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Computers

 The following was written in
1998 and will be continued
 some time...

Also what's written below is
nothing but simple flow of
 thoughts and memories.

Everything started in about 1991-92, when I decided to get me a computer, and it was a long way to pursue my father that I really needed it. But my brother and me didn't have to wait for too long. Eventually, we got our first so-called machine. It was Ukrainian-made 8088-4.77 MHz computer (it was a real popular computer at that time), it was called "Poisk" made by Elektronmash factory in Kiev. 4.77 MHz now is nothing, it's just a joke these days like a calculator, but at that time it was something that a lot of people were using, and it was considered as a normal computer, which would allow to do basic programming in Basic, and do the most important thing at that time for me - play games.

While I was discovering the world of computers, my friend Sergey was doing the same thing; we both started at the same time, both were going to Kiev some weekends to get new games from the famous "game black market" called "Karavaevi Dachi" and both were spending hours in each other's place. About a year later, my friend got an opportunity to get an 80286-16 MHz computer, or was it 20 MHz. I don't remember. It had EGA video card and comparing it to the CGA we had on our 8088-4.77 MHz computers, it was something, the quality of pictures were much better and the computer could speak having special software, and it could do a lot more things then the one he had before. The first game he had on that computer was "Another World"... oh it was something, I still think that game is excellent, not graphicwise, but the concept of game itself. Again, we were spending hours on that game. That period of my life was when I was living by computers; they were on my mind throughout my days. I was running from school thinking about it, I was eating thinking about it, and I was sleeping seeing them in my dreams... my dream was to get 80486-64 MHz machine. But at that time that dream was unreachable like all dreams.

Also, I'd like to mention how our computers worked. This part should be really funny like a history. Alright, the first computer I had was even without floppy drive. I had my basic operating system component built-in the (ROM-Read Only Memory) computer, and I had this one tape recorder which I'd load all the programs and games from. It, for instance, would take about 10 to 20 minutes to load one game with all these noises from the tape. Also, I had to keep an eye on my rooms door, because any kind of background noise or distortion would give me "reading error, try again"-message, and I was going to have to start it all over again. But, after I got fed up with inefficiency and stupid idea of tapes I had my dad buy me a floppy drive which was not like we have now 3"5 disks, it was different, 5"25 size of diskettes. As you already guessed, no dream about hard drive, it was so expensive that nobody except loaded people and organizations could afford it, it was a real luxury to say.

The first operating system I used was DOS, it was about 2.0 version or in that range, I don't even remember. Slowly, the versions were updating and I was already using the DOS 5.0 while Windows 3.1 came up on the market. I didn't really like it nor could I install it because there wasn't any place I could install it on... floppy? So I carried on with DOS. One remark I want to mention. DOS was something to get me the idea how computers actually work. I am sure that otherwise I'd never had the idea of the concept of computers. In fact still using Windows, I am sometimes using Norton Commander (DOS-based) and MS-DOS Prompt to manage my files, simple because

Windows slows down very much and I just can't stand that.Anyway, now that I have Windows NT installed recently, I am not satisfied with that either; because it have brought other problems on top of what I had. In other words, we'll see what we'll have later after Windows 95/98/NT. Another topic that can be very long described is graphics, but I'll shortly tell you. We started with CGA. Then, when we moved to EGA, actually my friend did and I stayed with CGA still since something better was unaffordable. So, having CGA we could see some basic graphics, I mean normal colors and images [I had 4 colors only, it must tell you something]. So, there was a little funny story. I was over in my friend's apartment and we were playing one game with few minutes of video parts. We were all like 'oh gosh, it's like a real TV, we never seen such a graphics....' Then, a little later, our friend stopped by, who wasn't computer litarate. Meanwhile, we carried on with our game getting amazed with the excellence of the graphics and video when we heard our friend saying '...guys, what a big deal about this video things... you can go ahead and switch on TV and see stuff of better quality then what you all got here...." Then we just told him "ok buddy, never mind, you won't understand us then...." Anyway, I think a lot of people will feel kind of a nostalgia if I remind them of times of the Spectrum computers, Poisk computers, Atari computers and so on. I think those times were just great.

