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Hackers: heroes of the computer revolution

The stories told at the book have their downsides (e.g. how it was hard for women to join those communities in the beginning), but there’s an important upside: information was free at the start of the computing revolution. People would share software, hardware. It didn’t even need the name “Libre” since that was the default for those hackers. The hackers would help each other. Cooperation over corporation-competition. The People’s Computer Company is a good example of this.

Although the Hackers at MIT were more interested in computers for the computers, the “hardware hackers” of the Silicon Valley were also interested in social issues. Of course there were hackers similar to the MIT or those who whished to make money, but there was a feeling that enabling the average Joe to have a computer would change the world.

For example the amazing hacker

Things start to get ugly around what the book calls the “third generation” of hackers. Without a good community around them, they start to focus more and more only in selling their software, closing it up. Also, the capitalists start seeing the $$ potential around it as well.