(Kent State University)
saÂ·mizÂ·dat (sÃ¤'m?z-dÃ¤t', s?-my?z-dÃ¤t')
The noun underground press
Meaning #1: a system of clandestine printing and distribution of
dissident or banned literature
Directory > Science > Hacker Slang > 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
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.
Faces staring, wondering how we're printing off free copies of yet unknown item.
9AM: Sweat-shop assembling, folding, layering
The pile starts out small..
10AM: But that's not enough, more need to be printed.. however, the time is passing and people are talking. People grow suspicious.
Faculty close. Location is moved to low traffic area in library. More assembly.
11AM: Inside faculty connection delivers, acquirement of main copier successful. More copies are made.
1PM: Last stage of folding.
1:30PM: Student publication process complete. Copies delivered anonymously to every desk.