Thank you dad

I am Sector035 and it is time to introduce myself here too. I am a Windows/Linux system admin, security officer and part time OSINT  enthusiast. Since there were already a few ‘thank you’ posts on OSINTCurious where some of us wrote how we got sucked into the world of open source investigations, I decided to do the same. And for me there can only be one I should thank and that is my dad. I remember him as always tinkering with electronics, making photos and surrounded by ‘home computers’ all over the place. He received those for reviews and in depth articles in magazines which was one of the ways he made a living. I grew up in the days of the Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 but a lot has changed since then. What has not changed is my ever growing hunger for information and finding answers.

My dad loved to puzzle, especially things that were slightly out of the ordinary. In the 80’s multiple Rubik’s cubes were acquired right after release together with other weird and innovative puzzles. And after figuring out how they worked, he would spend time to create methods to solve it. And if he couldn’t create a method because it was for instance a tiled puzzle, he would write a program in BASIC to do just that. Besides that, everything in our house was literally taken apart at least once during its existence, just to find out how it worked. Whether it was a washing machine or a simple flashlight, everything was examined while being in a perfect working state. It didn’t matter whether things were molded shut or not. His motto was: “It was once put together, so I can take it apart”. And when it did break, he usually already knew how things worked and was mostly able to fix it.

This curiosity has triggered me from an early age and even today I still want and sometimes even ‘need’ to find out why something is the way it is. And if I see a riddle or a puzzle, I crave to have it solved. I don’t always care whether I solve it myself, or that someone else does it. It is the unanswered question that sometimes bugs me. You may call it weird, or call it a “lack of other good hobbies”. But by constantly searching for answers, I soon learned myself some basic Assembly when I was 13 or 14. About 5 years later I was using the wonderful ‘Ralph Brown’s Interrupt List’ to create brute force password tools for Novell Netware 3.11 while circumventing their newly added detection for that. And when the internet took off I researched all kinds of subjects and spent hours in libraries, simply looking for answers to questions that maybe don’t even matter to me nowadays.

Since the late nineties I have spent many years as a system admin for multiple big clients, but there was always that drive to investigate problems. Whether I was writing an extensive root cause analysis on VMware performance issues, or trying to trace back device models of BYOD’s that kept locking LDAP accounts. There was always that passion to dig, to dig even deeper and to keep learning new things every step of the way.

My dad passed away years ago and though he is still dearly missed, I will always be thankful for many lessons I learned. And ‘be inquisitive’ is one of the most valuable once for me.