hack 1. /n./ Originally, a quick job that produces what is
needed, but not well. 2. /n./ An incredibly good, and perhaps very
time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed.
3. /vt./ To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this
heat!" 4. /vt./ To work on something (typically a program). In an
immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO."
In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?"
"I hack TECO." More generally, "I hack `foo'" is roughly
equivalent to "`foo' is my major interest (or project)". "I
hack solid-state physics." See Hacking X for Y. 5. /vt./ To
pull a prank on. See sense 2 and hacker (sense 5). 6. /vi./ To
interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than
goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking."
7. /n./ Short for hacker. 8. See nethack. 9. [MIT] /v./ To
explore the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large,
institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and
(since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the
Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar
to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and
Zork. See also vadding.
Constructions on this term abound. They include `happy hacking'
(a farewell), `how's hacking?' (a friendly greeting among
hackers) and `hack, hack' (a fairly content-free but friendly
comment, often used as a temporary farewell). For more on this
totipotent term see "The Meaning of `Hack'". See
also neat hack, real hack.
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