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Hackers

I think it originally meant the type described in the book Hackers. As opposed to computer scientists and software engineers who do things the "right" way, hackers just love computers and can't stay away from them, not even to sleep. But they might not do things the boring "correct" way.
The book showed that a lot of the innovations came from the hackers.
The term got its negative association, possibly, because some hackers might have seen breaking into things as a challenge. They might not have been criminals, but committed crimes because of uncontrolled curiosity.
Like all words, the meaning of "hacker" evolves. But I think it started with the idea of a "hack" job, something not done the "right" way, because they were often amateurs. Added to this was the sense of being passionate and driven.

Dr. Real PC
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Look it up in the Jargon File

http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/h/hacker.html

originally: someone who made furniture with an axe...

old_timer
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Read the section "HACKER, CRACKER, BLACKHAT, WHITEHAT: IDENTITY CRISIS AND THE POWER OF LABELS" from (warning, pdf) http://www.honeynet.org/book/Chp16.pdf

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

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