The first computer that got me really going on was a gateway solo 2100 laptop. 233mhz cpu, with 32mb of ram and a 2gb hard drive. I wasn't going to be taking over the world with this system, but I did come up with some pretty interesting projects using it. My first ever true "hack" or "project" was a floppy disk that bypassed the windows 95/98 login screen and took you right to the desktop. This was done by loading system files from the floppy but using config files on the systems hard drive. It was popular on IRC for about a week before completely abandoned due to simply being able to press cancel at the login screen.
My second project was a bit more complex and useful. A bash script that allowed anyone to view ifilms.com paid videos for free. At that time ifilms was one of the webs first video sites. This project was put on antionline.com but lost after I stopped updating my free website.
As years passed I came up with other little projects, none of them really worth keeping around for to long. It wasn't till I started work at a small ISP (Interlink L.C.) that I started trying to come up with new projects. Most of them consisted of scripts to automate tasks, such as parsing log files and hunting down user activity. Once wifi became popular I created a few scripts to quickly change hardware MAC addresses for gaining access to wireless towers without having to have an actual account on them. Although working for the company I already had free access. But these where proof of concepts, which got me fired for being a security threat then shortly after re-hired once one of the managers was let go.
A few years back I created a script for Yahoo Live! which allowed people to view any live cam without having to be in the same chat room with the user. This was mostly created as a way for users to view more then the 4-5 cams they could by default. Sadly once it was finished the site closed down due to the economy.
Now days I spend my time piddling around with php, mysql, and different tools for sniffing and manipulating network traffic. Although I have not created anything of interest in a long time. The old days still ring in my head just waiting for an opportunity to once again create something neat. Perhaps the new business will push me in a direction to create such a tool. Who knows.
It seams the days of tinkering are almost gone though. Sneaking through alleys listening to phone conversations, or using my old palm pilot to telnet into systems from unsuspecting phone lines are but a funny memory. But as technology grows and more people embrace it, I feel more fun is yet to be had and more projects yet to be created.
Only time can tell. Who knows maybe my children will pickup where I leave off.