May 6, 2005

Shredding CD's

As geeks, there are very few socially acceptable ways for us to take out our frustration on physical objects, but there is at least one that can have great value to your psyche as well as make good business sense...destroying and mangling outdated CD's.

I'm sure we've all taken box knives to CD's with outmoded, bad or proprietary data to destroy them. Some of us have risked our lives cracking them in two with our hands over a trash can. Even others have built high-speed rotating CD mounts to cause the CD's to lose structural integrity and explode. However, all of those require a certain amount of physical risk to a person. Box knives cut hands much easier than CD's; cracking them in two risks eyes, skin and hands to the whims of fate; and just look at the results of the ballistic gel dummy to see the end result of the structural integrity of a CD failing.

So you need to get yourself a CD shredder. I've used two types: a CD perforator, and a strip-cut CD shredder.

For the CD perforator, I recommend Alera Technologies' DVD/CD Shredder. This is a newer version of what we used back at Microsoft Game Studios. What happens is you push your CD in the front of the machine, and it comes out the other side with thousands of holes punched through it.

For real fun with the Alera shredder, after you pass the disk through, flip it over and run it through again, flip, repeat, flip, repeat, flip and repeat. Then just let it sit in your hand. Each time you pass it through, you weaken the adhesive that keeps the two plasic disc halves together. Eventually, the disk itself will seperate with a satisfying "pop." NOTE: This may invalidate the warrantee on your CD shredder, so please do it at your own risk.

For the strip cut shredder, any that have a CD slot will do. I'm not sure what brand the one we have is, but the model number is DS240P. Most simply slide through with a calming "crunch", but on occasion, you'll get a defiant disc, a disc that doesn't believe that its time has come. He'll sit there on top of the slot, bouncing on the blades, praying for salvation while small CD chips fly out of the paper slot. A slight tap on the top causes it to slide into oblivion.

I was recently reminded of this mode of therapy when I had to destroy a stack of nearly 100 CD's and DVD's that I burned for...unannounced projects. So when it comes to relieving stress levels on a product, do what I do...burn it to a disk and destroy it!

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