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Technological progress is once crowding out much-needed items from our lives. So, 3.5-inch floppy disks have long been obsolete as information carriers, they were replaced by disks, flash drives and other drives of an impressive amount of memory. Now, perhaps, finding old floppy disks will be a difficult task, and in a few decades, diskettes will become a real rarity. But if you still find a few, we recommend making useful crafts from floppy disks with your own hands.

How to make DIY crafts from floppy disks?

Before considering what exactly can be made from floppy disks, let's look at the main way to connect floppy disks to each other, which will help you figure out how to make this or that craft.

Pull down the blank - overwrite protection.

We heat the awl and pierce the already existing holes on top of the sides.

It turns out four holes with which you can connect floppy disks to each other.

Use clamps, wire, cord, metal rings to connect. You can also fix the shape with glue.

So, what kind of crafts from floppy disks can you make?

The content of the article

I’ll say a banality: in different types of devices, the methods of storing information vary greatly. Moreover, the methods for deleting recorded data differ. For users of “ordinary disks” - with rotating magnetic plates and without encryption - it is the deletion (rewriting) of data from other types of media that often causes surprise and misunderstanding. Therefore, let's start with magnetic disks.

How to destroy information on your hard drive

In this section, under the term "hard drive" we will mean a classic device with rotating plates and moving electromagnetic read-write heads. The information recorded on the plate, and remains on it until the moment when the data will be overwritten.

The traditional way to delete data from magnetic disks is formatting. Unfortunately, when using Windows, even full disk formatting can lead to different - and sometimes unexpected - results.

So, if you use an OS on Windows XP (or an even older version of Windows), with full formatting of the disk, the system does not write zeros to each sector at all. Instead, the OS will only search for bad sectors by reading data sequentially. Therefore, if you are going to discard an old computer running Windows XP, format the disk on the command line by setting the / p: option. In this case, the format command will overwrite the contents of the disk with zeroes as many times as specified by the parameter. Example:

Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft developers changed the logic of the full format command. Now disk formatting does overwrite the data with zeros, and the / p switch becomes redundant.

Actually, for an ordinary user who does not suffer from paranoia, that’s all. Users who are more than usual concerned about the safety of deleted data can recall the methods that existed a couple of decades ago (by the way, very expensive), which using special equipment can try to recover data by analyzing the residual magnetization of tracks. The theoretical idea of ​​the method is to detect traces of information that was previously recorded on a track by analyzing weak residual magnetization (a variation of the method is the analysis of edge magnetization when data from the gaps between tracks are trying to read). The method worked great for drives the size of a cabinet and electromagnets that could rip off a military cockade. The method showed noticeably worse results on disks with a volume of tens of megabytes and worked very poorly with drives that were close to a gigabyte (no, this is not an error, here we are talking about megabytes and gigabytes).

In theory, traces of remanent magnetization can be tried to recover from areas shown in yellow (source: www.anandteth.com)

For modern drives with a high recording density, the volume of which is measured in terabytes, there are no confirmed cases of successful application of this method, and for disks that use “tiled” SMR recording, the approach is impossible in principle.

In modern drives, the data recording density is too high for the method to work (source: www.anandteth.com)

However, in order to exclude even the theoretical possibility of its use, it is enough to overwrite the disk not with zeros, but with a certain sequence of data - sometimes more than once.

Algorithms for the guaranteed destruction of information

Many organizations use special procedures for the disposal of information storage devices, implying their reorganization (irretrievable destruction of information). Destructive methods are used to destroy truly classified information, but software algorithms can be used for data that are not of particular value. There are a great many such algorithms.

Let's start with the well-known, but misinterpreted American standard DoD 5220.22-M. Most free and commercial applications that support this standard refer to the old (valid until 2006) revision. Indeed, from 1995 to 2006, the “military” standard for the destruction of information permitted the use of a method of overwriting data. The standard implied a threefold rewriting of the disc. The first pass recorded any character, then its XOR compliment, and finally, in the last pass, a random sequence. For example, like this:

Currently, the military does not use this algorithm; for reorganization, carriers physically destroy or completely demagnetize what is called a "crucible of a nuclear explosion." However, to destroy unclassified information, this algorithm is still used in various US government agencies.

Canadian police destroy classified information using a proprietary DSX utility. The utility overwrites the data with zeros, then with units, and then writes to the disk a sequence of data in which information about the utility version, date and time of data destruction is encoded. Secret information is still destroyed along with the carrier.

Similarly, the famous cryptography specialist Bruce Schneier offers to destroy information. The algorithm he proposed differs from Canadian development only in that the third pass records not a predefined sequence of data, but a pseudo-random one. At the time of publication, this algorithm, using a random number generator for rewriting, was criticized as being slower than algorithms that recorded a predefined sequence of data. Today (as well as yesterday and the day before) it is difficult to imagine a processor that can at least somehow load such a simple task, but at the time the algorithm was published in 1993, i486 class processors were operating at frequencies of the order of 20–66 MHz ...

In Germany, a slightly different approach has been taken to destroy unclassified data. The BSI Verschlusssachen-IT-Richtlinien (VSITR) standard allows you to use from two to six passes (depending on the classification of information) that record alternately a pseudorandom sequence and its XOR compliment. The last pass records the sequence 01010101.

Finally, as a technical curiosity, we cite the Peter Gutman algorithm, which suggested rewriting in 35 passes. The algorithm published in 1996 was based on a theoretical assumption of a level of residual magnetism of 5% and already at the time of publication looked like only a theoretical refinement. Nevertheless, this algorithm is also supported by many applications for information destruction. In fact, its use is redundant and completely meaningless, even triple rewriting of information on any of the above algorithms will give exactly the same result.

Which algorithm to use? For modern (not older than 10–15 years old) hard drives, a single rewrite with a pseudo-random sequence is more than enough for reliable destruction of information. Everything that is done beyond this can only calm internal paranoia, but in no way reduce the likelihood of successful recovery of information.

Stands for pencils and pens

From floppy disks it is convenient to make square stands for pencils, pens, and other stationery.

Connect the floppy disks together, the bottom can be glued or also attached with the help of clamps.

And here is a variant of a convenient inclined pencil box. In this model, screws were used to mount the box of floppy disks in an inclined position.

Floppy disk

Floppy disks will serve as an excellent hard cover for a notebook. Connect two floppy disks and a stack of white sheets between them using metal rings.

A more stylish and time-consuming option is to use a floppy disk as part of a leather notebook cover with a magnet clasp.

Floppy Bags

A very interesting and unusual idea of ​​using old diskettes is to make bags out of them! Of course, such a bag is not very convenient, and it looks, frankly, strange. However, such an accessory design deserves to be! But the bag from floppy disks will not crumple, will not tear and will even preserve fragile and glass objects inside!

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