Toasties - Data Destruction

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The Toasties Nuke Guide

Like any art form, nuking CDs requires a certain combination of inspiration, luck, perseverance, and method. You're on your own for the first three, but we can help you out on method. This here is the definitive guide to Nuking CDs by Microwave!

Equipment

  • Choosing a CD: With the huge variety of music, data, and CD-R disks available to the nuker, this is a decision not to be taken lightly. Please see our CD selection guide
  • A stand: Basically anything that keeps the disk flat (parallel to the microwave floor) and a few inches above the microwave floor is fine. However, we recommend a styrofoam coffee cup. You could also use a rolled up piece of paper, but be careful - if it gets too hot, it may catch fire!
  • Microwave: The more power, the more fun! We've had some good results with a 1000 watt microwave, but other powers work too.

Instructions

  1. Place the stand in the center of the microwave, with the CD (labelled side down) on the center of the stand.
  2. Set a time (see timing guide.)
  3. Turn off the lights if you want a nice light show.
  4. We shouldn't need to say this step, but just in case any of you are dumber than we think, be sure to close the microwave door before you begin! :)
  5. Press start!
  6. After the CDs are done, quickly open the door to let out the fumes. Let the CD stand for maybe 10-15 seconds before taking it out, so you don't risk burning yourself.
  7. Take out the CD, and look at all them purty colours!

What you will see, hear, and smell

After about 2 seconds, you will see blue sparks start to flash. This is arguably the coolest part of the whole experience, and to make the light show even nicer, turn off the lights. The sparks will continue for another 5-10 seconds, after which the CD might start to melt and sag a bit. Any longer than that is not recommended, and we will not be held responsible if you try anything longer.

When you open your microwave, you will notice a distinct odour, similar to the smell of burnt electronics. It isn't going to kill you (immediately), but you should air out the room as quickly as possible. One of those ventilators that are generally installed above stoves is good.

The patterns seen in the nuked disks seems to vary a lot, depending on how long you cooked them, as well as the type of disk. We haven't yet found out exactly why some disks only crackle inside (just the aluminum), while others crackle and melt (inside and out).

Final words of wisdom

Well, all we can really say is to have fun, and to not be afraid to experiment (all within safety limits of course!)

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