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Have a Great Life! Stories about People Who Use Hacking to Do Good

From: "Paul Grodt"
To: Carolyn Meinel
Subject: Good to know the HH list is still alive
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:04:35 -0500

I've been following your writings since I was in the 9th grade, at least, as I can remember when GtmHH 2 came out. I have to say, thanks largely to you, I became focused in my interest in computers and computer security. Now at long last I am graduating from college, and just last week I was given a job offer as a security engineer, evaluating client software to be submitted for Common Criteria certification. I'm very excited to get started, and I plan to move on to begin a masters program in CS as soon as possible. You showed me a middle line, where I can keep both my ethics and my criminal record intact, while learning as much as possible about the inner workings of real-world computer systems. I'm curious as to what direction I would have taken without your influence.

Thanks again for everything,
Paul Grodt

Carolyn replies: Paul told me it was OK to post his email along with his address so that today's young people could contact him. (I've fubarred it with javascript so that the spambots will have a hard time harvesting it.) Chances are good that Paul, in turn, will inspire several kids to have a great life. When I was a kid, several scientists loaned me science books and journals, sat down with me and talked things over. They made a big difference in my life. I'm paying back, as best as I can. what they gave to me and so many other kids.

From: Dan <dan@fubar.net>
To: Carolyn Meinel
Subject: It's All Your Fault (Thanks)

Hi Carolyn,

My name is Dan, and during my junior year of high school I found your site, www.happyhacker.org and became an avid fan. At that time the Internet was fairly new to me, but your site spurred an already budding interest in computers and an introduction to Linux (which, incidentally, is the largest time absorbing sinkhole I ever discovered). Your site prompted the purchase of nearly $700 worth of computer books by the time I graduated and at least twice that in hours reading them.

I continued my education with a degree in computer science and during a torrid, multi-year stage of forgetfulness that I feel had something to do with beer-induced comas and other forms of debauchery, the happyhacker site fell by the wayside. The last time I visited happyhacker, I had forged an email that you posted on the "It Sucks To Be Me" page (I continued my education with a degree in computer science and during a torrid, multi-year stage of forgetfulness that I feel had something to do with beer-induced comas and other forms of debauchery, the happyhacker site fell by the wayside. The last time I visited happyhacker, I had forged an email that you posted on the "It Sucks To Be Me" page (http://happyhacker.org/sucks/sucksapril10.shtml - the first one and it took me at least a half an hour to find that), so you can see I have some catching up to do. :-)

During college I had worked for a legal company as a part time IT tech, but with official papers in hand, I was promoted to god-status. The old admin has since quit, leaving me to manage the IT department and boss around the n00bs.

If you have read through my ramble so far, I'm impressed - and trust me - I'm getting to a point here. I felt that I owed you a sincere thanks - the tips and information on your site guided me toward a successful path, that may not have been so forthcoming if I hadn't stumbled upon happyhacker while trying to circumvent school computer security (we all grow up).

So kudos for what you've done and keep up the great job!

Regards,
Dan O.

Carolyn replies: Dan did 99+% of the work of making a success of himself. He's a perfect example of why I got this site going. Nothing feels better than to have contributed a tiny bit to someone who is making the world a better place -- and having a great life.

More "Have a Great Life" --->>

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