With fuel prices higher than ever, I've been driving 55 mph on the freeway to improve my gas mileage. For years I have always been one of those speed limit plus ten people. Only recently have I decided to slow down and take it easy.
My FJ Cruiser (below) normally gets around 15 mpg on the highway. I found out that if I keep the rpms below 2,000 my mileage increases to over 20 mpg. On roughly level ground that ends up being 55 mph in sixth gear.
I keep an eye on my gas mileage using my ScanGauge II. It's a handy little device that plugs into the FJ's ODBII port and gives information about everything from intake temperature to battery voltage. The ScanGauge allows to me see exactly how many miles I am getting to the gallon at any given moment as well as the average for the whole tank.
So far driving 55 on the Los Angeles freeways has been fun and cost effective. The funniest thing about driving in the slow lane is that people still tailgate!
My FJ Cruiser near Madrid, during our trip to New Mexico last near.
[This is an old project that CHS, Arclight and I did in which we melted down some old hard drives, I just revently uploaded the pictures again so I am reposting it here on my blog as well as on the original site: driveslag.eecue.com]
Due to the recent MIT study concerning data recovery from old hard drives, we decided that the only fool proof means of data removal was complete destruction of the disk platters.
We started with two hard drives that had failed for various reasons. The data on the disks was sensitive, like most personal data you will find on any random hard drive. We had considered various methods of destroying the data. These methods of destruction included: detonation, shooting with high calibre bullets, bulk magnetic eraser, grinding the platters, smashing the platters with a hammer. These methods would all thwart a novice data recovery party, but wouldn't be 100% effective due to scanning tunneling microscope recovery techniques.
We finally decided that the only sure way to thwart data recovery was to melt down all the aluminum contained in the platters. Slagging the drive would have two effects on the medium. First off it would convert it from a readable disk to any shape we decided to pour it into. Secondly it would nullify the magnetic properties of the coated aluminum.
We started by putting the drives into a steel crucible:
Next CHS fired up Arclight's furnace and adjusted the flame for proper heat dispersion:
Then he inserted the crucible into the furnace:
After a few minutes we noticed toxic smoke rising from the furnace vent and decided to take a look inside.
We realized we should have removed the PCBs from the drives first... oh well:
Pretty soon the only solids left in the crucible were the steel caps that enclose the case:
Once we removed those we saw that the woven fiberglass inside the PCBs still remained:
We then poured the molten aluminum into out ingot cast:
Good luck recovering data from this:
Our prognosis: drive slagging is a fool-proof method to prevent data recovery.
UPDATE: Drive Slagging Featured In LISA '04 PresentationIn 2004 Simson Garfinkel gave a talk at the USENIX LISA conference about data on old hard drives. The report he wrote was actually what made us decide to do the drive slagging site in the first place. He featured our method of data removal in his slides which can be found at the link below. If you just want to see the slides click the permalink.
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In 2004 Simson Garfinkel gave a talk at the USENIX LISA conference about data on old hard drives. The report he wrote was actually what made us decide to do the drive slagging site in the first place. He featured our method of data removal in his slides which can be found at the link below. If you just want to see the slides click the permalink.
My laptop's hard drive died a nasty death, that started with slowing and freezing and ended up in complete and total data loss. Between those two stages i was able to back up my data. I am now catching up on the 900+ news items in NetNewsWire... i wonder if the same thing happened to boogah:
99 problems and an ibook is one
it would seem that the venerable ibook is acting up again.
over the weekend i've seen more beach balls than a lifeguard, which is odd because things were running okay on friday night. so i decided to repair permissions, run the periodic maintenance scripts, update the prebindings, boot into single user mode, run fsck and zap the pram. twice.
still, i can't have more than one app open without getting a beach ball every time i issue a command. ichat gives me a continual beach ball after ten minutes. itunes skips every time i play a song. my computer is absolutley unuseable.
every bit of diagnostics i've run says all my hardware is fine. the only option i seem to have at this point is to reinstall. bollocks. [gomi]