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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A cautionary tale

This is the time of the semester when everyone--students and faculty alike--gets a bit stressed and . . . accidents happen.

As I reported about a month ago, my quest for an ultra-ultralight laptop ended happily with a Toshiba R-100, an amazing machine: 2.2 lbs. without powercord or extra battery; about 3 lbs with either of those two. (For household purposes, it's codenamed Sherlock, by the way -- long story.)

Well, this weekend, my husband showered it with chicken soup and it's had some proverbial wires crossed ever since. I don't know exactly what the keyboard is doing since I can't enter my password properly, but it's clearly making a hash of keyboard input. On Toshiba's advice, I removed the battery and let it dry out for 48 hours. Still no recovery. Now it's on its way to the Toshiba Notebook Depot in Louisville, KY, where (we are desperately hoping) the laptop wizards will make it good again for not toooo much money.

So be careful out there! More news to follow.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Product placement's long history

Who knew that product placement had such a long history? Stuart Elliot's New York Times column, Advertising, reports that Turner Classic Movies is doing a product placement series, based on research done by Jay Newell, an asst. prof. at Iowa State. On the trail of products spied in movies, Newell tracked down "a trove of evidence of product-placement agreements" in the 1930s. The earliest dated back to 1896.
Stuart Elliot, "Advertising" [column], New York Times, 2/28/05, C8.