Is one man’s digital trash another man’s digital treasure?
There comes a time in every computer user’s life when he (or she) needs to get rid of a file. Perhaps it’s no longer useful; perhaps one merely needs to free up some extra space – for whatever reason, it’s always simple to just click it and delete it.
But what if there were some other way to handle things?
Enter Dumpster Drive, an application for Mac OS X that aims to turn the contents of your recycle bin into the equivalent of a real-life dumpster that anyone can sift through. Instead of deleting a file normally, you would move it to the Dumpster Drive – and then when you actually empty the drive, your files are scattered onto one communal trash pool.
Any one person can then download a file from the trash pool, but the emphasis there is on the “one.” Like a real dumpster, once someone takes something it’s gone.
Obviously, there are security concerns with something like this. Not only do you need to be very careful you’re only dumpster-ing files that you are comfortable sharing with a complete stranger, but this is also the sort of thing that could be easily used to spread viruses and malware. One would hope that the communal trash pool would thoroughly scan incoming files, but there are always ways around that sort of thing.
I’m not sure if Dumpster Drive will end up with any practical purpose, but if nothing else it’s certainly an interesting idea. At the moment it’s only compatible with Mac OS X – though the source code has been released for those who want to recode it for other platforms – so if you’re using a Mac and want to give it a try, you can grab it here.