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| DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.
Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the
column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear
Webby Humor Letter.
This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly
because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
06/04/04: How delicate are laptops?
Tech Support Pits:
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How delicate, or how tough are laptops really? And, do
those expensive laptop carry cases really protect them?
Laptops are very tough these days. I used to keep my
laptop on top of everything in the carry-on case that you
can carry onto an airplane and stow under the seat, usually.
One time Air Canada, the last time I flew with THAT airline,
disallowed my carry-on and ordered it to be checked
luggage. Then I watched with great horror as the ape at the
conveyor below the airplane winged my carry-on overhead
and slammed it onto the big bottom roller at the lower
That was September 14, 2001 and tempers were running
rather high on the first day that planes flew again into
the US. I almost turned into a bare handed terrorist that
It turned out that the laptop did not mind that kind of abuse.
However, since that day I don't pack it near the top of a
carry-on, and I don't fly with Air Canada any more.
I try to be reasonable and gentle with my laptop, but while
travelling accidents do happen. It has been pushed off
tables onto hard floors, it has slid off a car seat and
klunked against the firewall, it has riddn in the trunk of cars
and off-road vehicles during some rather wild rides, and
had all kinds of mishaps.
The weakest part seems to be the keyboard, but I always
carry a fast and short 17" keyboard with me anyway, and
only use the built in keyboard when I use the laptop on a
plane or in a car.
For a carry case I use a Samsonite soft carry case that
has back-pack straps in addition to a regular shoulder
strap. That makes a huge difference in airports like
Denver, where you might have to walk many miles in a
great big hurry. That carry case also has lots of padded
compartments for cables, camera, chargers, etc., some
of them zippered for carrying paperwork and maps. I
got that one at CompUSA right after the above mentioned
incident for around $30, and I would buy exactly the same
one again if this one ever wears out. So far it does not
show any wear that a bit of soap and water won't take
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