Steven Zeck: Geek Factor

'Punk Aztec Elves' is one anagram of my name...

I'm also One of the Keepers of the Sacred Chao.

My Languages-of-choice are PERL C/C++, and x86/68k assembler. I'm mostly self-taught (I've been programming since I was about 8 years old), but I have a "C Language Programming Certificate" that I got during my Junior year of HS from the College of DuPage. I am also pretty good at Java, shell scripts and (shudder) BASIC. I'm reading level with Javascript and M. I love hacking (NOT cracking!). Unfortunately, there's no way to convey the sense of that word to someone who doesn't already understand it. To me, it means something like "solving interesting puzzles", and usually involves a computer, but not always. To most people, I just say that I love programming and let it go at that.

Programming has a lot in common with geometric proofs and calculus, even though advanced mathematical skills aren't usually required in 99.9% of the programs being written. In both cases, you are trying to solve a problem with a collection of "tools". In math, your tools are the formulae that have already been proven. In programming, your tools are the basic commands offered to you by your programming language (like the basic arithmetic operation of addition). Most people who really enjoy programming also enjoy geometry and calculus, and vice versa.

Do you think you'd enjoy becoming a hacker? Read Eric Raymond's "How to Become a Hacker" FAQ. If you still want to email me to ask me to "teach you how to become a hacker", or you want to become an 3133+ HaXorZ D00D, then you've completely missed the point of the FAQ and no help I can give you will help you become one. I get about 5 new messages a day from stupid little 14-year-old haX0r wannabes.

I also love old computers. My first was the Sinclair ZX80 (The 'Timex/Sinclair 1000' when it was sold in the US), and I've managed to collect several other old friends too; a C64, a dead Trash-80, a ][c and a Tandy Coco3. I'm still trying to track down a ][gs, any Amiga (preferably the 4000) and an Atari ST. There's just something about the old machines that brings out the romantic in me... :)

Presented without comment, here is the Portrait of J. Random Hacker from the jargon file.

Yes, I do use ICQ on extremely rare occasions. My number is 9463238. Feel free to page me...

For those who care about this sort of thing,
KEBph- Wul ECS!++ m6 CEc B(-30) Ou LM SMC T-- A5 H8o B5 (Bob code) and
Version 3.1
GCS/P d- s:+ a-- C++++ ULB++++$ P++++ L- E--- W++ N+ o-- K+ w-- O- 
M+ V-- PS+ PE++ Y+ PGP t+ 5 X R+ tv+ b+++ DI++++ D+ G e* h+ r++ y?
fills you in on my background. Non-geeks may want to have some of this Translated.

Want to send me a message, but afraid Big Brother is going to be listening in? You can slow him down slightly by downloading and using my PGP Key or use this ascii one:

Version: 2.6.2

I'm also a proud member of Mensa