History notes

There are some aspects, some Internet documents now to be regarded as historic, which are particularly significant. I'm speaking from a necessarily personal point of view but I suppose many people agree upon the great value on the World Wide Web held by manifestos, dictionaries, codes which I'm going to explain to those people who eat up few miles in the virtual sea.

Maybe the Hacker culture is the most popular on the Web and it should be obligatory to start from this one but the Geek culture is as much important. I'm going to start from the latter to which I feel closer. 

A piece of history is made by the "Geek Code", which codes a crowd of people who use the Internet as the natural extension of their intelligence. The document of this code is certainly a manifesto as from the first line where it speaks about computers: "There is a record of geeks that don't use computers. Unfortunately, they are all dead, having lived in an era of no computers.".

The code dates back to 1996 and the wide web was not grandly available yet, today you could bring the sentence up-to-date by speaking of geeks who don't surf the Internet.

The author, Robert A. Hayden, has no more updated the text since the far '96, not for laziness but according to a deliberate choice. On the other hand an interested geek will take pains to realize the important pieces of history that appear in the code and will easily understand the value of the manifesto.

If you look for "GEEK CODE" on a search engine you will get the idea of its spread and maybe you will discover some geek around you whose identity you wouldn't even have suspected...

The Hacker culture is even too much popular on the Internet, not always authentic but after all it's the operating arm that allows the web to run. Everybody knows the famous names, maybe the definition that pools them is:
"Person who enjoys himself by exploring the details of programming systems and by expanding their capabilities, unlike many users who prefer to learn the minimum, and sometimes not even that, by trusting a third person when they get the first trivial problem.
The Hacker is dying to know, loves culture, discovery and knowledge, always being aware of knowing nothing.
This writing stands out in many sites' homepages, but you can find it in many other virtual and physical places, maybe under other forms but in the same essence. To reduce the hacker to the world of computers is limiting as however the definition itself lets us guess.

Historic documents are "The Jargon File" which is still difficult to read if you aren't American (at least the version I tried to read years ago). On Raymond's website you can find many resources associated to this File.

Maybe the "strongest" document of  the hacker culture that went down in history is the "Manifesto Hacker by The Mentor". It well shows the difficulties the hackers must face in our society and also the mass media's obstinacy in trying to criminalize them.

I probably forgot important texts like Torvald's post on usenet that announced the birth of his child: Linux!
If you didn't read it you are neither hacker nor geek but you can remedy...:)

The Web belongs to these two classes of people and this is a homage to their history.
Comments coming soon...
english.kensan.it Sandro kensan

kensan.it Geek&Hacker site Owner, 4 Nov 2004