≡ Menu

Finding Fun, Forcing Fun

Everyone knows: I love computers.

Heck, I built a whole company around how much I love building web related applications on them. I still work at my high school to stay connected with hardware and networking. I still take house calls simply to find out what kind of spyware is infecting peoples computers. All of this to me is fun.

Lately though, I’ve been wrapped up in a lot of other people’s fun. Another way to say this: I’ve been doing mundane stuff. It’s part of the job… not everything can always be new and leading edge. However, to much of the mundane tends to wear on my very quickly. I burn out, and lose my interest and focus.

Sometimes, you just have to sit back, stop, and do something you want to do. You have to force fun back into your life… Ideally, related to whatever it is that also has you down. In my case, mundane computer stuff can generally be overcome by trying to do something computer related that I’m not sure I can do (without becoming overly frustrated).

So tonight, that is what I did, and quite simply here’s a brief run down of what happened:

  • Decided I needed to do something on the PC for me tonight, around 12:00. I was frustrated. I was burned. I just wasn’t happy.
  • I went and got my notebook of ideas, looked through it, and ran into one that I had tried and failed on once before.
  • I went to my pc, and started…
  • Now the challenge here was not to create something, but rather, to hack something… So for the next 2 hours (time got away from me), I was working on figuring out how something worked. I figured out part of it, but not all of it.
  • By about 3:00AM, I had thought I had it.
  • 3:30AM, my first successful “hack” attempt went through, and a great feeling of satisfaction came over me.

That said, I didn’t complete my original goal, but I at least accomplished the part I had failed at before. I had hacked what I couldn’t, and thus now I am satisified, and can go to bed. Here’s hoping my satisfaction lasts a few hours tomorrow :-).

Disclaimer: Before you go asking me what I hacked, and if it was illegal… Let me be clear on this: It was not “hack” in the sense of “gain unauthorized access to something”. This was “hack” as in “figure out how some coders had done what they did, and try to reproduce”. In this particular case, I was trying to figure out what format of data a client side flash application was using to submit data to a remote server.  Thus allowing me to automate the flash. I did figure it out (they were using XML), and I was able to perform a basic automation task (yay). Why people built this tool in flash and not flash/javascript, the world may never know. But agian, just to be clear: I’m not evil, nor did i do anything illegal (at least not to my knowledge).