Backup DVD Burning Robot

[Aaron Shephard] at mini-itx.com just finished a backup DVD burning robot based on an EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX motherboard and scavenged parts. A Perl script interacts with stepper motors, LEDs, and sensors through the parallel port on the motherboard. The robot inserts DVDs for burning, flips them for labeling, and stacks completed discs in a pile. Coasters are rejected to a ‘penalty box’ for easy disposal.

We’ve also covered some other optical disc duplicators in the past.

[thanks maxthereal]

How-to: Thermite Hard Drive Destruction

After the overwhelming response to the Hackit we posted about automated hard drive destruction last fall, we finally decided to test out some thermite hard drive destruction ourselves. This has been done on The Screen Savers but they did not show up close results of the platters. So, aluminum and black iron oxide were procured through eBay, and until it arrived we watched some YouTube videos that showed a lot of fire and no real results. We decided to see what it would take to completely obliterate a drive.

With the amount of personal data stored on your computer, we all understand the importance of destroying the data that is stored on the platters of a hard drive before disposing of it. There are many ways to destroy a hard drive; software, physical disassembly, drills, hammers, magnets/electromagnets, and acid, but none are quite as outrageous and dangerous as thermite. That’s what we’re going to do here today. Follow along for pictures and videos of the results.

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DIY Heated Vest/clothing


[Jared] sent in his experiment in building his own heated vest for motorcycle riding. He used some of the ever so common enamel coated wire and some surplus teflon tape in place of Teflon coated wire. So far he’s been testing things out with a bench power supply, but it seems to be working. Despite my love of building my own stuff, I’d probably just pony up for a commercial product. His site is hosted on his DSL, so I’ve put up a mirror here. (with some tweaks to the thumbnails to make them load faster.)