Do you know the story about Captain Crunch, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Blue Box?
Recently, while looking for a ride from Las Vegas to Burning Man I found a guy who agreed to share a ride with me. He later told me that another person is going with us. When I contacted John and told him that I am from Poland, he replied that he really liked his last visit to the country. He was a speaker during Confidence 2012 conference, a hacker event that takes place in Cracow. I got really interested at that moment so I looked at his name again. Then I started to realize what is going on.
In seventies, some talented guy learned that the toy whistle which was gift inside Captain Crunch cereal, produced perfect sound of 2600 Hz pitch. This type of sound was used in AT&T telephonic equipment as a control signal. Further on, you could use that sound and others to hack the phone system, for example to make international calls for free. Eventually, the other guy later known as Captain Crunch, created a device called Blue Box. There is this legendary story taking place in Silicon Valley: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and John “Captain Crunch” Draper are sitting in a dorm, playing with Blue Box, calling Vatican and making pranks. This classic scene was later filmed in a movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. When I first saw it around age of 17 it defined my new heroes, set course and inspired to get deeper into computers.
Shortly before I left Poland, I learned that guy named John I was contacting is the John “Captain Crunch” Draper. I realized that I was going to meet Silicon Valley legend and even share a ride with him to Burning Man.
So I met him. John picked me up at Las Vegas international airport. Right now I am staying at his place and today we finished our preparations for Burning Man. Tomorrow in the morning we are heading to Reno, our last stop before Burning Man. I am wondering if he is bored with telling his stories about Blue Box, Jobs and Wozniak all the time, but he didn’t hesitate to tell it once more.
Being lucky chap is my profession.