Summary of Chapter 1

In Chapter 1, Marcus gets called to Mr. Benson's office. While he is there, Marcus is accused of stealing some standardized tests under the name W1n5t0n, which is Marcus' name online. Mr. Benson, the vice principal, really doesn't like Marcus. Of course, Mr. Benson can't prove that Marcus is W1n5t0n or that he stole the tests, so Marcus gets sent back to class.

On his way to class, Marcus get a new message saying that there is a new Harajuku Fun Madness game out, which is "the best game ever made." He convinces Darryl to cut class with him. Darryl agrees because he wants to see Vanessa Pak, whom he's been in love with forever. On their way out of school, however, Darryl remembers he has an arphid in his Physics book, which can track where he goes.


Connection to Self

"The Man was always coming down on me, just because I go through school firewalls like wet kleenex, spoof the gait-recognition software, and nuke the snitch chips they track us with." (p. 10)
Marcus knows how to get around all the security measures at the school and he gets into trouble because of his knowledge. Lots of times, smart kids get into trouble at school because they know how to break the rules without getting caught.

Technology in Chapter 1



Gait-recognition Software
This is a kind of technology that is used at Marcus' school to identify how people walk. Everyone's walk, or gait, is unique to them. This technology is supposed to help the principal know if a student is leaving campus during the school day. Marcus figures out how to trick the gait-recognition software by putting rocks into his shoes.
TOR - The Onion Router
The Onion Router is a technology that helps Marcus get to his webpages at school, even though there is a network filter that is supposed to prevent students from looking at bad websites. The Onion Router takes information from a webpage and passes it through hundreds of layers, or other onion routers before it gets to Marcus' computer. By the time the encrypted, or hidden, webpage has been passed through
all those layers, the network filter can no longer block the webpage because it can't read the encryption, so Marcus can get to all the pages he needs.
An arphid is a radio frequency id tag, which is a small chip inside lots of things, like our Clipper cards and Darryl's Physics book. These arphids can be read by radio waves and they let the school administrators keep track of their library books (and students).

Questions About Chapter 1

  • How did Marcus learn so much about technology?
  • Who really stole the standardized tests?