Thursday, May 31, 2007

First, I'd like to thank Ted for the contribution of Coke Reward points. When the human body is as completely devastated by diet cola as mine is, every bit of progress is a much needed step towards being able to drink actual fluids again.
Yesterday we discussed data security for the servers we are decommissioning all over the world. Most aren't worth shipping back to Houston for resale, but we can't just toss them into some landfill, either.
I mean, we could toss them in a landfill (mercury, lead, rare earth magnets and all) except that someone could potentially get possibly sensitive information off the hard drives.
Any mention of that and my inner voice instantly screams, "Must protect the data! Must protect the data!"
In fact, that stupid internal scream is what makes me hang on to paperbacks I've already read and back up (sometimes in more than two places) MP3s I'd be embarrassed to admit to owning.
The fact is, we don't need the data on those drives anymore. We copied it other places before the servers were powered off and they have been off long enough for anyone missing anything to yell about it by now. We could erase the drives.
We could boot the servers and format everything, but unless we erase and overwrite every sector seven times, I will never sleep peacefully again.
My co-workers know this, so they offered to go with the "giant magnet" option. In this process, we get a giant magnet and rub it all over the drives vigorously until we are happy. Unfortunately, no one here seems to have a giant magnet or really know where to get one and if we did, we would never want it on the same floor as our actual production servers.
"Isn't there a more violent option?" I asked. To be truthful, this is also the question I ask in any meeting where I possibly drifted off a bit and traded paying attention for organizing my mental list of stuff I'd do if lightsabers were real. "Isn't there a more violent option?" fills just about any uncomfortable silence quite nicely while triggering the self-preservation instincts of the others in the meeting so that no one questions the skull and kitten doodles on my note pad.
Manny said that in the Navy they use axes and sledgehammers to totally destroy old hard drives and, more interestingly to me, they keep the sledgehammers and axes next to the computers at all times in case the facility is overrun (by, I assume, radioactive zombies of some kind).
And then I took a moment to think of the enormous self-discipline of our geeks in uniform serving in the armed forces.
If we kept axes and sledgehammers next to our computers . . .
Let me just say I'd void the hell out of some warranties just about every day. In fact, I'd probably carry the hammer around with me everywhere. And I'd give it a name, too. Like "Smashy" or "Big happy object that makes the beeping stop" or "The Key Launcher".
I'd probably be known as "That guy with the hammer" at work until I eventually took a bad swing and broke the handle. Then I'd become "That guy with the big freaking ax".
Hopefully, by the time the ax wears out we will be able to purchase actual lightsabers, which would be more efficient and cooler looking.
I'm all about more efficient and cooler looking.

3 comments:

Ted said...

Since we are in Houston, you must consider the Enron alternative:
Shredding
http://www.semshred.com/content645.html

Garrick said...

Awesome!

And submitted to purchasing for approval.

tess said...

What Wells Fargo does is:

1) Remove the harddrives from the computers.

2) Put the harddrives in a lock box.

3) Have said lock box picked up by an armored car service.

4) Have said lock box delivered to a company that pulverizes it, and its contents.

Not nearly as fun as sledge hammers... But it does the job =)