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"A Portrait of J. Random Hacker"

Anyone (or almost anyone) in fields related to computers will have probably heard of The Jargon File, and, in fact, may even have read parts (or all) of it. For those of you who have not experienced The Jargon File, it is a glossary of hacker terminology and slang, as well as amusing, canonical anecdotes and a very fine "Portrait of J. Random Hacker". This last is the subject of today's post.

I came across the description of the typical hacker in the File today during my lunch break, as I tend to read parts of the File (among other things, such as [currently defunct], webcomics, and international news) while I eat, both to expand my personal knowledge base and to keep myself in a productive state of mind through the midday crash. As I read through it, I was alternately nodding in agreement and wondering whether the writers had been spying on me, because there is very little in the 18-page description that does not, to one extent or another, apply to me, my life, and my lifestyle. I am seriously thinking that I ought to link to this fine document in the various places on the Internet where I am asked to describe myself, saving myself the trouble of coming up with a better descriptor than this.


August 13 2008, 09:54:12

I actually haven't seen that before!

Only about half of it applies to me though. xD I guess I'm not really a real hacker.

August 13 2008, 11:40:39

I do not know--there are varying levels of hackerdom. You just have not been around us long enough... ;-)