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Book details of 'The new hacker's dictionary, third edition'

Cover of The new hacker's dictionary, third edition
TitleThe new hacker's dictionary, third edition
Author(s)Eric S. Raymond
PublishedOctober 1996
PublisherMIT Press
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'The new hacker's dictionary, third edition':

Reviewer wrote:
This third edition of the tremendously popular Hacker's Dictionary adds 100 new entries and updates 200 entries. In case you aren't familiar with it, this is no snoozer dictionary of technical terms, although you'll certainly find accurate definitions for most techie jargon. It's the slang and secret language among computer jocks that offers the most fun. Don't know what the Infinite-Monkey Theorem is? Or the meaning of "rat dance?" It's all here. Most people don't sit down to read dictionaries for entertainment, but this is surely an exception.

Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
Grown from the original jargon file, an electronic document describing the jargon words used in fine institutes in the USA. Now a complete dictionary with words from all computer and Internet subcultures.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Following Ambrose Bierce's "Devil's Dictionary" and Stan Kelly-Bootle's "Computer Contradictionary" one expects this book to follow the same line. One expects any number of amusing listings, such as Macintrash and messy-DOS. You certainly get these--but a good deal more, besides. That the book is a source of amusement and entertainment is undeniable. (Indeed, this review almost didn't get written, as I was seduced time and again by the interesting and arcane in its pages.) Raymond and company have, however, compiled substantial material of social, cultural and historic value for those wishing to understand both the strict hacker culture, and the more diffused genre of technical enthusiasts that surrounds computing, and computer networks. The linguistic analysis of hacker culture is a scholarly work in itself. Whether linguists accept it as such in their own field, this work has done the field work and compilation for them. The analysis is incisive: I was quite startled to find the undoubted source for my own discomfort with including punctuation inside of quotation marks. This is not to say the work is without flaws. Originally, the work emphasized mainframe systems and the current compiler makes much of the foolishness of those early users who saw little value in UNIX. Personal computers are now the object of some fun, while not being taken seriously in terms of computing. (You didn't expect me to get through this without looking up "virus", did you? The book defines "back door", "logic bomb", "mockingbird", "phage", "Trojan Horse", "virus" and "worm". And sex. The virus definition is strictly Cohenesque, and the worm definition refers to "The Shockwave Rider" while bypassing Shoch and Hupp. Unfortunately, though, Raymond did not take the opportunity to correct or update the definitions for this edition.) Whether for fun or scholarship, this is a valuable work. I particularly recommend it to the non-technical manager who needs to understand these unpunctual, unkempt and ill-mannered nerds--without whom the accounting department can't function. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1993

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