Why did the first hackers use baby whistles from boxes of oatmeal?

In one of the old interviews, the founder of the apple brand, Steve Jobs, honestly admitted that if he hadn’t found out about “blue boxes” and the philosophy of their creators in due time, he would hardly have ended up in the IT sphere at all. And, accordingly, no Apple with its historical innovations would have existed either. But what are these “blue boxes” and what does “Cap'n Crunch” (Captain Crunch), in the world of John Draper, have to do with it?

The story begins in the 1960s, when the talented electrical engineer Draper left the US Air Force and became part of the "telephone freaks" community. They believed that telecom operators were overcharging their services and relying too much on automation to organize their work. And this could and should have been hacked, first out of sports interest, and then for commercial purposes.

Draper was one of those who designed an algorithm for bypassing the protection - you had to "whistle" a sound at a frequency of 2600 Hz into the telephone receiver for the system to take it for an operator code. And made it possible to make long distance calls without payment. So the first hacking tool was a plastic whistle for kids, which the oatmeal manufacturer Cap'n Crunch put in a box as a bonus. It made a perfectly accurate sound for hacking, but that was not enough.

"Blue Box"

After the first successes, Draper designed an electronic "buzzer" that could generate signals at different frequencies and significantly expanded the capabilities of telephone burglars. The gadget was named "blue box", and soon the young Jobs and Wozniak learned about them. They realized that the IT sphere is not divorced from ordinary life, and electronic "toys" have a lot of real applications, and there are also people who are interested in it. Moreover - by selling underground "blue boxes", two Steves received the first capital and experience, which helped them then to create Apple.