[Ads-l] Antedatings of hack- words

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 16 07:25:02 EST 2016


Here are antedatings of some computer hack-related words added to the
OED this quarter.

hackability n.1. 1988 -> 1984?/1987
hackability n.2. 1996 -> 1992
hackable adj. -> new sense
hackathon n.2. 1997 -> 1985?/1990?/1992?/1995?
hackerdom n. 1984 -> 1983
hackerproof adj. 1985 March -> 1985 January
hackfest n.2. 1995 -> 1990
hackish adj.2 [1991] 2004 -> 1982
hack-proof adj. 1995 -> 1988

I couldn't find an antedating for hackerspace, but then I noticed the
first quotation is the one I found when it'd been added to ODO :)
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2013-August/128240.html

URLs and message IDs of Usenet posts can be found via their entries
I've added to Wiktionary.


===


hackability n.1. OED: 1988

The property or fact of being modifiable; the degree to or ease with
which something can be modified.

[This first quotation might be talking about people, and might not qualify.]

---

1984 November 14, Shindman, Paul, “Re: Free and undirected campus
computing facilities - Not at Waterloo”, in net.micro:

Now it could be that all the hacks have moved to UNIX and off of our
IBM systems, but there is a distinct change at U of T from 5 or so
years ago when hacks abounded on all our systems. My personal opinion
is that it is to our collective detriment that the environment no
longer exists in which hacks can flourish. Their presence was on the
whole benficial in that they always wanted to learn something new, and
were always assisting those who didn't know (invariably to show off
their hackability) and often ended up doing contract work or getting
hired by the computer center, comp sci department, or some prof
looking for someone who knew how to (mis)handle a computer.

---

1987 March 8, Schwab, Leo L., “Re: Amiga good for hacking??”, in comp.sys.amiga:

I think the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks, and am pleased that
Yet Another Hacker is turning to the Amiga for its hackability. I
think it's the most hackable machine to come out since the old S-100
systems of the late 70's, and has the same kind of wonderful feel to
it.


===


hackability n.2. OED: 1996

The degree to which a computer system, network, etc., is vulnerable to
being hacked (hack v.1 15d).

---

1992 May 12, Bennett, John, “Re: Fiber optic networks and security”,
in alt.security:

I've seen an automatic splicer (made by Northern Telecom I think)
which injects light through the sheath in one fibre, and detects it
through the sheath in a second piece. The fibres are held in a jig
which puts a small kink in them at the point where the light is
injected/detected. The equipment uses the light received to align the
two parts before splicing. It's a pretty good indication of the
"hackability" of fibre I would say.


===


hackable adj. sense not in OED

OED has the "vulnerable" sense of hackable (1986), but not the earlier
"moddable" sense.

---

1983 January 29, Greenspon, Michael C., “Re: RSTS dies?”, in fa.human-nets:


Hey, watch it! I'll be the first to admit that RSTS is old, generally
ugly, and very stupid about lots of things, but it IS hackable. UNIX
is equally, if not more, ugly, stupid, etc., and is also hackable. The
difference is that in order to get UNIX to do ANYTHING even REMOTELY
USEFUL it MUST be hacked. Of course, if you like case significance and
an operating system designed around the same mindless philosophy, go
ahead and use stock UNIX. For now, on PDP-11s, I'll stick to hacking
RSTS.


===


hackathon n.2. OED: 1997

A collaborative computer-programming event, typically lasting several
days and involving computer programmers, software developers, hackers,
etc.; a hackfest.

Not sure entirely sure about these four:

---

1985 January 20, Beals, Andy, “Re: net.men.only?”, in net.flame:

If these are opinions I'm sure that it happens to have something to do
with the immense amounts of caffeine and sugar that I've ingested over
the course of his 50hr hackathon.

---

1990 November 30, P'relan, “A Callahan's Romance”, in alt.callahans:

Just after the Hack-A-Thon. A little tired, but it's still early, just
after 3 a.m. I log onto the Vax and find that two of the people from
the Hack-A-Thon are already on. I VMSphone RJLEWIS, a hacker and the
president of our computer club, to ask him why he left the 'thon
early. He answers after quite a few rings - no surprise, he was
probably doing some hacking. He answers, "This isn't Crash."
Hmm...probably one of his roommates. Another person joins the
conversation - RLCOLLINS, one of his roommates - saying "This is
Crash." Ok, I'm confused. "Why?," I ask. RJLEWIS responds that this is
a person named Debbie and it's her first time on the computer.

