Interview With Steven Levy About Hackers


[Dale Dougherty] interviews [Steven Levy] about the history of hacking. [Levy]’s book Hackers has been released in a 25th anniversary edition. The interview alone is fascinating and the book is a must read for any hacker.  If they offered a course in hacker culture somewhere, we’re positive that this book would be the textbook. The 25th anniversary edition has been updated to include major figures from the last 25 years including [Bill Gates], [Steve Wozniak] and others that have impacted our lives drastically.

[via MakeZine]

11 thoughts on “Interview With Steven Levy About Hackers

  1. I was kinda bummed to discover that this book isn’t available on the Kindle store yet. The good news is that O’Reilly books has it for sale in a bunch of e-book formats, so you can still get it on a mobile reader.

  2. I had a paperback of the book’s original edition that I read over and over and only got rid of it because it literally fell apart. It’s a great history of where we all come from.

  3. Hacker Culture is a fully as hell term.

    Sorry kids, there is no “hacker culture” only poser and wannabe culture.

    True hackers are themselves and have a burning desire to take things apart or make them do things the designer did not think of or even want.

    the “culture” is non existant… We are not skaters that wear baggy pants and unite to “hack the planet”….

    There are garden hackers who cross breed plants. There are car hackers that build hotrods. There are art hackers that create new artforms…

  4. @fartface

    “Sorry kids, there is no “hacker culture” only poser and wannabe culture.”

    … and the real culture: the environment created by hackers to encourage growth and exploration by hacking.

    It’s what we have on this site when
    a) someone posts a hack/mod/bend/repurpose that they’ve done
    b) others responed OT with comments, suggestions, and interest.

    And it’s a far cry from the trolling and putdowns that unfortunately show up here.

  5. early on Levy mentions that “hackers” back in the day had the same back round story of “i took things apart as a kid and blew the breaker in the house by sticking somthing in the outlet

    what is a your first/greatest story on blowing a breaker?

    I really blew one when i was 13-14. i Had built a small tethered helicopter. i had the main rotor and the tail rotor working but i couldnt get enough lift with the 9 then 12 then 14v DC wall wart. so i thought to my self “hey, i got 120v just in the wall. ill hook that up” of course i blew the breaker fried the motor and never did that again.

    your turn.

  6. There isn’t much of a hacker community beyond sites like hackaday anyways. All new stupid kids just wanna pwn and say look mine is bigger and better. They have partial knowledge of how things work so they follow howtos and tuts and call the mods for their “uber hack”.

    Kids with their mushed up brainz only want to see the latest and greatest shit like PS3 haxored or build cool PC case mods and sell them to make monnies…

    This oldhead who wrote the book probably crying with one eye to see what new hackers did become…

  7. Coincidentally it was just a couple days ago that I retired my ratty, dog-eared original paperback edition, having replaced it with an e-book version.

    It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of a handful of books that (as an impressionable teenager at the time) had a genuine influence on the direction of my life. I’d be curious to know if the material still holds up with later generations of readers.

  8. I grew up in the Bay Area in the 80s, and got to see the hacker culture first hand. I read this book with great interest as a teen and much of it still echoes in my IT centric job today. Great interview!

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