I had a fun meeting yesterday, and I won't say who with (unless he wants me to), but it was initially a business meeting related to the organisation for which he works, but went on rather a lot, ending in a meal in cafe rouge. I have met him before, but this time we managed to take a lot about old times and "stuff".
I actually found myself out-geeked for a change. Heck, he had a rare "portable" BBC micro (i.e. big box with power, CRT, BBC micro, 5 1/4" floppy disks, and fold out keyboard) in the boot of his car. Next to that the half restored teletype and fibreglass orc in the office were no match.
I tell a story of old days doing "purely research" in to the way some games managed protection on tapes or disks, and how the Elite game does various scrambling (XOR) of data it loads from tape/disk in various stages so that you cannot simply access or change the underlying machine code of the game. TBH I am not 100% sure the game was "elite" or not now. But what was fun is that if you are manually simulating the various stages, then part way through there is a pattern in memory that you can see with text "Does you mother know you do this?". I remember it well as it was after I had left uni and was temporarily staying at my parents, and she was behind me at the time! That text is not on the tape/disk and not in the final memory image but an intermediate stage that only a "hacker" would ever see. Before I got to tell that story, this person told of a similar story with another game and intermediate text "You are in a maze of twisty passages all alike" (a classic line from text based adventure games). I was out geeked on one of the most geeky anecdotes I have in my arsenal!
I'd say I "won" on the forcing the teletext chip in a BBC micro in to "reveal mode" by rapid random screen mode switching, that is, until I saw his "portable BBC micro" in his boot. And yes, I had BBC with 6502 and Z80 second processors and even teletext adapter but I never had one that talked GPIB, FFS, out geeked again!
At the end of the day it make me realise what a small world it is - there are probably literally a handful of people that have been there and done that in the same level of technical arena that I have had in my life. This person is close, but he did more radio ham than I ever did. I think I have done more coding than he has. But we are a rare breed and becoming rarer I think.
Hopefully one of those useful contacts in life for personal and business progressing in various ways. Some times it is who you know and not what you know, but knowing both helps even more.