Eric Raymond FAQ

Yesterday I did a Google search for the term “hacker”. The second search engine result was an FAQ maintained by Eric Raymond. This FAQ gave advice on how to become a hacker, as well as guidance on what not to do. I found this very amusing. A regular hacker to be would follow these rules and perhaps look like a hacker. A real hacker would follow his heart and help dictate what should be in the next FAQ. However I thought I would discuss which characteristics I found noble and funny.

One comment from Eric was to write software and give it away for free. Don’t get me wrong. If I could get rich by writing code and charging for it, I would do it. For now I am posting most of my good and new programs here on my blog. So I meet this criteria. I should point out that Eric owns a company which sells software. So perhaps he himself is not necessarily a top hacker. LOL. Another recommendation from Eric was publish useful information. I author a number of blogs. Some of the posts to these blogs are just rants. But I got to hope that some of the information is very useful in a hacker sort of way. So I have maybe 2 of the many traits of a hacker. I am not losing any sleep about my status though.

The funnier part of the FAQ were in the section that described what you should not do. Eric seriously advises against obtaining a silly user ID. Well I might be a little guilty of this one. For instance, right here I am “Black of Hat” or Xero. A little silly I agree. However I do not go by the code eLitehaCkerz or anything weird like that. The second caution from Eric was to not write posts/emails with poor grammar and spellings errors. I almost always agree with this sentiment. There is one exception to this rule in my blogs. I am know as Rawk Starr in one of them. And I will confess that Rawk writes in the worst English and has atrocious spelling. However Rawk is not posing as a hacker so I think I should be OK there.

In the old days I used to chat online and find a lot of self proclaimed hackers. As a joke, I would often tell them my machine IP address is, and challenge them to hack my machine. Of course the joke would be on them if they hacked this IP address. That alone might be the source for another blog post.