---

1992 February 29, Baggett, David M., “Re: 'Demo crews'”, in comp.sys.atari.st:

I bet you most programmers started out "hacking." You think you're
alone in that, but I'm sure you can find hundreds of people in this
newsgroup with "48-hour hack-a-thon" or similar kinds of stories. They
may have been working with punched cards or with all-text displays,
but hacking is hacking. That's why some of the dreaded professional
programmers will see your fixation with obscure tricks as nothing more
than a phase they've been through themselves.

---

1995 September 1, Dicke, James, “HACKERS: Win a new computer!”, in milw.general:

UNITED ARTISTS, THE ONION, AND THE VIRTUAL GAMING CENTER PERSENT: THE
24 HOUR HACKATHON! n promotion of the new moive "HACKERS" (the
fast-paced cyberpunk thriller opens in theaters September 15th), we
are giving away a some great prizes! Be the first person to "hack"
into our special web site on the internet and win a BRAND NEW COMPUTER
SYSTEM! Fifty runners-up will receive special HACKERS gift packs.


===


hackerdom n. OED: 1984

---

1983 November 2, Ian, “Re: Hackers victim of Newspeak (HUMAN-NETS
Digest V6 #64)”, in fa.human-nets:

REM says that "somebody" should castigate the media for using "hacker"
when they mean "cracker". That "somebody", gentle reader, is you,
baby, nobody but you. If you don't do it, nobody else will. You, and
you, and you, and you and, of course, you. Write a letter to the T.V.
station or the local newspaper each and every time you hear them use
"hacker" when they mean "cracker". It can be the same short letter
each time, with the station name and program or paper name and article
changed. Keep it online (unless you are paranoid about DOD and
computer use, see article in same issue of HUMAN-NETS); change the
details and print it to lpr (or however you get hardcopy). This will
be easier when E-Com hookups become prevalent; for now, keep licking
stamps and mailing to the media. They may listen iff they get enough
abuse from real hackers (the good side, not the dark side, of
hackerdom!).


===


hackerproof adj. OED: 1985 March

---

1985 January 24, Allbery, Brandon, “Re: An Open Letter To Chuq Von
Rospatch (is that his real name?)”, in net.news.stargate:

Despite the flames, I've been running another BBS since the fall of
the Communitree, with the same rules and standards... and the only
messages I've killed so far were ones I posted pertaining to early
bugs in the software, as there's more space on this public access Unix
system. (Yes, it's on the very system on which I am typing this
letter; tried and true, and hacker-proof -- but with shell access (and
"vi" as a message editor) for qualified users.) (Correction: ONE
message, about phone phreaking. I killed it for safety's sake. Which
will change when I get a chance to put private conferences and
membership lists into this thing. I have my personal beliefs... but
larger than my feelings about anything else is that for freedom of
speech, and the responsibilities it entails.)


===


hackfest n.2. OED: 1995

A collaborative computer-programming event, typically lasting several
days and involving computer programmers, software developers, hackers,
etc.; a hackathon.

---

1990 July 3, Delaney, Grant, “What's Going to Happen in Kansas City
(Long)”, in comp.sys.apple2:

Do you have specific questions after seeing the earlier sound and
animation sessions? This is the time to get the answers. This late
evening session will be held in the computer lab for hands on
explanations and will lead into the all-night HackFest.


===


hackish, adj.2 OED: [1991] 2004

Of, relating to, or characteristic of a computer hack (hack n.1 7, 7b, 8).

---

1982 November 30, Stuart, “Re: New proposal for handling net traffi -
(nf)”, in net.news:

Our site, ucbvax!menlo70!sri-unix, was recently subjected to
incredibly high loads caused by the interaction of the various uucp
software, two receiving sites, and news transmission. Fortunately
we're out of that thicket for now, but only in a hackish sort of way.
We trickle articles into inews and have terminated one of our
neighbors. The other two possibilities (news batching and uucp
sub-dirs) were considered and will probably be adopted at some point.


===


hack-proof adj. OED: 1995

---

1988 February 2, Dr. Odd, “Cyberhackers”, in alt.cyberpunk, Usenet[1],
retrieved 15 December 2016, message-ID <2899 at cup.portal.com>:

Now consider the Hacker Ethic. Authority? HAH! It's all about breaking
the rules, isn't it? Authority is the thing to beat. It's the thing to
test your technical creativity against and win. Rebellion at the end
of the electric outlet. You don't hack in the modern media sense just
because it feels so good when you stop. Oh no. You do it because it is
to some extent elitist. You are part of the club. You know the jargon.
You have the right access codes. Ultimately, it's a way of proving
that you are better then The Authority which designed the hack-proof
system. And Not Getting Caught. By getting in you become the
authority. Yeah I know, it's all because you hate your father and want
to sleep with your mother. Dr. Odd should be charging by the hour in
LA-LA land (CA). But think about it. It's plausible. It reads well.
You're still awake...


===


Hugo

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