Off topic: What the word "hacker" really means
Thread poster: Nadia Farcas

Nadia Farcas  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
Oct 27, 2004

Could an English native speaker, please, explain what the word "hacker" means nowadays and if it had other meanings (or other connotations) before? I am interested in the term as it is used in the IT field. Thank you.

[Edited at 2004-10-27 21:16]


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Timothy Gregory  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:38
Arabic to English
It depends :) Oct 27, 2004

Nadia Farcas wrote:

Could an English native speaker, please, explain what the word "hacker" means nowadays and if it had other meanings (or other connotations) before? I am interested in the term as it is used in the IT field. Thank you.

[Edited at 2004-10-27 21:16]


You can get a great survey of definitions by going to http://www.google.com and searching for:

define: hacker

There are those who will tell you that 'hacker' does not even have to be applied to computers; a person who loves to build/repair cars, takes them apart, rebuilds them in different configurations just to see what happens could be termed an automotive hacker.


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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 19:08
English to Assamese
+ ...
HACKERS ARE INNOVATORS Oct 27, 2004

Eric Steven Raymond, a reknowned hacker himself, describes the terminology in the following words in his now famous document:

"There is a community, a shared culture, of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments. The members of this culture originated the term ‘hacker’. Hackers built the Internet. Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today. Hackers run Usenet. Hackers make the World Wide Web work. If you are part of this culture, if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker, you're a hacker.

The hacker mind-set is not confined to this software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art. Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them ‘hackers’ too — and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in. But in the rest of this document we will focus on the skills and attitudes of software hackers, and the traditions of the shared culture that originated the term ‘hacker’.

There is another group of people who loudly call themselves hackers, but aren't. These are people (mainly adolescent males) who get a kick out of breaking into computers and phreaking the phone system. Real hackers call these people ‘crackers’ and want nothing to do with them. Real hackers mostly think crackers are lazy, irresponsible, and not very bright, and object that being able to break security doesn't make you a hacker any more than being able to hotwire cars makes you an automotive engineer. Unfortunately, many journalists and writers have been fooled into using the word ‘hacker’ to describe crackers; this irritates real hackers no end."

Apart from what Eric wrote, I would personally love to use the term "GENE HACKERS" for "GENETIC ENGINEERS".



[Edited at 2004-10-28 00:33]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
hacker Oct 27, 2004

Plenty of meanings to this word. From my experience:

1. A bad golfer.
2. A taxi driver who takes the longest way possible.

And just a "hack" would be:

1. A (bad) newspaper reporter.
2. Someone who always does a bad job.

There are more. I just took these off the top of my head.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:08
English to Tamil
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How about the British Minister /Prime Minister Mr. Hacker? Oct 28, 2004

The moment I hear the name Hacker, Paul Eddington comes to mind. So much so, at times I find it difficult to acknowledge the evil perpeterated by a software hacker.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Nadia Farcas  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Indeed Oct 28, 2004

Timothy Gregory wrote:

You can get a great survey of definitions by going to http://www.google.com and searching for:

define: hacker

There are those who will tell you that 'hacker' does not even have to be applied to computers; a person who loves to build/repair cars, takes them apart, rebuilds them in different configurations just to see what happens could be termed an automotive hacker.


I did that and, indeed, I found great definitions. I knew it didn't apply only to the IT industry, but it was that particular aspect that interested me. I mainly needed to sort out the difference between "hacker" and "cracker" and how these terms are used.

Thnak you very much!


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AlwaysMoving
Local time: 21:38
Spanish
+ ...
NOT BAD Nov 18, 2004

Hackers are like genius they do not necessarily have to be bad, some times they are bad, so words like hacker, the media takes them and turn them into this "terrorist master minds of the net" most often than not are kids.
Crackers are the guys that reverse engineer something, a program, and they can modify a program since they understand the program (code)

A few years back some of my friends use to hack into peoples' computer (and Universities) and use it for storage for P2P networks or for their private FTP's my friend told me that he never erased anything, sometimes copy, but never erase, and that he use to put all the patches in the PC or network so nobody besides him will be able to hack the computer, after a few weeks, months, they put the patch or they realize it and he will find another very big connection with little usage....to date


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