Holy cow...

From: Joe R. <rigdonj_at_cfl.rr.com>
Date: Fri Aug 6 19:34:27 2004

At 01:00 AM 8/7/04 +0100, you wrote:
>On Aug 6, 8:32, Joe R. wrote:
>> I went to a HP Calculator conference in England about 6 or 7 years
>> (pre-9/11) and I carried a LOT of calculators, parts, accessories and
>> with me. I was very concerned about going through security and
>customs but
>> had almost no trouble.
>I've not had any trouble recently, but here are three instances from
>the past. I used to fly regularly from Edinburgh to Belfast in
>Northern Ireland, or to London.
>On one occasion I was taking a pre-production Acorn Archimedes to demo
>in Belfast, but since I was flying I didn't take the monitor. Needless
>to say, that was the time security (actually, Special Branch) asked if
>they could see it working to prove it was a computer (didn't look quite
>like a PC), and eventually I had to dismantle it to persuade them.

    I bought one of the first laptops on the market and took it with me to
Canada when I was working there in 1984. On the way back to the US security
stoped me and wanted to inspect everything. They wanted me to boot up the
laptop to prove that it was a computer and not just an empty case with
god-knows what inside. I got it out of the case and opened the screen and
turned it on. After it went througgh POST it tried to boot but there wasn't
a disk in the floppy drive so instead it said "Invalid Operating System,
Press any key to continue" or something to that effect. I thought "Oh Shit!
I'm going to have to fight with thse guys now!" but one of the security
officers saw it and simply said "Yeap, that's a computer!"

>Once (late 1980s) I was travelling to Belfast with just a briefcase and
>small shoulder bag; in the shoulder bag was my toilet bag, spare shirt,
>socks, etc. In the toilet bag was the usual toothbrush, etc and a
>teaspoon and a small scalpel. The young lady operating the security
>scanner took about a 5 millisecond glance at the blurry image and said
>would I "mind leaving the scalpel behind, please." We compromised --
>she kept the (detachable) blade.

  My wife travels A LOT for her job. She and I are both blind as bats
without our glasses so one of the things that she carries in her purse is
one of the small eye glass repair kits with a few assorted glasses screws
and a TINY screw driver. You know the kind, the blade is about 1/8" long
and 1/64" wide. Last summer when she went through airport security they
searched her purse and siezed her screw driver since it was a "deadly weapon"!


>Last one: travelling from London back to Edinburgh I arrived with just
>a few moments to spare, only to be stopped by security who spotted my
>small toolcase in my bag. All the tools were OK, though they insisted
>on pulling most of them out, but they took everything out of the small
>side pocket until they found a small ziplock bag containing the rather
>grubby damp sponge for my soldering iron. "Would you mind telling me
>what this substance is, sir?"
>Pete Peter Turnbull
> Network Manager
> University of York
Received on Fri Aug 06 2004 - 19:34:27 BST

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