otsukare Thoughts after a day of work

Business Trips with a Clean Install

Can I travel to a work week meeting without any data on my laptop, aka a clean install?

It has been quite a couple of years that I have the same running question. And this week, international news led me to rethink about it. Mobile phone for me is easy, I have been living without it for years (since 2001 exactly). Social media accounts? I don't have a twitter account anymore, never had a facebook account, killed Flickr years ago when they were bought by Yahoo!

If I'm traveling anywhere in the world for work, do I need to have data on my laptop. When I say no data, I really mean it. It means you erase the laptop and makes it like if it was coming out of the factory. No login, no password, no mail configuration.

So I'm thinking about having a laptop specifically for traveling with a clean install and wondering what would be the consequences for working. Be for myself and my team mates.

The great thing about working on opensource projects and archiving everything online is that I could still work on some things without having to carry a single ssh passphrase or passwords with me. I can still do git clone or hg pull. I can still prepare work. I can do local commits on a laptop. I can write documents or email drafts. I can take notes during discussions. I can read old threads and documentation on wiki.

Some of the issues that needs buffering and delay:

  • Commenting on bugs
  • Sending emails
  • Pushing code
  • Probably other things

Once the work week is finished, I can come back to my home location with the work produced during the week on this laptop but still having no personal data. Just the work produced during the week. And then send all the work and push the commits once I'm back home.

It seems doable and a minor disturbance compared to the risks of uncertainties of privacy breach of your laptop searched against your will.

Otsukare!