Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Laptops, locks, and loss
My computer was gone.
It must be here, I thought. But in the same instant I was certain: it's been stolen.
And it became clear over the next few hours that it had. I'd closed the door to the cubicle, but I hadn't locked it, and someone had grabbed my computer.
I didn't just lose the laptop, either. I lost a lot of our Kalimantan photos and tape. I'd tried to back up my new Mac before the conference, but my external hard drive was being cantankerous so I figured I'd do it when I got back.
I was in a fog all day. I managed to file a story, but in the process, I lost the key to the cubicle, which of course I was now locking religiously. I got snarled at by the facilities people, who said "We told you not to lose the key, we told you to make a copy, we told you this was the only one!"
"If they think several dozen reporters are going to be here for two weeks and never lose a key, they're sadly mistaken," I said to Chad, and I confess I felt a certain evil satisfaction when I heard somebody else had lost theirs.
I felt no satisfaction, though, when more stories of laptop thefts emerged. Apparently at least half a dozen were taken. Security was very tight at the conference; there were endless checkpoints, searches, x-ray machines, and uniformed guards with guns that looked real. But anti-terrorism is not the same as anti-theft, and I think someone failed to do their anti-theft homework on this one.