The Portable Office: Travel Terrors

Accidents Will Happen

The scene: A brand new 12-inch PowerBook and a latte without a lid sitting together on a coffee shop table. The table had three legs instead of the usual four, and there was a 10-month old Schnoodle puppy tied to one of those legs. You know where this is going: The Schnoodle saw something in the distance and lunged for it. In the split second before I could hit the power button, the latte spilled all over the PowerBook, frying the LCD, voltage inverter and motherboard.

Lesson learned: I now maintain a beverage-free zone of at least 12 inches around my Mac.

--Dan Bryk

I normally carry my MacBook inside my school bag wherever I go. But one day, I put my school bag on the passenger seat of my car, then set my MacBook on top of it. About a mile down the road, I came around a corner to see another car coming at me in my lane of the road. I quickly swerved and wound up going down into a sandy ditch, flipping my car over twice.

After I crawled out and regained my senses, I found my MacBook had been thrown through the window a good distance away. It was dirty, scratched up, but when I opened the lid and turned it on, it still worked perfectly. In fact, my fiancee is still using that MacBook, while I have a nice new MacBook Pro.

Lesson learned: When I'm driving with my Mac, I secure it safely, inside its bag, before I go anywhere.

--Eric Musgrove

I once dropped my MacBook Pro--nestled in a padded laptop bag--onto a concrete floor while trying to unlock a door. The display backlight was destroyed, and it didn't make economic sense to replace it, so I had to buy a new computer.

Lesson learned: I now carry my MacBook Pro in a well-padded wheeled bag; I can't drop it because it's already on the ground. The bag cost $210, but that's a bargain compared to the cost of a new Mac.

--Steven Carter

I've lost three iPods. I left one on a bus between terminals at a Philadelphia airport. Another I left in the seatback pocket of a US Airways plane. The third I left plugged into a wall outlet at a Boston airport gate. It was a 5:00 a.m. flight, and I was simply too tired to remember it when the boarding announcement jolted me up.

Lesson learned: I no longer buy Apple mobile devices. Go with run of the mill stuff instead.

--Alan Capewell

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