Chapter 19 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution


The Third Generation was not as interested in the Hacker Ethic, instead sales figures started to matter a lot more, and many software companies started using “copy prevention” mechanisms to prevent their software from being used without permission. Hackers saw these mechanisms as just another form of locks to be picked in order to liberate the software (see also Software cracking).

Mark Duchaineau was a hacker who came up with a prevention scheme called Spiradisk for the Apple computer. This scheme actually made the software loading process faster by loading data in spirals instead of in concentric circles. He started working for On-Line, which actually wanted him to use more conventional prevention schemes. Mark basically held On-Line hostage by insisting on implementing copy prevention on their big release, Ultima II, with his Spiradisk scheme rather than conventional ones. The game could not be released without copy prevention for fear of unauthorized copying. The 1982, San Francisco Applefest was among the last important Applefests, and it signaled a shift in company attitudes. From the days of the Brotherhood, to the new, more business oriented, competitive atmosphere.