<jargon> Engaged in hacking. A Zen-like state of total focus on The
Problem that may be achieved when one is hacking (this is why every good hacker
is part mystic). Ability to enter such concentration at will correlates strongly
with wizardliness; it is one of the most important skills learned during larval
stage. Sometimes amplified as "deep hack mode".
Being yanked out of hack mode (see priority interrupt) may be experienced as a
physical shock, and the sensation of being in hack mode is more than a little
habituating. The intensity of this experience is probably by itself sufficient
explanation for the existence of hackers, and explains why many resist being
promoted out of positions where they can code. See also cyberspace.
Some aspects of hackish etiquette will appear quite odd to an observer unaware
of the high value placed on hack mode. For example, if someone appears at your
door, it is perfectly okay to hold up a hand (without turning one's eyes away
from the screen) to avoid being interrupted. One may read, type, and interact
with the computer for quite some time before further acknowledging the other's
presence (of course, he or she is reciprocally free to leave without a word).
The understanding is that you might be in hack mode with a lot of delicate state
in your head, and you dare not swap that context out until you have reached a
good point to pause. See also juggling eggs.
hackish « hackishness « hackitude « hack mode
» hack on » hack together » hack up