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Where would you start? (question for the programmer / hacker)


 
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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? Where would you start? (question for the programmer / hacker)
# 1  
Old 07-28-2009
Where would you start? (question for the programmer / hacker)

If you were a beginner again, where would you start, what would you do differently, and what would you start learning first, etc?

...If your goal was to become a great programmer / hacker?

I am a 17 year old male who has a lot of time on his hands, plus, an eagerness to learn. However, there is just this small issue of not knowing where to start and what to start with - hence the above question.
# 2  
Old 07-28-2009
open a terminal... start reading man pages of differen commands..
then try to do something creative using those commands..
It will help you a lot...
# 3  
Old 07-28-2009
That does not seem very entertaining. My problem is this: I'd like to know how to program and be an awesome hacker, but I don't have the motivation to go through all the tedious steps in getting there.

Can I get by this?

I found an online ebook that looks good:

"Programming from the Ground Up" By Johnathan Bartlett

Should I read it? It teaches one about Linux and Assembly. Is this a good book for someone who's starting out?

So... Here's what I need: more info and something that'll inspire me. Is that too much to ask for?

Thanks for all your help.
# 4  
Old 07-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2AllThis
That does not seem very entertaining. My problem is this: I'd like to know how to program and be an awesome hacker, but I don't have the motivation to go through all the tedious steps in getting there.

There's 2 kinds of "hackers" one is a true hacker who starts out with an passion or hobby writing code and spends all his/her time doing it or constantly trying news ways of overloading or testing to uncover bugs or weakness for certain software. These people are the quiet group never boastful or revealing too much about themselves, this group the authorities take seriously.

The other is what they call a "script kiddie" ie someone who is lazy, doesn't like to write any code but like to looks for tools available on internet like sniffers or join forums try to use somebody's idea, like to brag a lot how good they are - script kiddies mostly loners or nobody trying to be somebody.

The only final outcome for a "Awesome Hacker" is prison. Do something that will affect a lot of people in the world and the FBI will send someone to pick you up .... bring lots of of KY, you gonna need it for your prison pals.
# 5  
Old 07-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparcguy
There's 2 kinds of "hackers" one is a true hacker who starts out with an passion or hobby writing code and spends all his/her time doing it or constantly trying news ways of overloading or testing to uncover bugs or weakness for certain software. These people are the quiet group never boastful or revealing too much about themselves, this group the authorities take seriously.

The other is what they call a "script kiddie" ie someone who is lazy, doesn't like to write any code but like to looks for tools available on internet like sniffers or join forums try to use somebody's idea, like to brag a lot how good they are - script kiddies mostly loners or nobody trying to be somebody.
Almost right, really there are 2 kinds of "hackers":
  • White-Hat hackers: these people like to tinker with technology, they want knowledge and are ready to share it. If something doesn't perform as expected, they seek ways to make it do that. Those are the kind of people who founded the Open Source movement.
  • Black-Hat hackers: pretty much like the above, only that they specialize in security technology, and are somewhat reluctant to share their knowledge, mostly because of the next 2 groups
Then there are "The Others"
  • Crackers: sometimes hackers, most often not. They seek to exploit technology for their own means, most often using tools made by hackers, but they have considerable knowledge themselves. Media usually means to this type when referring to hackers.
  • Scriptkiddies: they use the tools they find on the web, without any knowledge of how they work, and no interest. Those are the graffiti-sprayers of the net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparcguy
[...]bring lots of of KY, you gonna need it for your prison pals.
Are you speaking from personal experience, or are you just repeating a common misconception?


Quote:
Originally Posted by New2AllThis
That does not seem very entertaining. My problem is this: I'd like to know how to program and be an awesome hacker, but I don't have the motivation to go through all the tedious steps in getting there.
Hacking and Coding aren't easy, and most people take the entertainment from the things they learn, and yes, this includes books, man pages, and source code of others.

My ideas:
  • Learn to use UNIX (Linux, *BSD, and OpenSolaris come to mind as they are free [as in speech, not as in beer])
  • Learn the command line
  • Start learning C. The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie is still the best starters book IMO
  • Start with small coding projects, like a simple alarm clock, and move up. If you need something, look for libraries that provide what you need, and learn how to use them.
  • Keep learning: I can't stress this enough. If a tool (language, program, algorithm) doesn't do what you need it to, switch it. Learn a new language (most programmers are fluent in 2-3, and can get by on 6-12 more), take a new look at things (Bubble-Sort is nice and simple, but deadly slow for large structures)
# 6  
Old 07-29-2009
Quote:
but I don't have the motivation to go through all the tedious steps in getting there.
This means, simply you can't get there. It's by sheer hardwork, enthusiasm many have reached that level.
Code:
Get a book.
Get a terminal.
Practice, practice, practice with interest ...

# 7  
Old 07-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by [URL="https://www.unix.com/members/302019937.html
sparcguy[/URL]"]The only final outcome for a "Awesome Hacker" is prison. Do something that will affect a lot of people in the world and the FBI will send someone to pick you up .... bring lots of of KY, you gonna need it for your prison pals.
Aren't there ways of covering ones tracks, being undetectable, etc...? I like movies like Sneakers. Life is different from the movies, but some of it is the same. Watching these kinds of movies gets me motivated, but then when I go to study and realise how much there is to learn, I start to lose that motivation.

I wish I started learning this stuff when I was much younger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [URL="https://www.unix.com/members/302054671.html
pludi[/URL]"]Hacking and Coding aren't easy, and most people take the entertainment from the things they learn, and yes, this includes books, man pages, and [COLOR=#2B4782 ! important][COLOR=#2B4782 ! important]source [COLOR=#2B4782 ! important]code[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] of others.
Is there anything out there that will give me the motivation that I need to start learning about these things, and most importantly, sticking to it and not giving up? Unfortunately, as history proves, I tend to be one of those people who starts things, gets bored, and then quits. I need to change.
Quote:
My ideas:
  • Learn to use [COLOR=#2B4782 ! important][COLOR=#2B4782 ! important]UNIX[/COLOR][/COLOR]Image
    (Linux, *BSD, and OpenSolaris come to mind as they are free [as in speech, not as in beer])
  • Learn the command line
  • Start learning C. The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie is still the best starters book IMO
  • Start with small coding projects, like a simple alarm clock, and move up. If you need something, look for libraries that provide what you need, and learn how to use them.
  • Keep learning: I can't stress this enough. If a tool (language, program, algorithm) doesn't do what you need it to, switch it. Learn a new language (most programmers are fluent in 2-3, and can get by on 6-12 more), take a new look at things (Bubble-Sort is nice and simple, but deadly slow for large structures)
Great, thanks! I already have a C++ book. I started learning C++ last year, read about 50 pages... Anyway, I'm going to try again. Any more tips? By the way, I've never been too interested in learning... Is there anything that will help me with this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by [URL="https://www.unix.com/members/39622.html
matrixmadhan[/URL]"]This means, simply you can't get there. It's by sheer hardwork, enthusiasm many have reached that level.
Well, I have to believe that it's possible. Are there strategies for developing the enthusiasm to learn this?

Anyway, I'm starting on Friday (C++). Until then, I plan to read things that will motivate me. I need to change and that's why I choose to learn to program / hack.

Thanks for all your help, everyone. If there's anything else, let me know. Thanks!

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