: The Hackers Reading Room :

Below is a list of texts and films that we have come across that are worth checking out to get a better understanding of geek and hacker cultures. It's not a complete listing for sure, if you think something is worth being added to the list let us know. Some of these are somewhat controversial in some circles, but we always suggest digesting the material for yourself and then making up your own mind.



Good Bad Attitude by Paul Graham

How to Become a Hacker by Eric S. Raymond

The Conscience of a Hacker by The Mentor (AKA The Hacker Manifesto)

Open Source:

The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond

GNU General Public License - So you know what being "GPL'ed" means... Have you actually read the license for yourself?


Here are some books that are also high on our list of reading material. Some of these are just good fiction, others are more documentaries of hacker culture. And yet others are just interesting to see what the fuss is all about.

Neuromancer by William Gibson (fiction)

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stevenson (fiction)

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder (non-fiction)

Hackers by Steven Levy (non-fiction)

Crypto by Steven Levy (non-fiction)

The Mythical Man Month (non-fiction)

Cuckoos Egg by Clifford Stall (non-fiction)

Masters Of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace (non-fiction)

Takedown (non-fiction) - follow up with the movie Freedom Downtime for an alternate take on the events described.

Movies and documentaries

WarGames (fiction)

Revolution OS (non-fiction)

BBS Documentary - Just what it says, 5 hours of BBS goodness.

Freedom Downtime (non-fiction)

Takedown (Trackdown in some markets) - A movie (Not a documentary) based on the book referenced above.

Antitrust (fiction) - I was surprised that they actually got open-source interpreted fairly well for a Hollywood fantasy of geeks vs. Microsoft. And note the use of RedHat desktops and some Easter eggs in a few scenes of the movie.


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