I grew up in a small town in Transylvania, and will always remember the day when I assembled my first computer and loaded the first mp3 songs and movies on it. At the time we didn’t yet have Internet in my home, and I was exchanging files via CDs with my friends and my father’s colleagues.
By the time I went to college, my campus had its own intranet, and my friends and I built up a collection of hundreds of albums, television series, movies, software packages, anything you could imagine. It was as if all of the students were part of this giant web, seeding and peering on torrents while constantly exchanging the latest school news in forums and chat rooms. Later, I used the internet to find my first internship abroad, master’s scholarship, job, and apartment. I also founded a global community of young makers and hackers—HacKIDemia—where kids could connect and exchange knowledge via videos, social groups, and local events: all thanks to this new medium that was breaking down geographic and institutional borders.