A tip for presenters – take your own bottle

Photo of a water bottle sitting in front of a MacBookI’m going to skip making any introductory comments and get straight to the point.

If you’re doing a presentation and are worried there’ll be even the faintest possibility you might spill a drink on your laptop then:

  1. drink from a bottle, preferably one you brought from home of course (and make sure the lid is closed)
  2. by all means fill (or half fill) a glass with water, but keep it well away from the computer
  3. abstain: wait until you’ve finished to have a drink.

I’ve arrived at this tip through hard won experience. Seven days ago I had a “this couldn’t possibly happen to me moment”.

Near the beginning of my Fine-tune how you harvest (online) information workshop I knocked a glass of water on my precious laptop.

Argh!! My stomach sunk almost visibly in front of the small group of workshop participants. Stunned and aghast, I didn’t quite know what to do. Except for not panicking.

With some help I mopped up the water as best I could, and then drained the laptop when I got my wits about me.

After 24 hours of drying I gamely pressed on the on switch to see if there was any life. There was. But, and it’s a big but, no bluetooth, no audio, a malfunctioning tab button, things running slowly. All a bit haywire.

Following the instructions of our insurance company I took the wounded gadget off for an assessment. The verdict was not a happy one: “Sir, you might like to sit down, I have some bad new, it’s not economic to restore the machine to its former glory”.

Now the laptop is off to the wreckers yard. I am pleased that Connect NZ, the company who did the insurance repair assessment, makes some bold statements about it’s environmental credentials. They strive to “maximise the value in technology whilst simultaneously reducing the amount of landfill” and “achieve zero landfill in components, PCB’s and toner cartridges.”

This is small comfort as I had hoped this dead box of electronics would last at least as long as the iBook I bought in 2004. A device we’re still using this around the house.

Longetivity is particularly important as a way I can minimise my environmental footprint. This is especially important as I can’t do without given my line of work.

I’m acutely conscious (and, to be honest, a bit guilty) about Apple getting my support. They have a long way to go in terms of there environmental standards. They were rated 9th of 18 top manufactures of computers, mobile phones and other devices in the latest Guide to Greener Electronics prepared by Greenpeace, released October 2010.

Water will be kept far from my shiny, new MacBook. In an attempt at rote learning, I’ll repeat to myself without fear: when worried a waving arm might dislodge a glass, use a water bottle instead.

PS Because I had good back-ups, etc, setting up the new laptop has been almost painless.

Photo credit: Klafkid