The Twilight Years of Cap’n Crunch.

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I grew up on the stories of the early days of computing – as my dad and most of my friends parents were electrical engineers from about 1970 onwards.


My formative years were spent reading about the Kaos Komputer Club, Legions of Doom and later of course the Kevin Mitnick and Phil Zimmerman Stuff, phrack was an essential guide, and to a lesser extent I bought 2600. The first story i ever remeber being told of though was Cap’n Crunc, AKA John Draper essentially Draper figured out the a toy whistle emitted the 2600 Hz tone that would allow people in the 70’s to access the phone networks long distance lines. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak knew Draper and started making tone boxes to sell at Berkley while Woz attended school there. Draper went to jail in the late 70’s.Essentially, as kid I was more attracted to the edges of legality when it came to computers. It taught me more about technology than most but I never became a brilliant hacker beyond the odd bit of fun on school networks. In the end I went corporate at age 16 – I wasn’t much of a rebel at heart.It’s sad to see a pioneer of technology, Cap’n Crunch have trouble making ends meat. His tales of the early computer revolution always struck a cord with me.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at

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