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File: AN APPLE FOR THE CAPTAIN Read 22 times

-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=- - An Apple For The Captain - = InfoWorld – October 1, 1984 = - By Stephen Wozniak - = Word Processed for SF][ by BIOC Agent 003 = -=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-=*=-

 The best prank I've seen with the Apple was played by Cap'n Crunch.  John

Draper, one of Apple's first employees, was responsible for designing a telephone board for us. Much more than a modem, the board could send touch-tone or pulse-dial data; it could also transmit any tones that were programmable down the line, listen for specific sounds, and a bunch of other things.

 At one point Draper was motivated to crack WATS extenders.  A WATS extender

is used when a company has incoming and outgoing free 800 lines. Company executives call in on the incoming 800 line and tap out a four-digit code, which gets them on their company's outgoing 800 line. They only system protection is the four-digit code.

 It would take a long time to dial 10,000 phone calls manually, searching for

the extender code. But Draper had designed this new telephone board, and he knew a bunch of companies that had WATS extenders. He programmed the Apple to call the company on its 800 number, automatically get to the WATS extender, type out a four-digit code, and check to see if the attempt succeeded or failed. The Apple with the board would listen to all the tones on the phone line to determine when it was ringing, when it went to the WATS extender, and so on.

 It took about 10 seconds for the Apple to dial the call and try a new

four-digit code. The Apple would restart and try again. And then try the next number. It was able to dial about 5,000 calls a night – the average number of calls to crack a WATS extender. Draper cracked about 20 WATS exteders, averaging one a night.

 The city of Mountain View, California, where he lived at the time, keeps an

index of how well the phone system is working. An average of 30% of all calls made from the city don't go through. The month Draper was cracking the WATS extenders, the index jumped to 80%! For that month Draper made more than 50% of the calls originating from Mountain View, California, whose population is 60,000…. <>

[Courtesy of Sherwood Forest ][ – (914) 359-1517]

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