“I was an 18-year-old chemistry major working at Dunkin’ Donuts
when I got my first help desk job. Over a weekend, I went from
deep-frying old fashioned donuts to fixing whatever computer a
student brought in off the street. And I spent months in the
computing center with guys who told stories. I learned about
14-year olds writing hotel management software for their parents,
the insane phone bills for long-distance BBS connections, and
all-nighters to unlock the secrets of some new feature on a
motherboard. I met the guys who worked with PDP-11s in college and
now were running NFS fileservers for corporations.
“I also knew the UNIX admins at the university who laughed out
loud about writing a Towers of Hanoi program in a sendmail config.
I knew the geeks who were loving the university’s gigabit
network–mainly for finding porn and cracked software. I went with
the guys to DefCon and was horrified, but also fascinated, when
they announced that someone had poured concrete in the