Elf Qrin's Cyber Lab

since 1999


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, according to the Jargon File 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