[thelist] complete: hacking contest

Alan McCoy a.r.mccoy at larc.nasa.gov
Thu Jul 3 09:35:09 CDT 2003

=> I have to admit, I'm still confused about the distinction 
=> between hackers and crackers. All that Zen stuff about what 
=> Hackers do really didn't say anything IMHO. What do they do? 
=> Most of what was described, e.g., solving problems, coding 
=> challenges, are the kinds of things I do every day. So am I 
=> a hacker? Is a hacker just a coder/programmer who likes 
=> challenges? Or a particularly adept programmer?

A hacker is anyone who can improve upon something using inventive
methods. For example, if I wire my coffee maker to turn on when my alarm
clock sounds, then I've *hacked* my coffee maker.

In the case of programming, a hacker is one who takes on the challenge
to improve (or alter for the better) any code/application. Typically,
the solutions to these challenges involve alternative and inventive
methods of solving the problem.

That's my $0.02 definition.


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