Steve Wozniak in 1984 on the “Hacker Ethic”
I stumbled upon a great interview with Steve Wozniak on the Merv Griffin Show back in 1984. My favorite part is around the 3:30 minute mark where Woz talks about how hackers have certain ethics around how and what they hack and that it’s impossible for kids to hack into large institutions.
“There’s this big, huge myth that got evolved about hackers with personal computers being so smart that somehow they can invade computers that have valuable and vital information but it’s a total lie and a myth and there are no valuable and vital information sources that are really ever tampered with. You won’t even find a thousand dollars worth of finds in the whole history of this country because all these kids just get onto public accounts, they play but they’re very cautious. It’s a hacker ethic. They do not destroy anything and they do not have access to any sort of military computers. They’re all protected by the proper keys which are called passwords. It’s a big myth we’ve built up and it’s interesting to have this intrigue in our heads and think that the kids are the sort of people who rip off billions of dollars by embezzling…but an accountant always had a key to the vault and now he’s got the password to the computer.”
Woz really was (is) too nice a guy. I can’t help but think about how different Woz is to Jobs. I guess that’s what made them a great team in the early days of Apple.