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Doing the Laptop Drive of Shame 252

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the monday-monday-monday dept.
netbuzz writes "If you bring your work computer home with any regularity, chances are good that you've done the Laptop Drive of Shame. (Oh, c'mon, admit it.) It's happening more than ever ... and costing more than ever, too, what with the price of gas and all." I'll spoil it for you — they mean leaving your laptop at home. Yay, Monday news cycle.
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Doing the Laptop Drive of Shame

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  • Unfunny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:00AM (#24179911)
    Stupid unfunny slow news story. Not laughing 'cause it's like a lame stand-up-comedian-dont-you-hate joke. Get yer tomatoes out everyone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by OS24Ever (245667) *

      reminds of the last unfunny news cast where you stood outside an apple store and asked the people in line if they'd ever seen a naked woman.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Applekid (993327)

        reminds of the last unfunny news cast where you stood outside an apple store and asked the people in line if they'd ever seen a naked woman.

        That's only unfunny because they probably HAVE. Now, repeat the experiment in front of a GameStop....

      • Re:Unfunny (Score:4, Funny)

        by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:29AM (#24180239)

        ...stood outside an apple store and asked the people in line if they'd ever seen a naked woman.

        Of course not, silly. It's an Apple store. Now, had you said naked man...

    • Good GOD!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WED Fan (911325) <akahige@trashmai ... t minus math_god> on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:21AM (#24180139) Homepage Journal

      Good God, editors, it's bad enough someone would submit this story, but you guys let it through?

      Can we mod the editors out of office?

      Would it be possible to add modding to the published articles? Can we prevent this submitter from ever submitting a story again?

      • Re:Good GOD!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by owlnation (858981) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:49AM (#24180449)

        Good God, editors, it's bad enough someone would submit this story, but you guys let it through? Can we mod the editors out of office? Would it be possible to add modding to the published articles? Can we prevent this submitter from ever submitting a story again?

        I wholeheartedly second this. This is an horrifically bad article. It would be good if it were possible to mod articles. Something like:

        -1 Slashvertisement
        -1 Dupe
        -1 What-on-Earth-was-Taco-thinking-Has-he-not-had-enough-coffee-yet?

        etc...

        The folks over at whatever magazine website TFA was from have just seriously missed a golden opportunity. Rather than convert the slashdot effect in to new readers, this article was so bad that they've just made a lot of people avoid ever visiting their site again. Way to go guys!

        • by WED Fan (911325) <akahige@trashmai ... t minus math_god> on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:03AM (#24180619) Homepage Journal

          Further, its just a warmed over I forgot my insert, I have to go back home:

          • Badge
          • Store keys
          • Report
          • Pants (I once arrived at work without my pants. Imagine a 20 minute commute, and I didn't even notice I was missing my pants. Hell, neither did the other people on the bus. (It was the Bay Area.)
          • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:24AM (#24180903) Journal

            Imagine a 20 minute commute, and I didn't even notice I was missing my pants. Hell, neither did the other people on the bus. (It was the Bay Area.)

            And people ask me, why did you hate living in the Bay Area so much?

          • Can I submit an article about doing the reverse? Why did I take my gym bag out of the car and bring it into my office this morning? No matter how hard work is today I doubt that I'll be breaking a sweat.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by pragma_x (644215)

              Can I submit an article about doing the reverse? Why did I take my gym bag out of the car and bring it into my office this morning? No matter how hard work is today I doubt that I'll be breaking a sweat.

              Overheard earlier during the morning's staff meeting...

              Boss: Now take a look at Johnson over here. He's a real-go-getter... wish I had, well, 5 more of him. I see him saunter up to the front door and what is he carrying? A gym-bag. That's right, while the rest of you slackasses are toting around your brie

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#24184101)
            We noticed, but anyone who rides a bus knows better than to talk to the person not wearing pants.
        • Re:Good GOD!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:39AM (#24181151) Journal
          It would be good if it were possible to mod articles. Something like:
          • -1 Slashvertisement
          • -1 Dupe
          • -1 What-on-Earth-was-Taco-thinking-Has-he-not-had-enough-coffee-yet?

          We already have;

          • binspam
          • dupe
          • notthebest
          • offtopic
          • slownewsday
          • stale
          • stupid

          http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl [slashdot.org]

          yet somehow this made it all the way across the spectrum to red, and from there to the front page. I've suspected for a long time that the Firehose was being gamed, this makes it almost certain.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        I suggest we initiate the Defenestration of /. In honor of the second Defenestration of Prague, we toss the editors into a cart full of horse poo.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151804/quotes [imdb.com]

      Peter Gibbons: Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday, and you're not feelin' real well, does anyone ever say to you, 'Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays'?
      Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked sayin' something like that, man.

