Originally Posted by digitalclips
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum
I rode around Cupertino/Sunnyvale with Woz in his just tuned Porsche with a [then] top speed of 13 mph...
I smoked a cigarette in front of John Draper AKA Cap'n Crunch -- and got screamed at (in my own store)...
Cool! But who is Cap'n Crunch?
John Draper AKA Cap'n Crunch was the original Phone Phreak..
So I am told: In the early days of Apple (and a little before), the 2 Steves and Draper were using 'blue boxes" to migrate through the AT&T phone exchanges and place "free" calls all over the world. In those days, the switching in the exchanges was done with audible tones. Draper discovered that the whistle from a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal had a pitch that allowed him to gain control of the switching...
Phone Phreaking was considered a joke or game by the 2 Steves and they moved on to bigger and better things. Draper, however, made it a cause celebres -- and was eventually caught and sent to a minimum-security prison
Draper continued programming in prison and wrote the first Word Processor for the IBM/PC (running MS DOS). EasyWriter was written in a programming language called Forth -- powerful but buggy.
Every month or so, Woz would pick up Draper and bring him into our Sunnyvale store so he could continue working on EasyWriter (we also sold IBM PCs). Usually, they were accompanied by the likes of Andy Hertzfeld and Tog -- so we and our customers had access to some celebrities *.
Draper always was sloppily dressed and disheveled -- he looked like he just escaped being a captive somewhere. Draper was oblivious to others' needs and demanded silence (so he could concentrate) and would scream if anybody smoked.
Here, Woz shined... He would talk to Draper as a kid: "Now John, you must keep your voice down... there are others here...".
Anyway, a Draper session in our store usually lasted 3-4 hours and was interesting to say the least.
EasyWriter used a feature in Forth that pre-buffered "pages" of text and provided a rather elegant way (for its time) to quickly page up/down by a full page of text (as opposed to line-by-line scrolling). The screen would go blank for 1/2 second, then the top of the next (or previous) page would be displayed (no full-page graphic interfaces, yet **).
Anyway, Draper always was fussing with this "page display" feature -- it seemed that every update (and there were quite a few) to Forth or MS DOS would break his code. Typically, when he came to the store, he would install all the latest updates and then test his code... It was almost predictable -- after an hour or so of swapping floppies, applying updates, rebooting... The moment would arrive! Draper would launch EasyWriter, open a long document, scroll around a bit -- then hit one of the page buttons. The screen would go blank for 1/2 second... 1 second... 5 seconds... At this point Draper would throw a tantrum -- stomping around the store screaming ...
Picture it: a troll-like visage with blank eyes, flailing about, screaming...
Our staff and regular customers * were aware of this tendency, so it was not too disruptive!
* In those days, techies tended to "hang out" in computer stores like ours -- just to see "wha's happening' man?"
** Early Word Processors gratuitously defined themselves as WYSIWYG (pronounced Wizzy-Wig) for W
et! But the pages were displayed in fixed size letters on displays of 40-80 characters of 12-24 lines... I made a joke that they should really call it WYGIWYW (pronounced Wiggy-Woo) for W
Ahh... Good times!Edited by Dick Applebaum - 8/12/13 at 11:25am