When friends and colleagues first walk into my apartment, just about everyone is blown away with my computer setup and electronics. Several people have said it is the most sophisticated setup they have ever seen. After seeing my toys and talking to me, people are convinced I am a genius and an ultimate hacker capable of anything. Many people have asked if I am a member of the hacker group Anonymous. Today, I am outing myself as not an Anonymous member. Most people confuse a hacker as some malicious technological genius that is capable of breaking into anyone’s computer as a result of their technological aptitude. However, this is certainly not the case. The word ‘hacker’ among real hackers has a positive connotation. In real hackers minds, hacker and programmers are synonyms. The history behind the word is that programmers would spend countless hours working for hacking at completing projects. Most of the malicious crackers lack interest in the technology involved in breaking into computer systems. They use pre written programs to perform DDOS attacks and scan for SQL injection vulnerabilities. This member of anonymous leave messages to Kanye West to gain attention. Most of the members that perform media worthy computer attacks may not be as sophisticated as you would think. Take a look at this article. The majority of crackers are non very technical because if they were, they could easily land a good job and live a comfortable life. However, I am smart enough not to provoke them, I know among the bunch that considers themselves in Anonymous, there are people that are knowledgeable.
One of the main purposes of this blog is to tell you more about myself. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, if I have a new idea for an app, I would not keep it a secret, I would do the exact opposite. For the remainder of this post, I will reveal to you most of the software and software I use for hacking.
If you don’t know by now, I write mobile phone applications for the iOS and Android platform. I owned a MacBook to do iOS development on but ultimately I decided it was too slow. At the same time, I wanted a better computer to play games on. I decided to build a hackintosh cmputer (a non Apple computer running OSx. I followed a tutorial of Life Hacker, and I was able to run OSx smoothly. However, at the same time, the EVGA GTX 460 was getting rave reviews as an ultimate bargain video card. That video card didn’t work well with OSx, so to switch between Windows and OSx, I had to deactivate a video card. I was still programming day and night and my hard work started to pay off. I decided I should be spending more time programming, and less time tweaking my Hackintosh computer. I bought a 27″ iMac with these specs, plus added on 8 GB of RAM:
• PROCESSOR 065-0249 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 • MEMORY 065-0251 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB • HARD DRIVE 065-0310 1TB Serial ATA Drive+256GB SSD • GRAPHICS 065-0257 AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB GDDR5 • MOUSE 065-0341 APPLE MAGIC MOUSE
In addition, I bought two of these monitors:
I also decided align the monitors vertically. I recommend doing this is you have an external monitor. It saves space, and it feels more natural when reading word processing, and coding. So in order to align the two monitors vertically, I bought two of these:
As we all know, Apple likes to do things their way. They use Thunderbolt™ports instead of regular DVI or HDMI ports. This meant I needed to buy two of these:
To upgrade the RAM, I purchased the right type of Newegg.com, a website selling discount computer equipment, a nerd’s paradise. However, now I heard that it is very difficult to upgrade the RAM in the new iMacs.
I managed to break my Magic mouse, so I bought a Gaming mouse with a matching gaming pad. The extra buttons on the gaming mouse I use to move windows to different monitors, open new windows, and open new tabs.
I also wanted to try out using Apple’s Trackpad as my main mouse. I could see it being ideal for one screen, but when you have multiple screens, I feel a regular mouse works a lot better. However, I still use it for gestures and scrolling.
I managed to spill liquid on my Mac keyboard, and Logitech Mac style keyboard, so I gave up on buying nice keyboards and bought the cheapest one on Amazon:
As you could imagine, I use quite of bit of USB devices, so I bought an extender:
And finally, in order to properly backup all my information and use Time Machine, which I find to be very useful even in world with revision control, I bought a Terabyte external usb drive like this one:
And that about sums it all up, for my Mac and main workstation. I spent well over three grand, but with the speed and screen real estate, it was well worth it. If you wanted to buy a new iMac that I would recommend, I would get this one:
My gaming and Windows machine was built with parts recommended by Life Hacker. However, I managed to fry the power supply twice, and overheat the CPU. Ever since I bought this CPU cooler, and this power supply, I haven’t had any problems. There are some websites you can go to and plug in your computer hardware specs to get a recommendation of what kind of power supply you need.
I also added this solid state drive which I feel should be standard for all computers used today:
I play games on a 55″ Samsung LED TV which I love:
Today, building your own computer is mostly something for the technology oriented people, as you don’t really save that much buy building your own. Aside from the iMac I bought in 2011 that I still use today, I don’t like to buy top of the line hardware. You get less value per dollar and if you wait even just a couple of months, the price will jump down significantly.
On to software, I mostly work on a Mac Machine making iPhone apps. This pretty much forces me into using Xcode, which isn’t bad. I made a decision that I was going to program professionally, so I should be using professional, and sophisticated tools like Vim. There is an XVim extension that lets you do Vim stuff in Xcode. My browser of choice is Chrome, and I use Android Studio for Android development. I use iTerm2 as terminal with oh my zsh running. For revision control, I like using git.
I recommend taking the time to learn how to be a real hacker, and do good for society. Stealing credit cards online could be tempting for some people, but you would be more than likely to get caught. Learning how to be a real hacker will take real engaging work, but it is worth it.
Mathematicians won the war. Mathematicians broke the Japanese codes… and built the A-bomb. Mathematicians… like you. The stated goal of the Soviets is global Communism. In medicine or economics, in technology or space, battle lines are being drawn. To triumph, we need results. Publishable, applicable results. Now who among you will be the next Morse? The next Einstein? Who among you will be the vanguard of democracy, freedom, and discovery? Today, we bequeath America’s future into your able hands. Welcome to Princeton, gentlemen.
Oh yeah, my Apple Watch came in the mail today. So far I’m surprised and I like it more than I thought I would, I will keep you guys posted. I’m excited to develop for it on Xcode.