Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT

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Before the term hacking became associated with computers, MIT undergraduates used it to describe any activity that took their minds off studying, suggested an unusual solution to a technical problem, or generally fostered nondestructive mischief. Hacks can be technical, physical, virtual, or verbal. Often the underlying motivation is to conquer the inaccessible or make possible the improbable. Hacks can express dissatisfaction with local culture or with administrative decisions, but mostly they are remarkably ...
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Overview

Before the term hacking became associated with computers, MIT undergraduates used it to describe any activity that took their minds off studying, suggested an unusual solution to a technical problem, or generally fostered nondestructive mischief. Hacks can be technical, physical, virtual, or verbal. Often the underlying motivation is to conquer the inaccessible or make possible the improbable. Hacks can express dissatisfaction with local culture or with administrative decisions, but mostly they are remarkably good-spirited. They are also ephemeral. Fortunately, the MIT Museum has amassed a unique collection of hack-related pictures, reports, and remnants. Nightwork collects the best materials from this collection, to entertain innocent bystanders and inspire new generations of practitioners.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262661379
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/14/2003
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Institute Historian T. F. Peterson has spent many years lurking in the corridors of MIT picking up gossip and monitoring hacks in progress.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Where No Cow Has Gone Before: Accessing the Inaccessible 1
Hack, Hacker, Hacking 4
Auto Industry: The Great Vehicle Hacks 5
Hacking Ethics 10
Domework: Hacking the Domes 11
Dome as Dais 12
Greener Pastures: The Green Building Hacks 27
Greenspeak Spoken Here 31
Intriguing Hacks to Fascinate People 35
Making an Entrance: The Lobby 7 Hacks 37
Father Tool's Grand Tour 47
Under the Dome 54
"All Mondays Should Be So Beautiful": The Art of Hacking Art 57
U.S.S. Tetazoo 62
No Knife 63
Why Ruin the Atrium? 64
Green Eggs and Hair 65
Form + Function = Hack: The Architecture Hacks 67
A Guide for New Employees: Building History and Numbering System 73
Hacking as Campus Commentary: The Editorial Hacks 75
A Sign of the Times: Hacking with Signs and Banners 85
The Numbers Game: Hackers Reinvent Measurement 97
Recalculating the Infinite Corridor 101
Beyond Recognition: Commemoration Hacks 103
Object Lessons: Hacks in the Classroom 113
Why Sleep through a Class When You Can Hack It? 115
Worth a Thousand Words: Hacks Fit to Print 119
That VooDoo That You Do 121
Teaching a Nation to Make Snow: Hoax Hacks 123
"Please Wait to Be Served": The Performance Hacks 125
When MIT Won the Harvard-Yale Game: Hacking Harvard 129
Student Leaders at MIT Claim Harvard as Colony 140
The John Harvard Hacks 141
Because It's There: The Best of the Rest 143
Hacking by Mail 150
Zen and the Art of Hacking: The Essays 151
The Case of the Disappearing President's Office 152
Door Man 153
It's Not a Job, It's an Adventure 155
The Great Breast of Knowledge 159
Mastery over the Physical World: Demonstrative and Pedagogical Value of the MIT Hack 160
Where the Sun Shines, There Hack They 162
Engineering in Action 165
Why We Hack 169
Glossary of MIT Vernacular 171
Sources 175
Photo Credits 177
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2012

    This book is so much fun!

    This is a very entertaining book about the hacks and pranks pulled off by MIT students over the years. Be sure to get the most recent (2011) updated version.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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