barcode se2600

  computer security
electronic gadgetry
technology exploration

What's a FAQ?

FAQ stands for "Frequently Asked Questions" - the kind of stuff you're asking right now.

Who are you guys? What is se2600?

2600 is a quarterly magazine for alternative computing enthusiasts, published out of NYC. "se2600" stands for "SouthEast 2600"; we are a loose organization of technology enthusiast groups who gather in the spirit of 2600 magazine and share the ideals of other 2600 groups across the country. Regional chapters are identified and referenced by their long-distance calling prefixes (aka NPA), therefore 615 is the Nashville chapter and 404 (along with 770) is the Atlanta area chapter. We meet once a month.

These are the guidelines for 2600 meetings:

  1. We meet in a public area. Nobody is excluded. We have nothing to hide and we don't presume to judge who is worthy of attending and who is not. If law enforcement harasses us, it will backfire as it did at the infamous Washington DC meeting in 11/92.

  2. We act in a responsible manner. We don't do illegal things and we don't cause problems for the place we're meeting in. *Most* 2600 meetings are welcomed by the establishments we choose.

  3. We meet the first Friday of the month between the hours of 5pm and 8pm. While there will always be people who can't make this particular time, the same will hold true for *any* time or day chosen. By having all of the meetings on the same day and time, it makes it very easy to remember, opens up the possibility for inter-meeting communication, and really causes hell for the federal agencies who want to monitor everything we do.

Anyone can have meetings and set whatever rules they wish. However, if they're going to be affiliated with 2600, we ask that these few guidelines be observed. Thanks.

Aren't hackers criminals/cyberterrorists/minions of the AntiChrist?



The mainstream press is frequently clueless. Corporate PR spokespersons are paid to redefine reality and shift blame. Politicians will say anything to further their careers. Hollywood needs to be nuked.

Approach anything these people say with extreme caution and skepticism.

Here's the real information from the Jargon File/New Hacker's Dictionary


  1. /n./ Originally, a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.

  2. /n./ An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed.

  3. /vt./ To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!"

  4. /vt./ To work on something (typically a program). In an immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." More generally, "I hack `foo"' is roughly equivalent to "`foo' is my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics." See Hacking X for Y.

  5. /vt./ To pull a prank on. See sense 2 and hacker (sense 5).

  6. /vi./ To interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking."

  7. /n./ Short for hacker.

  8. See nethack.

  9. [MIT] /v./ To explore the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large, institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and (since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Zork. See also vadding.

Constructions on this term abound. They include `happy hacking' (a farewell), `how's hacking?' (a friendly greeting among hackers) and `hack, hack' (a fairly content-free but friendly comment, often used as a temporary farewell). For more on this totipotent term see " The Meaning of `Hack'". See also neat hack, real hack.

hacker /n./

[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]

  1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

  2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

  3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.

  4. A person who is good at programming quickly.

  5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix hacker'. (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)

  6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

  7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

  8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence `password hacker', `network hacker'. The correct term for this sense is cracker.

The term `hacker' also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see network, the and Internet address). It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic (see hacker ethic).

It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. There is thus a certain ego satisfaction to be had in identifying yourself as a hacker (but if you claim to be one and are not, you'll quickly be labeled bogus). See also wannabee.

hacker ethic /n./

  1. The belief that information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise by writing free software and facilitating access to information and to computing resources wherever possible.

  2. The belief that system-cracking for fun and exploration is ethically OK as long as the cracker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of confidentiality.

Both of these normative ethical principles are widely, but by no means universally, accepted among hackers. Most hackers subscribe to the hacker ethic in sense 1, and many act on it by writing and giving away free software. A few go further and assert that all information should be free and any proprietary control of it is bad; this is the philosophy behind the GNU project.

Sense 2 is more controversial: some people consider the act of cracking itself to be unethical, like breaking and entering. But the belief that `ethical' cracking excludes destruction at least moderates the behavior of people who see themselves as `benign' crackers (see also samurai). On this view, it may be one of the highest forms of hackerly courtesy to (a) break into a system, and then (b) explain to the sysop, preferably by email from a superuser account, exactly how it was done and how the hole can be plugged -- acting as an unpaid (and unsolicited) tiger team.

The most reliable manifestation of either version of the hacker ethic is that almost all hackers are actively willing to share technical tricks, software, and (where possible) computing resources with other hackers. Huge cooperative networks such as Usenet, FidoNet and Internet (see Internet address) can function without central control because of this trait; they both rely on and reinforce a sense of community that may be hackerdom's most valuable intangible asset.

Some extra resources:

Jargon File/New Hacker's Dictionary
Alternate Views of the Jargon File
The Jargon File reader for MS-DOS, v2.0

I'm new to computers and/or don't really know much.

Don't sweat it. We all had to start somewhere. We welcome folks from all walks of life and all levels of experience. If you want to learn stuff, we can probably teach you (or at least point you in the right direction). Ask questions, and if anyone cops an attitude because you don't already know the answer, walk away from the asshole & ask someone else.

COROLLARY - If *you* cop an attitude when asking questions, or get mad at people who don't hand you everything on a silver platter, you'll probably encounter a lot of assholes.

Many times, people will encourage you to experiment a bit or RTFM before asking questions. Look for answers yourself at first, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's part of how we learn.


615/931 - Nashville
We meet at J-J's Market.

J-J's Market - 1912 Broadway 37203 - 615.327.9055

Back-up location: (should J-J's Market be closed for some reason)

Obie's Pizza - 2217 Elliston Place - 615.327.4772

Located about two blocks east (towards downtown) of Tower Records, across the street from the once-legendary Exit/In (described in sorta-cyberpunk-author Allen Steele's LUNAR DESCENT, ISBN 0-441- 50485-X) and Mosko's.

Landmarks & vague directions from Bean Central:
Elliston Place splits off West End around 26th Ave. North, left fork (the right is West End); the streets border the Tower Records & Books complex to the north (Elliston) & south (West End). Elliston runs past Tower, past a couple of (student) apartment complexes and a large Baptist church on the right (as you face downtown). Past the church, Obie's is on the right, the Exit/In and Mosko's are on the left; park wherever you can. (but don't park in the apartments to the right of Obie's - they WILL tow!) 404/678/770 - Atlanta

Info pending (whenever you Georgia cr^H^Hslackers get off your asses).

How can I get more info?

Check out these links:

[ faq ] [ cons and events ] [ online ] [ pictures of mayhem-past ]