Or, as the following modern Zen poem has it:

Each of essay sections should be well defined and written clearly. This means you should know what details to include while minimizing the amount needed. You may need to rewrite each section more than once before settling on your final copy. You should also remember to proofread, edit, and revise as these elements help make your structure more solid. Think about your details in how you want readers to view it from your perspective.

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The term "open source", however, had not yet emerged; it wouldnot do so until early 1998. When it did, most of the hacker communityadopted it within the following six months; the exceptions were aminority ideologically attached to the term "free software". Since1998, and especially after about 2003, the identification of 'hacking'with 'open-source (and free software) development' has becomeextremely close. Today there is little point in attempting todistinguish between these categories, and it seems unlikely that willchange in the future.

You can find BSD Unix help and resources at .

In 1996, when I first published this Hacker HOWTO, the hackercommunity was rapidly reorganizing around Linux and a handful of otheropen-source operating systems (notably those descended from BSDUnix). Community memory of the fact that most of us had spent decadesdeveloping closed-source software on closed-source operating systemshad not yet begun to fade, but that fact was already beginning to seemlike part of a dead past; hackers were, increasingly, definingthemselves as hackers by their attachments to open-source projectssuch as Linux or Apache.

The basic difference is this: hackers build things, crackersbreak them.

Do you identify with the goals and values of the hacker community?

Linus Torvalds, a Finn, comments his code in English (itapparently never occurred to him to do otherwise). His fluencyin English has been an important factor in his ability to recruita worldwide community of developers for Linux. It's an example worthfollowing.

When do you have to start? Is it too late for me to learn?

Back around 1991 I learned that many hackers who have English asa second language use it in technical discussions even when they sharea birth tongue; it was reported to me at the time that English has aricher technical vocabulary than any other language and is thereforesimply a better tool for the job. For similar reasons, translationsof technical books written in English are often unsatisfactory (whenthey get done at all).

How long will it take me to learn to hack?

Like most cultures without a money economy, hackerdom runs onreputation. You're trying to solve interesting problems, but howinteresting they are, and whether your solutions are really good, issomething that only your technical peers or superiors are normallyequipped to judge.

So, if you want to be a hacker, repeat the following things untilyou believe them:

It is worth remembering, however, that this was not always so.

I'll assume you have a personal computer or can get access toone. (Take a moment to appreciate how much that means. The hackerculture originally evolved back when computers were so expensive thatindividuals could not own them.) The single most important step anynewbie can take toward acquiring hacker skills is to get a copy ofLinux or one of the BSD-Unixes, install it on a personal machine, andrun it.

If you need some assistance with your essay, be sure to use these great sources.

Rick Moen has written an excellent document on .

To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to want toautomate away the boring bits as much as possible, not just foryourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

How do I tell if I am already a hacker?

Being a native English-speaker does not guarantee that you havelanguage skills good enough to function as a hacker. If your writingis semi-literate, ungrammatical, and riddled with misspellings,many hackers (including myself) will tend to ignore you. While sloppywriting does not invariably mean sloppy thinking, we've generallyfound the correlation to be strong — and we have no use forsloppy thinkers. If you can't yet write competently, learn to.