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DEFINITIONS OF A HACKER by cybercrimes.net
(1996-08-26)
The following definition of "hack", or, "to hack" is taken from The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0, 1998, which is public domain and located at http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon 23.html#SEC30.
Definitions of a "hacker" follow below.

hack

1. /n./ Originally, a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.
2. /n./ An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed. 3. /vt./ To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!" 4. /vt./ To work on something (typically a program). In an immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." More generally, "I hack `foo"' is roughly equivalent to "`foo' is my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics." See Hacking X for Y. 5. /vt./ To pull a prank on. See sense 2 and hacker (sense 5). 6. /vi./ To interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking." 7. /n./ Short for hacker. 8. See nethack. 9. [MIT] /v./ To explore the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large, institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and (since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Zork. See also vadding.

Constructions on this term abound. They include `happy hacking' (afarewell), `how's hacking?' (a friendly greeting among hackers) and `hack, hack' (a fairly content-free but friendly comment, often used as a temporary farewell). For more on this totipotent term see " The Meaning of `Hack'". See also neat hack, real hack.

The following definition of "hacker" is taken from The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0, 1998 found at http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon 23.html#SEC30.

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.

The following definition of "hacker" is from the The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, edited and maintained by Denis Howe. The Dictionary is fairly thorough, and contains encyclopedia-like entries on computing terms as well as many useful cross-references and pointers to related resources elsewhere on the Internet. This dictionary is Copyright Denis Howe 1993, 1998.

hacker

<person, jargon> (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 is cracker.

The term "hacker" also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see The Network and Internet address). It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the 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. Thus while it is gratifying to be called a hacker, false claimants to the title are quickly labeled as "bogus" or a "wannabee".

9. (University of Maryland, rare) A programmer who does not understand proper programming techniques and principles and doesn't have a Computer Science degree. Someone who just bangs on the keyboard until something happens. For example, "This program is nothing but spaghetti code. It must have been written by a hacker".

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