Letter to the Editor

After reading the article about the missing laptops at the FBI by Chris Dorobek ["Missing laptops steam lawmakers"] and many more like it on the news, I felt I had to write.

First off, I work for the Navy and I've had my laptop computer since Intel Corp.'s Pentium II came out, and I can tell you it is junk. Even the new laptops are junk. They never can hold as much data as a desktop, they have limited battery life and limited programs, they are heavy, and they make it difficult to get online. Downloading photos from a camera or getting the computers to recognize add-on cards is frustrating. Overall, they're just pure garbage.

Many of us have stopped traveling with them and have returned many of them. They sit in empty booths or scattered around the computer repair room, eventually ending up in the dumpsters.

So to say valuable assets were lost is a misprint. They are worthless battery-operated clipboards. I can do much more with a pencil and tablet for what I need.

Some of us have spent our own money to upgrade them with better memory, modems, etc., because of our antiquated buying system. It's much cheaper to spend our own money than to get upset with the procurement department — let alone selfish managers that will not approve simple buys for office supplies.

And with regard to sensitive information - that, too, is a joke. Most of that information is freely available over the Internet, such as a Navy ship's schedule. But if any of us faxes a ship's schedule, we are written up, given time off and more in some cases. And to top that, various magazines, such as Popular Science, can tell you all about stealth bombers via freedom of speech.

Accusing someone of espionage is just the government's way of getting rid of someone that is doing what the government itself does best. When our government sells the latest military equipment to foreigners, what do you call that? Are they not selling our secrets? Figure all that.

Larry Lueder
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Surface Ship Engineering Site

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