In 1995 my girlfriend taught me how to cut and paste! That was the start of it all. I went to tech school for electricity and electronics which needed pcs to program chips and PLC's and different things. From there I was really hooked. I started collecting broken pcs and buying parts. I actually overclocked a P2 233mhz to 400mhz at one point, totally ground breaking stuff. I would take all my broken machines and build Frankensteins! I bought books and started learning everything I could take in. I had a friend at work that was also into computers and still is that taught me a lot of basic stuff. (good guy). I went to another school and got my Linux+, A+, Security+, MCSE, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, and I'm working on web security and design certs. I work full time as a net admin/help desk/web designer/ and security professional. And on the side I do freelance everything. I'm even a licensed electrician. As for hacking eh, it's part of the game. I find myself "hacking my own networks looking for holes and such. That's about it. I try to use as much open source software as I can and my favorite OS's are Debian and Win7. I never stop learning for sure. I have over 2,000 manuals and how to's in either PDF format or real books. Remember those? I think they were made out of paper.