Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor? - Palmtop

This is a discussion on Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor? - Palmtop ; My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away the Visor, for ...

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Thread: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

  1. Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    the Visor, for privacy reasons.

    Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    after you take the batteries out.

    So, could someone please tell me whether (A) it is safe to just pitch
    the thing or (B) if not, what we have to do to make it safe?

    Thanks!


  2. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Josh Mayfield wrote:
    >
    > My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    > with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    > PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    > the Visor, for privacy reasons.
    >
    > Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    > but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    > after you take the batteries out.
    >
    > So, could someone please tell me whether (A) it is safe to just pitch
    > the thing or (B) if not, what we have to do to make it safe?


    Smash it with a hammer.

    Seriously!

    Notan

  3. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Josh Mayfield wrote:
    > My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    > with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    > PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    > the Visor, for privacy reasons.
    >
    > Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    > but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    > after you take the batteries out.


    I believe the Visor is of the generation that was powered by AAA
    batteries and used a large capacitor to provide power to the memory
    while the batteries were removed. Since the capacitor charges from
    the AAA batteries, leaving the batteries out for long enough should
    cause the memory to be erased.

    The question is how long "long enough" is. One day is usually a
    good guess. A week is 99.9999% certain. I would just take the AAA
    batteries out and leave the Visor in a drawer for a week, then throw
    it in the trash.

    All this assumes you've tried doing a reset by punching the hidden
    button in the back. If you haven't, you should try that, because
    it possibly bring the Visor to life again (and you could do a hard
    reset to wipe the data, then sell the thing on eBay for $20 or
    whatever they're going for). If it doesn't, then you're probably
    pretty safe regardless since whoever wanted to steal your data
    would have to repair the Visor first (which would probably, in
    turn, wipe the data).

    - Logan

  4. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Logan Shaw wrote:
    > Josh Mayfield wrote:
    >
    >> My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    >> with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    >> PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    >> the Visor, for privacy reasons.
    >>
    >> Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    >> but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    >> after you take the batteries out.

    >
    >
    > I believe the Visor is of the generation that was powered by AAA
    > batteries and used a large capacitor to provide power to the memory
    > while the batteries were removed. Since the capacitor charges from
    > the AAA batteries, leaving the batteries out for long enough should
    > cause the memory to be erased.
    >
    > The question is how long "long enough" is. One day is usually a
    > good guess. A week is 99.9999% certain. I would just take the AAA
    > batteries out and leave the Visor in a drawer for a week, then throw
    > it in the trash.
    >
    > All this assumes you've tried doing a reset by punching the hidden
    > button in the back. If you haven't, you should try that, because
    > it possibly bring the Visor to life again (and you could do a hard
    > reset to wipe the data, then sell the thing on eBay for $20 or
    > whatever they're going for). If it doesn't, then you're probably
    > pretty safe regardless since whoever wanted to steal your data
    > would have to repair the Visor first (which would probably, in
    > turn, wipe the data).
    >
    > - Logan

    He might be able to sell the broken Visor on EBay. I have sold a broken
    Deluxe and a Prism on EBay who wanted them for parts (button board and
    or screen I guess). I got $15 and $25 respectively as I recall.

  5. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Logan Shaw wrote:

    > Josh Mayfield wrote:
    >> My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    >> with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    >> PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    >> the Visor, for privacy reasons.
    >>
    >> Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    >> but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    >> after you take the batteries out.

    >
    > I believe the Visor is of the generation that was powered by AAA
    > batteries and used a large capacitor to provide power to the memory
    > while the batteries were removed. Since the capacitor charges from
    > the AAA batteries, leaving the batteries out for long enough should
    > cause the memory to be erased.
    >
    > The question is how long "long enough" is. One day is usually a
    > good guess. A week is 99.9999% certain. I would just take the AAA
    > batteries out and leave the Visor in a drawer for a week, then throw
    > it in the trash.


    There's an interesting if somewhat technical paper on this at
    .

    I'd suspect that the Visor would show the long term effects he describes so
    it is in principle possible for someone with the right tools to recover the
    data even after a long while has passed. The techniques involved are not
    something that someone is going to do casually though--for someone to
    recover the data they'd have to be technically skilled, have a fairly well
    equipped electronics lab, and want it pretty badly. So unless Intel or the
    FBI or a reasonable facsimile thereof is really out to get them I'd say
    that the OP was probably pretty safe if he just let it sit for a week or so
    then tossed it.

    If he _is_ concerned that that kind of resource would be dedicated to
    recovering the data then the simplest thing to do is take a sledgehammer
    and wallop all the chips to powder and then spread the powder off a bridge.

