I was rummaging through my old docs and found a sales brochure for the MicroBee computer originally released in kit form by Applied Technology. The model PC85 is advertised as "putting advanced computer technology in the hands of Hackers, Hobbyists and Horticulturalists ...".
Obviously the word "hacker" had a different, benevolent meaning in those days. Nowadays "cracker" and "hacker" are used interchangeably.
- Franc Zabkar