Interested in the reading level of a book?
This doesn't just mean learning how to drive a browser (anyone can dothat), but learning how to write HTML, the Web's markup language. Ifyou don't know how to program, writing HTML will teach you somemental habits that will help you learn. So build a home page.
Get an estimate for the Lexile text measure of a piece of text.
Hackerdom's most revered demigods are people who have written large,capable programs that met a widespread need and given them away, sothat now everyone uses them.
Here is an incomplete but indicative list of some of thoseprojects: Does it matter to you that Linux improve and spread? Are youpassionate about software freedom? Hostile to monopolies? Do you acton the belief that computers can be instruments of empowerment thatmake the world a richer and more humane place?
in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.
Note, however, that "No problem should ever have to be solvedtwice." does not imply that you have to consider all existingsolutions sacred, or that there is only one right solution to anygiven problem. Often, we learn a lot about the problem that we didn'tknow before by studying the first cut at a solution. It's OK, andoften necessary, to decide that we can do better. What's not OK isartificial technical, legal, or institutional barriers (likeclosed-source code) that prevent a good solution from being re-usedand people to re-invent wheels.
You can find BSD Unix help and resources at .
(You also have to develop a kind of faith in your own learningcapacity — a belief that even though you may not know all of what youneed to solve a problem, if you tackle just a piece of it and learnfrom that, you'll learn enough to solve the next piece — and so on,until you're done.)
I have written a primer on the .
To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to want toautomate away the boring bits as much as possible, not just foryourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).
Develop your appreciation of puns and wordplay.
(There is one apparent exception to this. Hackers willsometimes do things that may seem repetitive or boring to an observeras a mind-clearing exercise, or in order to acquire a skill or havesome particular kind of experience you can't have otherwise. But thisis by choice — nobody who can think should ever be forced into asituation that bores them.)
Don't use a silly, grandiose user ID or screen name.
Hackers are naturally anti-authoritarian. Anyone who can give youorders can stop you from solving whatever problem you're beingfascinated by — and, given the way authoritarian minds work, willgenerally find some appallingly stupid reason to do so. So theauthoritarian attitude has to be fought wherever you find it, lestit smother you and other hackers.