In the 1960s, IBM (International Business Machines) had done and would go on to do many things to advance computers. Because of its sheer size and grand influence, it would go on to make computers a permanent part of life in America. “IBM” and “computers” would become synonymous with one another. Their machines were reliable and worthy of the trust that the scientists and businessmen had in them. This was because of IBM’s conservative approach. It would not make the most technologically advanced machines but instead rely on proven concepts and careful marketing.
This is what many hackers disproved of. This sort of superiority complex that emanated from the white button down shirt, clip on tie wearing, well kempt, IBM members as they strode by with a hand full of punch cards. For hackers, the computer was a fantastic equalizer. It relied not on what certificate, credentials, or rank that you had. But simply your ability to use and navigate the machine.
The best example of this is young Peter Deutsh. Being only 12 he had acquired the skill to become pare of the TX-0 community. Likewise, until someone proved themselves behind the console the would not be taken seriously, regardless of any seemingly impressive credentials. Samson compared being behind the console of this million dollar machine was “like you opened the door and walked through to a grand new universe.” It had become natural to distrust any force that may try to limit the extent of that power.