Preface to the Second Edition

Hackerdom's support of and the general public's response to the first edition of this book vastly exceeded our expectations. We are delighted to be able to bring you this revised and updated second edition.

The more than 250 new entries represent a quite substantial amount of fresh material. We are even more pleased to be able to include many historical and etymological additions to existing entries, many of which adduce vital facts previously unrecorded in print.

Special thanks to Pete Samson , compiler of the first TMRC Dictionary in 1959, for resurfacing to clarify the murky origins of several important jargon terms. In a few cases Mr. Samson's revelations overturned folk etymologies of long standing in hackerdom.

One of the goals for TNHD was to assist mainstream lexicographers and linguists in better understanding the meaning and etymology of some hackerisms which have passed into general use. We've since realized that the size and breadth of the collection might actually make it an embarrassment of riches for that audience. Accordingly, we direct the mainstream lexicographer's attention particularly to the entries for:

bells and whistles, bogon, bogus, brain-dead, brute force, bug, catatonic, chad, copious free time, copyleft, cracker, cracking, crash, cruft, crufty, dark-side hacker, defenestration, dike, down, dumpster diving, fascist, fencepost error, Finagle's Law, flame, flame on, flame war, flamer, foo, foobar, frob, frobnicate, frobnitz, Get a life!, glork, gnarly, grok, guru, hack, hacker, hacker ethic, hacker humor, hacking, hex, highly, hot spot, house wizard, hung, J. Random, J. Random Hacker, jack in, jaggies, kludge, kluge, laser chicken, lose, lose lose, loser, losing, loss, lossage, luser, magic number, marginal, meta, moby, mu, mundane, mung, Murphy's Law, netter, network, the newbie, no-op, nontrivial, number-crunching, obscure, param, phreaking, ping, quux, retcon, Right Thing, scram switch, scratch, screw, signal-to-noise ratio, snarf, syntactic sugar, sysop, theory, turist, virgin, wallpaper, wedged, win, win big, win win, winnage, winner, winnitude, wizard, Wrong Thing, zap, and zapped.

This list includes most of the hackerisms that (by 1993) have both achieved near-universal recognition in the culture and occasionally surfaced in mainstream use. A few other entries convey information of potential interest about idioms primarily used outside of hackerdom: cyberpunk, cyberspace, old fart, and retcon.

We hope these pointers will prove useful.

Happy hacking!


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