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Maker/Hacker/Cracker
August 1st, 2016 by miki

Maker

A maker is new speak for a person exploring the digital domain in a more physical sense. Building or putting together electronics, wood, plastic to create devices that can do stuff. In a more generic sense Makers take part in the global Maker-culture.

Hacker

When I’m not in danger of being misunderstood I use the term hacker about myself according to the original meaning as describing a person being;

  • of extreme curious attitude (explorer of any stuff encountered)
  • a creative tinkerer (tweaks existing stuff to do new things)
  • enjoying playful cleverness (makes a point by setting stuff into new contexts)

Compared to a maker, a hacker is typically more software oriented and less inclined to focus on physical products or tools.

For a history of the word hacker (etymology) this is a great read; www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/a-short-history-of-hack. Also Richard Stallman in interviews often explains the word from his perspective as an early hacker, in addition to the interesting perspectives available in his “On Hacking” article.

Cracker

If I’m referring to a malicious digital criminal I would normally use the term cracker and the action said person performs as cracking. I don’t perform, endorse or approve of any such activity but the malicious connotations with the hacker term have become so widespread that one can’t use it in its original meaning without explaining the cracker term.

Other discussions about the hacker/cracker controversy in the mainstream;


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© 2019 Mikkel Kirkgard Nielsen, contents CC BY-SA 4.0