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For my part, I generally use "hacker", and approve of its use, to
refer to the "revisionists" (as you call them), since to me they seem
closest to the original hackers (or more probably, they seem closest
to those portions of the original hacker lifestyle of which I
approve). But in general, I am more or less disgusted with the heavy
ambiguity in the term's definition, no matter which of the several
existing circles you are in, and would prefer to abandon the term once
and for all. I have come to use the term "cracker" consistently in
describing systems Vandals; but avoid using the term "hacker" for the
most part, unless I am reasonably certain that what I mean by the word
will not be misunderstood.
Disclaimer and Book Promotion: the biggest source I am drawing from
for my information is Steven Levy's book "Hackers: Heroes of the
Computer Revolution", which is the most informative source I've ever
discovered, and is, FWICT, extremely accurate. It gives terrific
insight into the beginnings of the Hacker culture (both sorts), as
well as personal computers and Free Software. Everyone on this list
ought to read it.
Just my $0.02; don't really care whether anyone agrees or not, just
voicing my opinion on the matter.
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