Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thought for the day

One of the duties of a best friend should be to immediately delete the 'History' folder on your computer upon your death.

Just saying.

LawDog

28 comments:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but this could be bad if your spouse also doubles as your best friend.

~Jlwrites

Jared said...

I did just that for my father-in-law last year.

Alan said...

I did that when my dad died.

Sasha Khan said...

Iwas present when several of my female friends agreed to sanitize their 'magic drawers' as well as their computers, should the need arise.

911 and the Randomness.. said...

This should be a law...

Tim said...

Actually, shouldn't be problem for an honorable man or woman...should it? Just sayin'. . .

P said...

Did this last year for a buddy, actually seized his laptop from his desk, deleted a few chat groups and a few pics, nothing EWWWW!!! but enough that his kids or widow needed not to find them.

Rorschach said...

'Dog, why do I get the feeling there is a backstory here....


"Magic Drawers"? Hmm.. One would hope they keep them sanitary as a matter of course, wouldn't want any infections down there that would interfere with the magic coming out.... Or did you mean something else? =b

Anonymous said...

I do that on my computer every time I finish using it for the day - as well as deleting temp files and cookies...

Mossyrock said...

OPSEC is your friend.....

Larry said...

I must admit that I, too, am curious as to the events that brought on this particular piece of advice...

Sean said...

Similar to the old rule we had about someone in the unit going through the footlocker/dufflebag prior to sending anything home from a deployment...

Crucis said...

Better still is to wipe the entire hard drive---several times.

Anonymous said...

CAreful now.

There's being kind (what Lawdog is suggesting) by removing stuff that's private and perhaps pointless hurtful and deleting important information from a computer.

If you know that the decedent exchnaged a couple of racy emails that are of no general consequence I can see deleting them.

On the other hand deleting all email is like burning all the letters willy nilly - to be avoided.

We already have a huge problem in this age of electronbic ephemera.

Anonymous said...

[quote]Better still is to wipe the entire hard drive---several times.[/quote]

With a 12 guage slug.

Anonymous said...

The British comedy Coupling has addressed a similar idea before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9gnexnnIDc&feature=related

Camry said...

A few months ago, I was given the PC of someone who had gone back to his home state and offed himself. Apparently, he had reformatted the drive and reinstalled Windows just before he left. The Windows installation CD was still in the drive when I got the PC. I was very relieved to see everything had already been cleaned once I reset the BIOS password.

Given this level of planning, we can be reasonably sure it wasn't the gun that made him do it.

Nathaniel Firethorn said...

If you can't conveniently apply the 12ga slug to the hard drive, a 1/4" drill bit will sanitize it just as well.

Sheepdog said...

Have a burn box.

pax said...

A man doesn't post for weeks, then comes by and posts something like that. LawDog, is everything okay with you and yours?

BryanP said...

If you can't arrange for a friend to take care of something like that for you, I suggest a USB key or external hard drive that has been encrypted with TrueCrypt.

In addition to having any potentially embarrassing files stored on the encrypted volume, you can also keep on the same volume an installation of PortableApps which will let you run a completely self-contained browser (modified Firefox), as well as image viewers, video players, chat clients etc..

That way you can use the regular installations of such programs on your pc for the more innocuous type things, and save the encrypted volume for the Stuff Which Shouldn't Be Seen.

If you don't want to chance encrypting it, you can at least put all that on a tiny portable hard drive that you can lock up somewhere when you're not using it. Considering that you can now buy 1TB external drives smaller than a paperback book, there's not much excuse for leaving that sort of thing on your PC's internal drive where it may cause problems later.

And yes, I say this as someone who was called on to sanitize a computer for a friend of my wife. There were things on that PC that neither she nor her kids needed to see.

Maureen said...

This kind of thinking is exactly how one of my acquaintances managed to die suddenly in April without any of his out of town friends knowing about it until November.

People's harddrives are full of valuable information, stuff that their survivors may need. If they run a club, all the records are probably right there. If they were amateur writers or poets or artists, or if they just kept family photos, there's a world full of memories that their families would cherish. And so on.

In short, don't run around deleting everything.

threadbndr said...

Maureen.
When W died, I did not go through his computer. I'm sure there were things there that I didn't need to see. All the finance stuff was on my computer, but I'm sure he 'fell off the world' on some of his online forums and friendships. If so, I'm sorry, but it didn't even occur to me at the time.

In my "instructions to my son" file, there is a list of the online forums that I frequent and "people to be emailed" (online aquaintences, forum mods, etc)

In today's world, the obits won't reach all the people that need to know.

Elkad said...

A friend has asked me to format all drives except his external one. All family photos and such are stored on it.

Everything on the internal drives (several TB worth) is to go.

Anonymous said...

Also, never look into your 80-year old grandfather's browser history.

Ever.

There are things one doesn't need to know.

Anonymous said...

People, come on now, when someone we care about dies we need to remember that they were human and able to feel the full expression of desires we ALL have to a greater of lesser degree. There are no perfect human beings.

(NOTE: Men, the women already know you look at pornography. Women, the men already know you have pleasure toys.)

Elaborate plans to hide activities when we die indicates that we need to find ways to meet those needs and desires in a way that would not be a problem if someone discovered it. Especially since very few of us can pinpoint the exact day and time of our demise.

Takes some analysis and creativity but it seems like everyone here has plenty o' that and then some to spare.

As Mr. Dog so fittingly expresses it, just saying.

Anonymous said...

A thought, just set the browser to delete history when you exit. Much simpler.