      I feel the same way about this

      http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/29791 [networkworld.com]

      Here's me shouting to no one in particular the other morning: "Hey, look, Brad's gotta do the Laptop Drive of Shame." Gales of laughter ensue.

      Paul McNamara, you live in a country with the Second Amendment and you work in IT where there are a lot of 'ticking time bomb' types. Maybe a little tact might be a good idea.

  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:01AM (#24179915) Journal

    This is the first time I wish I had been rickrolled instead of getting that awful article.

  • by edittard (805475) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:01AM (#24179923)

    Slow news day ... or no news day?

  • Fortunately (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:05AM (#24179959) Homepage

    I don't live that far away from work, so if I ever forget my laptop it's not too much of a trek. To be honest I'm more likely to "forget" my pass and then I have to go and temporary one from the lovely girls in premises (I'm not stupid you know).

    Seriously though, I usually just put my laptop bag, with the laptop inside it (the most important bit) across my front door so that I have to pick it up to open the door. Obviously this only works if you're the first person out the door in the morning...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I don't live that far away from work, so if I ever forget my laptop it's not too much of a trek. To be honest I'm more likely to "forget" my pass and then I have to go and temporary one from the lovely girls in premises (I'm not stupid you know).

      You may be an idiot, but you're no fool? [youtube.com]

    • by RMH101 (636144)
      +1 Obvious-but-brilliant for the bag across the door idea!
      These days if I leave my laptop at home I tend to just turn round and work from home.
    • To be honest I'm more likely to "forget" my pass and then I have to go and temporary one from the lovely girls in premises (I'm not stupid you know).

      Oh, really? Aren't you the one who is making excuses to see the girls, who know you are making up excuses to see them, because there is apparently no other hope of you interacting with a female any other way?
  • Don't do that. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:06AM (#24179965)

    Don't bring your work computer home. It's unsafe (unless you are very cautious) and it removes the separation of work and recreation. If you're doing it to use the computer for private purposes, buy your own. The price has gone down a lot and owning your personal computer reduces liability issues. Besides, if any of your spare time computer activities ever becomes valuable, there won't be the issue that it was produced with company equipment and therefore belongs to the company.

    • by jandrese (485)
      Putting work data on a personal laptop often carries a lot of risk as well. Also, it's not always practical to buy a copy of your work applications for home use (who wants to install something like Opnet on a home machine), especially if the application has some sort of exotic license checking scheme (or even just flexlm).

      If you do bring your work machine home regularly, then there is no excuse for not installing a product like Pointsec on it, and have some sort of off-machine backup solution. Frankly
      • by residieu (577863)
        You missed the point. You don't put work data on your personal laptop. Your personal laptop is your personal laptop and stays at home. Your work laptop is your work laptop and stays at work. Since your work laptop stays at work, you don't do work at home.
    • by magarity (164372)

      it removes the separation of work and recreation
       
      No it doesn't; since they've issued me a laptop but denied VPN access the only thing I can do if I lug the thing home is play video games. Needless to say without admin rights to install anything it stays cabled locked to the desk all the time. Straight out of User Friendly, I swear.

    • by PoliTech (998983) on Monday July 14, 2008 @12:13PM (#24182453) Homepage Journal
      Separation of work and recreation ...

      What an interesting concept.

      Some lucky IT folks get a desktop and a laptop issued by the company, they also get a company issued wireless air card for computing while on the commute.

      But wait there's more! You'll also get easy web based remote access to email. And as a bonus, you'll also receive VPN, and Citrix web access, so you can do work from any computer ... So for those of you who have a computer in almost every room at home, the only easy way to get away from work, is to go somewhere outside!

      Wait!!! ... That's covered too! ... Let's not forget about the blackberry, the lock on your electronic leg irons!

  • I'm sure there have been more than a few business travellers who have flown across many time zones only to realise they've left their laptop behind...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Wiseazz (267052)

      Wouldn't that more likely be the Fedex next-day-air mail drop of shame?

