Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


I stole this laptop, how do I break in?

Hi Mr. Dave, I've tried to reformat the PowerBook G4, but when I hold down the C button, it froze, just a light gray screen with a dark gray apple, and nothing happen. Can you please help, don't remember the username or the password.

On the surface, questions like this seem reasonable, but I'm a bit less trusting than most, perhaps, because when I receive questions like this alarm bells go off in my head: if I had ripped off someone else's laptop, this is exactly the kind of question I'd have if i didn't know much about Apple laptops.

So here's my standard response:

"I can't help you with this kind of question. Take it in to an authorized repair center so you can demonstrate legal ownership and they'll be able to help you out."

Since I'm not going to answer the question posed, let's instead take the space to talk about ways you can ensure that your own laptop, Mac or PC, isn't stolen...