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Do I Belong Here?


NegativeSpace
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My question is, do I belong here? I broke my first computer before Windows existed, and I have been poking around computers since I was a child. I have been interested in hacking since i was about 9 years old. The thing is, most of the time, I don't understand most of what is being discussed on the Hak5 show. Other than IT professionals, I don't know anyone that is more computer literate than myself. Everyone calls me for help. In short, I am a computer hardware, software, and all around general technology fanatic, digital or otherwise. When I watch Hak5, I don't feel like anyone is speaking to me. Is this because I didn't go to school to learn networking technology? I'm not saying that speaking to me is the purpose or responsibility of Hak5, nor am I saying that because I don't understand the content of Hak5 that I like it any less. I taught myself everything I know in the realm of digital technologies, and even though I have been learning for around 20 years now, I still have not begun to learn anything about most of that which is topic on Hak5. I outgrew the desire to participate in anything that is truly malicious back in the days of Instant Message bombs and AOL password phishing, and I also know that Hak5 does not exist to teach people how to attack other people. These days, my interest is in the learning of networking, in general. My desire is to learn how to protect myself from attack, and to simply understand how things work, because I don't like not being able to understand what is happening with the computers and networks and software and hardware that I am using and that surrounds me every day. It seems that Hak5 exists for the purpose of teaching people these things, but I can't seem to begin to learn anything. Is this because I missed the Kindergarten stage of hacking school? I don't want anyone to think that I am attacking Hak5, because I like the show and participating in the community. What can I do to close the knowledge gap between myself and the rest of the Hacking world? Simply leaving and forgetting about it is not something that I would do, because after having watched the Hak5 show for a couple years and learning that there is so much more to learn and understand, I can't go backwards. I know that there are things that I don't understand, so now I have to go froward and become one of the people who does understand. Do I belong here?

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First comment: Enter is yer friend. ;)

As for networking knowledge. Do you know how they work, or is that yer stumbling block?

I found networking fairly simple to understand (until I got into IPv6..blarg!!)

If you want to learn how to secure networks properly, you would need to learn a bit about how it works. I know there are tutorials and explanations around the internet about it.

Are there any things in particular that confuse you about networking?

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Its a forum, if you like the types of conversations we have here then join in, if you don't, go else where. Some of the people here have only ever owned one computer, and some of us have cell phones that are orders of magnitudes more powerful than our first computers.

One of the things you need to ditch is the distinction between good things and bad things, a knife is not inherently malicious, its a device you can use for a multitude of different things, some of which are bad, some of which are good.

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First comment: Enter is yer friend. ;)

As for networking knowledge. Do you know how they work, or is that yer stumbling block?

I found networking fairly simple to understand (until I got into IPv6..blarg!!)

If you want to learn how to secure networks properly, you would need to learn a bit about how it works. I know there are tutorials and explanations around the internet about it.

Are there any things in particular that confuse you about networking?

I couldn't say that I understand how networks really work. I'm not sure what a network actually really is, other than that a network is a group of resources which are linked together in order to share information. What I really don't have the first clue about is all of the protocols, languages, procedures, etc. I don't know how I would even learn these things without already having the understanding of them, or having a practical need to know about them. That's the way I have learned everything before, but I really don't need to know how networks function, so I don't know how to learn about them. If I was able to learn this stuff, obviously one of the best ways to apply the knowledge would be to enforce higher security, but I want to learn just because I like to know so to speak.

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Its a forum, if you like the types of conversations we have here then join in, if you don't, go else where. Some of the people here have only ever owned one computer, and some of us have cell phones that are orders of magnitudes more powerful than our first computers.

One of the things you need to ditch is the distinction between good things and bad things, a knife is not inherently malicious, its a device you can use for a multitude of different things, some of which are bad, some of which are good.

