Ok... if therer really is a different side to "hacking" a side which isnt harmfull, which dosent involve illegal stuff, which is productive and nice or whatever... then cant you call it something else. Because it simply dosent matter how many times, or to whom you speak it, saying hackig is nie wont work becuase hacking to almost everyone with a computer means bad. There is no way that anyone can change that now. I apologise for any bad sentiments toward you or other "hackers" who arent bad, from what you say your not and good for you, but hacker to most people means bad things for computers.
and about fearing hackers... you HAVE to. or atleast the effects of hackers. a firewall is an absolute must, dont even think about runing a computer without antivirus, and i have multiple anti spyware programs on my computer (i know its not QUITE the same thing, but it involves people knowing stuff about my computer i dont whant them to know) Security is extreemely important now, and this is simply because of hackers. or people writing worms, viruses and other evil crap. And im sorry, but hacker is synomenouse (spell?) with virus. A problem which needs to be guarded against.
so i do apologise to any "nice hackers" but, cant you change your name or something? i dont know... cracker... D.B.P (digital boundry pusher) SOMETHING but hacker will only get you odd looks and bad press.