Elliot Levin


I enjoy making things

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Productivity with Personal Projects10 Dec 2014

Measuring Progress as a Programmer06 Nov 2014

My Story as a Teenage Programmer24 Sep 2014

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Kill Drive


Introduction to programming

Once a kid learns that they are able to bend the will of the computers as they please, what is the first thing that comes to mind? "What is the coolest thing I can do now?" was my response, and to that was the fact that I could shut down a computer. Not so cool in retrospect, but in year 5, the "Kill Drive" was my proudest asset.

The kill drive was just a shiny blue usb thumb drive that contained nothing more than an autorun.inf and a batch file to shutdown the machine. It used the autorun magic to execute the batch file as it was plugged into the victim's computer, back in the days of Windows XP, no dialog or options were displayed, it just ran and it did so perfectly, until it didn't.

I had fun with it at home but what's the point of this if you don't show it off to your friends at school. To my disappointment, the school computers had such advanced security* features that the shutdown command was disabled.

Coincidentally, this was about the time I was first introduced to C#. My father showed me his copy of Visual Studio 2005, some basic things that could be done with forms applications. Excited but naive, I dove straight in to my first project, "Kill Drive V2". I iterated more versions as I learnt more and more and finally I had a suitable version which I still have it today.

Download my WindowsApplication1 (do not run it, it actually works)




* As a side story, my primary school used a printing system where each account was rationed about $20.00 of virtual printing money. In year 6, I had discovered I was able to transfer money between accounts of the school. One of my friends advertised this fact and before I knew it, all the junior classes (which each had one account) had no printing money. After discovering this, I stole $0.05 as a test from a junior class but did not touch it since. When I heard the rumors that the IT guys had latched on, I transferred it back. Sadly this was my undoing as to find the students responsible, they logged transfers from a certain date and this was the only one under my name. So we all got screamed at and a reflection sheet. Those were the days.