THE HACKER TEST

This test was conceived and written by Felix Lee, John Hayes and Angela Thomas.
(Herewith a compendium of fact and folklore about computer hackerdom, cunningly disguised as a test.)



SCORING:

Scoring - Answer 'yes' for each item that you have done, or each question that you can answer correctly.

If your score is between:You are:
0x000 and 0x010Computer Illiterate
0x011 and 0x040a User
0x041 and 0x080an Operator
0x081 and 0x0C0a Nerd
0x0C1 and 0x100a Hacker
0x101 and 0x180a Wizard
0x181 and 0x200a Guru
Note: If you don't understand the scoring, stop here!

In the original "Hacker Test" the status of Wizard and Guru are inverted. Neverthless, is commonly accepted (also according to the Jargon File) that a Computer Guru has a greater knowledge than a Computer Wizard.



And now for the questions...

  • Have you ever used a computer? Yes No
    • for more than 4 hours continuously? Yes No
    • for more than 8 hours? Yes No
    • for more than 16 hours? Yes No
    • for more than 32 hours? Yes No
  • Have you ever patched paper tape? Yes No
  • While programming, have you ever missed a class? Yes No
    • Missed an examination? Yes No
    • Missed a wedding? Yes No
    • Missed your own wedding? Yes No
  • Have you ever programmed while intoxicated? Yes No
    • Did it make sense the next day? Yes No
  • Have you ever written a flight simulator? Yes No
  • Have you ever voided the warranty on your equipment? Yes No
  • Ever change the value of 4? Yes No
    • Unintentionally? Yes No
    • In a language other than Fortran? Yes No
  • Do you use DWIM to make life interesting? Yes No
  • Have you named a computer? Yes No
  • Do you complain when a "feature" you use gets fixed? Yes No
  • Do you eat slime-molds? Yes No
  • Do you know how many days old you are? Yes No
  • Have you ever wanted to download pizza? Yes No
  • Have you ever invented a computer joke? Yes No
    • Did someone not 'get' it? Yes No
  • Can you recite Jabberwocky? Yes No
    • Backwards? Yes No
  • Have you seen "Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land"? Yes No
  • Have you seen "Tron"? Yes No
  • Have you seen "Wargames"? Yes No
  • Do you know what ASCII stands for? Yes No
    • EBCDIC? Yes No
  • Can you read and write ASCII in hex or octal? Yes No
  • Do you know the names of all the ASCII control codes? Yes No
  • Can you read and write EBCDIC in hex? Yes No
  • Can you convert from EBCDIC to ASCII and vice versa? Yes No
  • Do you know what characters are the same in both ASCII and EBCDIC? Yes No
  • Do you know maxint on your system? Yes No
  • Ever define your own numerical type to get better precision? Yes No
  • Can you name powers of two up to 2**16 in arbitrary order? Yes No
    • up to 2**32? Yes No
    • up to 2**64? Yes No
  • Can you read a punched card, looking at the holes? Yes No
    • feeling the holes? Yes No
  • Have you ever patched binary code? Yes No
    • While the program was running? Yes No
  • Have you ever used program overlays? Yes No
  • Have you met any IBM vice-president? Yes No
  • Do you know Dennis, Bill, or Ken? Yes No
  • Have you ever taken a picture of a CRT? Yes No
  • Have you ever played a videotape on your CRT? Yes No
  • Have you ever digitized a picture? Yes No
  • Did you ever forget to mount a scratch monkey? Yes No
  • Have you ever optimized an idle loop? Yes No
  • Did you ever optimize a bubble sort? Yes No
  • Does your terminal/computer talk to you? Yes No
  • Have you ever talked into an acoustic modem? Yes No
    • Did it answer? Yes No
  • Can you whistle 300 baud? Yes No
    • 1200 baud? Yes No
  • Can you whistle a telephone number? Yes No
  • Have you witnessed a disk crash? Yes No
  • Have you made a disk drive "walk"? Yes No
  • Can you build a puffer train? Yes No
    • Do you know what it is? Yes No
  • Can you play music on your line printer? Yes No
    • Your disk drive? Yes No
    • Your tape drive? Yes No
  • Do you have a Snoopy calendar? Yes No
    • Is it out-of-date? Yes No
  • Do you have a line printer picture of...
