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The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Since 1984, the quarterly magazine 2600 has provided fascinating articles for readers who are curious about technology. Find the best of the magazine's writing in Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey, a collection of the strongest, most interesting, and often most controversial articles covering 24 years of changes in technology, all from a hacker's perspective. Included are sto ...more
Hardcover, 871 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Wiley Publishing (first published 2008)
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Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
Nearly all of the technical information gathered in this volume is obsolete, but that shouldn't discourage you from checking it out. It's a hefty collection of articles that have run in the legendary hacker zine 2600, and the selections give an excellent feeling of what it's like to be a subscriber to the publication. There's a lot of focus on some of the highlights of the past couple of decades: the great series of articles on the Red Box, the notorious FBI raids and crackdowns that are discuss ...more
Todd N
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading — as history, technical background, whatever — for everyone working in the tech industry. It’s hard to imagine in our current dystopian nightmare of an industry funded by basketball team owners and managed by McKinsey and hedge fund rejects, but this is the original spirit of curiosity and anarchy that is still out there if you look hard enough.

The articles are sort of a greatest hits of the hacker zine 2600. (And I mean “hacker” in the very best sense of the word
Oct 08, 2008 added it
This is old school hacker at its best. The culture is all but lost now, but its nice to remember why and how we all started asking questions and getting answers when the systems that we all rely on today were being built.

There's alot of this book that didn't make sense, it was broken into parts, based on technology. The parts that deal with telephony were in section one, computers in section two with small little redirects on social engineering here and there. I'm most happy about the few and po
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The series of stories are short and easy to pick up and complete on a whim. Clever exploits on technologies past are fun to indulge in. These stories aren't sensationalized like you would find on the evening news. Hackers and techies tell about interesting faults and exploits. ...more
Scott Holstad
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
What is there to say? I LIVED for each new issue of 2600 for more years than I can remember. Part culture, part bragging, part tutorial (and excellent at that), this will ALWAYS represent old school hacking to me, the hacker ethos, and it should shame those that take that title and use it for themselves and their criminal idiocies these days. These people are hackers in the original and pure sense of the word - they're fucking criminals! It used to be about getting into places, servers, telephon ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
My review grew increasingly more positive throughout this lengthy book, and I'm not sure if it's sad that I was thinking about that instead of the content, or good that I ultimately landed on four stars in the end.

Without an electrical engineering background, the telephone section toward the beginning — including Hertz frequencies, circuits, and making red/blue/black/yellow boxes — was pretty dense. Once the anthology got into computers, however, I started enjoying myself quite a bit more.

Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This really is almost a history of Computing and technology as a hobby. The best of 2600 is of course a compilation of articles printed in the magazine 2600. 2600 markets it self as a hacker magazine. Keep in mind that unless your are the media a hacker isn't necessarily a criminal. Read all the definitions and debate under A hacker is a tinker and do-it-yourself'er (forgive the bad definition). The magazines articles are divided by era 1980'S 1990'S, and the ...more
Usually I hate glossaries. They're usually simple, insulting, and useless. This book needs one though, given the wide range of time and technical materials. I got it from the library, but due to it being heavily requested and my schedule didn't make it through. I should have paid closer attention to the table of contents before I started and read it non-linearly. I think this book probably should have been a series, not on large tome. At least they should have pulled out the editorials and legal ...more
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
A long and large survey of some of the most interesting stories and articles to be published in "2600: The Hacker Quarterly". I kept the book by my bedside for a few years and slowly made my way through it, enjoying the nostalgic look back into those "earlier, simpler" computer times (which is actually a reason I like to read lots of other history books), but also learning history I'd not known much about, like phone-freaking. I certainly can't recommend this for everyone but if you're at a libr ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Took me a while to read through, and in the end I skipped a few more boring articles. As a whole, this book offers a nice historic view to hacking on three decades. For myself as a geek, it's a nice summary of many of the issues my fellow nerds have met during this time. The most interesting thing here is the foresight these writers have had since 80s about the rise of surveillance state. They were surely thought to be overly paranoid even after 9/11 attacks, but Snowden leaks have shown us how ...more
Vasil Kolev
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, tech, politics
The book is a good collection of 25 years of published hacking/phreaking history. The technical level is not that good, and some of the stuff is really laughable, but otherwise it would be a good start for anyone for the basic ideas of computer security, etc.

I actually found very little new stuff for me in there, I found out that I've read the early phreaking stuff a long time ago and everything after 2000 is still fresh enough in my memory.
W.G.T. Fernando
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A must have book if you have an interest in taking tech to the limit with these hacking habits compiled by Eric Corley (aka Emmanuel Goldstein). Solid stories from 1984, a 888 pages read :)

Should put a detailed review when I get some time
Timon Karnezos
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of articles about hackers, crackers, phreakers, nerds, geeks, smart people, dumb people, and telephones of all types. A fantastic way of realizing how weird shit was, back in the day, and how much weirder it's gotten. ...more
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lots of history and reference material here. If you're looking for a great overview of the hacking culture from the 80s through the late 00s, here it is. Its great from a historical perspective because you're reading the actual contemporary articles that were published over the years. ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting merely for the nostalgia of the 90s hacker culture.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
About 40% of the content is "hackers are persecuted" outside of that all good. ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the most wonderful book for hacker-types ever. It's essentially 20 years of 2600 magazine bound as a book. Not to be missed. ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Good read, all entries from the 2600 magazine. Some are just.. Fascinating.
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very interesting descriptions of the earlier days of the 'net... ...more
Scott von Berg
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
entertaining look back at the magazine... likely a pretty niche group, from phones to computers and general hacking too.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
It may be outdated--but variations are rehashed on a regular basis because nothing has changed in the human condition.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Brian by: birthdate present from Elkin
Well, that took a few years.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k3g
Most of the stories were interesting, a good walk-through the history of Computers, Online Society and Hacking
Vince Gonzales
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2014
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2018
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Classic. Must read and understand and live this.
Carlos De Leon
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2018
Fabio Sarmento
rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2018
Darryl Gittins
rated it did not like it
Feb 26, 2018
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