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what is a hacker??????

what is a computer hacker and how do you become one??

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westfw10 years ago
The MIT online computer dictionary, circa 1980, said approximately:

:hacker: /n./ originally, someone who makes furniture with an
axe 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable
systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most
users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. 2. One who
programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys
programming rather than just theorizing about programming. 3. A
person capable of appreciating {hack value}. 4. A person who is
good at programming quickly. 5. An expert at a particular program,
or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix
hacker'. (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who
fit them congregate.) 6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One
might be an astronomy hacker, for example. 7. One who enjoys the
intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing
limitations. 8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to
discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence `password
hacker', `network hacker'. The correct term for this sense is
{cracker}.

The term `hacker' also tends to connote membership in the global
community defined by the net (see {network, the} and
{Internet address}). It also implies that the person described
is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic (see
{hacker ethic}).

It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe
oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an
elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new
members are gladly welcome. There is thus a certain ego
satisfaction to be had in identifying yourself as a hacker (but if
you claim to be one and are not, you'll quickly be labeled
{bogus}). See also {wannabee}.

(This definition is actually from the more recent "The New Hackers's dictionary,
but it hasn't changed too much since 1980...)

Since then, the popular press has decided to use the word ``hacker primarily in sense (8) ("Cracker"), which is ... annoying.
LasVegas westfw10 years ago
There was a very good article from Psychology Today (Late 70's, Early 80's) that made the Photocopy/Fax rounds (Pre E-Mail era). It also did a very fair description of the Computer Hacker.
westfw LasVegas10 years ago
if you were a hacker, the late 70s were NOT "pre-email." :-) I've had email of some kind since 1976, I think... Those were the days when if you connected to MIT and tried to log in, it would say "Not a recognized username. Would you like to apply for an account?" The "WestfW" username dates back to 77 or 78; that was official naming syntax at school to fit in the 6 characters: first 5 letters of your last name, first lettter of your first name... Ahh, memories.
LasVegas westfw10 years ago
hehe... You're right of course, but most everyone else didn't have email. We weren't sending photocopies yet or even photos for that mater. A high speed connection in '76 was 2400 baud and only worked with about 1 in 9 BBS's, the remainder were 300 baud. My internet connection started with an experimental system through Control Data Corp and later, GEnie. (What's a Web?). Anyway, that Psychology Today article is somewhere in my garage buried among my complete Byte magazine collection... I'll have to go through those someday....
westfw10 years ago
I think the following will work for becoming a hacker:

  • Select a difficult problem.
  • Solve the problem in a clever way.
  • Publish.
  • repeat
The first two steps are inter-related. If you choose harder problems, your solution can be less clever. If you have a REALLY clever solution to a relatively easy problem, that will work too. If your solutions are brilliant instead of clever, you risk becoming a "researcher" instead of a hacker :-) I'm sure we can suggest some problems to solve if you're clearer about your areas of interest. Instructables is fine for the "publish" phase. Of the instructables I've published, there is only one that I consider a "computer-related hack." And there are two food hacks. :-)

westfw westfw10 years ago
Here's a suggestion. Over in Another forum a person would like a programmable electronic dice. Write a program that implements this. It should take as configuration input a DnD-style dice specification like 3d6 (means three six-sided dice, for a resulting vaue between 3 and 18 but not quite the same as a single random number between 3 and 18, IIRC), and a button to "roll." As targets, consider custom hardware, the AVR butterfly, and/or a PC running assorted operating systems. In the latter case, you should display full-screen digits. Do some neat animation while the dice are rolling. On PCs, do clever things with the display and/or window (giant transparent segments overlaying your normal windows, with a hotkey for roll? etc.) Your choice of implementation language.
mage210 years ago
So you want to be a hacker, find something you like and are willing to spend alot of time with. Then learn EVERYTHING about that subject. Next put that information to work and learn more and push it past its designs. After that find someone to share that with and find something else to learn. Rinse repeat.
You want to be something before you know what it is? A computer hacker is someone, who generally for bad purposes, explores and manipulates software and internet things in order to serve different purposes. They are who make virus's and things like that. Of course some people do this for good reasons. To become, you have to learn all kinds of programming and understand computers at the programming level.
firecracker (author)  Weissensteinburg10 years ago
HI I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN AS MUCH AS I CAN ABOUT COMPUTERS AND YOU SAID ABOUT PROGRAMING. I WANT TO DO IT FOR GOOD NOT TO BE BAD PERSON WITH THE SKILLS TO HELP MYSELF AND MY FRIENDS. I THINK THAT IF MORE PEOPLE KNOW MORE ABOUT PROGRAMS AND COMPUTERS THERE WOULD BE LESS TROUBLE WITH THE BAD HACKERS.
The first thing you need to know is that the caps lock shouldnt generally be on. Otherwise you need to explore and play around with things, with programming, get some books, they make Idiots guide to different types, so get one of those and learn. Or, if you're in high school, take programming classes, if youve graduated, go to a community college for classes on programming.
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