More details about the stuff the passengers of Flight 1549 had in their luggage. What’s that you say? You didn’t back up that $30,000 worth of data on your laptop? Oh wait, you did? But you brought both laptops with you on the plane? [NYT]


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  1. hypnotik_jello says:

    huh, he couldn’t have an off-site backup?

  2. Yossarian says:

    If someone pays for the incompetence involved in losing the $30,000 worth of data it should be the incompetent person.

    “‘survivors’ isn’t quite the right word, since none of the 155 people on board died” I think survivors is indeed the right word.

  3. IndyJaws says:

    Well, this explains a lot. We use a lot of CA products here at work and for the most part, they’re crap. Seeing the mental capacity of their employees who take both their original and backup data on a flight – without an offsite backup – this makes much more sense now.

    • karmaghost says:

      @IndyJaws: I would argue that taking all of your data and the “backups” with you is anything but a backup. While I don’t think that it’s unreasonable that the guy assumed he wasn’t going to go down in the Hudson and never see that data again, he shouldn’t be caring everything around with him.

      If you “backup” your data onto an external hard-drive and then delete the original data from your system, that is not a “backup,” that is “moving” the data. Using that same thought process, creating backups and carrying them around with you also “moving” them. He should have left a copy of the backup at home.

  4. ApologeticBale_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Well, you might want to call the laptops lost. Since they more than likely had their batteries in them, that makes you chances of them being fried pretty good. The worst, and pardon the pun, nail in their coffin is that according to the article, they froze everything. Which means all the water that was in the little nooks and crannies of the laptop expanded during the freezing process, separating components from the boards, bridging gaps that were never meant to be bridged, pressing hard drive heads into platters, etc… What’s sad is that a 1tb external drive is about $100.00 on sale. And that could have been left at home, encrypted if you wanted, and “saved” $30,000 worth of data.

    I guess there’s a new adage. A TB of backup is worth a $5,000 HD recovery.

    • JustinAche says:

      @ApologeticBale_GitEmSteveDave: Refrigerated, not frozen…they actually are trying to dry the stuff out, so I’m guessing it is in a reefer truck somewhere with a dehumidifer…and as long as the laptop was off, it should be fine, the hard drive at least

  5. Plates says:

    I saw in the coverage of the Flight 1549 crew getting the key to the city this morning that the passengers will be getting their stuff back once it dries out and has been used to determine weight distribution.

  6. B says:

    Yea, but what about the guy who lost his box of special K? That’s one breakfast he can never have back.

  7. madanthony says:

    I think it’s actually pretty impressive that the airline is paying for data recovery and not just the value of the laptop. Especially for an accident that really was accidental, not due to negligence or pilot error or preventable mechanical failure.

  8. pb5000 says:

    This should be filed into the wah wah wah, who cares pile. Sure it’s an inconvenience, but you are alive, get over it.

  9. philmin says:

    There is a pretty big difference between the laptop + data being worth $30,000 and 30,000 simply being the value on the amount of work/problems that have been created because of improperly storing sensitive information and severely increasing risk.

  10. Sockatume says:

    The golden rule of backups is that you do not store your only backups next to your only working copies. Never mind putting them both into the magic item-losing machine that is an airport.

  11. ionerox says:

    Who only backs up a laptop to another laptop and then drags both around? What company doesn’t utilize servers to store such valuable information instead of laptops? It’s just asking for trouble. Apparently that man’s employer has crappy corporate security policies.

  12. Sam Wille says:

    Please remember – hindsight is always 20/20.

    Could the SA associate have utilized a better backup solution? Yes.

    Could the SA associated have shipped one of the two laptops via FedEx or UPS to his final destination? Yes.

    Some people have to make mistakes before they can learn. We can’t all be perfect like you.

    : )

  13. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    As a question as someone who didn’t pay that much attention to the coverage as plane crashes freak me out – did anyone on the plane pull their carryon luggage with them? I am not blaming the OP, but I’m thinking about this – if I was on a plane, I would have definitely pulled my carryon laptop bag with me if I knew the data was irreplaceable or sensitive. What are they gonna do, stop me?

    • hills says:

      @BuddyGuyMontag: Buddy, if I were on that flight and had to wait behind you to get off the plane while you got your precious luggage out of the overhead bin you’d better believe you’d get your ass-whupped. In fact, I think the article said that’s why the guy didn’t take it with him….

    • ApologeticBale_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @BuddyGuyMontag: Yes. If the guy next to you can’t get out b/c you’re fumbling with your bag, I don’t think a judge in the world would deny his claim of self defense for punching you out of the way.

      • BuddyGuyMontag says:

        @ApologeticBale_GitEmSteveDave: If the plane wasn’t in immediate danger of sinking, and since I myself would be one of the biggest and strongest, I would have waited til the very end to get off.

        Then again, I might have been in panic mode.

  14. Murph1908 says:

    I learned something from this article.

    Don’t do business with Computer Associates.

    Ok, if some daycare or restaurant had their backup system be ‘two different laptops’, I’d give them a pass.

    But when ‘computer’ is in your name, and you are in the business, there is no excuse for such stupidity.

    The guy should be fired for making the company look stupid.

  15. morganlh85 says:

    I rarely want to blame the consumer, but the whole point of having a BACKUP is to NOT keep the BACKUP with the ORIGINAL. It’s to keep it somewhere SAFE. A computer professional really ought to know this…even if it wasn’t a plane crash, what if both computers went through a rogue x-ray machine and got erased? What if someone spilled a $14 bottle of airline water on both computers? What if both were stolen? etc. etc.