    > All this assumes you've tried doing a reset by punching the hidden
    > button in the back. If you haven't, you should try that, because
    > it possibly bring the Visor to life again (and you could do a hard
    > reset to wipe the data, then sell the thing on eBay for $20 or
    > whatever they're going for). If it doesn't, then you're probably
    > pretty safe regardless since whoever wanted to steal your data
    > would have to repair the Visor first (which would probably, in
    > turn, wipe the data).
    >
    > - Logan


    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)

  6. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    J. Clarke wrote:
    > So unless Intel or the
    > FBI or a reasonable facsimile thereof is really out to get them I'd

    say
    > that the OP was probably pretty safe if he just let it sit for a week

    or so
    > then tossed it.
    >
    > If he _is_ concerned that that kind of resource would be dedicated to
    > recovering the data then the simplest thing to do is take a

    sledgehammer
    > and wallop all the chips to powder and then spread the powder off a

    bridge.

    I'm not at liberty to discuss why privacy is a concern... heh. No, we
    just didn't want some random jerk running off with my wife's personal
    records. Thanks for reminding me of the reset button- I just tried it
    though and no joy. The thing is just hosed. (Wifey admitted to
    dropping it recently and doesn't remember it working after that.)

    Also, while I'm aware that smashing the device is an option, it's one I
    preferred to avoid since I've gotten tiny shards of glass in my eyes
    and skin before and that's not something I'd ever like to repeat.
    Anyway, taking the advice of you and other posters, I've removed the
    batteries and put the Visor someplace out of the way where it will rest
    quietly until we throw it out- assuming we don't forget about it
    completely first.

    Thanks to all who replied!


  7. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Josh Mayfield wrote:
    >
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    > > So unless Intel or the
    > > FBI or a reasonable facsimile thereof is really out to get them I'd

    > say
    > > that the OP was probably pretty safe if he just let it sit for a week

    > or so
    > > then tossed it.
    > >
    > > If he _is_ concerned that that kind of resource would be dedicated to
    > > recovering the data then the simplest thing to do is take a

    > sledgehammer
    > > and wallop all the chips to powder and then spread the powder off a

    > bridge.
    >
    > I'm not at liberty to discuss why privacy is a concern... heh. No, we
    > just didn't want some random jerk running off with my wife's personal
    > records. Thanks for reminding me of the reset button- I just tried it
    > though and no joy. The thing is just hosed. (Wifey admitted to
    > dropping it recently and doesn't remember it working after that.)
    >
    > Also, while I'm aware that smashing the device is an option, it's one I
    > preferred to avoid since I've gotten tiny shards of glass in my eyes
    > and skin before and that's not something I'd ever like to repeat.
    > Anyway, taking the advice of you and other posters, I've removed the
    > batteries and put the Visor someplace out of the way where it will rest
    > quietly until we throw it out- assuming we don't forget about it
    > completely first.


    Wrap it it a towel, then THE HAMMER!

    Again, I'm perfectly serious... I've done it, many times,
    with dead cell phones.

    Notan

  8. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    Notan wrote:

    > Josh Mayfield wrote:
    >>
    >> J. Clarke wrote:
    >> > So unless Intel or the
    >> > FBI or a reasonable facsimile thereof is really out to get them I'd

    >> say
    >> > that the OP was probably pretty safe if he just let it sit for a week

    >> or so
    >> > then tossed it.
    >> >
    >> > If he _is_ concerned that that kind of resource would be dedicated to
    >> > recovering the data then the simplest thing to do is take a

    >> sledgehammer
    >> > and wallop all the chips to powder and then spread the powder off a

    >> bridge.
    >>
    >> I'm not at liberty to discuss why privacy is a concern... heh. No, we
    >> just didn't want some random jerk running off with my wife's personal
    >> records. Thanks for reminding me of the reset button- I just tried it
    >> though and no joy. The thing is just hosed. (Wifey admitted to
    >> dropping it recently and doesn't remember it working after that.)
    >>
    >> Also, while I'm aware that smashing the device is an option, it's one I
    >> preferred to avoid since I've gotten tiny shards of glass in my eyes
    >> and skin before and that's not something I'd ever like to repeat.
    >> Anyway, taking the advice of you and other posters, I've removed the
    >> batteries and put the Visor someplace out of the way where it will rest
    >> quietly until we throw it out- assuming we don't forget about it
    >> completely first.

    >
    > Wrap it it a towel, then THE HAMMER!
    >
    > Again, I'm perfectly serious... I've done it, many times,
    > with dead cell phones.


    Smashing it with a hammer doesn't make a Visor more secure than just taking
    the battery out. To make it more secure than that you have to make sure
    that the actual memory chips are destroyed. Just smashing the case won't
    do it. The right way is to take it apart first and then hit the chips
    directly, repeatedly, until they are just dust.

    It's even more so for cell phones, many if not most of which have
    nonvolatile memory that remains readable for years after the power has been
    removed.

