I originally started with “hacker,” but because it’s hard to photograph software (as it’s all abstract, virtual information or, more physically, a bunch of disks), I ended up going for the hardware version for more variety in images: a hardware modder. Hardware modders believe in the same things software hackers do: to find and exploit vulnerabilities or insufficiencies in technology and take advantage of them in order to make them more useful. The most common hardware modders will perform a simple upgrade, such as adding more RAM to a computer or cleaning a fan, or taking apart a computer to repair or replace a broken part. And that’s why I show broken parts in my book. More hardcore modders might change the shape of a computer or device or add extra parts and functionality just for fun. This can be done with things like modchips. Because of the nature of their modifications, hardware modders are very familiar with tools such as screwdrivers and soldering irons. Hardware modders are also experienced with the inner workings of electronics, and they sometimes build devices from scratch, with circuit boards, displays, and other necessary hardware. Experienced hardware modders sometimes share their work with the hacker/modder communities on the internet, to both show off their skills and to suggest that other people try what they did.
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