wank = W = war dialer

wannabee /won'*-bee/ n.

(also, more plausibly, spelled `wannabe') [from a term recently used to describe Madonna fans who dress, talk, and act like their idol; prob. originally from biker slang] A would-be hacker. The connotations of this term differ sharply depending on the age and exposure of the subject. Used of a person who is in or might be entering larval stage, it is semi-approving; such wannabees can be annoying but most hackers remember that they, too, were once such creatures. When used of any professional programmer, CS academic, writer, or suit, it is derogatory, implying that said person is trying to cuddle up to the hacker mystique but doesn't, fundamentally, have a prayer of understanding what it is all about. Overuse of terms from this lexicon is often an indication of the wannabee nature. Compare newbie.

Historical note: The wannabee phenomenon has a slightly different flavor now (1993) than it did ten or fifteen years ago. When the people who are now hackerdom's tribal elders were in larval stage, the process of becoming a hacker was largely unconscious and unaffected by models known in popular culture -- communities formed spontaneously around people who, as individuals, felt irresistibly drawn to do hackerly things, and what wannabees experienced was a fairly pure, skill-focused desire to become similarly wizardly. Those days of innocence are gone forever; society's adaptation to the advent of the microcomputer after 1980 included the elevation of the hacker as a new kind of folk hero, and the result is that some people semi-consciously set out to be hackers and borrow hackish prestige by fitting the popular image of hackers. Fortunately, to do this really well, one has to actually become a wizard. Nevertheless, old-time hackers tend to share a poorly articulated disquiet about the change; among other things, it gives them mixed feelings about the effects of public compendia of lore like this one.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

"Er, hi? Do I even know you?"

"What do you want?"

"Oh. I have 'a reputation' now? Nice - if wholly inaccurate. Er, that's not really my...I mean, So you wanna be a hacker, huh? Why?"

"Because it's cool? What do you think a hacker even is?"

"Everyone knows? I suppose crappy movies and inappropriate journalism told you so?"

"Nothing. Oh dear oh dear."

"You want to break into your friend's computer to 'get him back'? Right. It's good you found me, then. I know all about the cracking."


"Er...for example, well, it depends on what you want to do."

"Oh, that's easy. The best IP address to hack is Collected location of every security service worldwide. Classified information, though. Keep it quiet. As long as it stays secret, they'll never catch you."

"Don't tell me to hurry up and tell you how to be a hacker, or I'll leave. I'm the boss here."

"Okay, which operating system are you using?"

"What's an operating system? Oh, for God's sa- look, what Windows have you got? Vista?"

"Okay, Vista. Yes, I'm sure it's very leet."

"Now, we're going to open a special thing to make your computer into a hacker computer. Hold down the Windowskey and the letter R."

"The one with the little picture of the Windows logo on it."

"Yes, R. Not A. R."

"Has a box popped up that you can write something in?"

"Good. Now type in 'cmd.exe' and press enter."

"Yes, it looks well cool. Now, before we go any further, are you sure you want to do this? Do your mummy and daddy use this computer? They might notice your illicit activities and you might get into trouble."

"Illegal. Sort of."

"Oh, I completely agree with you, I'm sure you're far too clever and have too many skillz to get caught. And, by the way, it's pronounced 'patronising'. Now, are you doing this or not?"

"It's your funeral."

"Okay, the command prompt -"

"- what? Oh, it's the thing you're on now with the retro text."

"It means old-fashioned. But in a good way. Anyway, like I was saying, the command prompt has two modes - normal mode and hacker mode. To get into hacker mode, you type in the secret code 'color 0a' and press enter. Mm-hm, just like the Matrix."

"It's a film."

"Never mind, that's not important right now. Okay, now listen carefully, this is very important. Type in 'format c: /p'."

"Don't bother about the warning, that comes up for all the good stuff. They couldn't have everyone being as uber-1337 h4xx0rz like you, could they? The world's computer systems would never be safe. Okay, now press enter. That's right. Enter."



Man, I love screwing with script kiddies...

Please don't do this.

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