egloeckle, I remember when I was in my first job as a programmer in '98-99 hearing about how tough the ThinkPads were. I was coding RPG IV and CL on an AS/400 and the CIO shared an article about a 400 (one of the first small ones, I think) in NC that was standing in two feet of water after the storm surge from a hurricane. IBM support came in, cracked open the case, let everything dry out, put it back together and it booted right up. Not a mention of data loss, however.
Another good one I remember is a guy and his wife came home from vacation. He forgot that he had put his ThinkPad in the oven in case the house got robbed (oh, the days before wireless Internet access, right?). His wife, unbeknownst to him, heated the oven to ~300° before he caught it. They let it cool off overnight and it fired right up the next day. Again, no mention of data, but who knows. He may not have been bragging about it had he lost everything on the drive....
So far, as I haven't had much of a chance to putz with this one due to a paid project I'm trying to finish (so I can get to the "paid" part of the project), I tried the USB stick with YUMI to load XP Pro and got a BSOD. Don't know if it's because the only two USB options are HDD and CD and it doesn't see a flash drive as mechanical? I tried it on HDD. Gonna try on the CD option next. If that pukes, I may just have to break down and buy the external. I love my neighbor to death but I really don't want him trotting over here every time he wants to load something. Guess I could lie but I really don't like doing that. You almost always get better results with the truth.
"A payphone was ringing and it just about blew my mind,
when I picked it up & said 'Hello' this foot came through the line"