Who could have known that Internet was waiting me on the island of Cyprus? At the time I was learning what Internet was I was a real big fan of Gary Moore (I still am!). So, when I saw one of my classmates having a page open with all info about one famous band, the first question I asked was 'hey, is there anyway to get any info about Gary Moore?' He said we had to try. And then he went to the search engine (www.Yahoo.com) and wrote Gary Moore to search for. In few minutes I saw like 4 matches of Gary Moore sites... But the first question that came to my mind was where is all this that info stored. The guy had no idea, but he made a smart look on his face and told me that all these pages are stored on some computers like I couldn't figure that one out; then he added that he thought that all the information was stored on our college mail computer. Anyway, I got me a computer in the computer lab and started exploring everything about this guitar player - pictures, articles, interviews, lyrics, and more. That was a paradise for fans to find all you want about your favorite singer. Spent about 3 days for that, I was slowly learning the concepts of search engines. Actually, this is what everybody starts using the Internet from. As most of people, I had about 4 explorers open, and was searching, searching like a hungry person as there is so much of everything that there's really no way to see everything. Then, in about one year, in 1997, I realized that I wouldn't be able to see everything on the Internet, and decided to do something useful and I ended up building home page of mine. And what was the reason? Just to learn the basic concepts of web-design. My first page was very primitive. But then, I had second, and third, and forth version of it and still it's not perfect. I think that on the net you won't have anything perfect, because everything is developing and growing. Another era of my life was IRC. I got crazy about it like, I think, most of the people getting to know it. I think books can be written about IRC, and this isn't the paper where I should get into details about. Nevertheless, I want to mention that I met people through this program. Not just penpals. But real friends, who I am a good friend with in reality. On the other hand, my advice is 'don't take it seriously.' IRC is very dangerous thing in a way, even the creator of this program warning you, so be careful!

I got fed up with building home page, chatting, continuously searching the WEB. By some chance, I met one guy in my college who was a hacker. He told me a lot of stuff. That day when I met that guy, I was spending my evening on hackers' sites that were very interesting, but not to screw someone's computer, watch somebody, delete something, but to learn how it works basically. Here, I have to warn everybody, be careful with computers, especially when you have Internet, and be even more careful using IRC[!]. I realized that after one story happened to my which I'll now tell you shortly. Ok, I was chatting to one girl all night. About 3 hours, since 2am to 5am. So almost at the end of our talk, I was explaining to her how to send a message to my mobile telephone from Internet (SMS), and in the middle of my sentences in chat-window, I saw some words written in Russian but those words was out of sense. What do you think I thought? wanna go home yet, I wanna stay with you' but in Russian. I though I went nuts from chatting for so long. I really got scared and tried to recall if I really wrote that or not. Right next day (!), I got a call from my friend, and he told me that his computer was doing things on behalf of him. But was he described was even worse that happened to me. He said his computer started bugging him and talking to him. Then my friend had sort of hot conversation with "his" computer (I am pretty sure it was not preprogrammed, which means that was a hacker behind all story) the computer closed some programs, played some music, and then shut down. After that, I am real careful with things I do on the Internet, and advise you to think twice before running different files from the Net. Another thing that I don't like about some people is that they call themselves hackers having no idea how networks work in the first place. An the other hand, hackers never say they are hackers, at least to everybody. Read the following to brainstorm yourself a little bit and just for the general information. That was said by the same unknown people:

"A true hacker DOESN'T get into the system to kill everything or to sell what he gets to someone else. True hackers want to learn, or want to satisfy their curiosity, that's why they get into the system. To search around inside of a place they've never been, to explore all the little nooks and crannies of a world so unlike the boring cess-pool we live in. Why destroy something and take away the pleasure you had from someone else? Why bring down the

whole world on the few true hackers who a...

Nobody can teach you to be a hacker. Only YOU can teach yourself the necessary skills. Only you can develop your own abilities and expand your horizons. Nobody else can do it for you. Being a true hacker means that YOU are the one that goes out and conquer knowledge! Without "the hacker instinct" you will not survive very long. Here in the Republic of South Africa we should consider ourselves lucky for not having any legislation which governs t...

I had always thirsted to gain knowledge about computers. They have intrigued me in a way few things have done. My mind had flooded with questions about them. So, the only way to satisfy my thirst was to learn. I enjoyed learning in general, and i could never learn enough about computers and the way they work. I learned about computer hardware, software, and operating

systems in my spare time. I downloaded all of the information that I could off of the Internet. And still, i thirsted for more. After i had learned about all of the operating systems, the hardware, etc. I wondered what it would be like to actually operate one of these systems. So i began thinking, how could i use an operating system that i didnt have. Then it hit me. I remembered having watched the movie "War Games" and remembered how he gained access into a system. I knew what hackers were, and they also intrigued me. They were very mysterious to me. I wanted to learn about them too.

I had just gotten an Internet Service Provider, and i began to understand more and more about the Internet. I began going to hacking newsgroups, World Wide Web Pages, etc. I downloaded hacking text files and programs. I began to understand that hacking wasnt about crime, as it was portrayed in movies. It was about the pursual of knowledge, which is what i wanted in the first place."