Is that my laptop?

Picture this … you’re going through the security checkpoint at an airport … you’ve taken your laptop out of your bag and sent it through the x-ray machine.

You get through the metal detector … and find TWO laptops, identical in appearance, at the end of the x-ray machine.

Which one is yours?

Something like this happened a number of years ago … I was traveling for business, went through security, and there were two Dell Inspiron 8100’s at the end of the x-ray machine. Another guy and I were looking at both laptops trying to figure out which one was ours. The other guy noticed that one of the laptops didn’t have a floppy drive … and he knew that his did have a floppy (mine had a spare 2nd battery). Just to be on the safe side, he booted his up and determined that the one he had was indeed his own. We laughed about it briefly and went to our respective flights.

An acquaintance of mine wasn’t so lucky once … he was on a business trip to Europe … he went through security, grabbed the first laptop that looked like his, and headed over to his flight … but it turns out the laptop he grabbed wasn’t his. When he was on the plane, already over open ocean, he booted his laptop up and tried to login … but couldn’t. Then he noticed it wasn’t his name on the Windows XP login box. Talk about a panic. He ended up having to buy a new laptop at his destination, and getting his reference material sent to him via overnight shipment.

Want a proof positive way to avoid this kind of problem? Take your business card and tape it to the inside of your removable battery (or the bottom of a removable CD/DVD drive).

It’s important that the business card be taped … so it doesn’t fall off and it’s clear that it couldn’t have just been slipped there.

It’s also not a bad idea to put something identifiable on the outside of the case, so you know you’re grabbing the right laptop. This could be something as simple as a piece of colored tape.

Now, if there is ever confusion about who owns a laptop, you just pop out the battery and you can quickly determine which laptop is yours.

6 thoughts on “Is that my laptop?

  1. Jon Angliss

    Great hints, perfectly timed for my trip back home next week. Though you must remember to remove said business card from the battery before usage, at least with some laptops, as they get rather warm during charging.

  2. david

    I can’t imagine 2 laptops being so similar that you couldnt tell which is yours… even the same make and model

    You obviously haven’t seen many laptops.


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