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    008 - adventures in samizdat publication

    Danny Wills Sep 29 '06 4

    (Kent State University)

    sa·miz·dat (sä'm?z-dät', s?-my?z-dät')

    source

    The noun underground press

    Meaning #1: a system of clandestine printing and distribution of
    dissident or banned literature
    Synonym: samizdat

    Hacker Slang
    Directory > Science > Hacker Slang > samizdat
    samizdat

    [Russian, literally "self publishing"] The process of disseminating
    documentation via underground channels. Originally referred to
    underground duplication and distribution of banned books in the Soviet
    Union; now refers by obvious extension to any less-than-official
    promulgation of textual material, esp. rare, obsolete, or
    never-formally-published computer documentation. Samizdat is obviously
    much easier when one has access to high-bandwidth networks and
    high-quality laser printers. Note that samizdat is properly used only
    with respect to documents which contain needed information (see also
    hacker ethic) but which are for some reason otherwise unavailable, but
    not in the context of documents which are available through normal
    channels, for which unauthorized duplication would be unethical
    copyright violation. See Lions Book for a historical example

    Techniques

    Essentially, the samizdat copies of text, such as Mikhail Bulgakov's
    novel The Master and Margarita, were passed among friends. The
    techniques to reproduce the forbidden literature and periodicals
    varied from making several copies of the content using carbon paper,
    either by hand or on a typewriter, to printing the books on
    semi-professional printing presses in larger quantities. Before
    glasnost, the practice was dangerous, since copy machines, printing
    presses and even typewriters in offices were under control of the
    First Departments (KGB outposts): for all of them reference printouts
    were stored for identification purposes.



    After a month of underground writing, design, and preperation, we we ready.

    Start time, 8AM: An illegal connection is made to the server. Files sent to the printer downstairs.

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    Faces staring, wondering how we're printing off free copies of yet unknown item.

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    9AM: Sweat-shop assembling, folding, layering

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    The pile starts out small..

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    And grows..

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    10AM: But that's not enough, more need to be printed.. however, the time is passing and people are talking. People grow suspicious.

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    Faculty close. Location is moved to low traffic area in library. More assembly.

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    11AM: Inside faculty connection delivers, acquirement of main copier successful. More copies are made.

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    1PM: Last stage of folding.

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    1:30PM: Student publication process complete. Copies delivered anonymously to every desk.

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    • 4 Comments

    • b3tadine[sutures]
      Sep 30, 06 8:59 am

      that's cool. a friend and myself put together a subversive publication in college and graffiti'd the name in our building we called it V220. it didn't get too far he moved on to sciARC..

      AP
      Oct 1, 06 11:10 am

      so, is the content subversive, or just the way it was printed (free, unauthorized use of school resources)? Don't get me wrong, i'm all for pirating university resources if put toward a positive end...

      Danny WillsDanny Wills
      Oct 9, 06 2:15 pm

      The content is encouraged to be subversive, although the first issue may have not appeared to seem that way. We ask all writers for opinions, for complaints, for anything outside of the mundane news that is happening around us.

      Alex MaymindAlex Maymind
      Jan 3, 07 1:59 pm

      danny -
      is it possible that you could send me one of these electronically?
      as a pdf?
      i am interested.
      am2868@columbia.edu

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