Stuff I did or believed as a kid (geek version)

  1. I remember in highschool, a friend said he could hack into government servers by using this ‘leet’ tool called Neotrace. (Which is a GUI traceroute). I asked where he got this tool from. He said it is illegal and his brother gave him a copy. I didn’t know anything about computers at that stage, so I believed him. Then a year later I got into security a little, and googled ‘NeoTrace’. Man I felt like an idiot! What is more worrying is that he actually believed he was hacking into stuff as the ping hopped around the screen to different routers.
  2. I remember in school, a Swedish exchange student said he created a hardcore virus which he had on a floppy disk. It was actually a .bat file of deltree /y C:\*.* . I was only 13 or so at the time, so thought it was pretty hardcore… That kid was walking around the school like a pimp. He even started wearing a leather jacket and cologne. He also had a little underling who used to follow him around and managed his social affairs. “If you want to speak to Mattias about his virus, you have to take a number.”
  3. When I was a kid, a friend just got a 56k modem with his new computer. (Windows 95, baby). He said that he was a hacker ‘because he had a modem’, and he didn’t want to show me how it worked out of fear his dad would get mad. One day we were sitting at the computer playing Carmageddon, and I was like “hey so show me how to hack!”. As his dad was at work, he mischievously closed the game, and went to ‘dial-up connections’ and hit ‘connect’. The angelic sound of the modem started to ring, hiss and buzz. He started to scream and hit ‘disconnect’ before it was finished. “That’s as much as I can show you… it’s pretty hardcore.” I thought we had just done something criminal, and was expecting the feds to kick in the door at any second.
  4. Which reminds me of when I was 16, my idiotic older brother came into my room, and said ‘wow, that’s a nice looking modem!’.. as he pointed to my Logitech speaker’s subwoofer.
  5. When I got my first computer as a teen, it ran Windows ME. I told everyone at school that Windows ME was far superior to anything they had. Until I came across an article on how Linux is the best OS for ‘hackers’. So I went to the newsagent and bought a Linux magazine which came with Red Hat 7 and Mandrake. It came with instructions on how to install it. So naively following the instructions, I ended up installing over top of my Windows partition and lost all my files. What was worse is, I didn’t know how to get the GUI up… it took me about 4 days of following this magazine on ‘how to use Linux’ until it got to a chapter called ‘Start X’. Man, that was a tough 4 days (and this was before the days I had the interwebs). My mum would walk past me sitting on my new computer, and all I seemed to be doing was typing commands hopelessly into a back shell with tears rolling down my face.
  6. One of my finer moments was when my friend at school told me he had this ‘thing’ called a ‘CD Burner’. He explained to me he could make copies of Music CDs and his burner had a feature called ‘Overburn!’. I went all the way to his house to check it out, because I didn’t believe him. I hadn’t been so impressed in a long time. The speedy 2x burner churned through disks at the blinding speed of 1 every 4 hours. This was the point in my life when I realised humanity had evolved from apes, to highly technological creatures.
  7. When I was a teenager, I thought it would be cool to be a Database Administrator as a profession.
  8. When I was in school, I thought I was bordering on being Zero-Cool (Dade Murphy) because I figured out how to use ‘net send’ to send messages to other computers in the PC Lab, and edit the registry to make a pop up message appear on next login. Now the Swedish virus pimp had left, I was the new king in school.
  9. I remember in high school, one of the geeky girls was trying to impress us. She came in to school with a floppy disk. “On it…” she said “is the full versions of Age of Empires, Starcraft and Diablo”. One of my friends claimed it was impossible to fit all of that onto a floppy. She insisted she ‘had her ways’. Upon taking the floppy home and opening it, there was 3 shortcuts to all of the games she mentioned, with blank icons… with plenty of Kb to spare.
  10. When I was a teen, I thought that the IT teachers were smart. Until I cracked their passwords using Cain and discovered that the 3 admins passwords were ‘computer’ ‘password’ and ‘internet5′ – more troubling was that they never changed for the duration of my education.

  1. Stuff I did, or believed as a kid (geek version)

  1. I remember in highschool, a friend said he could hack into government servers by using this ‘leet’ tool called Neotrace. (Which is a GUI traceroute). I asked where he got this tool from. He said it is illegal and his brother gave him a copy. I didn’t know anything about computers at that stage, so I believed him. Then a year later I got into security a little, and googled ‘NeoTrace’. Man I felt like an idiot! What is more troublesome is that he actually believed he was hacking into stuff as the ping went around the screen to different routers.

