Crackers, Phreaks, and Lamers
From the early 1980s onward, a flourishing culture of local, MS-DOS-based
bulletin boards developed separately from Internet hackerdom. The
BBS culture has, as its seamy underside, a stratum of `pirate boards'
inhabited by crackers, phone phreaks, and warez d00dz. These
people (mostly teenagers running IBM-PC clones from their bedrooms) have
developed their own characteristic jargon, heavily influenced by skateboard
lingo and underground-rock slang.
Though crackers often call themselves `hackers', they aren't (they
typically have neither significant programming ability, nor Internet
expertise, nor experience with UNIX or other true multi-user systems).
Their vocabulary has little overlap with hackerdom's. Nevertheless,
this lexicon covers much of it so the reader will be able to
understand what goes by on bulletin-board systems.
Here is a brief guide to cracker and warez d00dz usage:
These traits are similar to those of B1FF, who originated as a
parody of naive BBS users; also of his latter-day equivalent
Jeff K.. Occasionally, this sort of distortion may
be used as heavy sarcasm by a real hacker, as in:
> I got X Windows running under Linux!
d00d! u R an 31337 hax0r
The only practice resembling this in actual hacker usage is the
substitution of a dollar sign of `s' in names of products or service
felt to be excessively expensive, e.g. Compu$erve, Micro$oft.
For further discussion of the pirate-board
subculture, see lamer, elite, leech, poser,
cracker, and especially warez d00dz, banner site,
ratio site, leech mode.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.