After hi-tech failed me, low-tech reunites a lost iPod with its owner

After hi-tech failed me, low-tech reunites a lost iPod with its owner

Summary: If you have been following the saga of the 30GB video iPod that I recently found on an United Airlines aircraft, then you'd know that I tried to turn the Web into a giant lost and found. I'm not sure how many people joined the quest (by pointing to my initial blog) to reunite the lost iPod with its owner, but it was a lot.

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TOPICS: Apple
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If you have been following the saga of the 30GB video iPod that I recently found on an United Airlines aircraft, then you'd know that I tried to turn the Web into a giant lost and found. I'm not sure how many people joined the quest (by pointing to my initial blog) to reunite the lost iPod with its owner, but it was a lot. Ultimately however, while I want to thank all of those in the blogopshere that joined the quest for their generous contribution to the effort, it wasn't the Web that ultimately produced the happy ending. Well, it was, but indirectly. 

After noticing the name "Dover-Sherborn" (two sister towns in Massachusetts) on the soccer jersey of one of the kids in a picture on the iPod, I notified the Dover-Sherborn Press (the local paper) of my quest and how I was using the Web in hopes of getting the iPod back to the owner. The newspaper saw value in the story (probably for the Web angle) and decided to run a piece on it. Wrote Raphael Konan:

For two weeks, North Shore resident David Berlind has been leading a virtual search party, which is only now - with this article - entering the material world. On the morning of Oct. 10, Berlind flew out of Logan Airport on a United Airlines jet. On the flight he found an iPod.....Berlind reasoned that the best chance of getting the iPod back to its owner was if he took control of the process himself. Unfortunately, there was not any information on the iPod that directly identified the owner. Berlind then turned to a familiar resource: the Internet.

That's when the iPod's rightful owner contacted me and identified some of the content on the iPod that only he would know about. There's a bit of irony to this story though. The iPod's owner works for an internet search company. But, in the end, it was a low tech newspaper that him his prized iPod back.

Topic: Apple

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4 comments
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  • The obvious question

    Did he read the local newspaper article in print or online?
    tic swayback
    • His neighbors....

      saw the story in the newspaper and everybody called him. Mention of the family's chocolate lab (who I spotted in the pictures) was what got his neighbors calling him.
      dberlind
      • Paper endures

        No matter how many tech publications tout the "paperless office" or the death of print and the rise of electronic communications, paper still soldiers on, playing the same role it always has. Kind of an amazing interface really, cheap, durable, portable, high resolution. No wonder it's lasted us thousands of years.
        tic swayback
        • Print is my medium of choice

          I canno stand reading something on a screen that I would read in print if it is more than a few pages. With a well organized shelf and filing cabinet, a typical person can find information faster than the typical person can find a file on their hard drive. This is fact. The power of electronic means is mostly myth foisted upon us by greedy vendors and starry eyed dreamers who really want it to be true.

          Does it have to be this way? No. But as long as software developers insist on trying to simply replicate paper paradigms and processes on a computer screen, we will not be able to really get things much better.

          Death to the hierachical file system. Death to user-provided meta data data. Death to step-by-step wizards. Death to spreadsheets. Death to interfaces that make the user feel like they are directly accessing a relational database with a thin veneer of pretty. Death to mandatory processes such as virus removal and backups that require manual intervention and knowledge on the user's behalf. Death to "Yes/No" dialogs that require a sys admin's level of knowledge to even know what the question is, let alone what the answer is.

          That is what it will take at a bare minimum for computers to acheive the level of efficiency that paper has had since the Guttenberg printing press.

          J.Ja
          Justin James