Chapter 18 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution


John Harris decided to port the arcade classic to the Atari 800 computer for On-Line systems. He spent a lot of time and energy perfecting the game, but his disks were stolen before he even finished the game at a trade show. He was devastated as he had also lost his entire software library. His relationship with Ken Williams suffered as John was unable to return to programming for two months. He eventually remade Frogger and the game was a big success for On-Line, but the atmosphere had changed.

Ken no longer believed that business could go along with hackers and their ethic, instead it had to become more professional. He realized that he needed some professional management to handle On-Line which had grown beyond his control. Ken decided on Dick Sunderland, his former boss who had told him that he had “no management potential,” for On-Line's president. However, Ken could not remove himself from the company matters. Although he knew that he had to let a non-hacker run the company, he could not get away from the fun and excitement.