I'm really enjoying this series of articles from Timothy McSweeney. In their latest issue, they talk to Ken Doyle, a professional safecracker who explains how he got into the trade and some of the most unusual things he experienced.
Q: How did you learn to be a safecracker?
A: In 1978 I took a correspondence course to learn the basics of locksmithing. The ad in the Popular Mechanics classifieds said, "Be your own boss."
The course consisted of about 70 lessons. I'd study each lesson and practice the particular skill required, like how to fit a key, lock disassembly, rekeying, etc.
Q: What does it mean to fit a key?
A: This is only one of a dozen basic locksmith skills. You insert a blank key, wiggle it while turning and the bumping action creates marks on the key blade. You file where the marks are until the key turns in the lock. It's also known as "impressioning."
Q: It seems like you could use this knowledge in bad ways if you wanted to.
A: Clients often ask, jokingly, whether we learn our trade in prison.
|Man Servants: Hire a Gentlemen to do Your Bidding|
|15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World|
|A Sign of Our Times: Job-Seekers Asked for Facebook Credentials at Job Interviews|
|Outsourcing Your Job to China So You Can Watch Cat Videos|
|“How do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic?”|
|“Tesla's Model S has outsold traditional high-end models from established European brands.”|
|The 24 Carrot Cake|
|“A modern trade route between Asia and Europe is under construction.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“There are over a billion people who have no access to energy what-so-ever.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"|
|“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.”|