Don at Life Cycle Analysis is gunning to win a very nifty laptop. The ThinkingBlog has a Big Giveaway Contest running through the 20th and the winning blogger gets a free Ruffbook ‘Tech’ laptop computer. It’s an exceptionally tough laptop, with a water-resistant keyboard, magnesium frame, power-saving system, and everything you want if your laptop goes where you go.
He says: “If you are a “thinking” blogger, then you might be able to win a new Ruffbook Tech in the Big Giveaway running through December 20th. All that you have to do is write about this computer in your blog. Hurry up, though. I got here ahead of you, and I do play rough!”
OK Don, the really important question about any hardened laptop is; “How well does it keep up with the star of a cheesy disaster movie?” The hero needs to be able to prevail in part by his courage and rugged good looks, and in part by his rugged, good-looking laptop. That’s a shameless contest-entry post. :coolsmirk:
“Keep the pictures coming! This stuff is pure gold!”
Jeff Wells knew what was coming; he really shouldn’t have stopped to take pictures. But his journalist’s lizard-brain had fed the words “Top Story” to his frontal cortex, and he ran out onto the pier. From there he snapped images of idiots standing where only minutes before had been eight feet of water. Some people on shore were trying to warn them; he got pictures of them as well.
But as he snapped an image of the horizon he knew it was time to run. Stuffing the camera into his backpack he turned away from the wave. It occurred to him that the main difference between him and the sightseers was that if he survived, he would receive a journalism award…
He could not outrun a tsunami, but if he could get to the second or third story of a strong building he might stand a chance of living to see his byline picked up by every newspaper in the world. As he sprinted off the pier toward an apartment building, he could hear screams. The sightseers were realizing their mistake; he was too intent on surviving his.
The building was locked by a security card system. Two blocks away the wall of water and debris crashed down the street toward him. He surprised himself by shinnying up a power pole to the second story, only to see another problem: the water was pushing a pickup truck toward the pole.
Just before the impact he jumped, landing on a balcony with his feet in the water. The pole splintered and cracked as he hauled himself over the railing. Water swirled around his feet again and the balcony began to sway and make cracking noises. He swung his backpack against the patio door; it shattered and he fell in. For an instant he thought about his camera and laptop, but he threw the pack over his shoulders again.
He could hear the apartment building groaning and cracking under him as water and debris forced its way into all the rooms below. The flood stopped rising at his knees; it was strange to look out through the balcony door and see churning water all the way through the apartment and across the street. The balcony itself was gone.
He remembered everything he had ever read about tidal waves. Perhaps a chunk of the Greenland ice cap had slide into the North Atlantic, or an underwater avalanche had slid off the US continental shelf. There was, he recalled, even an island off the coast of Africa with a large volcanic shelf that could have fractured. If that were the cause, the entire East coast would lay in ruins. In any case, the little seaside resort would not see help while nearby Manhattan island had certainly also been hit.
He also remembered that tidal waves are seldom solo. From the rooftop he watched as three more waves caught those who remained on the street. Each time the building swayed, but remained standing.
The rooftop was full of refugees, all crowding around the edge. He unzipped his backpack to see what equipment had survived. His Nikon D70 camera looked all right but the lens was jammed. Amazingly, his Ruffbook Tech computer still worked. It was an extra-tough laptop; water resistant, magnesium frame, hardened keyboard, shock mounts, the works - but no one could have expected it to survive a day like this one.
He had a couple energy bars and a small first-aid kit, which he gave to a medical person who was tending refugees with injuries worse than his few bumps and cuts. There was nothing for him to do but get to work.
With some sense of amazement he sat down on a box, set his RuffBook on a ventilation duct, unfolded his solar laptop charger, and connected his cellular internet card. It worked. In spite of the bright sunlight, the Ruffbook’s screen was clearly readable. In a moment he sent an instant message to his Chicago editor Bill Levy: “Survived tsunami, pictures to follow.”
Though his Nikon was ruined the memory chip was fine; he inserted it into the laptop’s card reader and uploaded all the pictures. He began to interview people, attaching pictures from his Ruffbook’s built-in high resolution webcam. A momentary office party erupted as Levy and the entire bureau newsroom saw the images on screen. Staff members began to forward the pictures and brief messages to each person’s relatives. “It’s journalism with heart,” said Levy, holding his hand over his heart in mock respect before breaking out in a grin.
Journalism is a goulish profession, thought Wells, but maybe not without its virtues. He had a working laptop, a net connection, and as long as the sun shone a full day of journalist celebrity lay ahead of him. He interviewed nearly everyone on the rooftop – sent pictures and messages for them, too – and imagined dozens of relatives and friends weeping with relief to receive them. More importantly – to him – around the world his pictures were ending up on news websites and old-style print media. Not such a bad day’s work, after all.