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The $50,000 Laptop


The $50,000 Laptop

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The $50,000 Laptop

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Jeff Moden
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Referring to the poster in the article about the laptop on the bus. I think it's bloody well amazing that 1) the laptop is the (apparently) only source of the scientific data and 2) that people that have a laptop with such data on it actually unhook it from their shoulder when riding a bus or taking a cab.

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sqlpadawan_1
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With a terabyte of storage for less than $100, free utilities like Sync Toys from Microsoft, and unlimited online backup services as cheap as $60\yr, I will never understand the mentality of not backing up your data. I haven't lost a laptop, but I have lost the hard drive. With my Carbonite backup, I was back up and running with no losses within hours.
GSquared
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sqlpadawan_1 (1/7/2013)
With a terabyte of storage for less than $100, free utilities like Sync Toys from Microsoft, and unlimited online backup services as cheap as $60\yr, I will never understand the mentality of not backing up your data. I haven't lost a laptop, but I have lost the hard drive. With my Carbonite backup, I was back up and running with no losses within hours.


Of course, even that isn't completely foolproof. Carbonite lost data for some customers a couple of years ago. Bing/Google "carbonite data loss" and you'll find the news articles about it. Summary here: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/03/25/more-on-carbonites-data-loss/

However, the odds of Carbonite (or DropBox or SkyDrive or whatever) losing your data is MUCH, MUCH lower than the odds of losing a laptop or having a hard drive fail.

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Agreed, nothing is foolproof. I have a Carbonite subscription for offsite and a external drive with a sync toy transfer setup for onsite. I put my source in VSS or SVN. It's overkill, but I'm lazy and paranoid. I don't want to have to reinvent the wheel or explain how I lost source code to the manager or all of our digital pictures to the boss.
Steve Jones
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GSquared (1/7/2013)
sqlpadawan_1 (1/7/2013)
With a terabyte of storage for less than $100, free utilities like Sync Toys from Microsoft, and unlimited online backup services as cheap as $60\yr, I will never understand the mentality of not backing up your data. I haven't lost a laptop, but I have lost the hard drive. With my Carbonite backup, I was back up and running with no losses within hours.


Of course, even that isn't completely foolproof. Carbonite lost data for some customers a couple of years ago. Bing/Google "carbonite data loss" and you'll find the news articles about it. Summary here: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/03/25/more-on-carbonites-data-loss/

However, the odds of Carbonite (or DropBox or SkyDrive or whatever) losing your data is MUCH, MUCH lower than the odds of losing a laptop or having a hard drive fail.


Very true, and you'd hope you wouldn't lose both at the same time.

I keep a backup of my laptop handy, and run one before I leave town. I also make sure I have a third around. I need a remote backup like Carbonite as well, just to be sure, since I'm somewhat depending on Dropbox right now as my final backup.

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Eric M Russell
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At my company, those of us who work remotely use our laptop to Remote Console into one more Virtual PCs or just a desktop tucked away in a forlorn cubicle. In the case of a Virtual PC, the images get routinely backed up by server admins, so we don't even need to worry about it. There is no confidential or valuable data stored on the laptop hardware, so if it gets lost or stolen the cost of replacement is $350; that's how much I paid for the laptop I'm using now. In a pinch, I could even borrow my wife's laptop and miss nothing.


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jay-h
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Laptops need to be thought of as commodity carriers for data, not the end object in themselves. Encryption, offsite backup, etc are what we need to be mostly concerned with, not so much protecting the laptop itself. Frankly in the long run, it's futile to think you can totally prevent theft or failure.


On a lighter note, here's a story about lost and recovered research 'data'

http://jalopnik.com/5963982/the-university-of-maine-scallop-guts-placed-in-the-wrong-car-have-been-found

...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
djackson 22568
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Eric and Jay make good points. I don't understand why anyone would store all their data on their laptop. Companies routinely provide personal shares on the network that are backed up. Smaller companies may not do this, but then alternative backup options exist.

The main issue I have is the ridiculous cost the study author(s) came up with. It is the same methodology that software companies use to determine lost profits from unlicensed use, the music companies use to determine the cost of listening to unpurchased songs, and probably similar to the science behind the Mayan calendar and the end of the world. Sadly, I seemed to have missed that last event due to being abducted by aliens, although they seem to have returned me to the same planet in an alternate reality. Just not one that is alternate enough to stop these stupid studies based entirely on opinion.

Losing laptops, smart phones, iPads and other devices is costly, yes. I just completed a study, though, that proves the cost of studies far outweigh any cost associated with lost data. I plan on posting it on the Internet for all as soon as I find out what the aliens did with my laptop.

Seriously, I believe the cost is in one of two broad ranges. Those companies that employ halfway intelligent people, and that listen to the experts in their technology department, probably encur costs for the laptop, and some labor involved in purchasing a new one and deploying it. I think a figure between $1,000 and $3,000 is reasonable. I believe most companies fall in this range. The mean value would almost certainly be within this range as well.

The other range, well, are we sure those instances aren't from the current US government?

Dave
Eric M Russell
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Using the a VPN to connect to my desktop at the office, I don't even have any corporate email on my laptop, it absolutely nothing work related except for the VPN client configuration itself.

However, when using VPN it's important not to save your login credentials in Remote Desktop. Giving a hacker the opportunity to Remote Desktop into your office is an even worse scenario than having a laptop with confidential data on it.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
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