Hello, my name is Kelvin, not Rachel. I conveniently named my blog "Rachel" because it's a sexy name. Enjoy your stay here!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scholarship "About Me" - Part 1

I am a computer enthusiast who fell in love with the computer since I first used one at the age of 4. I started out playing games on the PC. When the Internet was made available to my apartment I started playing online ones too. My had my first experience with the technical aspects of the computer when I was 7 when I had to decorate my Neopets shop with HTML coding. The codings intrigued me and I went further to find out what does exactly what. Since then I began experimenting with images found on the net (I was a Pokemon fan) and created multiple offline Pokemon fansites. I was fascinated by the concept of the URI and hyperlinks and how they work to bring pages together. When I found out about Geocities I started bringing everything online. Implementation of navigation at first was a chore, where I had to painfully edit every other page whenever a new page was introduced. Then I learnt of the frame, which helped me sew pages together to appear as one. As Geocities had annoying advertisements, I used carefully crafted hidden frames to hide them. When I got older, I began playing MMORPGs in Primary 3, and from a game called Dark Ages, someone introduced me a tool known as a "speed hack". From the tool I selected a process from a list and I could choose to "speed" it up. From there I was introduced into the world of security where I had special interest in. I started to surf the web to download little tools which does cool things to my computer. Probably the greatest tool I've tried was Cain and Abel (back then just known as Cain, as it didn't have the Abel network component), which allowed me to recover the dial-up passwords my dad used. When I was a little older in Primary 5, I obtained a CD fully infested with viruses, but also came with neat tools. I followed some tutorials and I was able to remotely compromise my sister's Windows 98 system without physically accessing it. I started using the tools provided to create little viruses, trojans and keyloggers to experiment with. From there I learnt how they resided in the system, what kind of things they could do and could not, and how I could remove them manually after turning off the anti-virus. Eventually I decided that my computer needed a reformat. My dad was a computer technician but he not in at that time. Recalling how he did it with a boot diskette, I tried to mimic the commands and after some trial and error I finally reformatted the computer to a clean Windows installation. Things did not work so I learnt to install the drivers with the provided CDs in the computer drawer. I learnt to get the network and Internet working. I eventually started on a little security journey which allowed me to get a feel of the different tools of the trade, but I was nothing more than a script kiddie. In Secondary 3, I was introduced to the MapleGlobal game. As usual, I was fascinated when I saw characters doing things that the original game client would not allow, but this time after fooling around with some game trainers online, I decided that I should try to make some myself. I read a few tutorials and learnt the concept of memory editing, and how things are loaded into the RAM and interpreted as instructions (in ASM language) or data. I used a memory editor known as Cheat Engine to replicate what the trainers did, changing the values of "Gravity" or the "Jumping Power" of a character to bypass "Jump Quests". I followed a tutorial on GamerzPlanet forum to program my first C++ trainer which came in a console window and accepted hotkeys. I did not fully understand the code back then, I was just interested in what it accomplishes in the end, which is to write a value to a memory location. I learnt new tools and added new techniques into my arsenal throughout the years, wrote a few tutorials and subsequently got accepted into GamerzPlanet underground. All the while there were few friends in real-life who actually appreciated the computer and the things you could do with it. Everything changed when I went into Polytechnic. I was in the Computer Engineering course. There were computer enthusiasts everywhere who were interested in the things I say. I took my first real modules in programming, networking, security and computer architecture, and these modules pieced up everything I know into something I could start to comprehend as a whole. I excelled in my field as I had great interest in what I do and subsequently I was selected after a 2-year long trial to compete in the WorldSkills Singapore competition in the IT Administration trade, during which I was the main tutor for my peers in the competition. I brought back a Medallion for Excellence for my school ([link]). Throughout the course of the competition I journalled my progress in a blog (Basic Draft) which was used by the subsequent competition batches as reference. I was also sponsored by the school for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification. I was extremely active in my course club (CENT Club) and I was made the President in year 2. The committee and I frequently collaborated with other clubs to organize events such as cohesion activities, orientation camps, leadership camps, study groups, peer tutoring lectures and workshops for the Computer Engineering Course and the School of Engineering. My projects (such as the ones done for the Computer Architecture and Operating Systems (CAOS), Network Security (NETSEC), Enterprise Web Applications (EWEBAPP) and Object Oriented programming (OOP)) were used as models for multiple batches ahead. I graduated with a Diploma in Computer Engineering with Merits and was awarded the CAE Singapore (S.E.A.) Prize ([link])