Monday, August 27, 2018

How railway modelling changed the world - Part 2. Hackers

Back in 2010, I explained how railway modelling gave us the World Wide Web. Now it seems, the hobby was also responsible for the concept of "Hacking".

I shouldn't be surprised that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) has a model railroad club, or that the club first formed in 1946. After all, you can't expect such a large group of nerdy, technical people not to include a goodly number of railway fans.

It seems that the one thing they don't like doing is operating layouts - prefering to build complex devices to do this automatically. No suprise there, these guys work at the bleeding edge of technology, so why wouldn't the build control systems?

Anyway, somewhere along the lines, the concet of "hacker culture" developed. Presumably this was down to the "Signals and Power Subcommittee" developing control systems and having to bodge or develop innovative new methods of making things work.

Mind you, they can't make their website work, or has it been hacked?

Tech Model Railroad Club, 1946–Present | The MIT 150 Exhibition

Tech Model Railroad club at MIT Edgerton Centre

Tech Model Railroad club on Wikipedia

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