Well, there I was trying to smash up some old CDs with confidential data from long-dead projects... but my hammers kept bouncing off. Darn pesky persistent data... rassin' fassin' drassin'... What was I to do? Well... the only sensible answer was to look at the Net. Here's what I found...

Cody The Freak has a good overview of this: he recommends fire and scissors, but has a number of other options you might also enjoy (axe, microwave, craft, etc).

Fellowes make a nifty-sounding combined CD-and-paper shredder called the PS70-2CD... but where's the fun in that, eh?

Adam Smith goes more into the chemistry of CDRs. In short, microwaves bad, fire good (if a bit smelly).

Posters on one music archive discussed how to destroy a (St Lunatics) Nelly CD. The best suggestion: Write your name on it and wear it around your neck on a big silver chain. Then maybe it will get broken when someone beats the crap out of you. Who said that there were no good ideas on the Net?

Finally, Freenet-Chat had a post from "Signal 11", who recommended an acetylene torch (but to use it in a really well-ventilated place). I suspect that microwaving CDs to death may have messed up his uwave oven... but what do I know?

My recommendation? Simply cut them in four with a hefty pair of scissors - burning them would stink your neighbourhood out, and microwaving them may well mess your kitchen up. And I doubt that using them as ersatz clay pigeons would work (if if it would be satisfying to try it with AOL CDs). If you've got reason to be more paranoid than that, They've probably already made copies of all your data anyway, so it's probably too late to worry - and here They come now... Run! Run!! RUN!!! :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....