Sunday, 19 April 2009

Saturday 18th April 09

A very busy day.

Got up quite early and both felt like doing some spring cleaning and sorting out. Gill made a start on the conservatory, which has become somewhat cluttered, and I did some washing up including a load of storage jars which have been building up.

Gill also rang a chap who'd advertised two flat irons in the back of the Press. She's been wanting to have a couple of these to heat up on the stove so she doesn't have to use electricity (despite it being from renewables, and us not using very much, it still costs, so using less would be good!). Gill isn't into ironing everything, but the school uniforms and my work clothes need to look good, and the electric iron is quite heavy on the juice. So a pair of flat irons will be a good addition to our low carbon lifestyle. The old fella wanted a fiver each, as they were antiques, but was happy to hear they'd be used. He lives in Easingwold so Gill might take the bus out there next week to get them, or he might deliver if he's coming down the Hull Road.

Soon after this telephone conversation, we discovered our phone handset wasn't working... it was completely dead. Gill tried to 'ring home' with her mobile but only the base rang, not the handset. So, with the phone being important for my work, it was essential that we get it sorted. So, within the hour I cycled down to town to take it to where we bought it to see if they knew what was wrong with it, or maybe buy another handset. I felt a bit daft when the chap in the shop told me t was just the batteries which had expired. I thought they were rechargeable, but apparently they don't keep recharging for ever. I bought new batteries... and a second pair for when this happens again!

I also visited the Friends Meeting house where the old AVP computer has been waiting for me to pick it up and bring it home to erase the hard disc data, before taking the whole lot to the recycling depot at James Street. The monitor is huge! It only just went in my trailer but with bungees, it came home safe and sound. I set it all up and tried to run the DBAN 'boot and nuke' floppy disc that Ben had supplied, but I didn't quite understand the commands so I phoned Ben and asked him if he could pop round and press buttons in the right order.

Gill was doing wonderful things with the conservatory and I helped too, being ruthless about throwing stuff away, for once! Ros came round with her son, and she stayed and had a coffee and chatted about some of the stories from when she was a customs officer. Our boys played happily all together.

Ben came round and found that the software would work if the computer was tweaked slightly first, and so he reset a password by doing something to the innards and then set the disc to AUTONUKE and completely wipe the hard disc. He also showed me how to take out the disc afterwards and extract two very strong rare-earth magnets, which make excellent fridge magnets. After 40 minutes nuking, the monitor declared it was now 'done', so I switched the whole thing off and extracted the hard disc (actually 3 of them in a stack) and the two magnets. The rest of the hardware will be going to Hazel Court tomorrow for recycling.

I then found time to sort through seeds and plant some courgettes, squash, pumpkin and basil. This felt extremely satisfying. All three boys ate together and then played til 9pm when I took our visitor back up the road to Ros. I spent some of the evening peeling some giant pumpkin seeds I found from last year, and sorting out old seed packets from newer ones which I will hopefully plant up soon.

A very productive day. And destructive too, with the mangling of the old computer and throwing away of loads of unrecyclable and unusable stuff. Satisfying!


Anonymous said...

The only 100% way is this: Take out the hard disc (looks like a steel CD and you will need the right screwdriver head). Using a bench grinder and holding the disc with a pair of pliers, grind the disc into tiny particles.

There is a way round every deletion program and once the PC is out of your hands, it's all out of your control.

Great blog - keep up your low carbon life.

Compost John said...

Thanks... I have removed the triple hard disc thing. Apparently it's made of glass and would shatter if dropped. It was easy to remove, just a philips cross-head screwdriver, and then a wrestle getting the sealed compartment open, using pliers and a knife!

The hard disc is now sitting on my sideboard, the rest of the computer is at the recycling place.

I will ask my expert friend Ben about programmes which over-ride hard-disc wiping programmes. You could ask DBAN too.

The reason we wanted to wipe the disc is that lots of people have been on AVP workshops, to do with resolving conflict, and we didn't want to betray their confidence. Nothing worse than that!

Thanks for your positive comment about my blog,glad you enjoy reading it.