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Re: How to catch a cracker in the US?
From: James R Cutler <james.cutler () consultant com>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:15:13 -0400

On Mar 13, 2014, at 12:46 PM, William Herrin <bill () herrin us> wrote:

On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM, James R Cutler
<james.cutler () consultant com> wrote:
And Bill documents yet another redefinition.  Prior to that time, at MIT a "hacker" produced a novel variation of 
technology using it in ways not previously envisioned but not necessarily unlawful.

Mating two different generations of telephone keysets or reducing a complex rack mount filter to a single small 
circuit board with an FET or two are just a couple of examples.  One was just a "hack", the other an "elegant hack". 
 We just called

Hi James,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but by the time "hacker" emerged as a word
distinct from "hack" it already carried implications of mischief and
disregard for the rules in addition to the original implication of
creatively solving a technical challenge. Is that mistaken?

Bill Herrin


Mistaken? Yes.

As of early 1960’s - See history of WTBS, Ralph Zaorski, Dick Gruen, Alan Kent, and many others - The then current 
usage of “hacker” was simply one who produced a “hack” - an unusual or unexpected design or configuration or action 
which either did the same old thing done more simply/elegantly or which did something new or unexpected altogether.  
Putting an Western Electric power plant on an Automatic Electric step-by-step for the East Campus telephone switch was 
one of my “hacks”.

James R. Cutler - james.cutler () consultant com
PGP keys at http://pgp.mit.edu

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