  1. I remember in school, a Swedish exchange student said he created a hardcore virus which he had on a floppy disk. It was actually a .bat file of deltree /y C:\*.* . I was only 13 or so at the time, so thought it was pretty hardcore… That kid was walking around the school like a pimp. He even started wearing a leather jacket and cologne. He also had a little underling who used to follow him around and managed his social affairs. “If you want to speak to Mattias about his virus, you have to take a number.”

  1. When I was a kid, a friend just got a 56k modem with his new computer. (Windows 95, baby). He said that he was a hacker ‘because he had a modem’, and he didn’t want to show me how it worked out of fear his dad would get mad. One day we were sitting at the computer playing Carmageddon, and I was like “hey so show me how to hack!”. As his dad was at work, he mischievously closed the game, and went to ‘dial-up connections’ and hit ‘connect’. The angelic sound of the modem started to ring, hiss and buzz. He started to scream and hit ‘disconnect’ before it was finished. “That’s as much as I can show you… it’s pretty hardcore.” I thought we had just done something criminal, and was expecting the feds to kick in the door at any second.

  1. Which reminds me of when I was 16, my idiotic older brother came into my room, and said ‘wow, that’s a nice looking modem!’.. as he pointed to my Logitech speaker’s subwoofer.

  1. When I got my first computer at a teen, it ran Windows ME. I told everyone at school that Windows ME was far superior to anything they had. Until I came across an article on how Linux is the best OS for ‘hackers’. So I went to the newsagent and bought a Linux magazine which came with Red Hat 7 and Mandrake. It came with instructions on how to install it. So naively following the instructions, I ended up installing over top of my Windows partition and lost all my files. What was worse is, I didn’t know how to get the GUI up… it took me about 4 days of following this magazine on ‘how to use Linux’ until it got to a chapter called ‘Start X’. Man, that was a tough 4 days (and this was before the days I had the interwebs). My mum would walk past me sitting on my new computer, and all I seemed to be doing was typing commands hopelessly into a back shell with tears rolling down my cheeks.

  1. One of my finer moments was when my friend at school told me he had this ‘thing’ called a ‘CD Burner’. He explained to me he could make copies of Music CDs and his burner had a feature called ‘Overburn!’. I went all the way to his house to check it out, because I didn’t believe him. I hadn’t been so impressed in a long time. The speedy 2x burner churned through disks at the blinding speed of 1 every 4 hours. This was the point in my life when I realised humanity had evolved from apes, to highly technological creatures.

  1. When I was a teenager, I thought it would be cool to be a Database Administrator as a profession.

  1. When I was in school, I thought I was bordering on being Zero-Cool (Dade Murphy) because I figured out how to use ‘net send’ to send messages to other computers in the PC Lab, and edit the registry to make a pop up message appear on next login. Now the Swedish virus pimp had left, I was the new king in school.

5 thoughts on “Stuff I did or believed as a kid (geek version)

  1. LOL. Classic stuff :)

    You’ve got to love the naivity of the young brain. Reminds me of when I first discovered proxies… and if i chained atleast 2, I was invincible. Attitude soon changed when my parents got a harshly worded letter from our ISP.

  2. Programming on my C64, would write little choose your own adventure games and get others to play them. Thought it was awesome at the time. Realised one fateful day they already had books that you could read which did the same thing #fail.

  3. When I was about 10, I got a second VCR recorder for my room. I figured out that you could copy VHS tapes from the video store by covering the little ‘protection tab’ on the front of the tape. This lead me to the discovery that you could also tape OVER rented tapes.

    So every time I hired a movie i didn’t like, I’d tape porn over credits. One time I put a 1 second snippet in the middle of a movie, fight club style. TAKE THAT VIDEO EZY!

  4. Off topic a little. But still ‘geeky’. When i was a kid i thought i was on par with James Bond when I found out that my parents stashed my Christmas presents in their cupboard months before Christmas arrived.

    I would usually ask for Sega games. So when I saw the game case in Mum’s cupboard, I would take the game out and replace it with one of my old games, hoping she wouldn’t realise.

    So come Christmas day, when she is sitting there watching me open my presents: “Why aren’t you excited, I thought you wanted that game!?” She would say. Little did she know I had been playing it for months, and probably finished it 3 times over.

    Nice list btw ;)

    J

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