Kevin Mitnick died this week. We both attended L.A. Pierce College (I started the year he graduated) and I haven't thought about him for many years. He was a local legend who hacked campus computers for his exploits.

He was also my inspiration for hacking the planet in 1988 with DEC computers. In 1990 I hacked about forty systems at Hewlett Packard, earned a lifetime employment ban after I quit, which says more about the Management than me. That division closed permanently a couple of years later. Surprise. laughing_emoji-4

I had admin access and created several alter egos:

  • M.C. ESDI
  • M.C. SCSI
  • Jack McVax
  • Mr. System
  • The Glitch

It was enormous fun. One night I was logged in as Mr System and a sysadmin messaged me, asking who I was and what I was doing.

I replied, "You must have XenoSys 9 access to contact me"... followed by silence.

On my last week, I created a duplicate account of my manager who'd blocked me from a lateral transfer and sent him a farewell email from himself.

Hacking became a Federal felony in 1991 so I shifted to Unconventional Manipulation of Information , data mining and predictive analytics, and Mitnick's arrest in 1995 only affirmed my action.

I'd forgotten how much Mitnick influenced me. It's strange that I've outlived Michael Jackson, Prince, Julian Sands (all 1958 births), DEC, SUN, Compaq, three startups, most of my family, possibly the United States and now Kevin Mitnick. He was smart but not enough to avoid the vax. Pancreatic cancer is a tell.

The Sasch on Ventura Blvd was a premiere nightclub in the 1980s and a hangout for movie crews: grips, cameramen, etc. I met Cybil Shepherd there and saw Baxter Robertson and Mister Mister perform live, "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. I was there most weekends from 1984 until I left for Boise in 1990.

Hollywood Heights – Studio City Nightlife | FilmLA
(Editor’s note: Film Works is pleased to announce our first guest blogger, Mary Mallory. Mary works for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is a frequent contributor to the Daily Mirror blog, which examines the history of Los Angeles. Mary’s articles focus on the history of certain…
the Sasch on Ventura Blvd, Studio City