      I haven't done that with a laptop, but I have done it with marketing material I was supposed to bring to a conference. What did they expect? I'm a programmer... They should be glad I show up to work with a full compliment of clothing every day, much less remember to bring their pack of branded security badge holders and 8.5 X 11 fliers of lies and shame.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Linker3000 (626634)

        A couple of weeks ago I changed an on-site router for one with a better firewall. No-one had the admin password for the old one so I setup the new one from scratch without any reference point. I would normally leave the old router on site 'just in case' but I managed to 'tidy it up' and bring it back to the office.

        Guess what, a few hours later someone from the site was calling because a piece of neworked kit (a stock management scanner) could not connect to its remote ordering server.

        To cut a long story sho

    • by Amouth (879122)

      we do training classes - where the guys have to take their laptop and a projector.. i can't tell you how many times they leave the cords for the projector at home.. they remember the projector.. but they will pull the cords out of the bag and stick the projector in their luggage and leave the cords at home.. and of course the call me and ask what to do...

      sometimes i wish they could see the expressions i am making when they call me.....

    • by khendron (225184) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:28AM (#24180971) Homepage

      I once had to do a software install on an ice-breaker. I had to fly out to the east coast, catch a twin-otter from a Canadian Forces base north to middle-of-nowhere-ville, then get flown by helicopter out to do an at sea landing on the ship.

      After I arrived I discovered I had left one of the install discs on my desk at work.

  • Got Fired Over This (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sesshomaru (173381) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:12AM (#24180029) Journal
    Ok, not entirely over this but it was likely a big part of the reason. See I had this horrible job where they gave me a laptop specifically so I could work for them, for free, in my own time. Of course, they wanted me to take it home every night.

    .

    Well, during the "probationary period" I forgot it at home twice and had to do my hour commute home and my hour commute back. After that, I started leaving it at work. I think I talked about getting VPN set up so I could just log in from home rather than lugging the laptop around. Of course, I didn't last much longer at that particular job (Thank God), so it was kind of academic anyway.

    I'm an absent minded guy so I figure out various tricks when I need to remember things and not lose things. However, it takes a while for me to set that kind of thing up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      I'm an absent minded guy so I figure out various tricks when I need to remember things and not lose things. However, it takes a while for me to set that kind of thing up.

      What the non-absent minded don't understand is that it takes a while for absent minded people to remember to set up the memory tricks. There are often more important things to think about.

  • Sorta... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phobos13013 (813040) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:13AM (#24180041)
    First of all, shouldnt this be on idle.slashdot.org [slashdot.org]... since its a time-waster and all?

    That said, I don't have to worry about leaving laptops since I rarely take one home. However, being a government contractor, I do use a CAC which allows me access to my laptop. Leaving that at the house is effectively like leaving my laptop at the house. There have been numerous occasions where I have left my card at the house and had to the "drive of shame". Within the last two or three months, though, I have been riding to work, so in that case I have to do the "ride of shame".
  • I guess it makes a difference if you're walking or driving. On the other hand, I 'lost' my laptop several times in various bars/clubs after a couple of afterwork drinks. Fortunately, I always managed to get it back.
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      I think it would make a difference also, that if by commuting with your laptop you could use the carpool lane too.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:17AM (#24180077) Journal
    Didn't a famous violinist forget his 2 million dollar violin in a New York cab?
  • Sure, the article's not funny or enlightening in the least, but I've been there. I've never managed to get all the way to work without my laptop, but I've gotten a few miles before the D'oh moment.

    Nowadays, I hang my laptop bag from the doorknob. Seems to do the trick.

  • Do what I do. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RandoX (828285) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:21AM (#24180147)

    Decline the laptop, and the Blackberry, and the pager, and the company cellphone... If it's that important, call me at home and I'll drive in. It never has been, though.

    My coworker (with the Blackberry) regularly gets called for trivial things. Like: Where's that log printout? Hmm? You put it on my desk, you say?

    • Re:Do what I do. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:14AM (#24180753) Homepage Journal

      Sounds like your coworker just lacks self control and/or assertiveness. I find having a laptop and mobile email to be liberating, rather than the 'electronic ball and chain' that many seem to think.

      See, I know how to NOT answer every email immediately unless it is truly urgent.

      You are lucky you work somewhere that gives you any choice at all though. If one of my employees refused a mobile device when it's been decided his or her job should require one then they'd be looking for a new job really fast. Then again, I also respect that they have lives and don't send them trivial requests after hours and expect them to answer right away.

      • This line "See, I know how to NOT answer every email immediately unless it is truly urgent." betrays you as a corporate drone.

