Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Rage against the machines

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  • Pauline Dawson,

    I can see some sort of high powered steel arrow peircing all three drives. I was a network and system admin for years. I could probably think up lots of things. the kiln sounds good

    Mosgiel • Since Feb 2008 • 26 posts Report

  • Jono Baddiley,

    A workmate at a previous job had couple of SCSI server drives hung on his wall. He had shot them with a .44 - such a clean entry hole, and a chest-burster-worthy exit wound. The sales manager for the server manufacturer was rather shocked when he visited our office the first time after the drives were hung up.

    Personally, at the start of my career in IT I had a wall in my office where I had put up a sign that stated "Naughty computers will be made an example of". I stapled components (in all their naked glory) onto the wall. By the end of a couple of months I had a complete PC (minus case and CRT, which I was certain I couldn't staple to the wall) laid out like an alien autopsy.

    And it even worked. I had a pc that had caused me no end of grief. I brought it into the office, left it in front of the wall, and told it "...that if you're not going tomorrow I've got a drill with your name on it".
    It worked perfectly from that point on.

    At the same job I climbed to the top of a new (3 story) building we were constructing and threw a non-working Mac SE off the roof. It wasn't as aesthetically explosive as I was hoping for, but it sure was cathartic.

    Wellytron • Since Mar 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Lyndon Hood,

    If you liquid nitrogen'd one and dropped it, would it shatter?

    I'm guess ing not, but I wouldn't know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report

  • Emma Hart,

    I can see some sort of high powered steel arrow peircing all three drives.

    That's just what I was thinking. I think it's the way they're lined up in the picture.

    The kiln is remarkably, chillingly, hands-off and cold-blooded. If we were going for heat stress I'd want a flame-thrower.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • daleaway,

    Too quick.
    Casserole on a low heat.
    Make the sods suffer.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    The kiln might leave a suitably blobby mass for satisfactory later contemplation.... But it's a bit slow and boring, and probably not even visible in the actual "doing" of it...

    I'm thinking the violent release of kinetic energy is more satisfactory in the short term?

    Smack em up a bit, then kiln them!

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • anjum rahman,

    actually, i had a boss who believed that you had to be very gentle and sweet with the technology in order to make it work. he'd stroke a computer, say sorry to it for harsh words said by the previous speaker, then gently murmur sweet nothings.

    wouldn't you know it, the damn machines would always work correctly after this treatment.

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report

  • Lyndon Hood,

    probably not even visible in the actual "doing" of it

    Heard where some crematoria have windows?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    You'd want a chemist to confirm that there won't be anything too dangerous resulting, but you could lower them slowly into a strong acid, say hydroflouric, inside a fume cupboard, while doing Bond villain impersonations alternating with falsetto cries of "help me! I'm melting!"

    Or if you know someone who works at Glenbrook, they won't contaminate a batch of steel much.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Mark Graham,


    I recently euthanised a baby hedgehog which had inadvertently consumed rat poison with the sharp end of a spade.

    I must say, causing suffering on anything, even inanimate objects with no pain sensors, is still somewhat abhorrent.

    (And I'm aware of the oxymoronic nature of the comment above.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report

  • David Haywood,

    Go somewhere godforsaken (such as, for example, New Lynn) and duct-tape them to the railway lines. I have done this with toy cars etc. as a child and they squash in a very spectacular manner.

    Oh, Mr-Person-from-the-Railways-reading-this, I mean a bloke I met in the pub said he thought this would be a good idea. Can't remember which pub. Might not have even been a bloke, come to think of it.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Find a really big magnet. Like, maybe one of those ones used to pick up car wrecks. Magnets and hard drives, not a good mix.

    Dangle your hard drives over them on a string, swaying them closer and closer and scream maniacally. Drool a little.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • David Slack,

    David, you mean your mate Bollard, don't you?

    Thanks all for the suggestions. I'm leaning towards the arrow at the moment, although a scientist PA reader with excellent access has dangled the prospect of access to a nuclear facility.

    Daleaway, I thought you might recommend a landfill. I still remember that nice line you wrote in an Environment speech about the Kiwi way: "there's always another gully."

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report

  • Joanna,

    I could hook you up with access to a kiln, except that I don't think I like the idea of whatever is inside the server parts being incinerated and then cooked into servingware later. Also I suspect my mother would be even more reticent, given how unwilling she is to help with thereoretical body disposal.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report

  • David Hamilton,

    Keeping with the bond theme - high powered laser. You might be able to get a university physics department to help out. You know, for science.

    More feasibly, I bet a welding torch would do some nice damage.

    Hamiltron • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report

  • Joanna,

    So I recommend you go with the low-tech "Throw it off a building" approach of Ice TV in the olden days, before they got a bigger budget and started blowing things up.

    Oh, could that be an option? Put them in a container with lots of mentos and diet coke? Vinegar and baking soda? Dry ice?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    All great ideas, but will it blend???

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report

  • Testcard,

    Nothing says fun for all the family...

    like a computer piñata!

    Just tie those pesky PCs together, hang the bundle from a tree, step back, and watch the fireworks begin! Everyone will want a go a taking out their bitter frustrations on those nasty computers!


    Since Nov 2007 • 23 posts Report

  • Martha Craig,

    I think all these ideas are way too fast.

    I suggest going to a pet store, buying a bowl and some sea snails, tadpoles, weed, maybe a few fish and watch the things slime up over several weeks.

    Mmmm slime.

    Petone • Since Nov 2006 • 23 posts Report

  • Rochelle Hume,

    They sell fatal-looking brightly coloured rubber slingshots at the local Hunting & Fishing store....

    I've always fancied having a go with it would be fun!

    Warkworth • Since Sep 2007 • 34 posts Report

  • Scott Common,

    I have been contemplating how I would like to torture my computer at work into a state where it physically won't work (as opposed to it's current state where it spiritually doesn't work).

    The hydrofluoric acid idea is great, but you may find some very nasty fumes from it (and you need a qualification to even buy hydrofluoric acid if you're not in a lab these days).

    Personally I'd subject mine to pressure in a water tank that simulates deep water scenario's - watch it slowly crumple under the pressure and implode. Of course finding one would probably be difficult (unless you know the right folks).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report

  • BenWilson,

    Before you unload on the drives, take the platters out. They make really cool drink coasters. They're so smooth and beautiful that everyone wants to know where you got them and how much they cost. At $200 a drive you can be a real snob about it.

    I think the kiln won't work - it's a little known fact that hard drives are one of the few things that survive household fires. But surely they'd make an excellent casing for homemade fireworks, given that you can screw them together really tight. Make a loooong fuse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Joanna,

    think the kiln won't work - it's a little known fact that hard drives are one of the few things that survive household fires.

    I'm no fireman, but do most household fires reach 1200 degrees?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report

  • BenWilson,

    I dunno how hot house fires get, but steel needs something like 1370 degrees to melt, depending on the purity. Which is probably why the kiln doesn't get so hot - it may also melt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Benjamin Franzmayr,

    I thought hard drives exoskeletons were made from aluminium and thus melt at a lower temperature (660.32 °C according to wikipedia). It's the fibreglass circuit boards that will probably survive longest.

    My suggestion is a combination of several ideas to recreate the final scenes from Terminator II.

    Scene 1: dunk drives in liquid nitrogen and drop/smash into lots of little pieces.
    Scene 2: put pieces in kiln to melt into little ingots.
    possible Scene 3: if the little molten pieces start rolling towards each other then RUN LIKE HELL

    Palmerston North, New Zea… • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report

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