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More computer hacking: Where did it begin and how did it grow?...

 As the Vietnam War winds down, the first flight simulator programs in history unfold on the Plato network. Computer graphics, almost unheard of in that day, are displayed by touch-sensitive vector graphics terminals. Cyberpilots all over the US pick out their crafts: Phantoms, MIGs, F-104s, the X-15, Sopwith Camels. Virtual pilots fly out of digital airports and try to shoot each other down and bomb each others' airports. While flying a Phantom, I see a chat message on the bottom of my screen. "I'm about to shoot you down." Oh, no, a MIG on my tail. I dive and turn hoping to get my tormentor into my sights. The screen goes black. My terminal displays the message "You just pulled 37 Gs. You now look more like a pizza than a human being as you slowly flutter to Earth."

 One day the Starship Enterprise barges in on our simulator, shoots everyone down and vanishes back into cyberspace. Plato has been hacked! Even in 1973 multiuser game players have to worry about getting "smurfed"! (When a hacker breaks into a multiuser game on the Internet and kills players with techniques that are not rules of the game, this is called "smurfing.")

 1975. Oh blessed year! Under a Air Force contract, in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Altair is born. Altair. The first microcomputer. Bill Gates writes the operating system. Then Bill's mom persuades him to move to Redmond, CA where she has some money men who want to see what this operating system business is all about.

 Remember Hans and Gribble? They join the Home Brew Computer club and choose Motorola microprocessors to build their own. They begin selling their computers, which they brand name the Apple, under their real names of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. A computer religion is born.

 The great Apple/Microsoft battle is joined. Us hackers suddenly have boxes that beat the heck out of Tektronix terminals.

 In 1978, Ward Christenson and Randy Suess create the first personal computer bulletin board system. Soon, linked by nothing more than the long distance telephone network and these bulletin board nodes, hackers create a new, private cyberspace. Phreaking becomes more important than ever to connect to distant BBSs.

 Also in 1978, The Source and Compuserve computer networks both begin to cater to individual users. "Naked Lady" runs rampant on Compuserve. The first cybercafe, Planet Earth, opens in Washington, DC. X.25 networks reign supreme.

More history of hacking-->>
 


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