        See in order to know whether or not that email needs an immediate reply means you have to read it!

        It also means that the people emailing you are secure in the knowledge that you read them at almost any time THEY decide to send it.

        Now reading an email may not take much time but the fact remains that you're spending "your" time doing company related activity.

        It also means that you're a

  • Porn buddy (Score:2, Funny)

    by Stroot (223139)

    Still, it's good to know my porn buddy will be there to remove my drive of shame when I die.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=porn%20buddy [urbandictionary.com]

  • The reason I got a laptop in the first place is because it was relatively quiet - so quiet in fact I forgot it at home several times

    Solution?

    Got a basic/stock "business class" PC - a basic one that's not all pimped out and overclocked

    does the job and it's quiet now too ...

  • I snagged an extra charger and even docking station so I didn't have to muck with plugging everything in to my kvm at home.

    But I haven't left my laptop at home (yet). I have left my badge at home a couple of times. First and second times they make a temp for me to use. Third time I'm charged some amount ($50?). Fourth and subsequent times, I have to go home to get it and I get a talking to by my manager :rolleyes:

    So far the two times I've left it at home have been because I have something to do first thing

  • Slow news day or not, I find myself doing this at least once every other week. I swear, I really am losing my mind.
    Although, I don't think I have ever shown up with no clothes on...
  • My laptop bag is my brief case, it's where I put my phone, wallet, diary, car keys and sunglasses, it's just inconceivable for me to forget it.

    The worst thing to leave at home is my lunch, thats when I put my car key on my lunch in the fridge. I have however left the power supply at home and on occasion my phone, now that stings - you have to weigh up the distance traveled + lateness vs inconvenience of not having phone - sometimes quite liberating.

    Speaking of liberating, once I forgot a change of under

    • by mattgoldey (753976) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:57AM (#24180555) Homepage
      "it's where I put my phone, wallet, diary, car keys and sunglasses"

      I think the word you're looking for here isn't "brief case," it's "purse."
      • by MrKaos (858439)

        I think the word you're looking for here isn't "brief case," it's "purse.

        or handbag. I've noticed that some of my girlfriends handbags have a similar structure to the TARDIS, unfortunately the only thing a purse can't fit is a laptop.

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        I think the word you're looking for here isn't "brief case," it's "purse."

        I've personally caved and admitted to this being the case. My wife asks where I left my wallet, and I respond "It's in my pocketbook." I always feel rather womanly when I take my keys out. Still, it's too damned convenient for me to care.

    • Speaking of liberating, once I forgot a change of underwear and only realised it half way through my lunch time workout - kinda weird but unexpectedly comfortable.

      If you exercise in your office clothes, then either your workouts suck or your coworkers hate you (interpret "or" here in the Boolean sense).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hyppy (74366)

        (interpret "or" here in the Boolean sense).

        We english-speaking humans have devised a shorter method for explaining that. Behold: "and/or"

  • Being an old and proud Slashdotter, I'd gone many months with R'ing TFA, and somehow I picked this morning to try it the other way.

    Yay me.

    Here's looking forward to another long stretch of blissful ignorance.

  • I've never forgotten my laptop, but I have frequently forgotten my laptop power supply. The laptop itself is heavy enough that I notice if it's not in my messenger bag, but if I'm in a hurry and did work at home the night before, I frequently don't notice that the power brick is still on my coffee table.

  • If he tells ya up front a link's not worth going to, don't whine if it's not.

  • Meh,

    The 'My Documents' folder on my (Vista-based) laptop does an rsync via ssh to a server at work every 15 minutes so I don't have to worry about transporting my laptop to/from work + I can 'pick up' stuff if I 'forget' it.

    I use Deltacopy [aboutmyip.com] for the syncing.

    Works a treat!

  • Other way around... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cavac (640390) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:02AM (#24180607) Homepage

    At work i'm one of the sysadmin, and so have a nice fat workstation and a few beefy "test" servers at hand.

    But sometimes i bring my personal laptop to work (which, by the way, is my only machine at home that does have a display). Twice in the last two years i left it in my office after my workday. Given that i can't even watch TV without it, i have to return to work to fetch it. Luckily, it's only 2.5km between home and work and my access card is (naturally) a 24/7 one.

    Nowadays, i always put my access card into my laptop bag when i took it to work. Without the card, i'm physically unable to leave the office (except in case of fire), so i'm very unlikely to leave my laptop behind...

