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Re: [midatlanticretro] Semi-OT: history of phone phreaking

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  • Brian Roth
    Don Capehart, a retired Western Electric employee who was on American Pickers a while ago has a huge collection of phone equipment that he has collected over
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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      Don Capehart, a retired Western Electric employee who was on American Pickers a while ago has a huge collection of phone equipment that he has collected over his entire career,

      http://www.telcomhistory.org/vm/museumsCapehart.shtml

      He is in his 70/s and is looking to unload it all I heard. There has to be a 5ess in there. Should try to find a step by step. Those are so cool.



      From: "telmnstr@..." <telmnstr@...>
      To: MARCH Yahoo Midatlanticretro <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:12 PM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Semi-OT: history of phone phreaking

       


      I'm reading the same book as well! Only on chapter 2 so far.

      About two years ago I tried to hunt down a 5ESS switch for our
      hackerspace. Didn't have much luck.

      On Sat, 30 Mar 2013, Evan Koblentz wrote:

      > I'm reading the new book "Exploding the Phone" by Phil Lapsley (who's lectured at VCF West and HOPE). Only up to chapter 7, but so far this book is excellent! Seems to be the definitive history of phone phreaking. Highly recommended.
      >
      > Maybe we'll get Lapsley (and/or Crunch?) to VCF East 9.1....
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >


    • Evan Koblentz
      Whoa, I just found a mistake in the book. On page 233, Lapsley discusses Bell Labs transition from relay-based switching stations to transistor-based ones. He
      Message 2 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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        Whoa, I just found a mistake in the book.

        On page 233, Lapsley discusses Bell Labs' transition from relay-based switching stations to transistor-based ones. He wrote that by summer/fall 1955, the decision was made to build a computerized system. However, there was an obstacle: "Bell Labs had never built a computer before and its engineers had never written a line of computer code."

        That's wrong. Bell Labs developed TRADIC starting in 1954 and announced it to the public on March 14, 1955:
      • Evan Koblentz
        ... On page 233, Lapsley discusses Bell Labs transition from relay-based switching stations to transistor-based ones. He wrote that by summer/fall 1955, the
        Message 3 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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          Oops, I clicked "send" too soon. Full message follows:

          >>> Whoa, I just found a significant factual mistake in the book.

          On page 233, Lapsley discusses Bell Labs' transition from relay-based switching stations to transistor-based ones. He wrote that by summer/fall 1955, the decision was made to build a computerized system. However, there was an obstacle: "Bell Labs had never built a computer before and its engineers had never written a line of computer code."

          That's wrong. Bell Labs developed TRADIC (Transistorized Digital Computer) starting in 1954 and announced it to the public on March 14, 1955: http://thisdayintechhistory.com/03/14/bell-labs-announces-tradic/.
        • Jeff Jonas
          ... I stupidly traded away the contents of the box but I donated the empty box for a Novation Apple Cat modem which did blue-box and other tricks:
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Evan Koblentz" wrote:
            > While reading this book (I can't put it down!), I keep thinking, "Our museum should have a blue box on display."

            I stupidly traded away the contents of the box
            but I donated the empty box for a Novation Apple Cat modem
            which did blue-box and other tricks:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novation_CAT

            Now that the significance of that device is clear, perhaps MARCH will laminate or frame the Novation poster I can bring?

            So that links the Apple ][, Woz and phone phreaking all together.
            As well as the 3B1/Unix PC per Degnan's HOPE exhibit.

            -- jeff jonas
          • Evan Koblentz
            ... It wasn t * not * clear. ... Sure. One day, when we get more space, there are * many * things we can add to our DIY/homebrew exhibit. Bell Labs was of
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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              >> Now that the significance of that device is clear

              It wasn't * not * clear.

              >> perhaps MARCH will laminate or frame the Novation poster I can bring?

              Sure.

              One day, when we get more space, there are * many * things we can add to our DIY/homebrew exhibit. Bell Labs was of course an NJ-centric organization, and we need to acknowledge that in the museum. (I have an idea of how to do so * without * waiting until we get more space. Stay tuned...)
            • Evan Koblentz
              ... Finished reading the book. I still highly recommend it, despite the mistake about Bell Labs computer experience, and despite some storytelling repetition
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 30, 2013
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                >>> Whoa, I just found a significant factual mistake in the book.