I have already made it clear that I like this place, there's no reason to be offended, if that is what you are implying. I'm not sure what you mean about owning one computer and cell phones. I don't know what point you are trying to make by stating the nature of a knife. I feel like you are pointing out what you don't like about my question. I'm not here to argue or attack anyone

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Best way to learn is to mess around with it. Network 2 machines together and see how you did it. I think the first time I used "networking" was when I hooked up 2 machines using a crossover cable, so I could use the zip drive on one of them on the other.

It's not all that difficult to learn (or so I think). Almost all networks today run TCP/IP as the base protocol. Best way to start would probably be to hook up two machines together with a network cable and switch and just mess around with it.

Hell, you could use Virtual Machines instead of real ones if you wanted to.

I have already made it clear that I like this place, there's no reason to be offended, if that is what you are implying. I'm not sure what you mean about owning one computer and cell phones. I don't know what point you are trying to make by stating the nature of a knife. I feel like you are pointing out what you don't like about my question. I'm not here to argue or attack anyone

I think he is just saying that it's probable that some of the people posting here only use 1 machine and don't have a huge amount of machines (like me.. 4 desktops and a server + netbook). It doesn't matter how many boxes you have, it matter how good to are with them. A computer is just a tool, just like a knife or a shovel is a tool.

Learning does take time, and it's not instantaneous. I started by learning the OSI model and kinda went from there.

Edited by Charles
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I couldn't say that I understand how networks really work. I'm not sure what a network actually really is, other than that a network is a group of resources which are linked together in order to share information. What I really don't have the first clue about is all of the protocols, languages, procedures, etc. I don't know how I would even learn these things without already having the understanding of them, or having a practical need to know about them. That's the way I have learned everything before, but I really don't need to know how networks function, so I don't know how to learn about them. If I was able to learn this stuff, obviously one of the best ways to apply the knowledge would be to enforce higher security, but I want to learn just because I like to know so to speak.

Even when you think you understand how something works without doing it, until you implement it and see it you are only second guessing yourself, and thats not a fun place to be when the time comes to actually do it. I had a lot of preconcieved notions of how things worked in networking, and found out the hard way how it really was. Practice really does help when it comes to networking and hands on will really help with that.

Quickest way is to check google for the things you dont understand, but they may not give you the answer you were looking for. In those cases, its usually because you already think a certain way and what may have seemed logical before, was completely wrong. YouTube and Vimeo also have some decent videos on networking basics and routing.

I myself, took a course in networking after studying it on my own for about a year, because there were some things I just needed to have answered that I couldnt quite grasp on my own or from reading in a book.

For me, the hard things to learn were subnetting, supernetting, grasping the OSI model and how routing works. Its both complicated, but logical at the same time. Best thing you can do, is grab some books like a CompTIA Network + study guide, maybe some cisco beginner stuff, and then dive into the things that dont make sense. There is a whole science behind it, but at some point, it becomes almost like an art form, learning how packets move about, redirecting them, manipulatiing traffic, protocols and so on.

Most of what I learned was on my own, and I still need to learn a lot more, but at some point, you have to ask for help or you won't grow and progress past a certain point. So yes, you belong here if you want to learn and expand your knowledge, but we may not always have the answer or even know ourselves. Keeping an open mind and not being afraid to ask questions will help you figure this out.

One thing to know is, no one knows everything, and thats a good place to start. The more you think you know, the harder it will be to learn.

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Your wall of text offends my eyes. However, I managed to make it through reading ~3/4 of it, so I'll try and throw you a few hints. Hak5 as a show means zip to me these days. Yeah, I was interested in it way back, really more for the hardware I suppose, but either got much more focussed on too few topics or focussed on beginners rather than more experienced enthusiasts, I grew out of it and learned quicker than it could feed me interesting stuff, or a combination of all of the above. That doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, that's a matter of taste, it's not for me, perhaps it's not for you, but it might be brilliant to others for whatever reasons.

Now, that doesn't mean I'm necessarily gonna sod off, personally I see this forum as being an entity of its own, while I must admit it's often rare these days that I find many topics which appeal to me and often topics I post threads about slip down the pages pretty quick, it's still nice to have a selection of places to go for discussion, this forum is one of mine.

