As we were putting together our Portable Office series , we asked readers to tell us about some of the worst things that have befallen them when they’ve hit the road with their Macs. Here are some of the worst of the worst.
Have you experienced worse? Tell us all about in the comments below.
Terror at 30,000 Feet
I was flying Virgin America, with my MacBook Pro plugged into one their plentiful on-board power ports. I was happily computing away until midflight, when my laptop suddenly conked out. On investigation, I discovered that my power adapter had actually melted. I think it was a defective power adapter; some of the early MagSafes reportedly had heating problems. Virgin still offered to replace mine and gave me a free round-trip flight. Lesson learned: When using your laptop on a plane, check the MagSafe cord every so often to make sure it’s OK. Adam Dachis
I frequently travel cross-country on Amtrak. On my last trip, I fell asleep with my MacBook on the pull-down table, the lid open so I could listen to my music. I awoke to find the guy in the forward seat had reclined his seat and squashed my MacBook, completely bending it out of shape. For months after that, my Mac suffered from frequent crashes and overheating. After one Apple technician told me the problem was not covered by warranty, another replaced a part and told me to keep an eye on the heat using a temperature monitoring utility. Although my Mac still won’t close quite straight, it has not crashed in many moons. Lesson learned: If you might fall asleep on a train or plane, don’t leave your MacBook open on the tray table. Laura Cornett
Tales of the TSA
In 2002, I traveled from Toronto to San Diego. When I went through security, they wanted me to turn on my PowerBook to make sure it was legit. One problem: The battery was dead, and the power cord was in my checked baggage. The security supervisor insisted that, if I could not turn on my computer, I would have to check it as baggage. I went back to the ticket counter and checked my carry-on bag. Fortunately, I removed my cell phone, PDA, and a few other items first. Because when I got to San Diego, my Mac was no longer in my carry-on bag; thieves had even found my suitcase where I had the power cords and took those, too. Lesson learned: I always pack my computer and the power cord in the same bag and never let my laptop out of my sight when I’m traveling. William Hill
Accidents Will Happen
I normally carry my MacBook inside my school bag wherever I go. But one day, I put my school bag on the passenger seat of my car, then set my MacBook on top of it. About a mile down the road, I came around a corner to see another car coming at me in my lane of the road. I quickly swerved and wound up going down into a sandy ditch, flipping my car over twice. After I crawled out and regained my senses, I found my MacBook had been thrown through the window a good distance away. It was dirty, scratched up, but when I opened the lid and turned it on, it still worked perfectly. In fact, my fiancee is still using that MacBook, while I have a nice new MacBook Pro. Lesson learned: When I’m driving with my Mac, I secure it safely, inside its bag, before I go anywhere. Eric Musgrove
I’ve lost three iPods. I left one on a bus between terminals at a Philadelphia airport. Another I left in the seatback pocket of a US Airways plane. The third I left plugged into a wall outlet at a Boston airport gate. It was a 5:00 a.m. flight, and I was simply too tired to remember it when the boarding announcement jolted me up. Lesson learned: I no longer buy Apple mobile devices. Go with run of the mill stuff instead. Alan Capewell
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