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Introduce yourself

19 years 5 months ago #6732 by MezzUp
Introduce yourself was created by MezzUp
Hi there,

I just wanted to start this thread so everybody could introduce themselves to 'tighten' this group.

As for me, I'm a 16 year old(17 next february :)) boy who lives in a small town (c.a. 1000 people, near the capital) in Iceland. My english should be pretty good, but all corrections are welcome. I'm on my second semester in an Icelandic "High-School" (16-21 year olds).

Computers have been a hobby of mine since I got my first 66MHz computer on my 8th birthday. I read Mike Meyers A+ Certification All-In-One book and got my A+ Certification last December(scored 625 and 600 :oops:) I'm going for more certifications(Network+, Server+, Linux+, MCSA/E, Cisco....) but not in the near future.

I've had a short expirience with Linux, but I first tried RH 6.2 and then shortly after that bought RH7. But I had an Winmodem and never got that working so I kinda gave up on Linux. Since then I've used and old 300Mhz computer, and tried Gentoo and currently trying out Debian(and lovin' it) altough I haven't used it much because of lack of time. But I hope to get a fully fuctioning server on that machine some day. (router, firewall, www, mail, dhcp, dns....)

My programming expirience is limited to a little more than 'Hello World' in C++ and PHP, and then slightly more than that in C. But I'm currently studing C# at school 4 hours a week. Altought programming isn't my favorite computer 'thing' it's certanly fun, and probably easier to get a job programming then any other computer job.

I've only set up few small networks, and never tried an Cisco device, but that ought to change with the Cisco lab :)

I'm trying to get a good job next summer doing computer-something, preferably intern/assistant-Network Admin, but I would of course settle with a regular computer reapir shop. My dream job would be a jack-of-all-trades the-only-netadmin at a small/medium sized company.

So please, write a little about yourself so we can all get to know eachother.

Regards, Guπmundur Viktorsson(but y'all can call me MezzUp :))

ps. I know this might not be the correct forum, so mods, please feel free to move this to wherever you like.
19 years 5 months ago #6734 by Cool_Spot
Replied by Cool_Spot on topic Re: Introduce yourself
Well i live just outside the highest village in the UK. Its Beautiful Countryside, we dont get the sunny weather unfortunatly, nor can i get broadband or good mobile phone signal.. but i do get the pleasure of finding stray highland goats in my front garden most mornings.... and before you ask, no i'm not into beastiality. lol I'm 24 and network engineer for a big school, but soon 2 move jobs. Studying CCNA at night college, only on semester 2 and not got into the Cisco thing much yet, as i've been busy getting my MCSA&MCSE plus various other M$ exams. However this website gives great encouragement, for the year ahead.

Just recieved parts for a new AMD64. Woohoo. Building it up this weekend.

Just need a good cisco lab now to test it on! wink:
19 years 5 months ago #6736 by sahirh
Replied by sahirh on topic Re: Introduce yourself
This thread is a very good idea, so I'm going to jump in with a massive post, hopefully others will follow suit:

I got my first computer when I was ten (286, 5 1/4 inch floppy, 4 MB RAM, No hard disk)... I started learning by running anything that had a COM or EXE extension, quickly figuring out that FORMAT.COM was not something you wanted to run everyday.

After I picked up a 2400 bps modem I got very into the BBS (Bulletin Board Service) scene.. the idea of meeting like-minded people and judging them by what they said was refreshing.. I started my own BBS called 'cYbErWoRlD' (laugh if you must :)) then shut it down when tying up the phone lines became a problem ;)

I got into programming pretty early, started with BASIC, graduated to C and C++ (still my favourite languages), shell scripting, PERL, Python, I can also fling myself around decently in SQL and am fairly adept with assembly language (I don't write ASM code, but I understand it just fine).

After I first got on the 'Net (through a shell account, no TCP/IP for me).. I became even more interested in computer networks, <fast forward> I've been lucky to have the privilege of setting up and working on very large networks early on (I can configure a squid proxy for 400 users in a flash, but don't ask me to setup Windows ICS ;))

Through this time I started hacking, beginning with the usual stupid tricks on your friends etc, gradually becoming much more involved in security especially network security.

