I have piles of old CDROMs and DVDs lying around. Promotional
distributions, demo software, conference handouts. Drivers for
hardware I no longer own. Operating systems I no longer use. I
have absolutely no use for the data that's on these discs, and yet
I cannot bring myself to throw them away. In my mind's eye, I can
see them lying in a landfill for eternity, their non-biodegradable
metal and plastic and all. I am not aware of a process that can
economically reclaim the polycarbonate or the metal content from
The Time to Recycle CDs is Now
I have good experience using CNC machines for artwork and to
make parts for my airplanes. I want to translate this experience
into a process for cutting old CDs into new, useful things.
I take a stack of CDs and make a clock out of them, hands and
all. I hang it above my desk to remind me when's a good time to
work on this project.
I remember owning a Spirograph set as a child. Most everyone
I know has this memory, or a memory of buying one for their
children. Denys Fisher designs precision springs in the 1950s
and 60s. He develops the Spirograph as a drafting aid in
1962. It finds a niche as an educational toy and eventually
sells over 100 million copies. In 1970, Fisher sells his company
to Hasbro, Inc. who own the "Spirograph" trademark and continue
to manufacture sets (check out this $39.99
version on Amazon.com).
I am cutting my version out of old compact discs. I like the
juxtaposition of pure-digital medium and completely mechanical
operation of my rendition.
A previous version of this page includes a widget that allows
readers to name a price for a set and place a PayPal order
at that price. This mechanism of price discovery, while
novel, proves untenable. If you wish to buy a set, you can write
to me and make an offer--while supplies last.