Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tough Love for a Toughbook

I am delaying the next article on protesting against your computer to address a comment made to the "Pulling the Plug on Your PC II" post.

In this response the reader described a process of euthanising your "toughbook" laptop by submerging it in a vat of acid. The description ran as follows:

Go to your local hardware store and purchase an 80 gallon lead-lined vat. Then fill it with a 25% boric acid and 57% hydrochloric acid solution. If you can’t find boric acid, use baking soda or Mentos in its place. Then I would suggest taking the toughbook home over the weekend, explaining to your boss that you have to, “Burn the midnight oil over the weekend”. Once home, the toughbook must be fully immersed for a full 48 hours, at which time you can then drain the solution and rinse the slag left at the bottom, (it’s usually some gold filaments and connectors.)

This concern with "toughbooks" is new to me, but hardly surprising. When I brought the topic up with our VP of Acid Dynamics at the FSRI labs they were well aware of the issue and familiar with the above mentioned procedure but precluded it as a viable means of doing away with a laptop. The results of their tests indicated that if you don't live in proximity to a darkened woodlot and don't have access to industrial grade containment tanks this method of destroying your toughbook became prohibitive. Lugging an 80 gallon lead-lined tank up an apartment elevator (or stairs) was disruptive to other tenants and it proved odorous to neighbors and dangerous to pets. In other words, ...don't practice this method if you live in a downtown efficiency.

A better approach to the "toughbook" problem may, unfortunately, be this: If you have a job where you a given an old, low-powered toughbook to travel with, promptly resign and seek employment elsewhere. (It may be best to avoid the issue all together.) If this is difficult, or if you need to keep your job, try one of the protesting methods to get a better computer.

Another thing, ...although toughbooks are, by design, slow and unwieldy, technology seems to be catching up to this menace of the jet-set business traveler. The FSRI labs inform me that a 256k RAM toughbook will hit the market early in 2013.

Thanks for the comment.


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