The year is 2005. The place, Williamsburg, Virginia. An overclocked AMD Athlon XP 2500+ sweats as its neighbor, a 120 GB hard drive chugs along at 7200 RPM.
DV footage is being captured off a newly acquired Sony Handycam DCR-HC85. Seven hundred dollars is the initial investment. Seven hundred dollars, plus a domain. The camera is expensive enough and the .org was on sale.
iPods are black and white. YouTube is a five month old startup. Revision3 a mere three. Podcast is a fairly new term. Five hundred viewers the gang joke. Five hundred and they'll keep making it. Darren Kitchen and friends have no idea what this ambitious project has in store. Driven by a passion for tech and video production they dream of a studio, and a camera crane.
The working title, one of many scratched down on a Treo 650, is said during a half-lit recording session. A half-assed hack they call the segment. Duct tape marries a Nintendo GameCube with a DVD player - the sealed game disc tray forever housing Tetris. Unwilling to retake the shoot, the name is kept. Hak.5 is born.
The pilot episode is featured on the Digg homepage. The next on Slashdot. By the third they're omitting the point, calling it Hak5. What's in a name? The gang jokes that it's pointless. A few months later they're doing regular guest spots on G4 TechTV's Call for Help in Toronto.
By the second year the gang move into a house together, turning the first floor into a studio. They call it the HakHouse and begin streaming the studio 24x7. By year three Hak5 joins Revision3, a network later to be acquired by Discovery. After nearly five years Darren spearheads a move to the San Francisco bay area. Dubbed "Hack Across America" he treks West for one month by way of Motorcycle, staying with fans along the way. The crew, contributing remotely, follow months later. Eventually a new studio is built in a historic firehouse. They finally get their camera crane...
Inspired by the text files traded on bulletin board systems, Usenet and IRC, Hak5 seeks to bring hacker media to a broadband generation. With the help of Wess, Ali, Paul, Beth, Harrison, Jon, Frank, Mubix, Leo, Amber, Sean, Andy, Pronobozo, Geoff, Matt, Shannon, Robin, Chris, Eighty, Jay, Jim, Dale, Jason, Dave, Colleen, Tom, Sebastian, Mike, and countless others, Hak5 achieves its goal.
Looking back at seven years of Hak5 we celebrate everyone involved, past and present. We show our immense gratitude to the entire Hak5 community. This exists today because of you. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for trusting your technolust.