TypewriterFrom The Urbach Letter – September 2003

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Cool Thing of the Month

Bosser 100DX CD Destroyer

The Bosser 100DX CD Destroyer
Ever try to destroy a compact disk? It's not easy! Snapping the CD in "half" is dangerous, creating tiny razor-sharp shards of plastic. Burning the disk creates toxic gasses. Scribbling on the disk with a magic marker won't permanently obliterate its contents. But why, aside from the obvious (Eminem), would you want to destroy a CD in the first place? It's not to decimate your teenager's music library, it's to wipe out the data you've backed-up on to CD-R's. Many people now use their CD burners to back up computer data files. Blank CD-R media is dirt-cheap and very durable. Maybe too durable. CD-R users end up with boxes full of obsolete backup disks. With identity theft rampant, it's a bad idea to just toss used disks in the trash. They're easy to spot amongst the grapefruit rinds and can be read in any computer, even if "password protected." (Password cracker programs abound.)

Would you ever want a thief looking at your Quicken files, reading your correspondence, searching through your data for certain "interesting" keywords? Of course not. Even if you crack your CD inside a bag (to contain the shards), a sophisticated snoop or law enforcement agency can still reconstruct most of the data, due to redundancy. That's why some "paranoid" people use a belt sander to remove the top (label side) data surface of the disk. That does work, but creates clouds of potentially harmful metallic dust.

So you need the Bosser 100DX, especially if you've got a big pile of data CD's to deal with. It's kind of fun to use too… just feed your disks into the top slot. Motorized knurled rollers simultaneously pull it through, and permanently distort the data layer, rendering the disk unreadable. $45 (cheap!) at Cyberguys.

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