Friday, December 24, 2010

JOHN DRAPER The Hacker

AKA Captain Crunch. Although technically a phone phreak, the Captain is seen by many as the father of modern “hackery” and phreaking, as well as being somewhat of a legend. Born in 1944, his legend began when he was informed by a friend that a toy whistle given away in boxes of the Cap’n Crunch cereal would emit a 2600 hertz tone when the 3 rd hole was glued up. This tone was a frequency that was used in the making of phone calls at the time and would eventually lead to Draper creating “blue boxes”, devices capable of replicating other dialing tones, effectively making calls for free. So here was a man that could circumvent phone charges all thanks to a small cereal box toy. Having given an interview with Esquire magazine in 1971, it exposed the world to the subject of phone phreaking and Draper was arrested in 1972 on toll fraud charges, being sentenced to five years’ probation. In the mid 70s, he taught some of his skills to Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, after Wozniak had read the Esquire article. Draper was even temporarily employed by Apple, even writing the code for EasyWriter, the first Apple II word processor.

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