• Jan 1, 1943
    (b.) - ?

Bio/Description

While Draper was driving around his Volkswagen Microbus to test a pirate radio transmitter, he broadcast a telephone number to listeners as feedback to gauge his station's reception. A callback from a "Denny" (identified in the Discovery Channel documentary about Hacking as Denny Teresi) resulted in a meeting with the blind kids and caused him to blunder into the world of the phone phreaks. They wanted him to build a multifrequency tone generator (the blue box) to gain easier entry into the AT&T system which was controlled by tones. Then they would not have to use an organ and cassette recordings of tones to get free calls. At least one of the blind boys had perfect pitch and had identified the exact frequencies. They informed him that a toy whistle that was, at the time, packaged in boxes of Cap'n Crunch cereal could emit a tone at precisely 2600 hertz—the same frequency that was used by AT&T long lines to indicate that a trunk line was ready and available to route a new call. This would effectively disconnect one end of the trunk, allowing the still connected side to enter an operator mode. Experimenting with this whistle inspired Draper to build blue boxes: electronic devices capable of reproducing other tones used by the phone company. Draper wrote EasyWriter, the first word processor for the Apple II, in 1979. According to The Wall Street Journal, he hand-wrote the code while serving nights in the Alameda County Jail, then entered the code later into a computer. Draper's personal website furnishes a more detailed version of the coding of EasyWriter. Draper was in prison, in California, at the time, but under a 'work furlough' program. This meant that while he had to spend every night in prison, he spent each day working a regular job outside prison. This job was at Receiving Studios, a small band practice studio, and while there he had access to a computer, where he coded EasyWriter. He did take copies of the code 'home' to prison overnight to work on it.
  • Date of Birth:

    Jan 1, 1943
  • Gender:

    Male
  • Noted For:

    Authored the first word processor for the Apple II, and famous former hacker
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: