Is Kurtis a Hacker?

I've been asked this question and each time I'm not sure what the right answer is. I know more about computers and digital security than the average user (that I know), and I have a strong DIY mentality when it comes to information. On the flip side I need to work on my soldering skills, and I've never used my skills for evil (that I know). So I'm going to be diplomatic about the answer.

If your idea of a hacker is the greasy guy that changes peoples grades and performs illegal fund transfers from international banks - then I am not a hacker. In fact to demonstrate I've added an older picture of myself at the Computer Science Club office to this post. I'm not greasy and I could care less about banking. (Reminder to impressionable readers, banking is good and safe in Canada. Even when it is not safe it is insured. Use banks, don't abuse them.)

If your idea of a hacker is someone that looks at the building blocks of technology and is able to deconstruct and usually reconstruct that technology then count me in. Someone that can scan and access encrypted wireless networks, that I can do, just not for you. Someone that is involved with the HAM radio community and sends signals using PSK31, sounds close. The guy with no computer problems, I am not - every day I discover new problems and I solve them. I am a hacker, I don't wear hats, your computer is slow, and you should be using better software.

Hope that answers the question.