Mashup/files/media/music maven Moldover checks in in comments with another tip for surviving the desert of Burning Man (or, you know, your next gig in Yemen):

I’ve been bringing my laptop to the playa for several years now. My solution this year was a modified briefcase. I made a mount for my MIDI controller to sit right on ontop of the open case. This minimized my footprint which was very helpful. The case worked like a charm at night but it would overheat during the day. The quick fix was to put it ontop of a bag of ice. (Not very elegant, but still effective!) Next year I’m going to check out liquid or dry-ice cooling systems…

I like the liquid / dry-ice cooling idea!

Moldover is co-conspirator on the excellent, Ableton-biased near-monthly performance party Warper here in New York (though hopefully part of a new cultural fever spreading the country).

Dealing with the elements is a serious idea. I may have to do some low-tech waterproofing for a party this week in DC, and CDMotion’s Jaymis recently experimented with combining laptops and beer. (Hint: this turns out not to enhance performance.)

Burning Man: Musical Mac Laptops in Home-Built Bio-Hazard Boxes
Numark’s $99 Portable Turntable, Torture Tested in the Burning Man Desert

Now, anyone got general Burning Man reports / photos for this year?

  • bliss

    Why not just buy one of these [url =]Rugged Notebooks[/url]?

  • Nice one… I dig it! you should have made the case clear… oh well that's 2.0 right? I too thought about a block of ice some sort of refrigeration unit… I have a concept for a "Clean Room" on the Playa I just need some funding…. know anyone with a "Vacuum Truck" cheers,


  • The Ruggedbooks are generally slower and far more expensive. The DIY solutions may be less robust, but if they work they can save a lot of money.

  • Remember people: It's not just the beer-raining-down-from-above you have to protect from, it's the silent but deadly beer-wicking-up-from-below which will really get inside and stuff everything up. Article coming soon, but the short version is this – The moment of the spill you have a decision to make: What's more important? This performance of my laptop? If your laptop wins, turn everything off. Now.

  • The ruggedized notebooks are cool, but throwing down all that cash for a gig I do once a year would be excessive. Clear case? Maybe, wouldn't look very sexy though. Note on beer: the air intake and exhaust ports on the sides could hypothetically get beer in them, but even inside the case all the electronics are elevated on little blocks. You would need someone shooting a beer-filled squirt gun into the exhaust, or someone submerging the whole thing into a bathtub'o'beer to foil the dustbook. I'm doing some gigs in NYC with the case to find out. Bring your beer guns- I dare you!

    ( ! )

  • Now THAT would be taking the idea of "laptop battle" to the next level. You'd need teams, one person as Driver, one as Gunner. Points are scored on style, technical proficiency and how quickly you destroy the other team's machine.