Hacking need not always be a dirty word

Thursday, 11 March 2004, 1:31 AM EST

Most look at a toaster and see a kitchen appliance. Scott Fullam looks at a toaster and sees an engineering challenge. The result: a toaster that burns the words "hot" or "cool" on the side of a bread slice.

Fullam, a 37-year-old computer consultant in Menlo Park, Calif., is at the forefront of a trend called "hardware hacking."

Hacking got a bad name in recent years, becoming linked in the public eye to criminal invasions of computer networks. But true hackers, unlike the misfits who stray over the legal limits, are motivated only by curiosity.

Thirty years ago, hackers built some of the first personal computers from scrounged parts. Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak is the most famous example; he created the Apple I to impress fellow members of the Homebrew Computer Club.

By Mike Langberg at Indystar.

[ Read more ]




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