What is Hacking Society?

Hacking Society is an organization whose goal is to foster the geek community through the shared experience of "Hacking" described in further detail at Hacking Society: What is it?. It is meant to be a time and place for people of similar interests in computers and programming to meet, discuss, and share ideas with one another. It often consists of Pair Programming. It's a chance to meet other people who think like you and have similar interests in an atmosphere that promotes sharing of ideas and collaboration. It's a chance to discuss current projects and ideas as well as form new ones. It's a chance to tell people you are going out to do something without having to actually do something non-geeky.ZacMorris

What Hacking Society is not.

Hacking Society is not a time or place for illegal systems penetration or software piracy commonly and erroneously referred to as "Hacking" and "Cracking."

  • (Unless you are into that kinda thing you know? In which case, (theoretically discuss the ideas behind and the simulate how to) hack that Gibson.) Hacking Society isn't rigidly structured or guided by anything other than the random musings of the participants. — ZacMorris

Why in Davis?

It appears to me (DavidReid) that Davis contains some interesting and skilled programmers (as evidenced by the existence of this wiki) and that they should be given a time and place to focus their energy away from work and school and allow for the free exchange of ideas with each other.

  • Because David and I happen to live here. Because its a college town full of folk who could use a chance to meet other people who enjoy building things, breaking things, and hacking at random stuff. Because its hard to find people interested in similar projects and something like this provides a way to do this.— ZacMorris

Davis Hacking Society v1.0 (2005-11-17)

DHS is a success! Approximately 6 people showed up, which is approximately 6 more than was originally expected. I believe the role call consisted of myself, DavidReid, PaulIvanov, PhilipNeustrom, SteveDavison, TarZxf. We discussed awesome things that you non-showing up people are not privy to knowing about, mainly because I have a bad memory. Highlights included the internet going out, grad students taking over Roma's by force, and Philip going Super Sayan and taking 43 episodes to fight one person. Thanks to those who showed up, hope this becomes a regular thing. - ZacMorris

  • Six more than you expected, perhaps. I expected a few more, and thought several who were at the BBQ would be there. I counted four laptops. This really is a sort of informal gathering between the BBQ's, so no one should feel at all intimidated about coming. Next meeting is Thursday, December 1st. —SteveDavison
  • I (ChristopherMcKenzie) really wanted to go. I even text messaged Steve to tell him to announce that I was unable to show up. You can definitely count me in. However, due to prior engagements, I was unable to make it to the kickoff meeting. Sorry. -ChristopherMcKenzie
  • Must everything happen on Thursdays?? Is there any particular reason it's not on any other date? - MarieHuynh
    • Because Thursday worked for me and my roommate, and no one else offered any input on the subject. But it's not set in stone, nor is the meeting place, someone suggested Woodstocks for the next one. - DavidReid
      • How about Fridays? sushi? Sunday? Weekend sushi buffet? - MarieHuynh
        • This group is about discussing hacking (i.e. computer programming), rather than eating. People bring their laptops and share the projects they're working on. Food would get in the way, among other things. The ideal location would have wifi and/or Ethernet ports, ample table space, chairs, and be quiet enough where we can talk -yet not bother anyone else with our talking. It must have power outlets. It should have enough light to see the keyboard. Come to think of it, Cafe Roma really is a pretty ideal spot. The difference between DHS and LUGOD is that the former has no officers, no dues, and no speakers. It's just share, talk, and learn.
          • I only made that suggestion because someone else suggested Woodstocks and I don't really care for that. I've not gone to past meeting(s) so I don't know if you eat during the meeting. A coffee place does seem better than a restaurant but I don't have a laptop yet so plugs and all that was not on my mind. I don't think LUGOD has dues either. At least, I haven't paid any.
            • The DHS meetings/gatherings are informal. We didn't eat last time. LUGOD has voluntary dues. They used to be used to pay for the library meeting room, but the library has changed its policy and now allows LUGOD free use. LUGOD has restarted its alternate social meetings, which somewhat duplicate DHS' function. Oh well.


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2005-11-01 02:20:27   Hack the planet! —ArlenAbraham

2005-11-01 03:18:43   I live with you so you already know my feelings David. Anyway, Thursday might be bad for me. The only problem is severe laziness and apathy by the majority of programmers in this town. —ZacMorris

2005-11-01 03:26:48   I h4xX0r3ed the Wiki —GeoffJohnson

2005-11-01 17:05:29   Hackers originally refered to people who were simply really skilled computer users. Read the book "A Cuckoo's Egg", it rules. —GiladGurantz

