The History of Hackermind

In September of 2000, people who frequented the webboard over at probably read post after post from Screamer Chaotix talking about the new ezine he wanted to make. It was to be called "Frequency: Inside the Hacker Mind" and would deal with whatever was of importance to the hacker community. Each article would be written by hackers, and made for hackers. Several friends contributed, eventually creating the very first issue. It was sent out to only a few people, and found a homepage of it's own on a tripod hosted site.

Soon after, the idea to create a radio station for hackers came about. The idea, originally, was to play a selection of songs that could be billed as "music to hack to." The service Live365 would be used, which was at the time, entirely free. [An interesting side note, even after Live365 began charging users, they swore their "founding members", of which were one, would never be charged. Yet when CARP took effect, that quickly changed. Hackermind never paid a single dime to broadcast.] The stream went live in the early hours of the morning, around 1-2AM, with the song "Bitter Sweet Symphony", a song that would suitably describe the rough road ahead.

Music was great, but there had to be a better way to express one's self. This led to a new idea, an online radio show. Inspired by Off the Hook, Screamer and his best friend, Dash Interrupt, set out to create a show that was made by hackers, for hackers, much similar to Frequency. The title, which was always intended to change, was merely the last two words in the Frequency sub-title merged together, "Hackermind."

The first show was recorded, and lasted a half hour. It originally aired in October of 2000. After the first episode, new shows aired twice a week for several months on Tuesday's and Thursday's. Later, Hackermind would air once a week, all day Thursday. People could tune in whenver they wanted and catch the show, although seldom would they tune in just as it was beginning. Listeners usually started halfway through, and would have to wait for the next show to start in order to hear what they missed. The next incarnation of Hackermind was the most popular. Airing Thursday's at 10PM, Hackermind became a live, hour long show.

This was easily the most enjoyable version of the show, as it allowed both hosts to interact with the listening audience live. Listeners could join the chat and talk away while listening to the show, and on occasion the hosts would stop in to say hi and take a few questions. This great sense of connectivity led the hosts to their next venture, the "Hackermind All Nighter."

The first Hackermind All Nighter aired in November, 2001. Lasting three hours, it was to be the longest episode ever up to that time. With a far more relaxed tone, contests were held, Screamer provided entertainment by sneaking around his neighborhood live on the air, and everyone who tuned in went channel hopping across IRC. It was clear that the Hackermind All Nighter had to make a return, and when it did, it was bigger and better than ever.

"HAN II: The Second Hackermind All Nighter" aired just before H2K2 in July, 2002. Not only was it the longest episode of Hackermind ever (4 hours), it was the first time both hosts were live and in person. Dash Interrupt, having come up for H2K2, was able to join Screamer Chaotix to create what will probably go down in history as the greatest Hackermind experience ever.

Time progressed, but both hosts never lost interest in the show. Hackermind was more popular than ever, but the realities of life were beginning to creep in. Dash Interrupt experienced the most traumatic event of his life, forcing Screamer to handle the show on his own. With school, the pressures of work, and the stress of everyday life piling up, it became clear making a new, enjoyable episode every week was simply too much. The decision was made, Hackermind would only air once a month from then on out. Unfortunately, as hard as they tried to get an episode made, literally coming down to the wire, it was then realized that this too was too much. Many listeners were upset with the decision to end Hackermind for the time being, especially because it was given on a day when they expected a new episode. Frequency continued, but it seemed like Hackermind would never return...

A new episode was eventually made, and then another. But the site was in ruin. Eventually, Screamer lessened the burden on Dash by getting the site back on it's feet. Which is what you see as of December 26, 2002. What lies ahead for Hackermind? A new beginning of sorts, with an entirely new format and ways of expressing the hacker mind. New features will be added to the site, including network scans, conference calls, hacker art, and of course, new shows. We're already in the process of planning future "All Nighters" and other special events, so it's not fair to say Hackermind is dead. No matter what form it exists in, Hackermind is still doing what it has always done.