Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My little root dance.

Most likely people reading this weblog are interested by IT and technology in a whole. Some of them might be able to understand the following thing I have to say: “After eight hours of hacking code I was able to do my little root dance.” Some people reading this weblog will not have the faintest clue on what this means, some of you might be able to extract from it that I was hacking for eight hours strait, and some of you might think I could do the root dance because I became root.

Maybe some of you might be able to extract the correct meaning of the words.

I have been programming for eight hours without a break and have been able to tackle the problem I was working on. That is what this means. After I finished the hack and did the dance I was on the phone with a old co-worker from one of the non-it companies I worked for in the past to invite him for a couple of drinks. During the phone conversation I used the exact same words and he was unable to understand the correct meaning at first and I had to explain it to him.

I cannot blame him, there are some very common misunderstandings on the words hacker and hack. Most people refer to a person breaking into a computer network as a hacker and therefore a hacker becomes synonym for people gaining unauthorized access to computer networks and computers. A hack is then referring to the action of getting this access. However this is not the origin of the word, a computer hacker is someone who masters the computer in such a way that he is able to make the computer do exactly what the hacker wants.

A hack is a way of letting the computer do things the hacker wants is to do, and not even a computer is needed. You can hack a telephone but even a microwave or any other sort of equipment. Hacking code is a smart way of writing computer code and programming code in such a way that it will do exactly what you want it to do.

The word hacker has become a acronym for people conducting criminal activities with computers, the word hacker means someone who masters the art of using a computer not misusing it. Hackers are the people with the brightest minds, hackers are the people having the high paid jobs at large computer firms or doing very important work in the opensource community and devoting there lives to it.

Naming someone a hacker is parsing someone as a master in the art of using a computer and the person you name like this will most likely be pleased that you think of him as a hacker. However if you would like to describe a person conducting criminal acts on computer networks please consider if this person is a hacker or not, most likely he is not and he is only using scripts that are developed by hackers. In this case we do not speak of hacker but we speak of a ‘script-kiddy’ .

Now if I ever refer again to doing a root dance after a couple of hours straight code hacking I hope all of you will understand the correct meaning of it directly.

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