I now work for a company called MIEL e-Security Pvt Ltd. where I am what marketting people like to call an 'ethical hacker'. I perform OSSTMM compliant penetration tests and application security auditing (which is basically finding unknown vulnerabilities in custom software). The clients I've worked for include stock exchanges, banks, software companies, financial institutions, large manufacturing & pharmaceutical companies etc.

Working in security (which is a $$ rich business right now) means you work for large corporations with plenty of money to spend.. for techies like me, that means I get to play with some of the most interesting large systems ever.. there is nothing more thrilling than breaking into an ATM (cash machine ATM, not 53 byte cell ATM) controller and actually seeing transactions whizzing by ! -- Yes I get paid to do fun stuff like this hehe

A large part of my job is research and development and so I get to live on the cutting edge, doing interesting stuff like cracking biometric thumbprint dongles, reverse engineering malicious programs (kinda like computer security bomb-squad work), and working on digital forensics. I also assist the Bombay Police's Cyber-Crime Cell & Forensic Cyberlab and train the cops on all the above stuff.

Most programmers I know like writing applications, I don't enjoy that so much, I prefer working at the lowest level with the operating system.. Understanding network bytes off the wire or being one step away from 0's and 1's when reading assembly provide some of the greatest intellectual challenges AFAIK.

In my free time, I'm a struggling musician :P, in fact I never planned to do any of the above stuff, I had plans of going to Berklee Music College.. I play the guitar, mostly progressive rock, metal, jazz, classical and blues, but if its got strings in it, I am open to the idea.

I've been hanging round for years imbibing Chris and Co's endless wisdom, ultimately contributing a little bit here n there. Now developing & pushing the site further is one of my favourite activities since I genuinely believe it is one of the last hold-outs of free, meaningful information that comes with no strings attached. As time has gone by, this has paid off, and now we're able to offer services for free that even large corporate sponsored sites don't do (everyone shout 'Cisco Lab' !).

Military aviation
Formula One
Studying safecracking / lockpicking
Eating chinese food

My favourite movies:
Lord Of The Rings - The Twin Towers
The Shawshank Redemption
The Godfather
Almost Famous
The Matrix

My favourite bands:
Dream Theater
Guns n' Roses
Steve Vai / Joe Satriani / Eric Johnson / John Petrucci kinda stuff
Pat Metheny

My favourite recreational books:
Killing Bono (awesome book)
The Lord Of The Rings
Masters Of Deception

My favourite professional books:
Look at the book reviews section of the site.. though ultimately it will be Firewalls & Internet Security IInd Edition by Bellovin, Cheswick & Rubin.

Oh yeah I forgot to mention I'm a GNU/Linux fanatic and a proponent of free, open-source software and open standards. I release all code that I write under the GNU GPL and usually despise proprietary software and protocols (their reverse engineering is something of a hobby). This 'philosophy' comes from having been in many situations where the lack of 'openness' of a system has given me headaches (D-link Winmodems... die die die).

I also love dogs, especially german shepherds, bull mastiffs, and funny little stray dogs

There, that should be more than enough.. :)

Sahir Hidayatullah. Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
19 years 5 months ago #6737 by TheBishop
Replied by TheBishop on topic TheBishop
Interesting thread this! Okay, for all those who've been proddding me for details, here goes:

TheBishop is officialy 43 next week so I suppose I rank as one of the old goats in this excellent community ( is more than a 'site' in my opinion). I live on the northern edge of Manchester in North West UK and currently work for a large multinational company which supports the large and critical operation of an important-customer-who-cannot-be-named (No, it's not Lord Voldemort). Anyway, it's a big network with all kinds of interesting stuff going on.

I've been interested in engineering ever since I could think, probably as a result of inheriting some genes from my Father who used to dismantle and rebuild engines in our garage and had someone's car on the drive most weekends. My interests quickly became electrical and then electronic, leading me to get an Amateur Radio licence (Ham to you stateside guys) at age 12. I festooned the garden with wires and built a huge shortwave transmitter which got closed down by the government for making every TV within a two-mile radius unwatchable.

