The Null Device
In the Realm of the Hackers
Tonight I went to a screening of In the Realm of the Hackers
, a documentary about various hackers/crackers from Melbourne in the late 1980s (apparently not just another BBS/h4x0d-d00d scene, but one of the major hacker nexuses in the world); in particular, about a young man calling himself Electron and his friends, who apparently broke into machines like nobody else. It was pretty interesting; the details, connecting the mundanity of suburban Melbourne with the international computer networks of the time, were fascinating, and the reconstructed Commodore 64/Apple II screens (rebuilt from police phone intercept transcripts) were apparently the most authentic in the genre. (I half-remember various of the names seen on the hacker BBS message boards, from print-outs I saw many years ago. Of course, I never was k3wl enough to actually do any of that hacking shit myself.)
Anyway, it does one proud to see that Australia can lead the world in something other than cricket.
The film was based on the book Underground, by Suelette Dreyfus, which is now online in freely downloadable form.
It sounds like it's well worth a read.
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