Anything is possible-ness.

Hacker poetry: Switch Thrower for the World

Sat, 10/05/2013 - 05:44 -- Andrew

Featured in Steven Levy's 'Hackers: heroes of the computer revolution', this poem is a parody of Carl Sandburg's 'Chicago'.  Written by MIT student Peter Sampson in the 1950s, It is believed to be one of the first recorded uses of the word 'hacking' to describe somebody doing something technically brilliant.  Published in a school newsletter, it refers to describes the activities of the still extant Tech Model Railroad Club frequented by many of MIT's early computer pioneers. 

Switch Thrower for the World, Fuze Tester, Maker of Routes,
Player with the Railroads and the System's Advance Chopper.
Grungy, hairy, sprawling,
Machine of the Point Function Line-o-lite:
They tell me you are wicked, and I believe them; for I have seen your
painted light bulbs under the Lucite, luring the system coolies
Under the tower, dust all over the place, hacking with bifurcated springs
Hacking even as an ignorant freshman hacks who has never lost occupancy and
has dropped out.
Hacking the M-Boards, for under its locks are the switches and under its
control the advance around the layout.

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