                Finished reading the book. I still highly recommend it, despite the mistake about Bell Labs computer experience, and despite some storytelling repetition in a few of the middle chapters.

                I emailed Lapsley to compliment him, politely inform him of the error (and offer to put him in contact with some TRADIC people, re: were they consulted by the telephone network engineers?) and invite him to next year's VCF East (he's already done VCF West and HOPE).

                G'night all.
              • Systems Glitch
                ... Did Jen/polishsputnik et al ever get anything off the ground in Blacksburg? Last time I talked to her, VT s CS department was interested in helping fund
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 31, 2013
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                  > The hackerspace is a whole other deal. Basically I funded anything that
                  > wasn't paid by members, members didn't pay that often, my employer has
                  > only been cutting partial paychecks for the past 3+ years, and others are
                  > trying to claw into the membership and hackerspace idea for their
                  > for-profit places. So the whole thing is a huge mess, and I'm kind of
                  > burned out on it all for a bit. There is some thoughts about taking it
                  > private and just really driving towards making new things.

                  Did Jen/polishsputnik et al ever get anything off the ground in Blacksburg? Last time I talked to her, VT's CS department was interested in helping fund it.

                  Thanks,
                  Jonathan
                • B. Degnan
                  ... switching stations to transistor-based ones. He wrote that by summer/fall 1955, the decision was made to build a computerized system. However, there was an
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 31, 2013
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                    -------- Original Message --------
                    > From: "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...>
                    > Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:53 PM
                    > To: "MARCH Yahoo Midatlanticretro" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Semi-OT: history of phone phreaking
                    >
                    > Oops, I clicked "send" too soon. Full message follows:
                    >
                    > >>> Whoa, I just found a significant factual mistake in the book.
                    >
                    > On page 233, Lapsley discusses Bell Labs' transition from relay-based
                    switching stations to transistor-based ones. He wrote that by summer/fall
                    1955, the decision was made to build a computerized system. However, there
                    was an obstacle: "Bell Labs had never built a computer before and its
                    engineers had never written a line of computer code."
                    >
                    > That's wrong. Bell Labs developed TRADIC (Transistorized Digital
                    Computer) starting in 1954 and announced it to the public on March 14,
                    1955: http://thisdayintechhistory.com/03/14/bell-labs-announces-tradic/.
                    >
                    >

                    What about the 1944 Bell Labs Model 3? Assuming that the Model I, II, III,
                    IV, V wereanalog computers that one did not program with coded input, he
                    should clarify that he was talking about an electronic/digital computer.
                  • Evan Koblentz
                    ... He did. Specifically he meant a transistor computer, which TRADIC was, and which the new signaling system was.
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 31, 2013
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                      >> he should clarify that he was talking about an electronic/digital computer.

                      He did. Specifically he meant a transistor computer, which TRADIC was, and which the new signaling system was.
                    • Evan Koblentz
                      Phil responded to me this morning and acknowledged the mistake. He said he ll add it to the errata list at http://explodingthephone.com/errata.php. He also
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 31, 2013
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                        Phil responded to me this morning and acknowledged the mistake. He said
                        he'll add it to the errata list at http://explodingthephone.com/errata.php.

                        He also said he's glad to speak at VCF East 9.1 next spring, pending
                        schedules.

                        Related: I found this two-part article about Bell Labs' earlier
                        electromechanical computers: http://tinyurl.com/cjmh9fp.
                      • Evan Koblentz
                        ... Update ... he did as he promised, and gave me a hat-tip: http://explodingthephone.com/errata.php
                        Message 11 of 17 , Mar 31, 2013
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                          > Phil responded to me this morning and acknowledged the mistake. He said
                          > he'll add it to the errata list at http://explodingthephone.com/errata.php.

                          Update ... he did as he promised, and gave me a hat-tip:
                          http://explodingthephone.com/errata.php
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