At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hacks are creative pranks which take place fairly frequently around campus. A good hack is non-destructive, entertaining, and well-engineered. The hacking phenomenon has been around since at least the 1920's, when cars and cows appeared on the roof of the East Campus dormitory. Today, there is a lively oral tradition describing the best and most interesting hacks from the past century. Most years, students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pull at least a few hacks, usually including objects on the Great Dome or games with lights on the Green Building.

Hacks are not class pranks, but are instead the product of various groups of students working together. There are self-enforced rules among the community, known as Hacking Ethics, to prevent destructive "hacks", injury, and theft.

Also associated with hacking, the practice of exploring interesting places such as roofs and tunnels. (The appropriate verb for hacks is "to pull a hack", not "hack".) There is a great deal of overlap between the two varieties of hackers.

For more information on hacks, visit the MIT web site at, read the Journal for the Institute of Hacks, TomFoolery and Pranks, published by the MIT Press, or ask your friendly neighborhood roof and tunnel hacker.

ha ha only serious = H = hack attack


[very common] 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.

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

In curling, the hack is the push-off point for releasing a rock. The hack is located in the out of play area behind the house, at each end of the sheet. It is made of small pieces of rubber set into the ice. The curler pushes out of the hack from a crouched position, weight on their sliding foot, and glides down the ice toward the hog line, pushing the rock in front.

Many players clean the bottom of the rock while they set up in the hack. If you do this it is important to sweep any debris out of the hack.

It is an informal responsibility of the Lead to set up the Skip's stones in the hack for him or her. The Skip is considered to be too busy thinking of strategy to bother with such mundane chores as fetching his or her own rock.

Hack - The Amulet of Yendor

The direct ancestor of Nethack. The first roguelike I ever played back in the day...

Originally written by Jay Fenlason with help from Kenny Woodland, Mike Thome and Jon Payne. Personally, I played the PC port of the game (for MS-DOS), ported by Don G. Kneller.

Looking back at Hack, the most recent versions of Nethack look pretty mind-boggling. Hack is so much simpler. Some things, for example:

  • There are much less character classes - and, of course, no character races.
  • Still true to Rogue roots, there's only one monster per character. (Well, at least Hack uses both uppercase and lowercase letters...)
  • No color. (PC port did, however, have Huge Luxuries like something that's called "IBMgraphics" in modern-day Nethack. =)
  • No gods.
  • Yes dogs. In fact, that's the only choice for a pet.
  • No dungeon branches.
  • The Hell was nothing like the modern Gehennom. (Never seen it in either game, but I heard they praise Izchak for his infernal infernalizations in "recent" Nethack versions.)
  • Yes, since there was no gods, that meant Rodney was taking care of the Amulet of Yendor.

But aside of these things, Hack was very advanced compared to Rogue; it had many features that were pretty innovative at the time and that are still present in Nethack (that has, of course, taken all this to a whole new level).

I did succeed in compiling Hack 1.0.3 in Linux once, but that didn't work too well - but, the point was made: apparently the program still works after all these years...


an essential cyber-pop album by

Information Society

those guys with the

Strange haircuts, cardboard guitars and computer samples

think about it (think about it) think about it

Hack is one of my favorite synthpop albums of all time. It shows more musical and lyrical maturity than InSoc's eponymous first album, without the overly technopop sound of Peace And Love, Inc. The band had really hit its stride: experienced enough to be musically adept, but still eager to experiment with synthesizers and sampling techniques in new and innovative ways.

