I was a little bit freaked out about not being able to bring my computer on the trip to Australia next month. It’s a lot of time to spend in the air with very little to do, so I had planned on finishing off a couple of books and still doing some writing.
Luckily, according to the TSA, laptops are still allowed on board for flights originating in the US, and US-bound flights are generally under the same requirements. As the date approaches, I’ll need to keep checking to see what the security arrangements are. And look at ways of defending the poor laptop in checked luggage.
The first choice, of course, is to bring a more disposable laptop–one that won’t hurt as much if it gets thrashed. Namely, an old Sony Vaio. I think the batteries are fried, but I can probably find non-Sony batteries to replace them. The alternative is to bring the Mac Book Pro, which–besides being bigger–I would be a bit more unhappy if it got thrashed. It’s not really “mine” anyway, since it’s a university machine, but still I think I need to keep it in running order for a while.
Thomas Wailbum has posted some hints on how to keep your computer safe and secure if it has to be checked (via Aaron). I’m thinking a Pelican case might be a good idea. Then, if we crash and are “lost” on a South Pacific island, I’ll be the only one with a working laptop. Or perhaps a cheapo version of the same, since the authentic Pelican version costs almost more than the computer is worth (though they are often for sale on eBay). The Container Store had some basic plastic commercial cases that should fit the bill, if it comes to that. (I suspect they can be found elsewhere for even less.)