Laptop-shooting tops computer mishaps poll

Shooting your notebook PC is one way to vent your frustration. Just make sure first that there's no data on it that you might need

An American who became so frustrated with his laptop that he shot it with a gun before realising there was important data saved on the computer has topped a list of most bizarre computer mishaps.

Bizarre methods of destruction regularly pop up in folklore online. The most celebrated examples are the Darwin Awards, which "honour those who improve our gene pool... by removing themselves from it." The top ten most bizarre computer mishaps indicate that computers and their data, happily, meet relatively uneventful ends compared to the fates of their human counterparts.

The list of bizarre computer mishaps, compiled by data recovery experts Kroll Ontrack, does include several notebook owners whose equipment befell unusual fates.

For instance, at No. 2 on the list is a man who threw his computer out of the window in an attempt to destroy evidence when he found out the police were coming to seize his PC and arrest him. This man may have failed to stay one step ahead of the law, but did manage one place ahead of number three, who dropped his laptop out of his bag while riding a moped; the computer was then run over by a lorry before the man noticed he had lost it.

But from No. 4 downwards the results are perhaps best viewed as illustrating that the world of IT is a relatively safe and uneventful place. They include people who variously spilt wine and café latte on their notebooks, dropped their notebooks in the bath or in a river, threw them against a wall, or left them on top of the car and drove off.

The number seven spot is practically the computer equivalent of dying of old age in your sleep -- the place is held by a server that collected a lot of dust, causing it to malfunction.

If you know of a computer mishap more bizarre than those above, record it in our TalkBack below.

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