    • Woody Allen? Yes No
    • the Mona Lisa? Yes No
    • the Enterprise? Yes No
    • Einstein? Yes No
    • Oliver? Yes No
  • Have you ever made a line printer picture? Yes No
  • Have you ever had your face on a line printer picture? Yes No
  • Do you know what this stands for?
    • DASD Yes No
    • Emacs Yes No
    • ITS Yes No
    • RSTS/E Yes No
    • SNA Yes No
    • Spool Yes No
    • TCP/IP Yes No
  • Have you ever used...
    • TPU? Yes No (editor, not turbo pascal unit)
    • TECO? Yes No
    • Emacs? Yes No
    • ed? Yes No
    • vi? Yes No
    • Xedit (in VM/CMS)? Yes No
    • SOS? Yes No
    • EDT? Yes No
    • Wordstar? Yes No
  • Have you ever written a CLIST? Yes No
  • Have you ever programmed in...
    • the X windowing system? Yes No
    • CICS? Yes No
  • Have you ever received a Fax or a photocopy of a floppy? Yes No
  • Have you ever shown a novice the "any" key? Yes No
    • Was it the power switch? Yes No
  • Have you ever attended...
    • Usenix? Yes No
    • DECUS? Yes No
    • SHARE? Yes No
    • SIGGRAPH? Yes No
    • NetCon? Yes No
  • Have you ever participated in a standards group? Yes No
  • Have you ever debugged machine code over the telephone? Yes No
  • Have you ever seen voice mail? Yes No
    • Can you read it? Yes No
  • Do you solve word puzzles with an on-line dictionary? Yes No
  • Have you ever taken a Turing test? Yes No
    • Did you fail? Yes No
  • Ever drop a card deck? Yes No
    • Did you successfully put it back together? Yes No
    • Without looking? Yes No
  • Have you ever used IPCS? Yes No
  • Have you ever received a case of beer with your computer? Yes No
  • Does your computer come in 'designer' colors? Yes No
  • Ever interrupted a UPS? Yes No
  • Ever mask an NMI? Yes No
  • Have you ever set off a Halon system? Yes No
    • Intentionally? Yes No
    • Do you still work there? Yes No
  • Have you ever hit the emergency power switch? Yes No
    • Intentionally? Yes No
  • Do you have any defunct documentation? Yes No
    • Do you still read it? Yes No
  • Ever reverse-engineer or decompile a program? Yes No
    • Did you find bugs in it? Yes No
  • Ever help the person behind the counter with their terminal/computer? Yes No
  • Ever tried rack mounting your telephone? Yes No
  • Ever thrown a computer from more than two stories high? Yes No
  • Ever patched a bug the vendor does not acknowledge? Yes No
  • Ever fix a hardware problem in software? Yes No
    • Vice versa? Yes No
  • Ever belong to a user/support group? Yes No
  • Ever been mentioned in Computer Recreations? Yes No
  • Ever had your activities mentioned in the newspaper? Yes No
    • Did you get away with it? Yes No
  • Ever engage a drum brake while the drum was spinning? Yes No
  • Ever write comments in a non-native language? Yes No
  • Ever physically destroy equipment from software? Yes No
  • Ever tried to improve your score on the Hacker Test? Yes No
  • Do you take listings with you to lunch? Yes No
    • To bed? Yes No
  • Ever patch a microcode bug? Yes No
    • around a microcode bug? Yes No
  • Can you program a Turing machine? Yes No
  • Can you convert postfix to prefix in your head? Yes No
  • Can you convert hex to octal in your head? Yes No
  • Do you know how to use a Kleene star? Yes No
  • Have you ever starved while dining with philosophers? Yes No
  • Have you solved the halting problem? Yes No
    • Correctly? Yes No
  • Ever deadlock trying eating spaghetti? Yes No
  • Ever written a self-reproducing program? Yes No
  • Ever swapped out the swapper? Yes No
  • Can you read a state diagram? Yes No
    • Do you need one? Yes No
  • Ever create an unkillable program? Yes No
    • Intentionally? Yes No
  • Ever been asked for a cookie? Yes No
  • Ever speed up a system by removing a jumper? Yes No
Do you know...
