Getting back to roots

Before the assorted media figures and the collected script kiddies perverted the term "hacker," it was an appellation of greatest respect. In the good old days, the Jargon File was born.

By JC

Before the assorted media figures and the collected script kiddies perverted the term “hacker,” it was an appellation of greatest respect. In the good old days, the Jargon File was born.

It’s a valuable resource containing entries as diverse as the etymology of “foo” and the theory of quantum bogodynamics (easily proven by giving live demos)… fascinating stuff, all of it.

But my favorite part, by far, is the Portrait of Random J. Hacker — an attempt to define we, the Geeks, as a whole, by focusing on some individual traits such as dress, ceremonial chemicals, politics and food. Here’s an excerpt:

Things hackers detest and avoid:
IBM mainframes. Smurfs, Ewoks, and other forms of offensive cuteness. Bureaucracies. Stupid people. Easy listening music. Television (except for cartoons, movies, and “Star Trek” classic). Business suits. Dishonesty. Incompetence. Boredom. COBOL. BASIC. Character-based menu interfaces.

Sound like fun? Go read more. You’ll be surprised how well it fits. At least, I was.

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