The technical detail provided is minimal, but there's enough for the cognoscenti to follow what is happening. The odd boo-boo (FTP is not "Fast Transfer Protocol") suggests Dreyfus may not be a technical expert herself, but she has clearly done her research well. She does an excellent job of conveying mood and atmosphere — the total focus of an all night hack session, the nervous energy imbued by an illicit root shell, and even the tedium of much hacking (though this isn't conveyed too realistically!). What is most impressive, however, is the personal detail she has managed to garner about her subjects: more than anything else, it is this is which gives Underground its appeal. The result is a sympathetic portrait of both individual hackers and their way of life. Dreyfus concludes with a suggestion that the skills possessed by hackers are a valuable resource which should be put to better use by society.
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- information from Suelette Dreyfus