low tech ruLeZ

15Sep04

when i was helping ted spec out his bike to ride across the country on, i talked him into getting cable actuated disc brakes instead of hydraulic ones. i wanted to make sure that if anything went wrong that it would be easy for ted to fix, and that source of the problem would be obvious. it’s really what i love about bikes. all the systems are exposed, or at least obvious, so it’s very easy to work with them. my motorcycle confounds me for this reason. it is so complicated and everything is behind plates and covers and crap. i don’t understand any of it. i nearly killed my bike because i didn’t even understand how my oil gauge worked. how sad is that?

sometimes low tech isn’t just easier than high tech, it’s literally superior. i remember when the first copy protection came out on cds. some german website (i think) offered a bounty for the first person who could defeat it. all these L337 haX0rs threw their hat into the ring, trying to write a little program to work around the copy protection. but some smart guy just took a sharpy and drew a squiggly line around the disk and it defeated the copy protection scheme while still allowing the disk to play in cd players and even computers. see? low tech rules.

now here’s a case where i’m not so happy about the superiority of low tech solutions: it turns out all it takes to defeat most u-locks with cylindrical keys, including the one i have, is a bic pen and about ten seconds. i’m in no mood to go buy a new lock, but i guess i’ll have to soon.

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