Technology Thoughts

A Powerbooks adventure in the hold..

Fragile laptop in transit
So I waved farewell to my Powerbook in its bag at the check-in desk at Los Angeles Airport, with nothing more to protect than a British Airways fragile label, and watched as it disappeared down a baggage conveyor on its way to the hold of a Boeing 747 along with cases, bags, pushchairs and the gentle touch of the baggage handlers.

15 hours later, that’s 10 hours flying and five hours of general waiting, down the baggage carousel at Heathrow crashed my bag, rapidly followed by a large Samsonite and a North Face duffel bag.

So did it survive its Disney like adventure into the underworld of hold baggage… well I’m writing this entry on it, and there was not a scratch!!

So how did it survive? Good fortune.. and a few tips you might find useful if you are travelling to the UK..

  1. Make sure you have backed up your personal data (but you do that anyway)
  2. Switch you laptop off completely, putting it to sleep or stand-by is not enough, as you want to make sure its hard disk heads are safely parked.
  3. Wrap the laptop in as much soft material as possible, I was lucky to have been given a few t-shirts at the ESRI UC which worked very well.
  4. Make sure there are no hard objects in the bag, things like power supplies which could be forced against the screen and cause damage, pack these in your other bags.
  5. Check your insurance !!

Ideally you would not chose to travel with your laptop in these conditions, but life must go one..

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

2 replies on “A Powerbooks adventure in the hold..”

You’re showing your age Ed – HD heads haven’t needed explicit parking for years 🙂

Whenever the drive is spun down (which it definitely is when a PowerBook is snoozing) the head is safely parked.

I have just done the trip the other way, UK – US, you have to put your laptop in the hold. I thought, hey better put a padlock on that. Security cut your padlock off, and leave a nice little note inside explaining why. Understandable procedures, but a little worrying seeing all that valuable info go round the carousel!

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