What is Quanack?
Back in 1978, something big happened and it literally changed the way I would spend my days thinking about the future. No, I am not talking about Star Wars, although I did see it first run, I am talking about the Atari 2600. I know it was actually released in October of 1977, but I did not get my hands on it until the summer of 1978.
The Atari was my first gaming machine (and really the first gaming console that most people could afford) and had a street price of $199, which is like $727 (2015) in today’s money. Oh, how I loved to play video games on it in all its 192×160 resolution glory. Games were simple and fun, but the 2600 was just the beginning.
In about 1982, I got my first chance at a real computer when my parents bought the family a (don’t laugh) Commodore 64. Now not only did I get to play awesome games, I started to write them. My parents did not have a lot of money to buy games, so I starter to “borrow” them from friends. I became “friends” with kids like me throughout the world, but no one went by their real names. We all came up with clever names that would uniquely identify us in our community.
During the 80′s, the Internet did not exist (at least not like it is today) and there were companies that started up that allowed you to dial in using a modem to gain access to services. For the Commodore, the was a company called QuantumLink (Quantum Computer Services, which in 1991 became America Online), which allowed you to do things like shop online, book vacations, information searches, and mail services.
So, what does that have to do with the story? I needed a handle and my original handle of Hacker Cracker was taken by someone before me, so I took the name QuantumLink and combined it with the word hacker. The result was the name Quanack or the Quantum Hacker.
Well, I eventually moved on to my Amiga 500 in 1988, but the name stuck with me and I use it still today. I can almost guarantee that it is unique. And that is really all that is to it.