    • who wrote Rogue? Yes No
    • who wrote Rogomatic? Yes No
  • Do you know Gray code? Yes No
  • Do you know what HCF means? Yes No
    • Ever use it? Yes No
    • Intentionally? Yes No
  • Do you know what a lace card is? Yes No
    • Ever make one? Yes No
  • Do you know the end of the epoch? Yes No
    • Have you celebrated the end of an epoch? Yes No
    • Did you have to rewrite code? Yes No
  • Do you know the difference between DTE and DCE? Yes No
  • Do you know the RS-232C pinout? Yes No
    • Can you wire a connector without looking? Yes No
Do you have...
  • a copy of Dec Wars? Yes No
  • the Canonical Collection of Lightbulb Jokes? Yes No
  • a copy of the Hacker's dictionary? Yes No
    • Did you contribute to it? Yes No
  • a flowchart template? Yes No
    • Is it unused? Yes No
  • your own fortune-cookie file? Yes No
  • the Anarchist's Cookbook? Yes No
    • Ever make anything from it? Yes No
  • Do you own...
    • a modem? Yes No
    • a terminal? Yes No
    • a toy computer? Yes No
    • a personal computer? Yes No
    • a minicomputer? Yes No
    • a mainframe? Yes No
    • a supercomputer? Yes No
    • a hypercube? Yes No
    • a printer? Yes No
    • a laser printer? Yes No
    • a tape drive? Yes No
    • an outmoded peripheral device? Yes No
  • Do you have a programmable calculator? Yes No
    • Is it RPN? Yes No
  • Have you ever owned more than 1 computer? Yes No
    • 4 computers? Yes No
    • 16 computers? Yes No
  • Do you have a SLIP line? Yes No
    • a T1 line? Yes No
  • Do you have a separate phone line for your terminal/computer? Yes No
    • Is it illegal? Yes No
  • Do you have core memory? Yes No
    • drum storage? Yes No
    • bubble memory? Yes No
  • Do you use more than...
    • 16 megabytes of disk space? Yes No
    • 256 megabytes? Yes No
    • 1 gigabyte? Yes No
    • 16 gigabytes? Yes No
    • 256 gigabytes? Yes No
    • 1 terabyte? Yes No
  • Do you have an optical disk/disk drive? Yes No
  • Do you have a personal magnetic tape library? Yes No
    • Is it unlabelled? Yes No
  • Do you own more than 16 floppy disks? Yes No
    • 64 floppy disks? Yes No
    • 256 floppy disks? Yes No
    • 1024 floppy disks? Yes No
  • Do you have any 8-inch disks? Yes No
  • Do you have an internal stack? Yes No
  • Do you have a clock interrupt? Yes No
  • Do you own volumes 1 to 3 of _The Art of Computer Programming_? Yes No
    • Have you done all the exercises? Yes No
    • Do you have a MIX simulator? Yes No
    • Can you name the unwritten volumes? Yes No
  • Can you quote from _The Mythical Man-month_? Yes No
    • Did you participate in the OS/360 project? Yes No
  • Do you have a TTL handbook? Yes No
  • Do you have printouts more than three years old? Yes No
Career
  • Do you have a job? Yes No
    • Have you ever had a job? Yes No
    • Was it computer-related? Yes No
  • Do you work irregular hours? Yes No
  • Have you ever been a system administrator? Yes No
  • Do you have more megabytes than megabucks? Yes No
  • Have you ever downgraded your job to upgrade your processing power? Yes No
  • Is your job secure? Yes No
    • Do you have code to prove it? Yes No
  • Have you ever had a security clearance? Yes No
Games
  • Have you ever played Pong? Yes No
  • Have you ever won Pong? Yes No
  • Have you ever played...
