My dad is a police officer and my stepmother is a network engineer at NSA. My step-mom travels a lot for her job, which means my stepsister and I take care of my three younger brothers a lot. Several years ago my stepmother was assigned overseas for two years and we couldn’t go with her. It was pretty hard on the family but we managed to pull through. In fact, it was during her assignment that my dad taught me a little bit about her job and how computers “talk” to each other (called networking).
That’s easy! Since each family member has their own computer (there are 7 of us), I thought it would be neat to build a wireless network throughout the house so that we could all be online and connected to each other at the same time. Plus we wouldn’t have all those cables lying around the house – I was tripping over them all the time. Anyway, I did all of the research online and within a few weeks, I had a simple wireless network running throughout the whole house. I did most of the work myself, but my step-mom had to help me out with a few problems. Now my stepsister can sit on the porch and chat with her friends online, while my brothers and I sit at the dinner table playing our favorite online multi-player games. One of the neat things about this network is that if I check the programs to see which ones are being used, I can figure out which member of my family is using the network.
You can usually find me playing sports at school or with friends in the neighborhood. I’m the starting quarterback for the Junior Varsity football squad at school, as well as a member of the J.V. Track and Field team. I also love playing soccer and paint ball – especially against my brothers and stepsister. I like to thumb through computer magazines to get the latest information about networking and computer software. I’ve always liked doing puzzles too, so I spend some time during the week doing word jumbles or playing Hangman.
My best friend at school, Crypto Cat, taught me how to make codes using native Navajo words. I seemed to be pretty good at breaking her codes which is how I got the name Decipher Dog (or D-Dog for short.) Sometimes I need a little information about how the code works, but it’s usually more fun to figure it out on my own. Eventually, Crypto Cat and I found a few other people interested in making and breaking codes and we formed a group called the CRYPTOKIDS. Now we meet every week to find new ways to challenge each other. It’s pretty cool.