"Secrets of the Little Blue Box" [telecom]

The 1971 article about phone hacking that inspired Steve Jobs.

By Ron Rosenbaum

In 1971, Slate columnist Ron Rosenbaum wrote an article for Esquire about a loose confederation of proto-hackers who built devices - little blue boxes - that could crack phone networks. According the New York Times obituary of Apple founder Steve Jobs, after reading Rosenbaum's article, Jobs and his partner in founding Apple, Steve Wozniak, "collaborated on building and selling blue boxes, devices that were widely used for making free - and illegal - phone calls. They raised a total of $6,000 from the effort." The original

1971 article, "Secrets of the Little Blue Box," is reprinted below, with permission from the author. It's also available in Rosenbaum's collection "The Secret Parts of Fortune."

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Bill Horne
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