One thing I will say, it's something I say a lot, is that security and networking are so very far away from being the only topics worth discussing when it comes to technology, learning or exploring it, or doing it for a living. Hak5 is a show which, for better or worse, has a specific focus on a limited set of topics and maybe those topics aren't right for you just at the moment, I know they're not for me right now. If you try and watch content that you don't enjoy, it'll just bore and irritate you, if it's not something you want to watch then it's probably wise not to. Personally? Give me microcontrollers, emulation, serial devices, hardware repurposing and reclaimation... well, you name it, just as long as it's not security, just because Hak5 doesn't feed me it doesn't mean that I can't go out and do it myself. Moving on isn't quitting, it's trying something different for a while. Sure, I know there's a shitload of stuff I don't know, but there's a shitload of other stuff I don't know too, there's enough stuff to learn that you can pick and choose. Don't much care for security? Great, go learn about how to talk to devices you own or get into video or learn to program or try building some hardware or take more crap apart/fix more crap. The possibilities are next to endless, only you know what you want to do, and if you don't, explore stuff until you do. I jump around wildly differing projects like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Ultimately it's likely you're just really bored of hearing stuff you just aren't interested in, go out and explore your own stuff, do your own thing, Hak5 has done its job, a stepping stone onto other things (as I see it, at least, I can't speak for the cast). You might be interested in BSoDtv, Fatman and Circuit Girl or AmateurLogic or EEVBlog or... well, anyway, Hak5 isn't the be all and end all, that's basically what I'm saying, don't try to fit yourself to the show, just do whatever you wanna do.

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I have already made it clear that I like this place, there's no reason to be offended, if that is what you are implying. I'm not sure what you mean about owning one computer and cell phones. I don't know what point you are trying to make by stating the nature of a knife. I feel like you are pointing out what you don't like about my question. I'm not here to argue or attack anyone

You miss my point entirely, and trust me I'm not offended. If you like hanging around here, then yes, you do belong here. My point about cell phones and computers is just that some people might have a laptop (and its the first computer they have owned, and others, like me, have been playing with computers since a 386 was considered to be the best money could buy and have access to more computing power than a small 3rd world nation. Yet we all have a part in the conversation.

As for the thing about the knife, its just a rant about people going out of there way to insist they are only interested in whitehat stuff. Frankly I find this annoying. Its just stuff you can learn, what you do with the knowledge is more important than pretending you only want to learn the nice stuff.

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As for the thing about the knife, its just a rant about people going out of there way to insist they are only interested in whitehat stuff. Frankly I find this annoying. Its just stuff you can learn, what you do with the knowledge is more important than pretending you only want to learn the nice stuff.

That. To clarify the knife thing, basically all it means is that just like a cheese grater or a sledgehammer or a dinner plate, you can either use them as they were intended, or to do damage. Just because you can do damage with them, does that make them bad? No, it means they might have alternate uses.

I find personally that I think of "bad" things just as much as I think of "good" things when it comes to technology and its uses, it's all the same thing, it's not "bad" or "good", it's just "it". All it shows is that you better understand how something works, not that you intend to do anything "bad" with it, ignoring some aspect of a particular topic or technology because it's "bad" is stupid. That doesn't mean you have to be a dick about it, but if you're going to be a dick, you'll be a dick whatever you're working with, anything can be "bad" if you make it that way.

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I keep losing posts here. After what appears to be a submission, something happens and my post had been lost. I got smart and started copying my text before clicking to submit the post, but even after several attempts on a couple different posts, they still are not showing up. So, thanks for the responses, and I'm not ignoring anyone, but something is going wrong somewhere.

Edit; Looks like this one worked. Maybe the problem is resolved.

Edited by NegativeSpace
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

About a week ago, a coincidental stroke of luck sort of re sparked my interest in starting to learn networking technologies. A friend of mine started talking to me about cracking WEP and other network encryption stuff. Never to be outdone, I now had a good starting point of where to dig in to learning networking. So I started reading and messing around. I am quite surprised at how much I have learned and the number of concepts I have been able to grasp since then. It seems that networking is even more interesting to me than hardware, operating system software, and digital circuitry were when I was a child and was just starting to learn those things. So, I'm now learning networking, starting with security and encryption methods. Now I feel like I have a genuine purpose for posting here and watching the Hak5 show.

