When bad things happen to good laptops

At Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, laptops have been frozen solid (a liquid crystal display is a liquid, after all), recovered from the bottom of a creek bed (along with the car it was stolen from) and sliced in half when a train suddenly rolled back a few feet, right over the laptop balanced on the tracks.

At Atlas Air, tech support once took a call from a road warrior who was driving, computing and talking on the phone at the same time … the call ended with a loud crash.

And our favorite, from an outraged Applied Materials user’s actual e-mail: “Were you aware that at my current salary of roughly $90/hour, the requirement to log in/unlock my laptop computer more than five to eight times a day, including mistyping, takes up to 20 minutes per day, 2.9 hours per week (I work 7 days a week), 145 hours per year (I take 2 weeks off for vacation).

“So, in effect, the security requirements for my laptop are costing the company more than $13,000 per year. When you multiply this for even 2,000 laptop users, your ‘need for protection’ is costing the company more than $26,000,000 a year. Can’t we just turn it off and save the company money?”

Kind of gives new meaning to the phrase, “You do the math,” doesn’t it?