    • Spacewar? Yes No
    • Star Trek? Yes No
    • Wumpus? Yes No
    • Lunar Lander? Yes No
    • Empire? Yes No
  • Have you ever beaten...
    • Moria 4.8? Yes No
    • Rogue 3.6? Yes No
    • Rogue 5.3? Yes No
    • Larn? Yes No
    • Hack 1.0.3? Yes No
    • Nethack 2.4? Yes No
  • Can you get a better score on Rogue than Rogomatic? Yes No
  • Have you ever solved Adventure? Yes No
    • Zork? Yes No
  • Have you ever written any redcode? Yes No
  • Have you ever written an adventure program? Yes No
    • a real-time game? Yes No
    • a multi-player game? Yes No
    • a networked game? Yes No
  • Can you out-doctor Eliza? Yes No
Hardware
  • Have you ever used a light pen? Yes No
    • did you build it? Yes No
  • Have you ever used...
    • a teletype? Yes No
    • a paper tape? Yes No
    • a decwriter? Yes No
    • a card reader/punch? Yes No
    • a SOL? Yes No
  • Have you ever built...
    • an Altair? Yes No
    • a Heath/Zenith computer? Yes No
  • Do you know how to use...
    • an oscilliscope? Yes No
    • a voltmeter? Yes No
    • a frequency counter? Yes No
    • a logic probe? Yes No
    • a wirewrap tool? Yes No
    • a soldering iron? Yes No
    • a logic analyzer? Yes No
  • Have you ever designed an LSI chip? Yes No
    • has it been fabricated? Yes No
  • Have you ever etched a printed circuit board? Yes No
Historical
  • Have you ever toggled in boot code on the front panel? Yes No
    • from memory? Yes No
  • Can you program an Eniac? Yes No
  • Ever seen a 90 column card? Yes No
IBM
  • Do you recite IBM part numbers in your sleep? Yes No
  • Do you know what IBM part number 7320154 is? Yes No
  • Do you understand 3270 data streams? Yes No
  • Do you know what the VM privilege classes are? Yes No
  • Have you IPLed an IBM off the tape drive? Yes No
    • off a card reader? Yes No
  • Can you sing something from the IBM Songbook? Yes No
Languages
  • Do you know more than 4 programming languages? Yes No
    • 8 languages? Yes No
    • 16 languages? Yes No
    • 32 languages? Yes No
  • Have you ever designed a programming language? Yes No
  • Do you know what Basic stands for? Yes No
    • Pascal? Yes No
  • Can you program in Basic? Yes No
    • Do you admit it? Yes No
  • Can you program in Cobol? Yes No
    • Do you deny it? Yes No
  • Do you know...
    • Pascal? Yes No
    • Modula-2? Yes No
    • Oberon? Yes No
    • More than two Wirth languages? Yes No
    • a Nicklaus Wirth joke? Yes No
    • Algol-60? Yes No
    • Algol-W? Yes No
    • Algol-68? Yes No
  • Do you understand the Algol-68 report? Yes No
  • Do you like two-level grammars? Yes No
  • Can you program in assembler on 2 different machines? Yes No
    • on 4 different machines? Yes No
    • on 8 different machines? Yes No
  • Do you know...
