The Dink Network

How does this work?

April 19th 2005, 02:44 PM
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...computer diskette BTK sent to a TV station apparently contained an electronic imprint from a computer at the church...

Umm. How could a computer be traced? Does every computer have a distinct traceable signature? imprint? And who keeps up with that type of info so as to be able to trace a computer? Or did the church itself install something on their computer that puts some sort of hidden ID # or name on all recordable material? (my choice) Tx
April 19th 2005, 07:32 PM
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Chrispy
Peasant Male Canada
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to.I guess. 
Probably something like a document with the church's name in the header or something.
April 19th 2005, 07:46 PM
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No, it says an "electronic imprint".
April 19th 2005, 08:16 PM
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redink1
King Male United States xbox steam bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
Newspapers and other media will often 'dumb-down' computer concepts to reach a larger audience. Like Chrispy, my first impression is some sort of meta-data stored in a Word document. Word often stores a lot of information that isn't related to the document itself, such as the author and such. It might store the computer name as well.

As it is, I can't think of a specific 'electronic imprint', and it is such a vague term... it could mean almost anything.
April 19th 2005, 09:44 PM
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I know I'm awfully dumb 'bout wheel barrows and other machinery', but I do like butterscotch! heh

So Word can send information attached to a diskette without the sender's knowledge? Or do most people already know that?

Oops! I need to get back that bare-it-all disk I sent to Alli, whom I fondly remember.

April 19th 2005, 10:34 PM
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redink1
King Male United States xbox steam bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
Yeah, some information, but usually just the name of the person who the license for Word is given to. In some limited cases, it might hide words and paragraphs that you deleted.
April 20th 2005, 12:47 AM
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merlin
Peasant Male
 
The story I heard about that was that the disk he sent in was actually a CDRW that had been previously erased. The data erased was recovered and read.
April 20th 2005, 02:29 AM
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If a document on a disk is erased, it's not really erased even when copied over??? Is that just for floppy's and cd's or on the hard drive too? And if harddrive always keeps parts? all? of something...

Then all the outdated (old games) or unused programs (got a better one) on a person's harddrive that is taking up needed room is never really deleted? Then why is there a 'remove and uninstall' program in the control panel and included in most programs?
April 20th 2005, 03:00 AM
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magicman
Peasant Male Netherlands steam duck
Mmmm, pizza. 
It isn't deleted, but rather removed from the FAT (File Allocation Table). Programs like "undelete" can recover these data. However, if space is really needed for new programs or files, the old ones will be overwritten without you noticing anything.
April 20th 2005, 03:07 AM
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merlin
Peasant Male
 
Here's how it works:

Your data is a series of 1's and 0's on the drive. Now, say you fill up your disk with data, and then delete everything on it. Well, in reality, all you're doing is removing the *reference* to the file - the data is still stored on the disk. The data will remain on the disk until it is written over by something else, which could take a long time depending where on the disk the data was.

For example, if the disk was half full and an offending file was added and later deleted, the file remains on the disk. Now, say your files were removed. You would have to write a lot of data back to overwrite that other file - whatever size your disk is divided by two plus the size of the file - in theory, anyway: most of the time data isn't sequentially added, and that's where defragmentation comes in, but that's tangential.

So, that's why formatting your drive - even using Windows format - doesn't remove the data. You have to do something called a Low Level format, which writes zeroes over every available space on your drive, to remove your data. But residue can still remain and recovery is still possible. That's why the Department of Defense developed the DoD 5220-22.M wipe method, which writes hex values across your hard drive seven times (there are others, such as Canada's RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, or the Gutmann process from New Zealand). After doing these you can be pretty sure your data won't be recovered.

EDIT: Magicman, FAT is only one type of filesystem, developed by Microsoft. Decent file systems use an inode-based system.
April 20th 2005, 03:20 AM
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magicman
Peasant Male Netherlands steam duck
Mmmm, pizza. 
Decent file systems

April 20th 2005, 04:38 AM
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Thank both of you very much. That's much clearer now. I'm pretty sure I understand now.
I gave my old computer w/98 windows to a guy who tried to install 2000 XP. He said it couldn't be done and I needed a new and bigger this that and the other. So I got a new computer. He then said that he wiped the old computer completely clean and re-installed 98 back in it. That's all it supposedly had in it. He said none of the programs that I had added were in it anymore. I tried to reinstall my bookkeeping program back in it to use for backup purposes but it just said something about no room on the harddrive (or similar to that. It's been a while since it was hooked up). And yet the computer had the program before.

Could the harddrive have really not been wiped clean? Even tho, I'm gathering from what you said merlin, it should have been able to overwrite data if it was still hidden there?

Edit: I meant that I understood all but the part about divide the disk size by two and eat a banana.
April 20th 2005, 11:08 PM
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merlin
Peasant Male
 
First, you need to define what you mean by "clean." If you mean "clean" as in no files on the drive, then yes, it's clean. But, if you mean "clean" as in no data on the drive, then it's very possible it wasn't "clean."