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Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

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  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    yeah, i think we are saying the same things using different words... and different levels of sobriety.

    virtually no one out there is ever exclusively a "maker" or exclusively a "hacker" ... except for some very rare circumstances, people generally tend to be both at the same time (just in different measures)

    what you are doing is hacking as well as making, hence the irrelevance of either specific title. ;-)

    it's all good, and it all applies. as part of a balanced breakfast, one should have a serving of both hacker and maker to start their day of doing.

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  • FirmWarez
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    Ok, first off, I'm a little drunk, so, well, you know, I might say things that otherwise I wouldn't say if ever I was sober.

    I'm not sure how much I agree. Or maybe I do but I just need to re-read the posts. Sorry this is getting detailed, but I'm drunk, so there.

    I've been building a truck for rallycross because my girlfriend is keen on the idea. And she'd be hot driving it. Come one, we've all built things for less reasons.

    I need to add an oil pressure gauge. The oil pressure gauge sensor is too bulky/heavy to hang off the side of the timing cover, so with a bit of AN-4 hose I'm adding a remote block that I can bolt down so vibration won't result is snap/break/loss of oil/oil pressure.

    I want a remote block that will support oil pressure, temp, and the original (yes, Rover damn it) low oil pressure switch. There are no instructions, there are only the sensors I need, my lathe, mill, and some aluminum stock.

    I've got to figure out how to do this. Enough bore on the inside to get good oil flow/pressure to all the senors, but then threaded ports to mate with the sensors. And not too much work, time is always an issue when building a competition machine. May have to do something crazy to open it up on the inside.

    Am I hacking because I'm thinking of ways to machine the part using methods that "weren't originally intended" or am I a maker because I'm "just" turning a chunk of 6061-T6 on my lathe?

    Maybe you are right, I'm walking the line between. Maybe my making always contains a bit of engineering, hacking, so I don't see the 'just' making/assembling out there.

    Thing is, I've spent most of my career doing embedded systems. And truth is, yes, a lot of hardware is _making_. There's not a lot of room to hack in designing hardware in this day, at least not at the board level. But then I think the real hack is what you do with the hardware. But like my machine shop example above, sometimes even when doing something that's been done for a century, you have to be creative. The devil is in the details, and the more it's been done before the better you have to be with details, understanding them, hacking them.

    Have to admit I'm laughing at Deviant mentioning the Kinsey scale. Not sure I'm on that one -- heterosexual male that only dates bisexual women. Fortunately so does my wife, so it's all good. Hmm, is that hacking or making?

    Peace out.

    -FirmWarez

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  • bombnav
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    For me I don't have a line that I cross from making to hacking... to me a hack could be as simple as I need this chip for this circuit.. I don't have one... but I have this chip... WTF lets make it work.

    Yes the HHV was brought to life to help software people get into hardware or at least experience it.

    We have to have make events to introduce people to hardware and then if they chose they can "hack it"

    But it is a good point but to me DEFCON has become a melting pot of ideas. Walking around in the HHV you see a lot of different things going on from making to hacking to people just taking a break. The HHV is just the HHV...

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  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    heh, more media-style sound bytes...

    Hackers are more likely than not to throw away the instructions that come with a kit. With Makers, there's a good chance the instructions are kept around and followed, so as to achieve the "right" result.

    But, also keep in mind... a Hacker is probably the more likely party to have a cool parts kit but leave it on a shelf in a project box somewhere when their mind gets flighty and distracted. A Maker will almost always have a better chance of seeing their projects through to fruition.


    Again, these are generalizations. But i think they're not too bad, all things considered.

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  • SmittyHalibut
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    I think I like your definition of Make and Hack better than mine, it keeps the spirit of what I feel about them, but still clearly delineates the differences between the two without putting them at odds with each other. Consider it plagiarized. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    I've given this some thought in the past, too. When i started hackercons.org i sort of randomly created three main "categories" of events to be tracked there: hackercons, maker events, and suit cons... but i quickly realized there was a LOT of crossover and created the sub-categories "mackercons" and "hackers in suits" as intermediary classifications. :-)

    The Venn Diagram for "hacker" and "maker" has LOADS of overlap, i think, but here are the definitions i might use in an attempt to distinguish the intersection and exclusion zones...


    Hacker - someone who analyzes systems and technologies and whatnot with innovative thinking, such as to conceive of ways to make them perform in unanticipated, novel ways. NOTE - a hacker need not actually CREATE the things they think about. if Da Vinci never produced a single mechanical item but instead left us with his legacy of amazing papers to be later turned into a Windows 98 Plus theme, he would still be a hacker.

    Maker - someone who appreciates the act of execution, particularly as it relates to novel ideas and fun concepts. NOTE - a maker doesn't necessarily have to be working in INNOVATIVE space. brewing beer and welding, for example, are two artisan crafts that have been with us for fucking centuries, but modern 21st century folk who say, "let's get up off the couch and weld together a beer-brewing machine" are makers, all the same. (even if they aren't quite hackers in some instances*)

    * in the above example, that still might be a little hacker-y... but if they were to say "hey, kids, here's this amazing beer brew kit i just bought using Amazon one-click purchase. let's set it up!" then that might land them more exclusively in the maker camp as opposed to hacker side of things, in my view.


