Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review: How To Open Locks With Improvised Tools

For years, I've had How To Open Locks With Improvised Tools: Practical, Non-Destructive Ways Of Getting Back Into Just About Everything When You Lose Your Keys on my Amazon Wishlist, and for my last birthday, my Sister-in-Law's family came through and got it for me. No, I'm not planning some bank heist. I just find the notion of having a way to bypass both locks as being both practical and intellectually interesting. I've always been drawn to puzzles that seem absolutely impossible, until of course, you figure them out.

Regardless of my interest, I've now made a first pass through this book, and I've got to say, I've really enjoyed it. I need to go back and study specific parts of the book with the goal of putting the techniques to use. A simple reading of this book isn't going to teach you much.

I absolutely love the style and tone of the book. It's like having a coach over your shoulder telling you that you can do it, just give it your best effort. And don't be too disappointed if you can't pull some technique off. Oh, and you've got to practice, practice, practice!

I also love how the book changes your perspective from passive acceptance of locks to actively looking for ways around them. Most locks, despite what you might initially think, aren't impenetrable - they just require you to get creative. To see what I mean, consider this example posted on lifehacker. You'd think a chain-lock would be unstoppable, yet a bit of string and some cleverness is all it takes to defeat it.

In the end, no one technique in the book makes it worth reading. Instead, read it to expand your mind and change your perspective.

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