As I promised, here is the written makeup for people who do not feel that they have participated sufficiently in the second part of the course.
"One of the main themes of the course has been the specialized subcultures that surround computer technology. We explored the origins of the "hacker ethic", its relationship to earlier technologies and its blooming at places like MIT. As the computer spread through society, many new kinds of computer-related culture have appeared. Among these were those of the Well, the Atari lab discussed by Stone, the videogame programmers discussed by Levy, the Mac design team, the ARPANet researchers and early users, Jim Clark and his colleagues at Healtheon, open source programmers, and the employees of Microsoft.
Discuss the most important elements of the cultures of these different groups, contrasting them as appropriate with each other and with the original hackers. Try and suggest what is distinctive about each, and where this distinctiveness comes from. Support your claims closely with page references and quotations from the appropriate readings."
As you know, class participation is the only form of assessment for the material covered in the second part of the class. This means that the essay question has to cover a reasonably large chunk of the later readings, and challenge you to understand and integrate them within the overall themes explored during the course.
A really good answer to this could be worth as much as participation in six or more classes. I'm reluctant to set a page length, but a good answer would probably be at least eight pages. Don't make it long for the sake of it, do try and make it as thoughtful as you can, but above all do show that you have read and understood the readings. (There were culture-related discussion questions for each of these readings, so if you really prepared for the classes and/or took good notes then you already have all the raw materials you need).
This is your chance to show that you have read, thought about and digested these readings into something approaching a coherent whole. Include as many of the groups I mentioned as possible, credit is also available for all of the other readings (though focus on those after the midterm).