Hackers: Wizards of the electronic age
Florin, Fabrice. 1985. Hackers: Wizards of the electronic age. [DVD]
- DVD version 2007
- "Version 2.2"
N: Hackers: Wizards of the electronic age, directed by Fabrice Florin (1985; San Francisco: Hackersvideo.com, 2007), DVD.
B: Hackers: Wizards of the electronic age. Directed by Fabrice Florin. 1985. San Francisco: Hackersvideo.com, 2007. DVD.
- Many more images of the Mac interface, esp. Mac Paint
- Game of life at ~ 06:30
- (06:51) Still no women on screen
- First woman appears on screen at 19:51!!!!
"Why hackers created the personal computer as a labor of love"
- "Brilliant and fanatic designers"
- "A happy few struck gold ... many early pioneers were less fortunate"
- "Hackers still the unsung hero of the electronic age"
Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogs
- "They are shy, sweet, incredibly brilliant and more effective in pushing the culture around now - in good ways"
- Brought the hackers camping in the woods - nearly universally male
Unique set of values making the
- Hacker / cracker distinction
- Appears on screen
- "a hacker never finishes a program"
- "They don't normally have girlfriends ... to distract them"
- "Fell in love with Apple II in 1978" went to Apple to "help build the Macintosh"
- Demonstrates multiple desktops
- Not the money ... "fun and joy" of seeing your programs working
What is a hacker?
Unknown speaker (05:53)
- Might be Hurrell or Hertzfeld from Apple?
- "Being a hobbyist and taking your hobby seriously"
- "You can't be a hacker if you're a dilettante. If programming is something you do on a Sunday afternoon and the rest of the time you don't think about it, you're not a hacker"
- "The hacker drive represents the children in us. Children love to discover, explore, create something a little beyond what they could before."
Steve Withe (sp?), Xerox (?)
- "Hacker ethic is a hacker instinct. It's like the baby ducks when they see their first moving object. (Audience LAUGHTER)"
Where and when the hacker movement got started?
"Branches out in every direction"
- "From Boston's universities to California's Silicon Valley and back again" (07:00)
- Hardly every direction!
- "Levy tracks it all the way back to MIT in the early 60s"
- "Attracted by the university's large mainframe computers"
- Recalls limited access to the PDP-1
- "The last MIT hacker"
- "What they had in common was love in excellence in programming"
- Describes creative competition
- "Pure hacker ... choosing to remain at MIT despite the temptations of the commercial world ... true to the spirit of the early hackers"
Doug Carlston, publisher of Broderbund
- (9:00) "The people that took a systematic approach toward the development of computer software missed the boat"
- "It was the trial-and-error people working illegally in the underground who made most of the advances"
- Got his "first taste of programming in college" when the "hacker movement moved beyond MIT"
- "Non engineering students learning structured code who were the hackers"
- "Liberal arts majors whose only computer time was if they gummed up the locks and snuck into the building late at night because they weren't allowed to sign up for this stuff"
- "Did everything by trial-and-error. We didn't have any courses. Didn't have access to anything other than the manuals and as far as I'm aware the whole group of midnight programmers there didn't have any real function use for what they were doing at all"
Bruce Baumgart (9:55)
- "I didn't know it was hacking then and I became of MIT when I got to Stanford"
- "Get rolling at 9pm when the physicists left
- Flight simulator
- "In 70s a second wave of hardware hackers and hobbyists surfaces in California's legendary Silicon Valley triggered by the introduction of low-cost microprocessors"
- "Posters of computers on your wall instead of rock musicians"
- "One of the first to join the Homebrew Computer Club"
- "I was how I got my positive feedback in the world ... I though I have a neat one in my house. I'm gonna show others. I'm gonna help them build their own."
Homebrew Computer Club
- "Obsessive dream to build their own home computer"
- "You could get ... a computer you could think of as a home computer for an amount of money that you thought was okay but by the time you got through with it or it go through with you, you had spent almost ten times the amount of money, you had spent a much longer time, and you had to dig in and learn the hard way which was the best way"
- "Central figure" at the club, "activist"
- Depicted shouting and gesturing wildly in a lecture hall
- "If you thought you were going to plug a program in ... there was no where to plug it in ... it didn't have any eyes and ears"
- "You had to seek out people to help you in all these matters. You had to get advice and you had to learn to give as well as you got"
Credits open "Open architecture" for success
- Allowed people to "tinker" with it
- "Hacker trademark" later adopted by IBM "in a radical departure from its traditional policy"
A "corporate" interests "moved in", a "third wave" set about developing software
Bill Budge, Pinball Construction Set
- "Self-made software artist"
- "Spent half my salary that year" on an Apple, "flunked out" because of spending "all my time programming"
- Remembering first royalty check, "blown away", "graduate school was rapidly becoming a thing of the past"
Robert Woodhead, Wizardry
- (14:06) "I never intended to make money it just sort of hit me in the face. I said OK, Thank you! (laughs)"
- Narrates playing the game
- "Nobody ... who considers himself a hacker actually works a day in his life - they all play"
(15:17) "Philosophical phone phreaks and early hackers believe that information and tools should be free or at least available ... openly shared their work with others"
- Some believe that the "computer revolution could not have happened without that hacker ethic"
- "Back then, there was never a price tag on software. When someone wrote a program they would put it on a paper tape and keep it in a drawer by the computer because the next person needed that program to run his program"
"But today, the hackers are divided between the old values and the new"
- "Can't agree if the source codes of their programs should be shared or not" (15:44)
- "Source should be made available to those kinds of people ... not to copy ... but to learn from"
- Who are "those kinds of people" ?
- "Tools should be made available to anyone but the product ... my soul is in that product. I don't want anyone fooling with that. I don't want anyone hacking into that product and changing it because then it won't be mine"
- Metaphor: painting
- Imagine "buying a house and the basement was locked and only the original contractor had a key" (16:21)
- Metaphor: house
- "People are not [removing copy protection] because they want to learn from them ... what they're trying to do is take the commercial value ... and either obtain it for themselves for free or possibly through swapping those with other people to obtain other people's efforts for free. It's a totally different ballgame."
Solutions to piracy
"Freeware or shareware, software you can copy and try for free. You pay only if you decide you like it."
- Knew he couldn't craft copy-protection that "some kid in San Diego" wasn't going to break
- PC Talk
- Freeware, 35$ for support and updates
- "1/10th of the people using the program now have paid for it"
Bob Wallace, PC Write
- "Great letters and great phone calls. People are very appreciative and you get great ideas. At the same time, we'll gross about 225,000$ this year."
- File sharing
David Hughes, Sourcevoid Dave, Sysop
- BBS: Colorado Springs
- "politics", organized a defeat of an ordinance in the city
- "Every politician in Colorado Springs calls my bulletin board to defend themselves"
- "Healthy electronic democracy"
First woman appears on screen at 19:51!!!!
- To burst the utopian bubble of "healthy electronic democracy"
- Talking about info overload
- Woz concurs
- "too many people creating hardware and software to be useful"
- "more money has been lost by companies in personal computers than has been made by winners"
- All Apple 2
- "popular hack"
- Demonstrating mac paint
- Makes a statirical joke about "justifying the expense to your department"
Bill Atkinson demonstrates the digital camera and the mac
- "Compact laser disks"
- Imagining electronic encyclopedias
- "Pleasurable and enjoyable to explore real life all human knowledge"
- "Very powerful learning tool"
Multiplayer racing game
- WHAT IS THIS??