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thorninmud's avatar

What are your greatest hacking exploits?

Asked by thorninmud (17714 points ) November 28th, 2012

I mean “hacking” in the broadest sense: modifying something to function in a way its creator never intended.

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18 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Does using Astroglide to lube a lizard stuck in a flower pots hole count?

thorninmud's avatar

Hell yeah!

Coloma's avatar

@thorninmud LOL…it works! Sooo, remember there are 101 uses for personal lubricants!

Coloma's avatar

Oh, and I am always using cotton balls soaked in lotion or body oil to grease the squeaky door hinges in my house. Hemp oil is my favorite, my hinges smell good. They are high hinges. lol

jerv's avatar

My old Aerostar blew the thermostat gasket while I was on the road. I had a swim fin and a pair of tin snips. New gasket, and roadworthy again!

But as a machinist, I am improvising all the time, so there are plenty of little hacks every day, like the scribe I made by press-fitting a piece of 1/8” carbide drill rod into a rod of ½” aluminum and ground it to a point. Shoving a .125 rod into a .124 hole means it *isn’t*coming out! I even knurled it on the lathe so it looks less improv.

WyCnet's avatar

Like the time I routinely hacked the User stack on a Vax780 and turned Pascal into concurrent Pascal, (at York U) making Nicolas Wirth’s version of concurrent Pascal (IBM) look like clam chowder! Wow that was 25 years ago, and the tune at the time was NEVER f with the execution stack. There was one API – transfer(to_routine); Hang it up, but I guess I already had it coming because I had signed the North American Official Secrets Act two years previously.

Coloma's avatar

@WyCnet Sounds impressive but I have no idea wtf you’re talking about.lol

janbb's avatar

I used my handyman’s level to hang clothes on in the closet he is refitting for me.

WyCnet's avatar

@Coloma : Concurrent programming is almost like parallel programming, except in a concurrent environment execution can be resumed for any of 1..N tasks, implying state variables over a range of mutually exclusive sub-tasks can be stored, which are in turn seen as a branching tree of an original solution. This is not the same complexity as a multi-tasking environment although at certain levels of scrutiny the untrained eye may think them as equivalent…

YARNLADY's avatar

I repurpose things every day. I often use scissors as hammers or screwdrivers. Just this morning I took an unused curtain rod and snagged a bag from the top of my closet.

Coloma's avatar

@WyCnet Very articulate, I now understand perfectly.
Not.
Is there going to be a pop quiz anytime soon? lol

Blackberry's avatar

I was going to wash a glass to drink out of, then I realized I could just drink the wine out of the bottle.

WyCnet's avatar

@Coloma : Yeh that wasn’t so bad, a year later I found myself working for a company that sat between the Intel386 and mother boards interpreting memory addresses. Needless to say we were the first to remap BIOS to faster ram, increasing DOS past 740k, and speeding up video. This was a hardware hack with which I was privledged to be associated, Damn I learned a lot,
Believe me some people can hack.

gailcalled's avatar

An unbent metal clothes hanger is perfect for unclogging a toilet before you move on to the plunger stage.

Cotton balls permeated with peppermint oil tucked into car crannies for mouse prevention.

gasman's avatar

As a student doing biomedical research, I built a paper electrophoresis apparatus out of an old mouse cage – which was clear plastic of just the right size to attach the electrodes to. It worked fine at separating & identifying certain proteins & a commercial version would have cost thousands of dollars – not that they would have paid for it lol.

Now the “dark side” (more in line with the current negative connotation of hacking): As a teenager, when people called home they used a pay telephone and inserted coins at the direction of a human operator, who confirmed coin amounts by listening to bells sounded as coins went in. Several seconds after the call was placed the operator pushed a button that caused the inserted coins to drop into the coin box. Otherwise they would come back out the coin return when the call was done. So if you knew which wire to cut & splice back together inside the cable feeding the phone booth, temporarily disconnecting it so the “keep the coins” signal never got to the phone, then you could place free long-distance calls, cheerfully inserting coins when required but getting them back out at the end. Everyone loved to scam the phone company, especially in the late 1960s.I provided this service I to a bunch of people for a short while – “youthful indiscretion.” My bad. What’s the statute of limitations? lol

dabbler's avatar

Our dishwasher broke a part a few years ago and I made a new one out of some junk plastic using a dremel tool.

When software authorization used to be a bit simpler I was a whiz at replacing the part of the program that checks for that with a series of no-ops. That was back when I had more time than money and the challenge was fun.
[ These days such software security is much more complicated and I have more money than time, so I’ll just buy the thing if I want it. ]

augustlan's avatar

Not really “hacks”, since I didn’t alter anything, but I use things for different purposes all the time. For instance, I use a decorative metal urn (like a plant pot with a foot) to hold all my kitchen utensils, a little ceramic canister to hold our toothbrushes and toothpaste in the bathroom, and a sort of window box style metal planter to hold all my daily medications on my desk.

Seek's avatar

Recently, I’ve learned I’ve been eating cupcakes wrong.

The right way

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