Friday, December 24, 2004


woohoo!! lockpicked my way into my room today!

When i got home dis afternoon after a half-day and it was burning hot so i decided 2 take a cool shower. but alas when i tried to get into mah room 4 some change i was out of luck - room was locked. Dug in the drawers for the keys but could only find keys for the other rooms. I was stuck outside dripping in a towel.

That's when I decided to put my l33t l0ckp1ck sk1lz (more like my vague memory of the MIT guide to lockpicking) 2 some good use.

First i needed 2 get meself some tools - rummaged thru dad's toolbox. Found some screwdrivers, pliers, wire, and a penknife. I'd need something to supply the torque - first i thought of using a pair of thin screwdrivers in a "chopstick" fashion, but I knew someone with psychomotor coordination like me couldn't do it. Something like the "pliers" used to pluck chicken hair would work if the ends were sharp - hey isn't that scissors?!! Found a pair and they were quite suitable. Pliers also worked but needed to be opened wider (as the handles are further apart when it's closed) so more unwieldy.

Next I needed the pick. A small section of wire did the trick. Tried to bend the end into the ideal pick shape but couldn't bend off a small enough bit.

OK charge! After a few attempts I realized the lock had 2 rows of pins - at the top and bottom.. had to scrape both of them. Hmm this isn't really a beginner's lock. Didn't get it for quite a while and got a bit frustrated.

Yappari was it impossible for a unpractical guy like me? Noooo I refuse to give up - I want to show that even armchair theorists can DIY!!!! Last time all those mechanical and competitions I joined like amphibious vehicle and widget sorting all failed.. and parents also laff @ me 4 being a klutz.. i must overcome the stigma of my past!!!! ok i digress.

Went back and examined the other keys more closely. And realized that the pins only had 2 states - up or down. There weren't any graduations in between. A couple of implications - there were fewer possible combinations for the pins. Also I could be rougher with the pick since there was a large distance between an up pin and a down pin. And almost couldn't believe it when the lock turned! I did it!!! Yatta!!!!!! Woohooo!!! Looks like my time spent in DSO using heavy metal tools for real men wasn't wasted. Nothing like this to make one's Christmas eve!!!!

And to share my joy with everyone I just had to blog this. Oh and also to do a theoretical analysis :) Take that you brand-x-made-in-china-pin-tumbler-lock! I 0wn j00!

PS. Lockpicking kept bringing certain analogies to mind. One inserts something long and hard into an orifice and slides it in and out, rubbing it against the grooves. And a climax is reached when the knob turns. Nothing like surrogate sex on christmas eve :D

PPS. Even not getting my ipod mini in time for xmas can't ruin my mood now!

Merry Christmas! Btw title link goes to the toolz i used. How fitting that the pic is now on a MIT spun-off photosharing site. Ho, ho, ho!


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