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Hackers – Heroes of the Computer Revolution


Hackers is coming out in a new 25th anniversary edition published by O’Reilly. For the book, I revisited some of the people I first interviewed in the early 1980’s, as well as some people who had great things to say about hacking today. A version of the new afterword is in an issue of Wired, with two of my interviewees– Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg — on the cover.

Hackers gets into the mindset of those people who push the computer past the envelopes of expections–sitting at the keyboard these are artists, pioneers, explorers.

It is here that I introduced the concept of The Hacker Ethic:

  • Access to computers should be unlimited and total.
  • Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative
  • All information should be free.
  • Mistrust authority–promote decentralization.
  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking.
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer.
  • Computers can change your life for the better.

The book is in three parts, exploring the canonical AI hackers of MIT, the hardware hackers who invented the personal computer industry in Silicon Valley, and the third-generation game hackers in the early 1980s.

Penguin, $14.00.

You can order Hackers directly from Amazon.com. Also available in Japan, UK (Penguin), and Italy.

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