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January 2012



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stolen laptops at clarion west

This morning someone came into the Clarion West house where we're staying and stole four laptops, some bags, clothing, and possibly other items.

Of course, these are our lives, especially right now.

We are all okay, and the house is secure, even more so now, but I would like to ask the SFF community for help.

Those who lost their laptops will not be able to replace these without detriment to their financial situation. These are essential for our writing, particularly over the next four weeks.

If you would like to help donate laptops or funds to those students who had their laptops stolen, please contact Leslie or Neile at infoATclarionwestDOTorg. More donation information may be forthcoming.

Thank you.

Please feel free to repost this and to link to this.


Just in case anyone sees them:

One black Dell Inspiron 1520.
One Silver colored Sager with a 17" screen.
One Silver/red Dell XPSm1710.
One Sony Vaio Sz780.


This makes me ill. I'll spread the word.
Oh, me too!

Thank you so much :).
I am so sorry. I've reposted this on my blog and I'll get in touch with Neile.
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate it.
That sucks! I've reposted at my blog.
Thank you! I am so grateful for your kindness :).
Oh, how awful!!! I just followed Vylar's link here. I'm so sorry to hear this. :: reposting ::
Thanks Tina! It is pretty awful, but we're moving forward! Thank you for reposting :).
I'll do that.

Nice picture. *rawr* :)
This is so horrible. I can't imagine what you're all going through.

My husband and I have two Mac laptops we will gladly lend for the duration of the workshop. We're in New York but can certainly ship them out there. I wish we could just donate them but unfortunately that's not an option for us. Please let me know whether any of the students whose laptops were stolen would be willing to take loaners while you scare up replacements or funds.
Aaargh! This is horrible!

I have a spare laptop but shipping it from Korea seems, er, silly, considering the expense, since that money could be donated towards replacing the original machines. Please do post on how we can help in that way once you have a system figured out. (Since I imagine insurance isn't going to cover most of the PCs...)

And here's hoping the losers don't come back.
I appreciate this :).

I hope they don't come back, too!

I believe loaner machines have been found very quickly (please correct me if I'm wrong). But cash towards replacements would be very helpful.

CW students--was a lot of data lost for all the students? As in stories, photos, etc?
Some writing, photos, music that had been written... (We have composers here--they do some lovely work.) Expensive software used for work.

It's heartbreaking.
Thank you. That's so kind of you. I'll think we'll be okay, but if we need to borrow them I'm sure Leslie or Neile, the administrators, will be in touch.
Thank you so much Aliette. The word may make a world of difference. :) And yeah, they probably don't need to be sent from France ;).
Only a POS would do something like that. I'm sorry to hear this happened. Wasn't the house locked or was it broken into?
Thank you.

It was broken into. It has a really nice security system, but someone found the one flaw. There are now no flaws.
I'm so sorry this happened. Spreading the word as well.
Thank you!
So sad. Who would do such a thing?

(I'd be freaking out just a little--in workshop situations, I tend to get a lot done, but I don't know if I'd have my work backed up. This year I'm bringing a thumb drive for that purpose.)
Backing up one's work is so important! And it's sad. Some people have lost pictures, music they've written, stories... And some feeling of security. But we're tough and making it through!
Yes, backing up is a good thing. My husband and I use an off-site service to back up all our valuable data. I'll be spreading the information around to my fellow students.

The problem with the eePC is that some of these people use these laptops for their livelihood as well as writing. It is necessary that they have machines powerful enough to do their jobs.

Thanks for your advice!
May there be a particularly noisome place set aside for whomever stole them.
There will be... at least in our fiction ;).
This is terrible, Maggie. I hope that the thief gets caught and the laptops retrieved, but barring that, I hope that the affected writers get help so that their time spent at Clarion is not wasted. I've just blogged about this, and it looks as if most of the rest of the blogosphere has as well.

Edited at 2008-07-05 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, Jason :). I'm so glad the word is getting around so effectively. Though this is impacting some people's work, we're going to come out stronger, better, and more connected than ever.

Thanks for being such a fine friend.


Yes, it is terrible--and I've donated some money--but as long as they have pens and hands, Jason, they can still *write*. Losing work is awful, losing time is awful, and the situation overall is awful, but I can't see how their time would be wasted. When I went to Clarion, I had a notepad and a typewriter, said the old dinosaur.

Well, yes, that's true, Jeff. You don't have to have a laptop to write; just yesterday, I spent a good few hours in a cafe with only a notebook and a pencil. But still, with Clarion speed is indeed a factor if you're trying to get all six instructors to look at your writing; if you aren't as concerned with this, then no worries.
And Cory Doctorow is coming in today. You can well imagine that we have a lot of people who would like him to look at their work.
No kidding! And wow am I jealous.

I also heard that he donated all of his workshop fee to help replace the stolen laptops.
Thank you so much, Jeff. I truly appreciate it.

And yes, they can still write. But they can't e-mail the stories to Kinkos to be printed off, as required. Having a laptop with a wireless card is now mandatory. And, again, some of these people have to have the machines to make money and survive.

Again, thank you for donating and for spreading the word.
Thank you so much! We really appreciate you spreading the word!

And, to be, honest, I think that this event will end up being a really good thing in the end. We're amazed at how wonderful and supportive the SFF community has been.
If they're available, you may want to post the laptops' serial numbers. These things have a tendency to pop up on Craiglist and the like, and any little bit to help track them down may bear fruit.
Yes, been working on acquiring those.

Thanks for the suggestion!

And we've been watching Craigslist, etc.


Oh how awful. I will pass this on our group and on my blog too. I guess I will guard mine while I am in Taos.


Re: laptops

Thanks Kate. I appreciate it so much.
Oh thank you! The police are involved, but I'm not sure just how tech savvy they are.

I'll pass this along.

beyond horrid

This is beyond horrid. The lost files, the lost money, the violation. I'm really feeling your pain right now.

But please folks don't get too judgmental about backing up. Nobody backs every word up to outside storage. And sometimes even that doesn't work. Right after my participation in CW 94, I had the "V Sign" virus jump from a university computer system to my floppy backups. Four backups. Count them. Four. And the main. All wiped at the FAT file. I'm still sick about that one.

Sick about this one, too. I hope you guys can get past it. I agree about using high tech tracing. It should be possible. Don't expect much from the police, though. Gotta find some private contacts. Also, keep an eye on ebay, craigslist, etc.

Re: beyond horrid

Thank you so much for your comments! I'm so sorry about your bad experience, though :(.

And we are keeping our eyes open :).
try lost my laptop servies