Saturday 14 June 2014

I say hacker, you say maker

There was a time when "hacker" was a compliment.It meant someone who could make a computer do really neat things, and I've always thought of my self as a hacker.

But then the word got hijacked by the media, and despite efforts to reclaim it, it has now come to mean "someone who does illegal things with computers".

The language evolves. Ten items or less. Thankyou for that. Cool.

But now there's a new word, "maker". A maker is, obviously, someone who makes things. Especially, someone who makes really neat things. And those things can be physical objects (hardware) or non-physical (software).

I'm a maker. I like making things. I like repairing things, much to the chagrin of ladysolly, who thinks I should throw out a rusty old bycycle, not convert it into a shiny new electric bike.

Jerome K Jerome said that you can either ride a bike, or fix it. Trying to do both with the same machine is a recipe for disaster. So I tend to do as little as possible to the bike that I actually take out and ride. But tI think that the art of bike repair has come on a lot since his day - I don't even know what a screw-hammer is.

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