  • Yeah, Cuckoo's Egg is a great book, I read it when I was 10 (I think) and it was the first time I learned anything about UNIX. That book might be why I'm not a script kiddie. —NickSchmalenberger
  • I'm actually reading that right now. The writing is a little frustrating, and I think the editor probably never got through the whole thing. But as a nerd, to me it's still worth the read. -MikeIvanov
    • What's annoying is he tends to start each chapter the same way, repeating the same thing or making the same point. Still a great story, though, and the fact that it's non-fiction makes up for the not perfect writing. I like how we totally deviated from the point of the page. -GiladGurantz
      • Yep, he repeats a lot, but also some things are out of place or appear in a couple of places verbatim, as if something was moved but not deleted in the original spot. Far, far from perfect writing, but then I don't expect perfect writing from an astronomer/computer guy. Could have been a much shorter book, and better for it. Wiki tangents are the best. -MikeIvanov
        • Yeah, maybe I wasn't such a good critical reader when I was 10. Has anybody read Stoll's Silicon Snake Oil? It might be even more poorly written, because it is pretty much just one big rant about how the internet is just a lot of hype (it was written in 1996) and it was so much better back in the good old days, but I think some of it is true and the rest should at least be discussed, so I am glad he is doing it. Another sorta good book like that is In the Beginning Was the Command Line by Neil Stephenson. He likes BeOS. Does anybody in Davis use BeOS? Stoll now sells Klein bottle items (glassware and wool) in Oakland and on the web. http://www.kleinbottle.com/ I wish I had a Klein hat. -NickSchmalenberger
          • I don't think Stoll ever said the internet was hype. He mainly ranted about how he thought it was silly that people were trying to make all this money off of it. Keep in mind this was during the Dot-Com Boom. So, I guess he was largely right, at least at the time.
            • Yeah, I think you are right, he never really said the Internet was hype. There sure was alot of ranting though, especially against commercialization and associated hype of the Internet. That was what I was trying to get at when I noted it was written in 1996, but I guess that wasn't clear. It wasn't just about the Internet either, but about computers in general being seen as panacea, which I think is another real problem. -NickSchmalenberger
          • Whoa I have one of his Klein bottles in my house. My brother bought it for my dad. What a small world. -MikeIvanov
  • Another worthwhile read is Steven Levy's "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" —DavidReid
    • Ah yes, the bible of my generation. - Erik Anderson (Age 16 in 1984)

2005-11-01 18:29:45   I like this idea, though there is a large overlap between this an LUGOD, and LUGOD has been suffering poor partipation and attendance lately. —RyanCastellucci

  • I don't think there is any overlap between this and LUGOD, most LUGs that I've been involved with (SVLug and MendoLUG) are more concerned with educating and informing and most importantly evangelizing. Also, Hacking Society isn't about Linux, it's not about Windows, it's not about Mac, it's about the one thing that all these have in common, Programming and Programmers, in truth it's not even about Programming, it's about Hacking, be it software or hardware. Hacking Society is much more like the 17th Century salon. LUGs are often (and unfortunately) one sided in their regular meetings, HS is about actively participating and exchanging ideas. Perhaps the difference is subtle, but it's important. Also one of the goals of hacking society is to be more regular than a LUG, you can work on anything at a hacking society, including your regular job (assuming it is computer oriented) or even *gasp* school work! :) — DavidReid
  • Hacking Society is supposed to be much less organized. There's not supposed to be some topic or speaker for each meeting or something like that. It's supposed to have a geeky tilt, but no one is going to tell you want to work on. It's just a bunch of people who like to screw around with things (whether thats software, hardware, flamingos, whatever) getting together and screwing around with things. You know when you get together with your friends and hang out and mess around with something interesting? Yeah, it's like that except with people who aren't imaginary. — ZacMorris

2005-11-05 11:14:50   Sounds like fun. —DylanBeaudette

2005-11-06 17:03:04   The Davis Wiki is a great hack! —SteveDavison

2005-11-12 23:19:29   So can just anyone show up to this? If I just walk in to Cafe Roma on Thursday, is that cool? —TylerKaraszewski

Depends, are you Just Anyone? Does Cafe Roma let Just Anyone in? If George W. Bush walks in, would they serve him? I'm not so sure... —SteveDavison

Do they serve pretzels? —DavidReid

Do they serve bananas? —SteveDavison

Tyler yes you can just show up, it's not going to be a particularly organized event, it's just a group of people, with similar interests, meeting at the same place, at the same time, to work on things that interest them. —DavidReid

2005-11-18 10:08:53   *bites the head off a chicken* patooey! —MarieHuynh

2005-11-22 00:37:16   I was going to go, but I ended up working late. I'll try and make the next one. —TylerKaraszewski

2005-11-29 22:35:19   Actually, SVLUG now holds monthly official Hacking Society meetings, and a bunch of us meet many other weekends of the month, too! —BillKendrick

2005-11-29 22:38:41   Any reason DHS isn't set up as an official chapter? (SVLUG, too for that matter!) —BillKendrick

Mostly because I wanted to make sure it wasn't a complete and utter failure before I did. —DavidReid

More people ought to come to this! Got something to work on? Some idea you want to float by? Well then, come! —PhilipNeustrom