DEV Community

Sean Antony Brunton
Sean Antony Brunton

Posted on

Hacking is not what you see on TV

A good old hack, what do you think it is? The guy or gal in his/hers hoodie typing away and displaying a screen, which looks like something from the matrix movies? Nah your stupid if you think that, no offense.

Why do we call a fault a bug in software, but not when it comes to electrical machines, which also use fundamental computing in its micro processing roles? Still the embedded system found in the UPS (or any other related machine)is still a computer. The control of it anyway..

We call it a bug because a moth found it way into the Manchester computer, the computer Alan Turing personally worked on (I stand corrected on my facts). The moth found it way into a mechanical relay, since then all software faults have mostly being reffered to as "bugs".. Interesting hay? I think so.

Hacking is its best and most informative form is "physical hacking", this is basically fixing a PCB at a component level. I was very privileged to be apart of the last generation of true PCB hackers, the kind you find in the field of Electronic Engineering. This is how I learned the good old hack. From there hacking a computer is almost like child's play. I dont know what is is, maybe it's the fact that if I buggered up a hack on a PCB, for a UPS, I would get fried like a piece of meat on the braai! (A braai is known as a barbeque in South Africa).

This has giving me the ability to tackle two problems at once, namely the pressure from the customer, and the other concerning my own personal safety and what is require to push those boundaries. This is how Ops must think in software maintenence, the same one is faced with when troubleshooting a UPS while it is live in "circuit bypass" (I can't fix a UPS on site, as it required shutting it down).

The mentality of "life or death" may be a bold way to go about troubleshooting and hacking a bug, but it fixes problems so much more quickly and efficiently. Things are solved because it's not just business at stake, but physical safety to those who need to work on an electrical environment, buggering something up on the machines I supply my dear customers with.

Confidence is key as well, and you gotta have your knowledge back up by education. There is no point in getting irrationally annoyed at things (although I do battle with that!) The good hack requires confidence, patience, determination and sheer will to persist no matter what. That is a true hacker, a true troubleshooter, the concept hasn't changed since we invented the Transistor. 😆

I hope someone enjoys, I've come back from a UPS breakdown, and I find it humerous that it is remarkably similar to fixing bugs in your own software..It a pain in the ass! However one that feels good once, you have fixed it. (Yes I am aware of how wrong that sounds! Hahahhaha!)

Salute and happy Hacking! 😆

Top comments (0)