As of yesterday, we’ve officially left the United States. Hello from Mexico City, capital of Mexico! And while there are always hiccups in travel, destroying yout travel computer is definitely a serious oops.
We’ll be posting later about the gear we’re bringing, but we had planned to bring my old laptop, a ThinkPad X220 affectionately known as Ol’ Bricky, for two reasons: it looks old and shabby so it’s less likely to get stolen, and it’s INSANELY durable, having survived being launched off my desk, dropped down a flight of stairs, and daily life thereafter without much of a complaint.
There were a couple of cracks in Ol’ Bricky from the life it had seen, including splitting at the plastic seam around the screen, so we figured we would patch them with epoxy. Stoytcho did this, and managed to use clamps to hold the screen’s plastic together while it cured. I, naturally, couldn’t wait for it to cure and kept working on my email backlog. At some point I shifted the screen a bit too much and knocked one of the clamps off. It fell onto the keyboard, directly over the hard drive area. Ol’ Bricky stuttered and seemed fine for a moment. Then it shut down.
We spent the next three hours figuring out how bad the situation was. I tried booting from the hard drive in the bios, then Stoytcho pulled out the hard drive and tried booting from an external hard drive, with mixed results. When it became clear we couldn’t fix it, I pulled out my backup laptop and started downloading things we would need for the trip onto it.
The new laptop–we’ll call it Spaz–is a ThinkPad Yoga, so it’s a newer and (technically) nicer laptop. I didn’t want to bring Spaz on the trip though because 1) newer means higher likelihood of theft and 2) it’s actually terrible to use and less durable for a whole host of reasons I won’t go into here because it’s not a tech blog. Suffice to say that I’ve had more problems with Spaz in three years than I had with Ol’ Bricky in almost double that time. But maybe Spaz will surprise us. And as for Ol’ Bricky, it’s resting for now, but we’ll bring it back to life with a new hard drive when we return.
That’s all for now, but I pinky promise the next entry will be about actual traveling. And it will have pictures!