The term, Hacker, has developed such a negative connotation over the past decade or so. I’ve fought to spread the good word, but no one seems to get it. Everyone pictures these skeezy guys that are interested solely in stealing your identity, or credit cards, or bank account. That just isn’t the case! A “Hacker” is someone who hacks.. Hacking is not just computer or software related. Its more of a mind set. Bending the world, and the items in it, around you, to your will. Computer hackers make their computers, and those of others if they deem it necesary, serve them. Sometimes this is malicious, sometimes it’s for fun, sometimes it’s actually for sport! Yes, there are competitions in which teams attempt to break into eachothers computers. Making what you want in life makes you, at least a little bit, a hacker.

The site, Life Hacker focuses on improving yourself, by “hacking” your life. This ranges from, recommending apps for your phone, to ideas on how to sleep better, or remember things better, or organize your life. None of that is the least bit malicious. Another site full of “Hackers” is Hack a Day. This site features hardware hacks. Cool projects that people have undertaken. Modifications to existing electroncis, and from-scratch design and builds. These guys are true Hackers. They re-work the world they’ve been given into something they want it to be.

So I’m proud to say I’m a hacker. Not because I’m able to steal your logins, or buy things online using your credit card. You could call those guys hackers. I call them criminals. I “hack” things so they they work as I want them to. I “hack” my way through problems and barriers. I “hack” my way to solutions, not bank accounts. Being a hacker is what’s got me where I am today. It’s what supports my family, and pays my bills. It’s what’s taught me that just because something looks impossible, doesn’t mean it is. You and the media can call the criminals “hackers” all you like. Me, I’m going to keep using the word to describe people like me. Not the scum of the internet.