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I know exactly what you are talking about, I've been in your position once, so all I can suggest is if you don't understand something, do what I would normally do, research on the web or read books about it, I know it can be boring and a waste of time, but that pays off. And this is exactly what I do, when I don't understand something especially when I am watching Hack5 show.

I have a very good knowledge with networking, and servers so I do understand most of what they talk on the show.

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My question is, do I belong here? I broke my first computer before Windows existed, and I have been poking around computers since I was a child. I have been interested in hacking since i was about 9 years old. The thing is, most of the time, I don't understand most of what is being discussed on the Hak5 show. Other than IT professionals, I don't know anyone that is more computer literate than myself. Everyone calls me for help. In short, I am a computer hardware, software, and all around general technology fanatic, digital or otherwise. When I watch Hak5, I don't feel like anyone is speaking to me. Is this because I didn't go to school to learn networking technology? I'm not saying that speaking to me is the purpose or responsibility of Hak5, nor am I saying that because I don't understand the content of Hak5 that I like it any less. I taught myself everything I know in the realm of digital technologies, and even though I have been learning for around 20 years now, I still have not begun to learn anything about most of that which is topic on Hak5. I outgrew the desire to participate in anything that is truly malicious back in the days of Instant Message bombs and AOL password phishing, and I also know that Hak5 does not exist to teach people how to attack other people. These days, my interest is in the learning of networking, in general. My desire is to learn how to protect myself from attack, and to simply understand how things work, because I don't like not being able to understand what is happening with the computers and networks and software and hardware that I am using and that surrounds me every day. It seems that Hak5 exists for the purpose of teaching people these things, but I can't seem to begin to learn anything. Is this because I missed the Kindergarten stage of hacking school? I don't want anyone to think that I am attacking Hak5, because I like the show and participating in the community. What can I do to close the knowledge gap between myself and the rest of the Hacking world? Simply leaving and forgetting about it is not something that I would do, because after having watched the Hak5 show for a couple years and learning that there is so much more to learn and understand, I can't go backwards. I know that there are things that I don't understand, so now I have to go froward and become one of the people who does understand. Do I belong here?

I know exactly what you are talking about, I've been in your position once, so all I can suggest is if you don't understand something, do what I would normally do, research on the web or read books about it, I know it can be boring and a waste of time, but that pays off. And this is exactly what I do, when I don't understand something especially when I am watching Hack5 show.

I have a very good knowledge with networking, and servers so I do understand most of what they talk on the show.

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About a week ago, a coincidental stroke of luck sort of re sparked my interest in starting to learn networking technologies. A friend of mine started talking to me about cracking WEP and other network encryption stuff. Never to be outdone, I now had a good starting point of where to dig in to learning networking. So I started reading and messing around. I am quite surprised at how much I have learned and the number of concepts I have been able to grasp since then. It seems that networking is even more interesting to me than hardware, operating system software, and digital circuitry were when I was a child and was just starting to learn those things. So, I'm now learning networking, starting with security and encryption methods. Now I feel like I have a genuine purpose for posting here and watching the Hak5 show.

Awesome! Learning is always good. :D

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I didn't read all of the original post because I think I grasped the concept a few lines into it.

Curiosity is what drives my knowledge. If I'm not sure how something works, I try it out. Hands on is the best way for me to learn. If I'm still in doubt about something, I use google, books, and ask on forums like Hak5. Hak5 as a show does nothing for me but spark interest. The concepts discussed give me something to look into.

I started off my knowledge by learning myself how to install sound cards, cd/dvd drives, and hard drives when I was in middle school. I took some Cisco classes in high school and was hooked. It continued in college and now I'm an IT admin. It's always learning something new and building on it. Working in IT is a never ending learning experience.

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