Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sugar hard drives

Nutritious and secure
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A washing machine sized hard drive with platters made of sugar glass impregnated with iron, but with relatively normal read-write heads.

The reason for the large physical size is that i suspect the technology of using iron-rich sugar glass is less advanced than that of more commonly used media, so probably it would need to be quite big. If i'm wrong, fine, make it smaller.

Use it to store sensitive data. When you wish to destroy it, remove the platters, grind them up and eat them, use them to sweeten your coffee, whatever. Your digestive system will effectively destroy the data and you'll get a hefty dose of iron.

The exterior of the drive should be marked with recommended maximum daily intakes per person in order to prevent iron overdose.

Probably not suitable for diabetics.

nineteenthly, Apr 21 2011

The other extreme A_20staple_20form_20of_20memory
[normzone, Apr 21 2011]

cheese roll http://www.leroule.org/home.php
...but not as we know it.. [not_morrison_rm, Apr 22 2011]

Sugar Hiccough http://www.youtube....watch?v=WORzTWzwtho
Every time i read this idea name, this song goes through my head [nineteenthly, Apr 24 2011]

[link]






       I like the idea of easy-to-destroy hard-drives.   

       It's only one step on to consider self-destructing hard-drives - preset perhaps to eradicate themselves and any data that they hold through a one-way mullering process that just can't be undone.
zen_tom, Apr 21 2011
  

       Certainly it would be a good idea for hard drives to destroy themselves, perhaps even to announce their imminent self-destruction as i proposed in another idea, but it seems a shame to waste them when they could make good eating rather than scrap.
nineteenthly, Apr 21 2011
  

       "What the hell happened to our vacation pictures?"   

       "I was hungry"
Worldgineer, Apr 21 2011
  

       "I'm sorry, sir, but there's nothing I can do about your files" said the tech. "I'm afraid you have ants".
normzone, Apr 21 2011
  

       These would be ants in spacesuits i presume?
nineteenthly, Apr 21 2011
  

       "A washing machine sized hard drive"   

       If you actually mounted them in a washing machine, you would have a one-button self-destruct.
Twizz, Apr 21 2011
  

       What sort of data density do you expect? I'm guessing "normal read-write heads" designed to float a nanometer or so above the surface wouldn't work at all well.   

       Not interested in a 100kB HDD!
csea, Apr 21 2011
  

       One reason to use a hard drive over very easily destroyable tape is read/write speeds... you sure a sugar cube could withstand 7200rpm?
mitxela, Apr 21 2011
  

       No, i think it'd be a lot slower. [csea], whereas its capacity might not be that big, there is an advantage today not present when older magnetic data storage was around in the form of better data compression techniques, so it's not a question of having to reinvent the platter.
nineteenthly, Apr 21 2011
  

       Release sand into a regular hard drive at 7200 rpm and it wouldn't take long for the data to be ground away.
ldischler, Apr 21 2011
  

       hammer?
pocmloc, Apr 21 2011
  

       If you're looking for press-of-a-button data destruction, how about a cutting tool similar to those used in machine shops? Given head speeds, one pass of the tool would remove significant material.   

       Probably not fail-safe enough though.
normzone, Apr 21 2011
  

       ...or without the iron, you could do it as a WORM drive, with a laser to caramelise the sugar (not sure if that'd work in a vacuum?).   

       Expect next generation of Blu-Ray to follow this format, as much more difficult to keep, so have to keep buying new ones. If you have the lolly for it of course.   

       ..but doesn't this idea strangely resemble a 3 meter disk of supercooled (iron rich) cheese rotatating...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 21 2011
  

       Yes, it is somewhat cheesy.
nineteenthly, Apr 22 2011
  

       I'm thinking best for 007 types, burns the information in with the laser onto a 3" sugar disk. If it looks like he/she has been rumbled then insert stick into disk and be Mr/Mrs/Ms/Rev Cool and Collected eating the lolly in the interrogation.   

       Alternatively using cheese, write onto one of them Le Roule (see link) cheese sections, then hide it back in the pack.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 22 2011
  

       Marmalade toast running cars. Now there's a fuel for me.
blissmiss, Apr 22 2011
  

       Yes. A knife scrapes off the marmalade and dumps it in a pool of Krebs Cycle enzymes, then the toast is crumbled, dumped in a vat of amylase and is then itself added to the pool.
nineteenthly, Apr 22 2011
  

       but are hard drives really that hard to destroy in the first place?   

       some fire should do it. just make sure to pour it inside right onto the magnetic disk thingy
EdwinBakery, Apr 22 2011
  

       Well, hmm. That would have the advantage of knackering it if you were lucky, though i'm not convinced it would be impossible to retrieve any data even then, but it also seems wasteful from a nutritional viewpoint. Why would it not be better to make them edible?
nineteenthly, Apr 22 2011
  

       Erm, as far as I'm aware the only real way to wipe the data is to open up the hard drive case, extract the disks, then heat them up to red hot, which fritzes the magnetism permanently.   

       It takes about 10 minutes to open up a hard drive case as there's always the screw that doesn't want to turn, the screw hidden under a sticker etc.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 22 2011
  

       or 10 seconds if you cover it in thermite.
mitxela, Apr 23 2011
  

       But again, this doesn't recycle the drive at the same time.
nineteenthly, Apr 23 2011
  

       Perhaps the real development needs to be in modifying the human to digest the various oxides left behind?
mitxela, Apr 23 2011
  

       I expect there are plants which would grow on them.
nineteenthly, Apr 23 2011
  

       "I expect there are plants which would grow on them."   

       Was that on the people who ate the hard drives, or on the hard drives directly?   

       I can see a new tickbox appearing on the pre-MRI checklist "Have you eaten a hard drive in the last 24 hours?"
not_morrison_rm, Apr 23 2011
  

       I think probably the plants could be made to grow in them and on them and in and of the people who eat them. Maybe the whole drive could be full of orchid seeds.
nineteenthly, Apr 23 2011
  

       That's what [Twizz] said.
spidermother, Apr 24 2011
  

       Now that i like! Maybe also Core Wars?   

       If it was a real washing machine, the solution could have other uses, e.g. composting or as a mousetrap.
nineteenthly, Apr 24 2011
  

       wasn't this the idea behind the divx drives and discs, a normal dvd that could be "rented" but after about 3 days out of the package it would oxidize until no longer useable so you didn't have to return it.   

       Also as mentioned if you put a piece of sandpaper or a cutting bit above the platters. With one press they could probably sand enough down OR unbalance the platter and cause it to shatter. Unless you have nuclear missle blue prints no one is gonna goto the trouble of trying to piece together shards of your hdd.
metarinka, Apr 25 2011
  

       Sadly yes, but they could be subverted by being kept in freezers in airtight containers, i hear.   

       Again, yes, easily destroyed hard drives are one thing, but easily destroyed easily reusable ones are another.
nineteenthly, Apr 25 2011
  

       They could also be subverted by sealing the fine air gap (which let the destructive oxygen in) with super glue.
spidermother, Apr 25 2011
  
      
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