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Linux.com: A Brief History of Computer Hackerism (Excerpt Part Three): The Hacker Work Ethic

Mar 14, 2001, 20:28 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pekka Himanen)

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"Linus Torvalds says in his Prologue that, for the hacker, "the computer itself is entertainment," meaning that the hacker programs because he finds programming intrinsically interesting, exciting, and joyous."

"The spirit behind other hackers' creations is very similar to this. Torvalds is not alone in describing his work with statements like "Linux hackers do something because they find it to be very interesting." For example, Vinton Cerf, who is somtimes called "the father of the Internet," comments on the fascination programming exerts: "There was something amazingly enticing about programming." Steve Wozniak, the person who built the first real personal computer, says forthrightly about his discovery of the wonders of programming: "It was just the most intriguing world." This is a general spirit: hackers program because programming challenges are of intrinsic interest to them. Problems related to programming arouse genuine curiosity in the hacker and make him eager to learn more."

"The hacker is also enthusiastic about this interesting thing; it energizes him. From the MIT of the sixties onward, the classic hacker has emerged from sleep in the early afternoon to start programming with enthusiasm and has continued his efforts, deeply immersed in coding, into the wee hours of the morning."

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