For the Schwinn

Hacking a computer is a lot like riding a bicycle.

Let’s say, for instance, that you give a kid a 10-speed bike. If the kid’s stupid, he’ll hop on and try pedaling like they do on TV. He might fall off because he doesn’t know how to ride it. Eventually, he gets the hang of it, but notices it’s really, really hard to go up hills. If he’s really stupid, he’ll keep pushing harder on the pedals, maybe wear himself out, maybe give up saying “well, they just don’t want me to use this stupid thing! They should just make it work!” But if he’s smart, he’ll overcome his fear of possibly damaging the bike from making changes from the default settings and will start moving the gear levers to see what happens. And it’s through that defiant act of making a small change to notice any big benefits that he eventually learns his bicycle and finds it his most useful tool for getting where he wants to go.

That is hacking.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?

One reply on “For the Schwinn”

  1. When I was much younger, the sheer joy of discovering what those “little changes” do to the ride is generally the same feeling that I get these days when I figure out what a new block of code actually does for me. Like that time when things were simpler for me, I get a sense of childish wonder that I can actually force it to do my bidding. It’s pretty much the same mindset that keeps Pinky and the Brain plotting night after night despite the lack of “…lederhosen in just their size”.

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