  • Which sane person centralizes their information on a laptop? They have a reliability rate lower on desktops (counting temporary/permanent disappearance, damage, etc.) and are meant only for work away from the central location.

    At the very least, they should get a copy of SyncToy (a Microsoft product) that's capable of ensuring the local and remote folders are up-to-date. That insures that if you've forgot your laptop somewhere, you won't be dead in the water.

  • But I've definitely forgotten my power supply, so I have about 2 hours to figure how to make that "drive of shame" without being noticed...

    • by djh101010 (656795) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:00AM (#24181431) Homepage Journal

      But I've definitely forgotten my power supply, so I have about 2 hours to figure how to make that "drive of shame" without being noticed...

      For the price of your drive home, or at least my drive home, you can buy another power supply. Yeah, I bought one out of my own money to save me the hassle, even though it's work's computer. (shrug) When lappy goes back on lease-return, I'll put this power brick on eBay and buy one to fit the new laptop, just like I did last time. The hassle savings of remembering and dealing with the power supply every day twice are worth it.

      The real question is, why the fark does Dell keep changing the damn plug on the things? Gratuitous change specifically to make the old charger not work on the new laptop is all I can figure.

  • With all due respect CmdrTaco, if you think the article is a waste of time (as your comment implies), then why the hell did you post it?

    • by corbettw (214229)

      Page views, why else? They have to post something, or people won't click through to different pages and see different ads.

  • Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:22AM (#24180871) Journal

    of course, is when the laptop makes it to the car, just not in the car.

  • Power cord? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Remembering the notebook is easy - it is heavy. The powercord, now that's different. With notebook batteries lasting all of ten minutes on an older machine the power cord and transformer block become vital to remember. True pro's will have two of these though, one for work, one for home.
    Again, this can lead to problems - visit a company, fire up the PC for a presentation and where's the power cord? One left at home, another left at work. The best solution is to have the transformer built into the notebook -

  • Get software like Sailing Clicker, then install a plugin (or write a script) that will call you when you've lost connectivity with your laptop.

    I used to use such a thing to make my laptop screen lock when I left the room... I'm certain it could be updated to make a call or send a text message at least.

  • I use unison. So I never need to drive my notebook to work.
  • When even the editor says not to read the article I take heed.

    We had one employee who forgot his notebook several times. Good coder, complete flake otherwise. Let's say his name is "Ben". Forgetting one's laptop became "Pulling a Ben". He's no longer with us.

    I've forgotten mine once or twice but normally just far enough away that going home to get it then driving into work made far less sense than driving home and working through the VPN. We're allowed to do that on occasion. But obviously we can't be

  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Monday July 14, 2008 @12:01PM (#24182293) Homepage

    You know what helps cut down on this Laptop Drive of Shame? Letting your employees stay the fuck home instead of having to come into your cramped noisy cubicle farm, particularly if your office is on the outskirts of human civilization.

    Not only does this reduce the Laptop Drive of Shame problem, it also saves more gas.

    Now, raise your hand if your company gives you a laptop. Hi, you guys are most likely middle managers, so blow me about your whining about your company laptop. The rest of us are still shackled to a desktop.

    If this whole laptop and gas thing mattered, we'd stop making people trudge into mind-sucking offices every day for no good reason except to make it easier to corral and boss them around.

  • by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Monday July 14, 2008 @12:39PM (#24182829)

    Where I work, we have the option of monthly parking passes which are simply smart cards. The daily rate otherwise is $15.

    If you are a monthly parker, and forget your smart card, however, you are STILL charged the full $15 daily parking rate, even though you paid for monthly parking.

    I used to think this was simple extortion, until I realized that monthly parking is handled electronically, but daily parking is handled by a human and therefore actually costs more to implement. (why I can't just swipe a debit or credit card, as I can at many downtown unattended lots, I don't know).

    Still, I'd think a montlhy parker who has forgotten his smart card should be refunded a good chunk of paying the daily rate upon presentation of a daily parking receipt and his active smart card.

    Of course, don't get me started on automated car washes that don't warn in advance that (a) their debit card reader is down, and (b) their cash reader only takes exact change -- I was once stuck for 15 minutes in a car wash line with people honking behind me because the stupid reader with broken debit card handling wouldn't even take a $10 bill (and keep the damn change for a $7 wash). Automatec cash readers should ALWAYS allow an option to pay more for convenience if they can't provide change. Those that give receipts could easily indicate the overpayment so subsequent refund could be arranged.

    The world is populated by morons. Some design stuff.

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