What a cheesy title!?! About a month ago, my laptop developed a horizontal line across the LCD display. I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I was when I opened up my PowerBook to find the line. Thankfully, a quick call to Apple Support, and they had a shipping box delivered to my office the following day. Unfortunately, my PowerBook has become my primary desktop and mobile machine for everything--meeting notes, e-mail, documents, etc. Our OPS programmer recently left, so I was able to confiscate his old desktop, install Ubuntu and get a working machine for the interim while my laptop was away being repaired.
What about my sensitive data? During the phone call with Apple Support, the guy asked for my administrative password--I said, "No." He then asked if I would create a user with administrative rights with a certain user name and password--I said, "Sure." Before shipping it off, I backed up all my data to an external firewire drive, deleted my user account and home folder, then ran "dd if=/dev/urandom of=./random.dd bs=1024k count=7000000" in order to "wipe" my data on the remaining part of the hard drive.
Today, I received my laptop back with a beautiful new LCD. I logged in, recreated my account, copied the contents from the backup, "chown"ed it back to jsawyer:jsawyer and then deleted the temp account. Everything works fantastic, and I am happily productive once again.