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.
|I Will Not Be In to Work Today As I Had a Dream Last Night About Sharks|
|Letter From a Fed Up Computer Consultant|
|Ninjas Taking Over LinkedIn|
|Go on a Cruise to Get Work Done|
|“Bioinspired Polymeric Woods.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|The Paper Airplane Database|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|“Companies like Google seem to have a dangerous disconnect from those of us in the world outside their confines.”|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|
|Fake Name Generator|