    • APL? Yes No
    • Ada? Yes No
    • BCPL? Yes No
    • C++? Yes No
    • C? Yes No
    • Comal? Yes No
    • Eiffel? Yes No
    • Forth? Yes No
    • Fortran? Yes No
    • Hypertalk? Yes No
    • Icon? Yes No
    • Lisp? Yes No
    • Logo? Yes No
    • MIIS? Yes No
    • MUMPS? Yes No
    • PL/I? Yes No
    • Pilot? Yes No
    • Plato? Yes No
    • Prolog? Yes No
    • RPG? Yes No
    • Rexx (or ARexx)? Yes No
    • SETL? Yes No
    • Smalltalk? Yes No
    • Snobol? Yes No
    • VHDL? Yes No
    • any assembly language? Yes No
  • Can you talk VT-100? Yes No
    • Postscript? Yes No
    • SMTP? Yes No
    • UUCP? Yes No
    • English? Yes No
Micros
  • Ever copy a copy-protected disk? Yes No
  • Ever create a copy-protection scheme? Yes No
  • Have you ever made a "flippy" disk? Yes No
  • Have you ever recovered data from a damaged disk? Yes No
  • Ever boot a naked floppy? Yes No
Networking
  • Have you ever been logged in to two different timezones at once? Yes No
  • Have you memorized the UUCP map for your country? Yes No
    • For any country? Yes No
  • Have you ever found a sendmail bug? Yes No
    • Was it a security hole? Yes No
  • Have you memorized the HOSTS.TXT table? Yes No
    • Are you up to date? Yes No
  • Can you name all the top-level nameservers and their addresses? Yes No
  • Do you know RFC-822 by heart? Yes No
    • Can you recite all the errors in it? Yes No
  • Have you written a Sendmail configuration file? Yes No
    • Does it work? Yes No
    • Do you mumble "defocus" in your sleep? Yes No
  • Do you know the max packet lifetime? Yes No
Operating Systems
  • Can you use BSD Unix? Yes No
    • non-BSD Unix? Yes No
    • AIX? Yes No
    • VM/CMS? Yes No
    • VMS? Yes No
    • MVS? Yes No
    • VSE? Yes No
    • RSTS/E? Yes No
    • CP/M? Yes No
    • COS? Yes No
    • NOS? Yes No
    • CP-67? Yes No
    • RT-11? Yes No
    • MS-DOS? Yes No
    • Finder? Yes No
    • PRODOS? Yes No
    • more than one OS for the TRS-80? Yes No
    • Tops-10? Yes No
    • Tops-20? Yes No
    • OS-9? Yes No
    • OS/2? Yes No
    • AOS/VS? Yes No
    • Multics? Yes No
    • ITS? Yes No
    • Vulcan? Yes No
  • Have you ever paged or swapped off a tape drive? Yes No
    • Off a card reader/punch? Yes No
    • Off a teletype? Yes No
    • Off a networked (non-local) disk? Yes No
  • Have you ever found an operating system bug? Yes No
    • Did you exploit it? Yes No
    • Did you report it? Yes No
    • Was your report ignored? Yes No
  • Have you ever crashed a machine? Yes No
    • Intentionally? Yes No
People
  • Do you know any people? Yes No
    • more than one? Yes No
    • more than two? Yes No
Personal
  • Are your shoelaces untied? Yes No
  • Do you interface poorly with strangers? Yes No
  • Are you able to recite phone numbers for half-a-dozen computer systems but unable to recite your own? Yes No
  • Do you log in before breakfast? Yes No
  • Do you consume more than LD-50 caffeine a day? Yes No
  • Do you answer either-or questions with "yes"? Yes No
  • Do you own an up-to-date copy of any operating system manual? Yes No
    • *every* operating system manual? Yes No
  • Do other people have difficulty using your customized environment? Yes No
  • Do you dream in any programming languages? Yes No
  • Do you have difficulty focusing on three-dimensional objects? Yes No
  • Do you ignore mice? Yes No
  • Do you despise the CAPS LOCK key? Yes No
  • Do you believe menus belong in restaurants? Yes No
  • Do you have a Mandelbrot hanging on your wall? Yes No
  • Have you ever decorated with magnetic tape or punched cards? Yes No
  • Do you have a disk platter or a naked floppy hanging in your home? Yes No
  • Have you ever seen the dawn? Yes No
    • Twice in a row? Yes No
  • Do you use "foobar" in daily conversation? Yes No
    • "bletch"? Yes No
  • Do you use the "P convention"? Yes No
  • Do you automatically respond to any user question with RTFM? Yes No
    • Do you know what it means? Yes No
  • Do you think garbage collection means memory management? Yes No
  • Do you have problems allocating horizontal space in your room/office? Yes No
  • Do you read Scientific American in bars to pick up women? Yes No
  • Is your license plate computer-related? Yes No
  • Have you ever taken the Purity test? Yes No
  • Ever have an out-of-CPU experience? Yes No
  • Have you ever set up a blind date over the computer? Yes No
  • Do you talk to the person next to you via computer? Yes No
Programming
  • Can you write a Fortran compiler? Yes No
    • In TECO? Yes No
  • Can you read a machine dump? Yes No
  • Can you disassemble code in your head? Yes No
  • Have you ever written...
