What do I do in my spare time, you may ask? Some people knit or build model airplanes. I tinker. And fix things. I build custom phone systems out of scratch and make them do things that in the wrong hands could be used for nefarious purposes. I build strobe power supplies from scratch and connect them to iPods in order to change traffic lights from red to green. I talk to folks in Australia on a handheld two-way radio from my back porch. I turn broken laptop computers into functioning laptop computers, occasionally disassembling them completely in the process. I figure out how I would get my outside house lights to turn on at sunset and turn off at sunrise without the use of a photoelectric sensor. I crack the WEP passwords of my neighbor’s wireless networks. I build a DVR from scratch and record my favorite TV shows automatically, and send these recordings to my iPhone to watch on-the-go. I plan a reactor to turn used cooking oil into free diesel fuel for my car.

And I always look for new, better ways to do things. Sure, it doesn’t help my social life at all (strangely women don’t seem to be impressed by these abilities), but like I said, it’s just a hobby. Machines I understand.