Yet Another Curmudgeonly Rant: last week while visiting a library I happened upon the reference shelf holding 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. It's a magazine that a few decades ago had some small fame (or infamy) for offering deep information about long-distance telephony and other technical topics.

Alas, today's 2600 seems sadly shrunken (and not just in format) from what I remember seeing in the '70s. The articles that I glanced at resembled tutorials on how to quickly beat video games. Sure, it's not hard to defeat security measures and sneak books out of a library, or make a free phone call, or alter a bar code, or pick a lock — but why bother, and why boast about doing it? And where are the equations, or the nontrivial source code listings, or any other evidence of having studied and solved a hard problem? The intellectual level of the modern 2600 appears to be several notches below Electronics Illustrated, and infinitely short of QST or other ham radio publications. Even the writing style was lame.

So what's the point — why cheat at solitaire? One might as well be proud of "hacking" a wiki ...

(cf. KeepOut (17 Dec 2001), CharlesRodrigues (25 Sep 2005), ...)

TopicScience - TopicSociety - TopicLibraries - 2007-03-22

(correlates: ExtraCurricular, UpcSatori, BookHouses, ...)