    As far as DEFCON goes? I think DEFCON is the ultimate Big Tent, where people of all stripes and leanings come together. DEFCON is more about inspiration as opposed to immediate results. Yes, awesome things are researched/created/released at DEFCON... but far and away its contribution to the community comes in inspiring people to do cool things when they go back home.

    Part of that is inspiring the next generation of hackers... and a lot of this comes from doing "maker" type things. People realize, "holy shit, maybe my hands are there for a fucking reason other than shoving fast food into my face and jerking off before i go back to work" and this makes them wonder what other awesome things they could do with their hands... hence, they have the potential to unlock the hacker mindset within them.

    Is it surely a stark change from the past to see "maker-y" things at DEFCON where they weren't before? Sure. Does it sometimes feel like a circus or weird side show or look like people are "playing at" being hackers, rather than actually doing anything? Sometimes. But that's ok with me. That's part of DEFCON's function as a Big Tent and an incubator/inspiration for new minds.


    Heh... making is a gateway drug to hacking. And that's a good thing.


    EDIT: you could also say it goes the other way, too... hacking is a lead-in to making. That's also good.

    Or, as i put it on Twitter just now: "Hackers do the thinking, Makers do the executing." That is not in any way to imply that hackers don't create things or that makers are un-thinking. I'm going to say that 90% or more folk who wear one hat also can proudly wear the other, as well. It's more of an Alfred Kinsey scale, in my view... we lean one way or another, but it's a very rare person who is 100% a single thing with no shred of the other side in their spirit.


    EDIT 2: this discussion reminds me of Johnny Long's affinity for the "Ninjas or Pirates?" question that he would often pose to his audience at the start of a talk. After letting them rant and shout their opinions for a few moments, he would step in and correct them, saying, "Awe, you should know better... it's Ninjas and Pirates! That's who we are and what we shall forever be."
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; March 23, 2013, 12:57.

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  • SmittyHalibut
    started a topic Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    Discussion: "Hacker" vs "Maker"

    I want to get y'all's opinion on something. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm using "hack" to mean "making something do something it wasn't originally intended to do." (I'm intentionally leaving the Black Hat vs White Hat aspect of "hacking" out of this.) Similarly, I'm using "make" to mean "intentionally designing something to do something." They're very similar, and someone good at one can often do the other. The key difference tends to be mindset more than skill set.

    Tangent started DefCon as a "Hacker Convention" mostly in the sense of the word as I describe it above, and to me that's still its heart. However, I have much more of a Maker mindset than a Hacker. In the context of Computer Security, I've always justified that disconnect by arguing that I'm learning how to prevent someone else from making my something do something I don't want it to. This has served me well in the last 20-ish years as a sysadmin and neteng.

    But I'm having a harder time bridging the Hacker/Maker disconnect when it comes to hardware. Most of what I make for hardware doesn't have other people hacking on it trying to make it do something else. And since I am usually designing and building my own stuff as opposed to modifying something already built by someone else, I hesitate to call it "hacking" as I have defined the term above.

    Makers have places like Maker Faire, more and more of which are popping up all over the place all the time. By way of analogy, we don't have any "How To Program in C" talks at DefCon; we assume that you already have the Maker skill set for software before you show up. Many (most? all?) of the other events are pretty clearly hacking in one way or another. For example, the lock-pick village is, pretty much by definition, Hacking. :-)

    But the HHV has a fair amount of "How To Program In C" type stuff in it. There have been various kits in the past, most of which are microcontroller based (thanks, Parallax!) Yes, you can use a microcontroller for both Making and Hacking, but most of the kits have centered around "Here's how to get started with a microcontroller!" or "Here's a servo!" or whatever. It's very Maker, not very specific to Hacking. It's not ONLY Maker, that's for sure, but I'd say there's a higher ratio of Maker:Hacker in the HHV than anywhere else in DefCon.

    I ask you: Should we keep strict "Making" out of DefCon, a place originally for Hacking? Should we keep the Hacking spirit in the HHV, concentrating on insecurities in devices and how to make them do what WE want rather than what the original designer wanted, rather than that cool new circuit I just designed?

    Or, it there enough cross-over between Hacking and Making that it's appropriate to allow more Maker-y things in the HHV? The original intent of the HHV was to take a community of mostly software folks and introduce them to hardware. Since it is an "introduction" for most people, it makes sense to go back to first principals and teach Making before Hacking. It helps to know how to write a program (design a circuit, solder a board) before you can figure out how to hack a program (circuit) to do something else.

    Personally, I'm all for bringing more Maker into DefCon, but that's because I'm more a Maker than a Hacker. What do you think? Am I the only one who has this problem? Should I just shut up and start soldering?
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