Re. Laptops and x-rays

Subject: Re. Laptops and x-rays
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 08:32:36 -0500

Bill Bledsoe advised us not to take our laptops through the
x-ray machines at airports. Several computer magazines
claim this isn't a problem, but none of these magazines
differentiate between the x-rays and the electromagnetic
fields (EMF) used to generate the x-rays.

Modern (recently updated) equipment won't generate enough
EMF to damage any magnetic storage medium. (The long-term
effect of repeatedly x-raying an advanced microprocessor,
on the other hand, hasn't been tested to my knowledge.) The
magnetic wands used to "frisk" you after you pass through
the metal detector (and perhaps the metal detector itself)
_are_ demonstrably hazardous to magnetic materials... I
have a friend who lost data on a diskette that way, and a
_MacUser_ magazine columnist verified this phenomenon a few
years back. Ask the attendants to inspect your baggage
manually. Why take chances?

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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