Tech Model Railroad Club
Guy Lochhead, 01/09/10
A model railroad club at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that played a hugely important role in the origins of hacker culture. TMRC developed several pioneering computer programs, including Colossal Typewriter (early text editing), Expensive Tape Recorder (digital recording twenty years ahead of its time), Expensive Planetarium (accurate star map for ‘Spacewar!’), Spacewar! (one of the earliest video games) and Expensive Desk Calculator (computing’s first interactive calculation program). They also coined numerous hacker slang terms, and are widely credited as the origins of the ‘information wants to be free’ free content motto. This is pretty much the birth of nerd culture. It’s so far beyond my comprehension and I love it. It coupled genuine innovation with an anti-monopoly and pro-sharing ethic. It is an example of friends feeding off each other to use knowledge in an incredibly exciting, admirable way. And they managed to keep a rad sense of humour! They work hard, they play hard!

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