Tech Support Pits column from  Dear Webby's Humor Letter
widely read, forwarded, copied and imitated daily since 1994
Dear Webby's Humor Letter, daily since 1994

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DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.

Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear Webby Humor Letter.

This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.

Have FUN!
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
06/29/04: Old floppies

Tech Support Pits:
From Jean=== Dear Webby, I have quite a few shoeboxes full of 1.4 MB floppies that I have no use for any more because I have not had a computer with a floppy drive for a few years. It was a lot easier than I thought to get out of the floppy habit. Now I want to give the floppies to a local charity, because there are still a lot of people using them. My concern is that some of them, well probably most, may have confidential information on them. Is there a quick and easy way to erase them all? Thanks Jean Dear Jean A bulk tape eraser or any electromagnet will do that just fine. Cow magnets, and the magnets sold to gullible people for reducing their cars fuel consumption, will work fine too. The problem with that method is that the disks are not formatted and still need to be formatted before using them again, which can baffle new users. That method is used for the highest level of security. The next lower level is to fully format them. You would have to take them to somebody who still has a floppy drive to do that. The lowest level of security is a quick format. If the data is not that sensitive or if the recipients are not likely to use fancy utilities to un-format the floppies, the quick format is good enough. The fastest way to do that is from the command line. START RUN cmd then type: format a: /Q When that floppy is done, use the UP arrow to repeat the command for the next floppy. There are "shredder" programs that are quite safe too, but they are way too slow for processing a shoebox full of floppies. Have FUN Dear Webby
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