In the third of a three-part Q&A series with hackers, Lamo, now 28, talks about his "hack value," his remorse for the trouble he caused network administrators, and how he hopes to make people smile.

Q: How did you get started hacking?

I was around computers as a very young child. I had a Commodore 64 when I was like 6 or so. And my first interest in seeing how things worked behind the scenes wasn't all about technology necessarily, and my interest in what you might call hacking isn't really primarily about technology...It's not sexy when I'm exploring less obvious aspects of the world that don't involve multibillion-dollar corporations. There's a certain amount of tunnel vision there.
As a kid, before I ever was interested in how my computer worked behind the scenes as opposed to just say popping in a soccer game cartridge and running it, I was already much more interested in figuring out, say, the school public address system or the garbage schedule to the office so I could grab the memos that teachers had discarded on the way to class to know what it was they were meeting about, when the fire drills were, things like that and not for even any real particular purpose.

(It was) just because I wanted to know and was fascinated by the fact that it was another layer that I, as a very young student never saw. I could totally tell you a story about some epiphany I had working with computers as a kid and it might even be true in some respects, but it wouldn't be the story.

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