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Group nets computers for Africa

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 08, 2013

AFRICA CONNECTION:   Simon Griffin, Nigel Knowlman and Bob Gower, from Cheltenham Sunrise Rotary

AFRICA CONNECTION: Simon Griffin, Nigel Knowlman and Bob Gower, from Cheltenham Sunrise Rotary

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USED computers and laptops, along with other gadgets and gismos, are soon to be rebuilt and sent all the way from Cheltenham to school children in East Africa, thanks to a charity drive.

Ninety computers have been donated by individuals across Gloucestershire to the Cheltenham Sunrise, North Cotswold, and Severn Vale rotary clubs, for IT Schools Africa, which will refurbish the laptops.

Allan Berry, a member of Cheltenham Sunrise Rotary, said: "All of the computers are going to schools, where there will be four or five children to a computer. It's just something we take for granted over here.

"Most importantly, all the hard drives are totally cleaned by an approved programme used by the American military.

"I think people giving their computers away were pleased to get rid of them, but that they were going to be used rather than discarded. Some of the computers weren't very old."

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  • originalbjm  |  January 08 2013, 4:31PM

    Having read the comments on this and the previous article on the same topic, I have come to the conclusion, based on the number of out-of-date, inaccurate, paranoid and downright ignorant made about computer security, that there are far too many people on this site with ready access to a technology that they clearly only partially understand, this understanding being based on the usual scare stories that they read in the Daily Fail. What I suggest is, all those of you who are concerned that, after being wiped with KillDisk, their highly secret and vital data can be readily obtained by the secret squirrel spammers of Darkest Africa, step away from your machines, re-apply your tin foil hats, switch off the machine AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER SWITCH IT ON AGAIN. That way you will be perfectly safe, and the rest of us won't have to read your ramblings.

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  • EllJay1  |  January 08 2013, 4:08PM

    Hard drives are pretty cheap these days so, if you are worried about data theft - remove and smash up your hard drive and donate the computer and peripherals to a charity that then only has to fit a new hard drive. I bought a redundant computer from my employers some years ago. They removed and destroyed the hard drive and I got a friend to source and install a new one.

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 08 2013, 2:54PM

    I see the Ludites from The Square Earth Society have been been let out! Time and technology moves on guys.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 08 2013, 12:29PM

    herecomesbod..........................hilarious. I'd check the first line of your comment @ 9.36am, to which I was responding, oh irony, irony. And besides, the comment 'where have you been, obviously not on this planet', is not a personal attack, it's a figure of speech, à la, 'you're really not up to sped on this old chap'. Check this; http://tinyurl.com/b997npv ....and you will see that not only are the vast majority anti, for numerous reasons, but the reds and greens really do point the way.

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  • dartacus  |  January 08 2013, 12:26PM

    It's safe to remove your tinfoil hats now, everybody. I work in IT. I can assure you that there are methods which will irrevocably and securely wipe a hard drive with absolutely no risk of any data being left behind. Even freely available, open-source tools are more than capable of doing this. The US Department of Defence benchmarks which are used to judge the thoroughness of these operations are extremely exacting. Your data is GONE, forever. There IS such a thing as completely deleted, and it is perfectly safe to donate an old computer in this way. Doing so will provide a badly needed educational resource to people who really need it.

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  • xtortion  |  January 08 2013, 12:23PM

    This may help for those worried about truly wiping out data.... http://tinyurl.com/b7n55ma

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  • InspectorGade  |  January 08 2013, 10:58AM

    What have you got on your hard drive that you are really worried about people getting their hands on? You shouldn't keep ANY sensitive data on your hard drive as its more likely to be compromised by trojan viruses in your own home than African school children learning about Microsoft Office. And yes, deleting the file doesn't actually wipe it, but the process of overwriting with random data, wiping, repeating multiple times does. This is what IT Schools for Africa does.

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  • valhalla2010  |  January 08 2013, 10:41AM

    @ herecomesbod, there is NO SUCH THING as 'completely deleted'.

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  • Matt1006  |  January 08 2013, 10:38AM

    herecomesbod - there may well be tools available to (apparently) irrevocably wipe clean a hard drive, but I wouldn't trust them. It's my old computer, and I'm not willing to risk it still containing ANY personal information that somebody else could access. What (if any) comebacks are there on such tools, if they fail to do their job and you are then scammed by some IT whizkid thousands of miles away??? You might be willing to risk it, but I'm not.

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  • herecomesbod  |  January 08 2013, 10:36AM

    Well done. Open your reply with an ad hominem - congratulations. There isn't any personal information or data because you've securely removed it all with the easily available tools. That is not a hard thing to understand.

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