Remembering the Hacking EthicsRead Now
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I was re-reading some hackers ethics, among which the book Hackers from steven levy is really one of the best around. Levy is writing about real Hacker heroes of the past and I was ashamed. Why was I ashamed? For good reasons. Let me explain.
I myself am a programmer for quite some time now. Lets say 20+ years. I did many hacks with Ansi C, Java, C++, Visual Basic, C#, Clipper, DBase, Basic and so on and so forth. Also I hacked around putting up all kinds of solutions by hooking together different non compatible applications on non compatible operating systems. In the old days I did it with binary socket which I wrote for different operating systems (C, JAVA) and made them talk through binary streams. Nowadays WCF, XML, SOAP and so on are the roads to ride.
Never mind, the topic of this post is: I was ashamed after reading about Wozniak, Samson, Greenblatt, Kotok, Woods, Warran, Deutsch, Schwader, Saunders, Russel and all alike. Bill Gates belongs in this list. He's the hacker pulling it off to make money from his nerdiness. Many say it's not Hacking Ethics to make money out of it. True, that's the reason why I am ashamed. But, the world is running on hacking knowledge and Gates and Jobs were the nerds making the world nerdie. That deserves lots of respect and I am very happy with their nerdie world.
But, for many small hacks asking money is bad taste. I tried to pull that off. I made a hack on the windows phone, Azure and XNA and put them together in a funny hacked game systems. The game sucks, and the system itself is not very interesting. But, it is definitely a hack. A technical interesting one and funny to do, and with many useful implications. And I should NOT ask money for it. Which I did and will not do anymore.
Now, something about the hack. A guy made an interesting game engine on XNA called Farseer. You can check it out at:
It is cool and it works. The guy didn't made it work on the phone (only in the emulator), so that's what I hacked together. The things is downloadable on the phone marketplace and you can find it at:
I made it free today, so if it still asks money, wait a couple of days and check again. Furthermore, the real hack is hooking it up with azure. Not only are the high scores saved in azure and viewable for the rest of the world, but the most funny thing is you can make your own levels. The levels are saved in the cloud as blob and can be downloaded on the phone and played right away. That's cool and it can be called a hack, because you pull some strings on something technical and search for boundaries. But, it should be free to explore and investigate.
You could say: "What the heck is the hack part of it..."
Well, making your own levels in a website online by dragging some stuff on an area, give it a name and play it directly on the phone is really kinda new and funny. The fact that it is done with Windows Phone, an existing game engine and solution ported to the phone and azure and hooking it all up into some game system; is some kind of a hack.
Check it all out here: http://www.freemasonace.com
I instantly have read again the story about SpaceWars on the PDP-1 and, boy. some story that is. Wanna know something about the real heroes of the first programming hours? Read that story and get the book "Hackers" from Levy.
Well, have fun out there. Just be careful.
Ow, I've put a new site in the air: http://hackersinformation.com
Check it out....
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Jaap Zwart (B-ICT)