Why Cut a Hard Drive

I just started a video series where I cut things with an angle grinder. Here's the first episode where the victim is a 5-1/2 hard drive:

Let's Cut It

Some people want to know why one would cut a hard drive in half -- or anything else for that matter.

Erasing a hard drive

Cutting a hard drive is the surest way to make the data it contains unreadable.

When you change hard drives, you may be tempted to throw the old one in the bin; but if you do this you expose yourself to anyone picking your old hard drive from the bin and extracting all its contents (passwords, emails, etc.)

Simply "erasing" the contents, or even "formatting" the drive isn't enough either; those operations usually only rewrite the file system but not the data, which can be recovered with widely available "unerase" software.

There are utilities to permanently destroy data on your hard drive; they work, but take a long time and are clumsy -- and besides, who would use software where an angle grinder does the same thing?!?

Be in charge

But there are many other things to cut besides hard drives! Next on the list are phones, cameras, Nespresso coffee machines, etc.

Why would I want to cut all those things? Besides the fact that it's so fun, there's a philosophical point to it.

The iPhone comes with special screws that require a dedicated screw driver.

Most Apple products don't even have visible screws. They come in beautiful boxes as if they were jewels, and the message is that they're so perfect they should only be admired and caressed and nothing more. (Apple is not the only culprit of course, just the most prominent one).

The point of appliances should be to help us do things better / faster, not be part of a cult. They're here to serve us, not the other way around.

It's certainly more useful to take things apart than to destroy them; but there's a childish joy in cutting them open; it's a post-modern act of freedom.

Let's void this warranty.

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 • permalink