    • a compiler? Yes No
    • an operating system? Yes No
    • a device driver? Yes No
    • a text processor? Yes No
    • a display hack? Yes No
    • a database system? Yes No
    • an expert system? Yes No
    • an edge detector? Yes No
    • a real-time control system? Yes No
    • an accounting package? Yes No
    • a helpful virus? Yes No
    • a prophylactic? Yes No
  • Have you ever written a biorhythm program? Yes No
    • Did you sell the output? Yes No
    • Was the output arbitrarily invented? Yes No
  • Have you ever computed pi to more than a thousand decimal places? Yes No
    • the number e? Yes No
  • Ever find a prime number of more than a hundred digits? Yes No
  • Have you ever written self-modifying code? Yes No
    • Are you proud of it? Yes No
  • Did you ever write a program that ran correctly the first time? Yes No
    • Was it longer than 20 lines? Yes No
    • 100 lines? Yes No
    • Was it in assembly language? Yes No
    • Did it work the second time? Yes No
  • Can you solve the Towers of Hanoi recursively? Yes No
    • Non-recursively? Yes No
    • Using the Troff text formatter? Yes No
  • Ever submit an entry to the Obfuscated C code contest? Yes No
    • Did it win? Yes No
    • Did your entry inspire a new rule? Yes No
  • Do you know Duff's device? Yes No
  • Do you know Jensen's device? Yes No
  • Ever spend ten minutes trying to find a single-character error? Yes No
    • More than an hour? Yes No
    • More than a day? Yes No
    • More than a week? Yes No
    • Did the first person you show it to find it immediately? Yes No
Unix
  • Can you use Berkeley Unix? Yes No
    • Non-Berkeley Unix? Yes No
  • Can you distinguish between sections 4 and 5 of the Unix manual? Yes No
  • Can you find TERMIO in the System V release 2 documentation? Yes No
  • Have you ever mounted a tape as a Unix file system? Yes No
  • Have you ever built Minix? Yes No
  • Can you answer "quiz function ed-command" correctly? Yes No
    • How about "quiz ed-command function"? Yes No
Usenet
  • Do you read news? Yes No
    • More than 32 newsgroups? Yes No
    • More than 256 newsgroups? Yes No
    • All the newsgroups? Yes No
  • Have you ever posted an article? Yes No
    • Do you post regularly? Yes No
  • Have you ever posted a flame? Yes No
    • Ever flame a cross-posting? Yes No
    • Ever flame a flame? Yes No
    • Do you flame regularly? Yes No
  • Ever have your program posted to a source newsgroup? Yes No
  • Ever forge a posting? Yes No
  • Ever form a new newsgroup? Yes No
    • Does it still exist? Yes No
  • Do you remember...
    • CSNEWS? Yes No
    • mod.ber? Yes No
    • the Stupid People's Court? Yes No
    • Bandy-grams Yes No
Phreaking
  • Have you ever built a black box? Yes No
  • Can you name all of the 'colors' of boxes? Yes No
    • and their associated functions? Yes No
  • Does your touch tone phone have 16 DTMF buttons on it? Yes No
  • Did the breakup of MaBell create more opportunities for you? Yes No