Macs cost less than PCs - if you erase the disks

From the why-didn't-I-think-of-that? departmentOver on Salon, Farhad Manjoo connected the dots between purchase price and resale value of Macs and PCs.

From the why-didn't-I-think-of-that? department Over on Salon, Farhad Manjoo connected the dots between purchase price and resale value of Macs and PCs. He compared a bunch of systems and here's what he found:

If you used your HP for a year and then sold it, you would have spent $449 to own it -- that is, your purchase price of $699 minus your sale price of $250. The Mac Mini, for the same year, would have set you back far less: $799 minus $500, or just $299.

And that is not including the cost, in money and time, of anti-virus software.

Elegance is free! Over on the Wall Street Journal tech blog the worthy Ben Worthen notes the Salon article, but excuses business for not buying Macs:

Few companies resell computers that employees have used. And if they did, they probably shouldn’t: This study shows that it’s possible to recover the data that used to be on a computer, even if the hard disk has been erased.

Repeating a canard doesn't make it true.

Yes, hard drives can be erased . . . As loyal Storage Bits readers know, from How to really erase a hard drive, it is indeed possible to erase a hard drive using the ANSI standard Secure Erase commands built into every ATA drive in the last 6 years.

Secure Erase is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) to meet the requirements of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FACTA and Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Once performed, you can resell that Mac, take your money and pick up one of those sharp 24" iMacs.

"But Robin, we're business weenies. We need protection!" In fact, a company up on the New Hampshire coast - you figure it out, there's only 17 miles of it - named Ensconce, sells a machine that will ANSI standard erase 3 drives at once using Secure Erase technology.

From Intelligent Computer Solutions there is the much cheaper - for a reason -

. . . Wipe MASSter unit erases data from and sanitizes hard drives at speeds exceeding 3GB/Min for 9 drives simultaneously. Wipe out your drives in a fast mode or per DOD specs.

The difference: the MASSter uses the older 7x DOD standard, while Ensconce goes with the Secure Erase system. On the other hand, you can get 4 MASSters handling 36 drives for the same price as a 3 drive Ensconce. Secure Erase is much faster and more secure, but it could be overkill for some folks.

The Storage Bits take Apple doesn't make low-end systems, so you'll always be able to buy a cheaper PC. But what the Salon article points out is that you may not be buying as valuable a PC.

For the business market Secure Erase means that you *can* resell systems safely. So those savings are available to business - despite what the Wall Street Journal says.

Comments welcome, of course.


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