Today, I went into the local federal courthouse carrying an 80 GB external USB hard drive. I needed to give it to my opposing counsel so that he could copy some PDFs onto it, and since we were going to be in court for a scheduling conference I thought I’d just bring it along.
As I was passing through the first level of security (where you empty your pockets and show your driver’s license) the guard asked me what the device was. I explained that it was a hard drive. He seemed skeptical. And he seemed confused about what a “hard drive” was. I told him that it was the thing inside of computers that holds the data, except that this one was an “external drive” that I needed to give to opposing counsel. I might as well have been talking about some weird kind of quantum nanotech flux capacitor.
The guard at the receiving end of my scan of pocket contents also wanted to ask me about the hard drive. He also didn’t seem to know what a hard drive was.
It’s sad when the courthouse security folks are flummoxed by contraptions that are sold in bulk at Best Buy or Radio Shack.