Hack - show we use a different term?

Leo Lapworth leo at cuckoo.org
Sun Jul 22 11:50:39 BST 2007

The term 'Hack' is used for so many things, some of the computer related
ones are:

*"Hack* has several meanings in the technology and computer science fields:
a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem; a clumsy or inelegant
solution to a problem; illegally breaking into a computer, generally over a
network connection; or a modification of a program or device to give the
user access to features otherwise were unavailable to them." -

The problem I have is whenever I speak to almost anyone not in the
technology/computer field they only ever think "illegally breaking into a
computer". I got several really confused people asking why the BBC/Yahoo was
sponsoring breaking into computers when I said I was going to the "Hackday".
I think they had images of hundreds of geeks trying to take down "the man"
(who ever he is).

Maybe it doesn't matter - but it just got to the point where I'm getting
bored explaining it to non-techs. I'm also reading a novel which talks about
'hackers' and 'crackers' and starts defining the difference and then goes on
to talk about a 'Whois' (yes, they had the cap W) look up taking so long the
egg timer comes up - after having just being told that this was a 'shell'
not a GUI - arrg - Why bother trying to explain the details if your going to
get it wrong!



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