Most of those old devices I keep are within 20 feet of me right now. So, it is more like "try not to notice every day."
However, with programs like DOSbox, I am considering recycling the old PCs. Though, perhaps they are becoming collector's items now. My father sold all his old 12" foppy disk based PCs and such on Ebay not too long ago for quite a bit. The original boxes fetched a healthy price on their own.
DBAN is great. Running it 10 times would definitely wipe a harddrive enough so the average, and even adept, user would not be able to get data off the drive. Perhaps the NSA could get recover whatever is on there...
However, DBAN is currently not set up to use on cell phones. Perhaps in the near future.
And yes, the hammer to the drive is a good idea. Even those platter pieces could have recoverable data on them. Use this method as a last resort.
Cabe - So are you saying that DBAN isn't even that great? Your recommendation for running it 10 times makes me a bit nervous. I'm thinking going back to the old sledge hammer is the best approach. (Actually, drill press, but the sledg hammer makes a better visual).
Unfortunately, I can't just put gear in the basement, per say. After letting a bunch of old computers and laptops age from being worth a little money to garbage, I don't like to house tech anymore. I like to sell what I don't use, and buy the next new "whatever."
However, I have destroyed harddrives when I worked in medical IT. That is always an option.
PS. I still have a 286, 386, and 486 PC in storage. The computers of my youth, to be exact. Old video game consoles I can't seem to part with. A few webOS based cell phones, I just like to have as backup. So, perhaps I do follow your suggestion.
I'm not surprised that company is doing a booming business, bobjengr. I've talked to countless people who say they're afraid to get rid of their old electronics, especially if they used them to buy something online.
Very informative post Cabe. I do just about the same a Charles indicated in his comments: just put the old laptops, cell phones, etc etc in the basement and buy new. I was just made aware of a company in my home town that provides a service wiping PC hard-disks and cell phone memory. It's (apparently) doing a booming business. They also repair cell phones when damaged. It's a retail establishment so I paid them a visit to see what they were all about. I was amazed and the business they do wiping memory. Obviously this is a definite need prior to tossing, selling or giving electronics to other people. Great post.
The style of "wiping" a phone's data is a sensitive matter. Only user modified space can have the process applied. Some of which is in an OS or hardware protected space. IE:phone's contacts, text messages, etc. So, those areas need surgical style writing and rewriting of bits to cover over the original data. A process like DBAN will overwrite all data it has access to. DBAN, for example, may not get to all of a phone's data, in other words.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.