All Kinds of Desktop Cleanup

This has nothing to do with new year resolves to live more organized (if that were the case I might be making lists and crossing things off), but I’ve been pleased to de-clutterize my home office, and, at the same time, make it easier to hook more gizmos to my laptop.

First was getting a new USB/Firewire combo-hub and getting alot of the cable snakes tucked away behind the desk. The new is almost full, but makes it easier to work with the single Firewire and 2 USB ports on my MacBookPro… I was already running into issues digitizing video needing the firewire ports on the camera and my external drive.

But since I seem to have a working solution to running Windows on the Intel mac, I no longer need the really old Compaq laptop I had been using to test web sites.

This was actually my wife’s old computer, and we were hoping to donate it to the thrift store, but not without being sure the drive was really clean of old data. I had some fun doing th wipe-our routine using Darik’s Boot and Nuke, a download that the installs an app and a start-up OS on a floppy disk.

Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

It was easy to set up and run, and the thing that took me the longest time was finding a floppy disk! (I did come across some old Zip 100 MB disks, now those are useful).

So that is one less computer on the desktop… and I’m thinking getting a slightly bigger internal drive for the MacBookPro (‘m at about 55% of the 80 Gb internal, but I like to keep a lot of room), and I might be able to part with my 2003 iBook.

Trying to be simpler, less cluttered. For now.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. We want photographic proof!! ;-) I’ve been procrastinating and putting that job off. My home office is a tip and the paper filing a mess. I’d love to put some realistic time schedule on and take three days off work to see what paper I really need to keep, but the trick would be keeping it that way. Is that ever possible?

  2. That can be arranged. AND I know what a “tip” is (a garbage dump, correct?). I did not mean to imply I had one of those tidy offices that looks like an IKEA catalog. I always have scarps of paper, a few coffee cups, and wires stashed around, and I have certain doors and boxes meant to hide clutter.

    I dont keep much paper, and one of the best presents I got this year was a paper shredder to rid all the mail and documents that have ID info. Shredding is just so fun, we even toss the bits on our compost pile.

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