Easily replaceable tablets
Easily replaceable tablets

A few weeks ago I was at the Oakland WCAB when a Judge asked me if I could help find the owner of a lost tablet computer. 1  I was handed the tablet… but was unable to turn it on.  It turned out that the computer had been turned on and the battery drained down to nothing.  There was no charge cable, no standard USB charging port, no way to power the device, and nothing about it that apparently indicated the identity of its owner.

Here’s what I tried:

  • I looked all over the tablet and inside the case.  Any mobile PC you own should have something identifying it.
  • I looked all over the tablet for a way to possibly charge the device.  Even had I been able to do this, I probably wouldn’t be able to get past the unlock/password screen.
  • The vast majority of 3G/4G mobile broadband computers will have a little tiny “SIM” card in it.  It is a tiny chip about a quarter of the size of a standard SD card.  In some devices you have to open the battery compartment to get to it.  If you can remove the chip you can find out who the broadband carrier is.  In this case the chip had the Verizon name and logo as well as a 10 digit number printed right on it.  It’s that number that lets the tablet PC’s user connect their computer to their Verizon account.  I then called Verizon, spoke to one of their representatives, told them the 10 digit code, gave them my cell number, and about fifteen minutes later the owner of the PC (a friend of mine as it turned out!) called me up!

So, the moral of the story is to make sure you put something on your mobile PC to indicate your ownership so that if someone finds it, they can let you.

  1. Photo courtesy of Helzer []

Ye olde cell fone
Ye olde cell fone

Here’s some trivia for you.  I have the world’s crappiest cell phone.  I get a lot of flack for my cell phone.  It’s beat to hell, got a cracked screen, dented, scratched, and it’s ridiculously old.

How old?  Well, March 15 will be the six year anniversary of the FCC’s acceptance.  My cell carrier has been sending me ever more frantic flyers for the latest cell phones for about four years now.  It’s gotten pretty pathetic, really.

Unfortunately my trusty phone is now taking it’s last gasps and I need to find a replacement.  :(

Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence

Yesterday I was driving back from Modesto and I noticed a CHP officer out of the corner of my eye. 1  My first instinct is always to double check my speed.

However, yesterday afternoon I noticed this officer was on his cell, left elbow propped up on the edge of the window, yakking away, while tailgating a semi in the slow lane.

Not wanting to get pulled over for driving under the influence of irony, I didn’t take a picture with my phone.

BTW, I’ve got to be in San Francisco this afternoon – stop me and say hello!

  1. Photo courtesy of OregonDOT []

... move along, move along
... move along, move along

I went grocery shopping this weekend and stopped by the bakery area to pick up some bread.1

I asked the clerk, “Do you have any pumpernickel bread?”

She responded, “What kind?”

“Any kind of pumpernickel of absolutely any type.”

Her answer:  “No.”

  1. Photo courtesy of jumbledpile []