Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The meaning of Hacking...

We all hear about hackers everyday. They are attacking banks or they are getting some secret information from pentagon etc. And they intrude into our system to get passwords for bank accounts.

At the same time, we hear about Hackers' symposiums such as 'Linux Hackers Meet'. So what is this about? Hackers can meet somewhere and discuss future plans? (such as which bank to attack?). Or does the word 'Hacking' has any other meaning?

If we read any Computer Science books, we can understand that they use the word 'hacking' as 'clever fix for a problem'. It is not about 'hacking' into any banks or computers. An example is the book 'Hacking Linux Kernel'. This book is about going into details of linux kernel.

Richard Stallman defines 'hacking' like this

"Playfully doing something difficult, whether useful or not, that is hacking."

 So initially this word is used to denote doing something clever. But later media used the word 'hacking' instead of 'evil hacking'.

  So whenever we this word in the media, we can understand it as 'evil hacking'.  But if we are seeing it in computer books, we can infer 'clever fix'.

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