Q From e-mail:
You mention that many of the incidents in "Pirates" were out of order
or happened with other people. As I remember the story, Capt. Crunch was
pulled over in one of the Manhattan tunnels when police did not recognize
the "blue box". Did this happen in CA or NY and were you in the van?
I don't know this exact story. I do remember when he was arrested
in a NY YMCA while making a red box call. The FBI didn't care about the
red box, they just wanted him for leaving California in violation of his
Once, Steve Jobs and I tried to make our first blue box call ever from
a pay phone. This was while I was a student at Berkeley. Steve's car had
broken down about 1 AM while driving from Berkeley to his home in Los
Altos where my Pinto was parked. We walked to a nearby gas station and
were making our blue box call back to the dorms to get Draper to give
us a lift.
We got very scared when the operator kept coming on the line. We didn't
yet have the right operator BS down pat. Then 2 cops pulled up. Steve's
hand, holding the blue box, was shaking. But our looks led the cops to
search the bushes for drugs or something. With their backs turned, Steve
passed me the blue box and I got it in my jacket pocket.
The cops then patted us down and found the blue box. We know we'd been
caught. The cops asked what it was and I said "an electronic music synthesizer"
and told them that you got tones by pusing the keyboard buttons. The cop
asked what the red button (phone line seizing!) was for and Steve said
The cops were very interested in our blue box. They held on to it and
asked us to get in their car while they drove out to our broken down car.
We were in the back seat, shaking. Finally, the cop in the passenger seat
turned around and handed me the blue box, saying "a guy named Moog beat
you to it." Steve responded, saying that Moog had sent us the schematics.
The cops actually believed us.
We got our lift back home from Draper. This was the very night we'd met
him. Then I drove back to Berkeley. I fell asleep and totaled my Pinto
in Oakland about 3 AM. i walked to my dorm and told my roommate how lucky
it was I hadn't paid the $25 quarterly parking fee that quarter.
Losing this car (no insurance) was one big reason that I had to work after
that school year to pay for my fourth year of college. My career kept
going up and Apple got started and I didn't get back for 10 years....Steve
BTW, the first time I met Draper was at a scheduled meeting at a Burger
King at the corner of 45 and Lex in NYC. I asked how I could be sure it
was really him, and he showed me his picture on the front cover of the
latest Village Voice.
Q From e-mail:
Dear Mr. Wozniak, I just recently watched the "Pirates" Movie, and I was
wondering do you still have the plans for that blue box you were making?
If so please send me a copy of them I am interested in there function
and purpose. I intend to use them for intelectulal purposes only I do
NOT plan to do any "Phreaking" with it .I would greatly appreaciate it.
I don't think that the blue boxes are usable and safe to use anymore.
If you were to try you might be very unlucky right away. I don't have
the time to pull out a schematic, but it's a design that I'm still extremely
proud of. Some of the design appears in the video circuitry timers of
the Apple II.
You might contact
Captain Crunch, John Draper, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I actually host his websites.
Q From e-mail:
You mention that there are books out there that don't really portray the
early days with much accuracy. What books could you recommend for an insight
that's closer to the real history? - Any plans on writing an autobiography?
I remember liking "Hackers" by Steven Levy.
I've had an autobiography
contract for a couple of years but don't have the time yet. It's based
mostly on a very unusual life with things like Apple in the background
of the story, along the lines of "Surely you must be joking, Mr. Feinman."
Q From e-mail:
I recently saw Pirates, and I have to admit, it gives me a creepy feeling.
Here I am, 29 years old and using my Mac to express myself. At times I
make women look thinner and wonder who I am giving an eating disorder
too. I paint as well. If Jobs ever really quoted Picasso like that, I
have 1 thing to say, that you will understand, and Jobs would most likely
ignore. Real artists create. Picasso sucked. I paint for myself, and for
nobody else. You my friend, are a real artist. You created something,
and should be seen as the hero that you are. You invented a tool, for
everyone. You are the bright spot in a pool of theft and temptation. As
a real artist, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for creating a
platform where everyone can express themselves. You created a platform
where I and others now make our living. You have done more than anyone
else to promote creativity. I wish I had been born earlier, and been there
with you and Jobs. I wish I could have made a difference, and I applaud
you for being a star, a hero, a guiding light for myself an others. One
last thing....what should a kid like me do these days? Thank you for your
time. Keep it real bro,
In high school I always favored and did best in math and sciences (lots
of 800's) so more subjective courses, like English and History, weren't
as important to me. I didn't see why I'd get a lower grade just based
on which words I'd used to describe a book. I wrongly interpreted this
as being an undeserved inaccuracy of sujectivity. To me, objective courses
equated to truth. A math problem has a right answer that is calculated
identically by different people. An electronic circuit can be calculated
identically by several people. These things were good to me. And so, therefore,
was truth. Artists were like the student that sweet talks a teacher into
a better grade, and not my favorite type of people.
In the early
70's I was designing circuits with fewer parts and more tricks than anyone
else that I saw. A lot of this culminated in the Apple designs. By this
time I had dozens and hundreds of inter-related facets of each design
in my head and would carry them all day and night. I'd sometimes wake
up with a new solution. I many many times knew that my approach to logic
design and software was equivalent to great musicians and artists. I saw
how many minute details they had to combine into larger building blocks
and eventually, piece together into the final work of art. I could tell
that if either I or the artist used extreme mental energies to keep so
many aspects fitting together, the final result was beautiful. I felt
like, and know that I was like, an artist.
Funny thing is
that I still can't draw anything worth a damn. Fortunately our computers
give klutzes like myself 3D programs that make a small effort look like