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 More Beginners' Guide #1 ...

How to Use So you want to be a harmless hacker?

If you know how to use a personal computer and are on the Internet, you already know enough to start learning to be a hacker. You don't even need to read every single Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking in order to become a hacker.

You can count on anything in Volumes I, II and III being so easy that you can jump in about anywhere and just follow instructions.

But if your plan is to become "elite," you will do better if you read all the Guides, check out the many Web sites and newsgroups to which we will point you, and find a mentor among the many talented hackers who post to our Hackers forum or chat on our IRC server at http://www.infowar.com, and on the Happy Hacker email list (email with message "subscribe").

If your goal is to become an Uberhacker, the Guides will end up being only the first in a mountain of material that you will need to study. However, we offer a study strategy that can aid you in your quest to reach the pinnacle of hacking.

How to Not Get Busted

One slight problem with hacking is that if you step over the line, you can go to jail. We will do our best to warn you when we describe hacks that could get you into trouble with the law. But we are not attorneys or experts on cyberlaw. In addition, every state and every country has its own laws. And these laws keep on changing. So you have to use a little sense.

However, we have a Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking Computer Crime Law Series to help you avoid some pitfalls.

But the best protection against getting busted is the Golden Rule. If you are about to do something that you would not like to have done to you, forget it. Do hacks that make the world a better place, or that are at least fun and harmless, and you should be able to keep out of trouble.

So if you get an idea from So you want to be a harmless hacker? that helps you to do something malicious or destructive, it's your problem if you end up being the next hacker behind bars. Hey, the law won't care if the guy whose computer you trash was being a d***. It won't care that the giant corporation whose database you filched shafted your best buddy once. They will only care that you broke the law.

To some people it may sound like phun to become a national sensation in the latest hysteria over Evil Genius hackers. But after the trial, when some reader of these Guides ends up being the reluctant "girlfriend" of a convict named Spike, how happy will his news clippings make him?

Conventions Used in the Guides

You've probably already noticed that we spell some words funny, like "kewl" and "phun." These are hacker slang terms. Since we often communicate with each other via email, most of our slang consists of ordinary words with extraordinary spellings. For example, a hacker might spell "elite" as "3l1t3," with 3's substituting for e's and 1's for i's. He or she may even spell "elite" as "31337. The Guides sometimes use these slang spellings to help you learn how to write email like a hacker.

Of course, the cute spelling stuph we use will go out of date fast. So we do not guarantee that if you use this slang, people will read your email and think, "Ohhh, you must be an Evil Genius! I'm sooo impressed!"

Take it from us, guys who need to keep on inventing new slang to prove they are "k-rad 3l1t3" are often lusers and lamers. So if you don't want to use any of the hacker slang of these Guides, that's OK by us. Most Uberhackers don't use slang, either.

Who Are You?

We've made some assumptions about who you are and why you are reading these Guides:

· You own a PC or Macintosh personal computer
· You are on-line with the Internet
· You have a sense of humor and adventure and want to express it by hacking
· Or -- you want to impress your friends and pick up chicks (or guys) by making them think you are an Evil Genius

So, does this picture fit you? If so, OK, d00dz, start your computers. Are you ready to hack?

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© 1997 Carolyn P. Meinel. You may forward or post on your Web site this GUIDE TO (mostly) HARMLESS HACKING as long as you leave this notice at the end..
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