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Author Topic: How do you define 'hacker'?  (Read 979 times)
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Utah, USA
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I'm working on an essay for my english class. Just curious to know what the Arduino community will say.
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From my pov, a hacker is someone that finds the loopholes in stuff. Find a way to use things in a way they where not meant for.
Like the guys who invented pong, playing it on a oscilloscope.

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The term hacker has been watered down to mean almost anything.

The term was never defined to me in the 80's.  I always thought of it this way:

Think of an axe and breaking something open in order to change or take control of something.
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Today the term is almost meaningless. But in the past, when even the good old days where better it had a different meaning:

http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_46.html#SEC53
http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_49.html#SEC56

Needless to say I once implemented an empty routine "do_nothing" that - when properly called - fixed a deep and subtle problem with the memory layout smiley-wink

Udo
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haha.. i like the story of mel. ... and here I am, proud to even understand what its about ... I sometimes wonder what happens when the generations of programmers which is actually able to do this low level stuff dies out.

i mean seriously? does anyone still programme in machine code? how many percent of people who come to the arduino forum even know what machine code is?
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I thought the original jargon.txt definition (~1980) was fine.  You can find it (more or less) here: http://beej.us/chg/defin.html

I don't let it bother me too much that common usage has diverged from that definition.  I mean, I hacked TECO.  (really!)
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 That Mel story brings back memories for me. My first exposure to computers was in 1971 on a 16 bit 16K core memory minicomputer my company, GTE information systems, built in house just for our own use (stock brokerage trading data in real time), 23 systems spread over the country wired to local brockerage houses via modems on leased phone lines.

 The computer had to be started by hand entering the bootstrap code in hex via the front panel switches, around 16 instructions I seem to recall, had in memorized at the time. It would then boot-up it's software via a drum memory. I actually hand wrote my first program on that machine by writing the hex codes on paper and then manually entering them via the front panel. It was a slot machine game that interfaced with the Teletype ASR-33 console I/O. I was using self-modifying code even before I found out that is considered a bad practice. Had a few bugs as I recall, no cherries ever showed up in the third position.  smiley-grin Anyway got it working, it would ring the teletype bell the number of dollars any given roll won, or not after first printing out the three rows fruits, space bar would start another roll.  smiley-grin

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haha.. i like the story of mel. ... and here I am, proud to even understand what its about ... I sometimes wonder what happens when the generations of programmers which is actually able to do this low level stuff dies out.

i mean seriously? does anyone still programme in machine code? how many percent of people who come to the arduino forum even know what machine code is?

I still programme in machine code, mainly 6502, but occasionally 80xxx, you can STILL get DEBUG to run on an XP system.
I will admit I usually only programme machine code under DR-DOS, mostly on the 386 and 486 systems I have.
All the BIOS calls listed in the manuals you got "back in the day" with a genuine PC, XT or AT will still work.

In case you are wondering what 6502 machine I use, it's the original Synertek SYM-1 I bought back when I was 14!
34 years old and still going strong, optioned out like "all get out"
My other 6502 systems is are Apple II's, again optioned out to the max.

Sometimes it's good to not have an OS getting in the way.
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haha.. i like the story of mel. ... and here I am, proud to even understand what its about ... I sometimes wonder what happens when the generations of programmers which is actually able to do this low level stuff dies out.

i mean seriously? does anyone still programme in machine code? how many percent of people who come to the arduino forum even know what machine code is?

I still programme in machine code, mainly 6502, but occasionally 80xxx, you can STILL get DEBUG to run on an XP system.
I will admit I usually only programme machine code under DR-DOS, mostly on the 386 and 486 systems I have.
All the BIOS calls listed in the manuals you got "back in the day" with a genuine PC, XT or AT will still work.

In case you are wondering what 6502 machine I use, it's the original Synertek SYM-1 I bought back when I was 14!
34 years old and still going strong, optioned out like "all get out"
My other 6502 systems is are Apple II's, again optioned out to the max.

Sometimes it's good to not have an OS getting in the way.


You might be interested in the following sites:

http://www.altairkit.com/
http://mini-altair.tripod.com/index.html
http://www.brielcomputers.com/wordpress/

...especially that last one!  smiley
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By the way, talking about hacking, has anyone seen good projects for skimming-devices ?

The one I used for years was detected lately, so I really need another.
Preferably not too expensive.

If anyone has a spare one collecting dust, I'd be very grateful if I can lend it.
I'll even give you 33% of the loot, Instead of the usual 25%.

 smiley-razz
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I still code assembler as well. For Atmels. The controllers are so weak like the CPUs 15 years ago. And the environment is just as simple. However I do not code everything in assembler any more, only the really performance critical stuff. For the rest C is fine.

And yeah: I understand when to use object orientation and when to go for global variables. Not everything should be solved with OO approaches. I am waiting for functional programming to become mainstream smiley-wink

Udo
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