Try to get around digital rights management in your iAnything and I'll bet the big Apple sends its lawyers after you, like Ma Bell did to the Phreakers. Is it the proper place for a publication, blogger, or corporation (like the author's) to encourage people to break the law so they can circumvent a company's product revenue. Not a hero.
As a kid I, too, read about Blue Boxes, the Captain Crunch whistle, and the thrill of routing (expensive) phone calls across satellites and continents. There was a very nice article detailing it all in "Esquire" magazine back long ago (late 60's?). I've got a "Xerox" of it around here somewhere.
As I recall, the phone company stopped (limited) the Blue Boxes and whistles by making the toll switching equipment respond only to 2600 Hz tones originating from Central Offices.
It's hard to see how Blue Boxes inspired the Apple II, Mac, iPods, or anything else. It might have given idle minds a source of $ that allowed them to keep thinking of something better to do.
I hear there was a deaf guy long ago who ended up writing some of the world's most beautiful symphonies. Ludwig somebody.
It's better to create your job than apply for a job. Jo's story inspires not only Wozniak and Jobs but also others. Jo has created his job by hacking into phone line. There are a lot of enterprenenurs creating their own job by reinventing business. Thinking outside the box and challenging the existing operation seem to be critical to creation.
Is there any love out there for the other Kevin, not Mitnik but Paulsen? I read his Biography called the Watchmen, or something like that. It was one of the most interesting books I've ever read. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants an awesome trip back into the Eighties and a superb view into the world of an A-List Phreak.
He discovered that a plastic Bosun's whistle that came in Captain Crunch cereal emitted a frequency of exactly 2600 hertz, which was the phone company's "knock-down" tone between central office tandems. This allowed him to make free calls worldwide. He got in BIG trouble over it.
BTW- Don't get any ideas- his scheme won't work with most modern phone exchanges.
Arrggghhh -- that's right -- now I remrember you bringing one of these to my office and telling me that this was what Clifford wa sdoing. I must admit that when O wrote my comment there wa ssomething at th eback of my mind about this -- but these days I seem to forget more than I... sorry, what were we talking about? :-)
For the complete story about phone phreaks, blue boxes, and the AT&T phone system, read the excellent book, "Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell," by Phil Lapsley.
Thanks for enlightening me on the Apple connection.
In the olden days when companies used to put a physical lock on the telephone rotary dial, to restrict the use of the phones by employees for private purpose, I have developed the skill of tapping the hook to imitate the dial pulses to dial a desired number without using the dial. Most of the time I succeeded.
Thanks, Caleb. Clifford Stoll spoke twice at the Embedded Systems Conference about 10 years. We still have the video of him running around, hair flying. He was very inspirational, funny, and fun. THanks for this video collection.