Pete's Log: Lockpicking Pete

Entry #1839, Thu, August 06, 2020, 21:30 CDT (Random Crap)
(posted when I was 42 years old.)

A few months ago, I realized that Jamie, JB and Boogs all had subscriptions to boxes that came in the mail (art supplies, toys and toys/snacks respectively), so I figured I should get one myself. I settled on the HackerBox, which delivers a curated collection of electronic components each month. Before JB came along, I'd been tinkering with electronics quite a bit, so it sounded fun.

The boxes I've received so far have looked pretty cool, but I've only had limited time to play with their contents so far. Yesterday I got box #0057 in the mail. In addition to some electronics, it came with a lockpicking kit and a transparent practice lock!

I enjoy watching the occasional lockpicking video on YouTube (especially LockPickingLawyer) and think I understand the basic principles, but I've never had a chance to try my hand at picking a lock. To my surprise, without checking for any instructions, I got the practice lock open in under 30 seconds. After poking at it a little more, I'm starting to think maybe it's too easy a practice lock.

The internet leads me to believe that the next thing to move on to after a practice lock is a masterlock. Well, don't have one of those at home, but we do have a Chateau padlock. Trying my hand at this lock is what led me to realize just how easy the practice lock was. After playing with it for a little while it felt basically impossible.

But the way my brain works, I couldn't keep away. There's a particular sort of conference call that suits itself well to fidgeting with something. In the past, I've loved Hanayama puzzles for that purpose. Well today I just happened to have one of those calls, and found myself drawn to the Chateau padlock again. After tinkering with it for a while, I got it open! Now it felt mostly like luck, but there was something incredibly satisfying about that click when it opened. I might be hooked. I've since gotten the lock picked another four or five times, and it's getting progressively easier. New hobby? I did look it up and found that owning lockpicking tools is legal in Illinois so long as you don't intend to use them on anything but your own locks.

Another item which came in that Hacker Box was a USB PC Remote, which was a funny coincidence because just a few days ago I was googling just such a thing. My personal and work computers share the same keyboard, monitor and mouse using a KVM switch, and I play music off my personal computer while doing work and I wanted a way to play/pause/skip without having to switch inputs on the KVM. Problem solved!

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