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the art of lockpicking

Ordered a set of lock-picks from http://www.lockpicks.com a week ago. And I bought a $5 double deadbolt from Target to practice on.

I've been playing around with it for a few days, but so far not much progress. The instruction manual claims it should only take about an hour to learn how to pick it the easy way but that's pretty misleading. I can successfully open it randomly now and then, but every time it opens I have no idea how I did it or why. Very frustrating. But at least the frequency with which I can open it is increasing (slowly).

I used to be too ashamed of my fettish for locks and locksmithing/lockpicking to act on it. I think it is one and the same as my love for security and cryptography in computers. But once I read Richard Feynman's autobio "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feyman" I felt a lot better about myself since he was into the same kind of stuff. Now I can use that as an excuse for why I'm obsessed with picking locks even though I'm not a dirty rotten criminal ;) Back off man, I'm a physicist!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2003 08:54 am (UTC)
Man does that bring back memories... sittin' around the lab picking (or attempting to pick) every lock in sight. And yes indeed, no one batted an eyelash, because "Hey, we're just physics geeks. Did you ever read that Feynman book?"

The truly crappy locks on filing cabinets and lockers and such are good confidence boosters because they often involve only 3 or 4 tumblers and have major imperfections in manufacture (making the tumblers easier to "pin" from the slight rotational pressure).
Mar. 11th, 2003 09:35 am (UTC)
Hmm, so you are in physics too... I should go and read more of your journal. Is this referring to a lab in a classroom or a workplace? Are you in a physics field now?

Did you ever read that Feynman book?

Yeah, unfortunately "read" and "read" are spelled exactly the same but I meant it in the past tense. Great book!
Mar. 11th, 2003 10:41 am (UTC)
My educational background is in physics, math, and computer science. The lab I'm referring to is the Nonlinear Dynamics Lab at the Univ of Miami, where I was a research associate for a while. Of course much of the time spent in the lab involved beer, music, guitar-playing, sword fighting, lockpicking, etc.... i.e. the usual physics pursuits. :) But we did manage to squeeze in actual research in plasma physics, bifurcation phenomena, "chaos", etc.

I'm no longer in the physics field. This has nothing to do with the aforementioned beer, guitar playing, sword fighting, etc. :)

These days I earn my kip mostly from software ventures I'm involved in.
Mar. 12th, 2003 09:07 am (UTC)
I'm headed in the opposite direction. I have a very similar background (computer engineering, physics, and I've taken a lot of math classes and learned a lot on the side even though I don't have a math degree). But I started out in computers and have migrated more and more towards physics. I worked as a software developer for several years at a couple different companies; most recently, at a kickass startup company that 3 of my friends started where we had two arcade games to play in the office (galaga and 1942), a puppy running around with dog toys everywhere, different kinds of projectile guns to shoot each other with, and juggling balls everywhere that we'd toss while discussing the future achitecture of the code. Oh, and of course free caffienated beverages for all! Our company eventually got bought out (Dec 2001) and we all ended up either going back to school or moving on to the parent company which sucked in comparison. I choose the "back to school" route and finished up my degrees. But now I'm through with cs, just want to do physics for the rest of my life.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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