler and took a long hit of pure oxygen from a hip flask...

A green gas cannister at his belt showed him to be a dozer - one of those unfortunates more affected by excess carbon dioxide than other people. In most, such borderline susceptibilities caused little more than sleepiness or headaches. But sometimes a wild mania resulted...

Technovelgy from Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
Additional resources -

Compare to the oxygen concentrator from Duel on Syrtis (1951) by Poul Anderson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Earth
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