After I left school I did HND in Electrical and Electronic eng. (They wouldn't let me on a degree course, failed A-Level maths, never been much good at it really) and from there got a job on the transmitters team with the BBC. Great job, but I got married so the nomadic lifestyle had to go. So I defected into Technical Authorship which I did for several years through a few jobs. By this time I was researching and documenting complex network-based software products. Well one day I sat looking at my meagre pay packet and thought "I could get more money doing it than I do from documenting it so other people can do it". So I got a job as a network admin. I built up my skill set over a few jobs, and here I am - still without having a single networking cert to my name! I really should get on with it one of these days...

So that gives you an idea why I like to leap in on the posts about really low-level Ethernet and the physical layer stuff. Cut my teeth on it (after all, Ethernet is just an RF distribution system with a fancy name)

Other stuff - well I love all hot and spicy food no matter where from, and I do PA and lighting for bands and gigs when I can escape for an evening. I also have a reputation of being able to fix anything so my garage is usually full of other people's crud awaiting repair

And in answer to many requests - why the nickname 'TheBishop'? Are you a Bishop?? No! Although I am an active churchgoer and a preacher. There's a simple story behind 'TheBishop' - I have a lot of friends from the US, and many years ago one of them was mocking me one day for the way I like to sit in my car (I'm tall and thin and like a very upright driving position). He said "you look so dignified driving along like that - like some sort of Lord, or an Earl, or maybe A BISHOP". Everyone has called me that ever since!!
19 years 5 months ago #6743 by nske
Replied by nske on topic Re: Introduce yourself
At last we get to know the story behind Bishop's name! :)

About me, I became 21 y.o. this month (seems too many members of have birthday on January!) and I supposingly study political science & history in university at Athens. My field of studies is something I dislike and it is funny how little time I devote for it. Computers are currently a hobby, but I hope to make it a profession working as a network administrator in a serious place some day.

I don't have a large history on computers -though I've been a user for about 10 years, most of the time I was siting doing nothing. Practically I got involved in a resourceful way 3 years ago, replacing my previous hobby of gaming :P. I have no formal computer education, but till now I have found everything to be "out there" waiting those who can spent the time, so that's how I like to learn: from sites like, from RTFM and by personal experimentation. I am fairly experienced in administration on most unix-like operating systems and all the things that this should involve. I have limited experience in php, sql and a number of "scripting languages" and also am fortunate/unfortunate enough to co-administer a large backbone node of Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network, so I have many poor subjects to experiment on :oops:

Appart from that, 3 years ago I met some likewise minded guys and we decided to try to make a greek information community on networking and security, since that is something that lacks completelly from the greek web, but several obligations and lack of a mature attitude kept us from doing anything worthwile in the past.

--- Hate section ---
- I hate today's status of the IT industry. Too many charlatans and too much exploitation. Companies that choose to emphasize in quality products/services instead of marketing are destined to remain small -or worst.
- I hate computer/networking "professionals" that are not interested in learning, but simply seek ready answers to get the(ir) job done with minimum effort!

--- Love Section ---
- I like swiming and snow.
- My OS of choise for desktop is slackware and gentoo linux, though I would definetelly go for OpenBSD if I was not interested in some applications that depend on the linux kernel. I have ~10 computers on my home network, but none of them would ever run windows.
- I like bands such as Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Nightwish, Helloween, Primal Fear, Scorpions, Metallica, though I generally like to work while listening anything with a live bit.
- I prefer fantasy-adventure movies such as Dune2000, The matrix, The Butterfly Effect, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings and epic movies such as Braveheart but I can find some interest in almost any movie. :)
- I used to love playing computer games, especiall CRPGs, I still try to play all the good new CRPG releases.

That's about everything

[Edit: rephrased some things that didn't sound well, sorry about that :)]
19 years 5 months ago #6749 by davidklose
Replied by davidklose on topic Re: Introduce yourself
Well, i will introduce myself.
I live in a cuntryside village near the capital city of Buenos Aires (Argentina). I am 16 years old, and i study ICT ( i think that would be the translation for information and comunication tech) at ORT (a high school). This is my first year at it. I attend networking classes, programming, hardware and electronics related stuff and multimedia design.
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