    > Notan


    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)

  9. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >
    > Notan wrote:
    >
    > > Josh Mayfield wrote:
    > >>
    > >> J. Clarke wrote:
    > >> > So unless Intel or the
    > >> > FBI or a reasonable facsimile thereof is really out to get them I'd
    > >> say
    > >> > that the OP was probably pretty safe if he just let it sit for a week
    > >> or so
    > >> > then tossed it.
    > >> >
    > >> > If he _is_ concerned that that kind of resource would be dedicated to
    > >> > recovering the data then the simplest thing to do is take a
    > >> sledgehammer
    > >> > and wallop all the chips to powder and then spread the powder off a
    > >> bridge.
    > >>
    > >> I'm not at liberty to discuss why privacy is a concern... heh. No, we
    > >> just didn't want some random jerk running off with my wife's personal
    > >> records. Thanks for reminding me of the reset button- I just tried it
    > >> though and no joy. The thing is just hosed. (Wifey admitted to
    > >> dropping it recently and doesn't remember it working after that.)
    > >>
    > >> Also, while I'm aware that smashing the device is an option, it's one I
    > >> preferred to avoid since I've gotten tiny shards of glass in my eyes
    > >> and skin before and that's not something I'd ever like to repeat.
    > >> Anyway, taking the advice of you and other posters, I've removed the
    > >> batteries and put the Visor someplace out of the way where it will rest
    > >> quietly until we throw it out- assuming we don't forget about it
    > >> completely first.

    > >
    > > Wrap it it a towel, then THE HAMMER!
    > >
    > > Again, I'm perfectly serious... I've done it, many times,
    > > with dead cell phones.

    >
    > Smashing it with a hammer doesn't make a Visor more secure than just taking
    > the battery out. To make it more secure than that you have to make sure
    > that the actual memory chips are destroyed. Just smashing the case won't
    > do it. The right way is to take it apart first and then hit the chips
    > directly, repeatedly, until they are just dust.
    >
    > It's even more so for cell phones, many if not most of which have
    > nonvolatile memory that remains readable for years after the power has been
    > removed.


    While I didn't actually say so, I was suggesting exactly what you
    said... Not just smashing the case, but also the internal components.

    If the OP is worried about glass shards, just remove the case, then
    destroy the insides. Actually, there's no reason to smash the chips,
    as simply cutting them with a wire cutter, etc. will suffice.

    Notan

  10. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    I know people will moan about this but personally I'd remove the metal
    casing and stick the logic pcb in the microwave for 1 minute, along with a
    small glass of water in a m/wave-proof container. Works every time for
    cellphone SIM cards and a variety or novram chips.

    --

    "Give a man fire and he'll be warm for an evening.
    Set him on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "Josh Mayfield" wrote in message
    news:1114186961.443797.286550@z14g2000cwz.googlegr oups.com...
    > My wife's Handspring Visor broke a while ago (doesn't come on, even
    > with fresh batteries), and she has replaced it with one of the newer
    > PalmOne models, but we're unsure whether it's safe to just throw away
    > the Visor, for privacy reasons.
    >
    > Her model does not have a rechargeable battery (I think it takes AAAs),
    > but I don't know whether that means the memory is completely empty
    > after you take the batteries out.
    >
    > So, could someone please tell me whether (A) it is safe to just pitch
    > the thing or (B) if not, what we have to do to make it safe?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >




  11. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    AngloSaxonMark wrote:
    > I know people will moan about this but personally I'd remove the metal
    > casing and stick the logic pcb in the microwave for 1 minute, along with a
    > small glass of water in a m/wave-proof container. Works every time for
    > cellphone SIM cards and a variety or novram chips.
    >


    Can't ya just beat that stuff with a hammer until the bits are bits?

    Rich "If a hammer won't fix it it'll suuuure break it" G.

    --
    http://www.simplerich.com/blog

    Read my book!!!
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1411617576/

  12. Re: Safe to dispose of a broken Handspring Visor?

    On Wed, 18 May 2005 at 04:43 GMT, wrote:

    > AngloSaxonMark wrote:
    >> I know people will moan about this but personally I'd remove the metal
    >> casing and stick the logic pcb in the microwave for 1 minute, along with a
    >> small glass of water in a m/wave-proof container. Works every time for
    >> cellphone SIM cards and a variety or novram chips.
    >>

    >
    > Can't ya just beat that stuff with a hammer until the bits are bits?


    I've used a Mossberg 500 on various bits of hardware, to good effect.

    --
    http://cbsrmt.mousetrap.net/RMTdb/ CBS Radio Mystery Theater database
    CBSRMT uploads each day in
    http://greyhound.mousetrap.net/altus/ our ex-racer greyhound
    http://www.mousetrap.net/~mouse/cs.html How to get good phone support

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