Hack marked the beginning of InSoc's use of cyberpunk themes in its music and lyrics; the cyberpunk look, sound and referencing lyrics stayed with the band ever since. Several of InSoc's songs directly reference Neuromancer by William Gibson, though none do so more than Mirrorshades, a wonderful synth-jazzy song inspired by (and clearly about) his character Molly, who many will remember from Johnny Mnemonic, Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive. The song's synth-jazz elements are strongly reminiscent of Vangelis's score for Blade Runner.

she was so absolutely digital
to jack in now was wrong
but cupid punches deck with chemicals
while dark madonna sings her song

The album is, for the must part, truly cheerful and upbeat, with none of the dark, fast, center-cannot-hold industrial edge that would appear briefly in Peace And Love, Inc. with the song "Still Here" -- and came raging out of the depths of Kurt Harland's apparently tortured soul in InSoc's last album, Don't Be Afraid. On Hack, InSoc lets itself play with charming little inventions ("Knife and a Fork", which is annoying yet incredibly infectious, and "Hard Currency", which reminds me of the Pink Floyd classic "Money" gone techno) and keeps a lighthearted tone, even when singing about the loss of love ("Think") and lovers separated by an outbreak of war and civil unrest in a city ("Fire Tonight").

If you like synthpop with a wonderful geeky twist, give Hack a listen.

Track List

  1. Seek 200
  2. How Long
  3. Think / Wenn Wellen Schwingen
  4. Knife And A Fork, A / R. I. P.
  5. Now That I Have You
  6. Fire Tonight
  7. Can't Slow Down / T. V. Addicts
  8. Hard Currency
  9. Move Out / C. P. Drill K. K. L.
  10. Mirrorshades / We Don't Take
  11. Hack 1 / Charlie X
  12. If Only
  13. Come With Me
  14. Slipping Away / Here Is Kazmeyer
  15. Chemistry

Album Info

Release Date: October 5, 1990
Label: Tommy Boy/Reprise
Produced By: Fred Maher & InSoc
Information Society Is: Kurt Harland, Paul Robb, James Cassidy

we don't take no shit from a



Hack (hak), n. [See Hatch a half door.]


A frame or grating of various kinds; as, a frame for drying bricks, fish, or cheese; a rack for feeding cattle; a grating in a mill race, etc.


Unburned brick or tile, stacked up for drying.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hacked (hakt); p. pr. & vb. n. Hacking.] [OE. hakken, AS. haccian; akin to D. hakken, G. hacken, Dan. hakke, Sw. hacka, and perh. to E. hew. Cf. Hew to cut, Haggle.]


To cut irregulary, without skill or definite purpose; to notch; to mangle by repeated strokes of a cutting instrument; as, to hack a post.

My sword hacked like a handsaw.


Fig.: To mangle in speaking. Shak.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. i.

To cough faintly and frequently, or in a short, broken manner; as, a hacking cough.


© Webster 1913

Hack, n.


A notch; a cut. Shak.


An implement for cutting a notch; a large pick used in breaking stone.


A hacking; a catch in speaking; a short, broken cough. Dr. H. More.

4. (Football)

A kick on the shins. T. Hughes.

Hack saw, a handsaw having a narrow blade stretched in an iron frame, for cutting metal.


© Webster 1913

Hack (hak), n. [Shortened fr. hackney. See Hackney.]


A horse, hackneyed or let out for common hire; also, a horse used in all kinds of work, or a saddle horse, as distinguished from hunting and carriage horses.


A coach or carriage let for hire; particularly, a coach with two seats inside facing each other; a hackney coach.

On horse, on foot, in hacks and gilded chariots.


A bookmaker who hires himself out for any sort of literary work; an overworked man; a drudge.

Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller's hack.


A procuress.


© Webster 1913

Hack, a.

Hackneyed; hired; mercenary. Wakefield.

Hack writer, a hack; one who writes for hire. "A vulgar hack writer." Macaulay.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. t.


To use as a hack; to let out for hire.


To use frequently and indiscriminately, so as to render trite and commonplace.

The word "remarkable" has been so hacked of late.
J. H. Newman.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. i.


To be exposed or offered to common use for hire; to turn prostitute. Hanmer.


To live the life of a drudge or hack. Goldsmith.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. i.

To ride or drive as one does with a hack horse; to ride at an ordinary pace, or over the roads, as distinguished from riding across country or in military fashion.


© Webster 1913

Hack, v. t. (Football)

To kick the shins of (an opposing payer).


© Webster 1913

Hack, n. (Football)

A kick on the shins, or a cut from a kick.


© Webster 1913

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