At last month's CES, I mislaid a microphone that I'd just bought: too many items in little black pouches, and that one disappeared on a patch of dark carpet when I got something else out of my bag. A few minutes later, when I realized this, I walked back to find (no shocker) that it had walked away, and the lost mic somehow never made it to the Lost & Found office. Dumb as I felt for having let it get away, the real sting is knowing that I didn't so much as have my name on it, which I like to think might have nudged a morally ambivalent finder into returning it. My question is this: How do you personalize, label, or mark your expensive tech goodies, so it's harder for them to be innocently or less-innocently taken away? Even at a LAN party, it's easy for items to get swapped around and confused. I've sometimes put my name or initials (in permanent ink) on any flat surface I can find that will fit it, but even the "permanent" ink of Sharpies seems to fade on many surfaces. Stickers degrade with heat, time, and bag jostling, but they certainly help. Is engraving the best permanent option? Have you used one of the physical tag services, like Boomerang
, and has that ever actually come in handy for you? There's theft-deterrent (or at least post-theft tracking) software, as we've mentioned a few times on Slashdot, but many things aren't suited to it, like my lost mic. What do you do to keep your stuff yours?