This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Beyond The Little Blue Box
Beyond The Little Blue Box
The biographical adventure of John Draper (Captain Crunch). Legendary Internet pioneer; notorious 'Phone Phreak'; privacy advocate.
The biographical adventure of John Draper (Captain Crunch). Legendary Internet pioneer; notorious 'Phone Phreak'; privacy advocate. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter.
We are now in the 'full launch' period after the first 'early bird' week. The book is with the publisher, and in the final editing phase before going to print. We will keep you updated as the printing process starts. Many thanks to everyone who has supported us so far!
Welcome to the world of John T. Draper, better known as Captain Crunch, the original "Phone Phreak". From his early days of facing off against Ma Bell to his current role in public speaking and privacy advocacy, it’s hard to overstate his impact on the world of technology. Along the way, he developed some of the most influential tools of the computer revolution, from the first working word processor in the seventies to the first effective firewall in the nineties. The road hasn’t always been smooth, however, and for every success there have been setbacks and hurdles of literary proportion. Let’s just call it Draperism.
This "warts and all" biography features Draper's own telling of stories from the past fifty years, as well as commentary and other memories from his long-time friend and collaborator. It is the story of an eccentric genius who went from being a penniless hacker to a millionaire and back again, a man so consumed by his vision that the real world around him has always played second fiddle. Featuring a foreword by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and cameos by the who’s who of early computing, this Kerouacian journey gives us an inside look at the birth of modern computing through the eyes of one of its most influential pioneers.
Now we are in the full campaign, and after the first week of Early Bird support, the 2600 Club Bronze level is still available, and we've unlocked all the other levels. Add-ons can be added at checkout at the end of the campaign.
Early bird backer level carried forward to the full campaign
HACKERS, HEROES AND DRAPERISM
This level is a replacement for our ‘Old School Hackers’ level. It contains an exclusive, limited edition (50) ‘DRAPERISM’ T-Shirt, signed by Crunchman and numbered (e.g. 4 of 50). This level gives a nod to the early Hackers Conferences, with a sly wink to those who know the Crunchman.
The SuperPhreak Club is the ultimate backer support level, but obviously intended as a group support level. You get TEN of each item found in the Blue Box Club, plus a 1 on 1 with The Crunchman himself. This is also absolutely transferrable. The 1 on 1 can either be, you coming to meet Crunch, or Crunch coming to you. So, you can band together with a bunch of your buddies, or if your philanthropy hat is on, you can purchase this tier for an underfunded group or project.
YOU CAN CHOOSE how to use this tier.
Some ideas from us:
(1) You and some buddies pitch in and get this reward level. Each of you gets schwag, and Crunch can come to you for a meet and greet.
(2) You back this level and donate it to the local community college IT department, or local non profit, and they can set up a Crunch related event. Sell tickets! Have a Party!
(3) You back this level yourself, go to Vegas, have dinner with Crunch, maybe see a show, etc. Then give away/sell/donate all extra items to local groups you think need to know about Crunch. (or you keep it all for yourself!)
And there's more! For our Kickstarter we've created some additional goodies that will not be found anywhere else. T-shirts, posters and our extra little exclusives are available as add ons. As we are using BackerKit, you can add these items, and manage your add-ons after the Kickstarter is finished.
*Disclaimer: Actual items may vary slightly based on stocks and supplies from manufacturers.
Level Specific Stretch Goals
If we sell out of the Blue Box level we have a one on one zoom conference.
Financial Stretch Goals
$26,000: Everyone gets a signed thank you letter from Mr Draper.
$52,000: Everyone gets interactive pdf that links parts of the book to corresponding anecdotes, photographs and materials on the VIP section of the website.
$78,000: Unlocks a 'udemy' style seminar with Mr Draper.
$104,000: Unlocks a book signing event in Las Vegas with Mr Draper and special guests.
For those of you who don’t know who Mr Draper is: John Thomas Draper (aka Captain Crunch) was an early pioneering developer at Apple Computer, in the mid to late 1970s. Among other things he developed the 'Charlie Board', an early version of a PC modem predating the DC Hayes modem. He also wrote the first word processing program, EasyWriter, for the Apple II and beat Bill Gates to the punch when it was bundled with the first IBM PC.
In the decades that followed Mr Draper worked with various notable people. In the 1980's he worked on Advanced 3-D Graphic Design Systems at Autodesk. In the 1990's he developed a revolutionary computer security system, considered un-hackable at the time.
Before all of that, he was an outlaw. In the early 1970's he was one of the 'Phone Phreaks', a group of enthusiasts who found various ways to hack the phone company and get free calls. Mr Draper became the most infamous member, and taught a lot of other people what he knew. He introduced Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs to the ‘Blue Box’, the device he used to perform some of his crimes. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying that without the Blue Box, there would be no Apple Computer. Mr Draper was hunted by the FBI for years, and went to prison three times.
In the last decade he has toured the world, telling his story, and speaking publicly about security flaws in telecommunications, online privacy, and encryption.
This book recounts stories from my years of knowing John T. Draper personally, interspersed with collected memories from his friends and relatives, and John’s personal history in his own words. It spans his 74 years on the planet, and my 22 years of knowing him.
I have been John's roommate several times, business partner, and close friend over the years. I have always considered him a very interesting case for character study, and an unfathomable wealth of complexities and paradoxes.
I hope to have portrayed him in an honest but affectionate light. A balanced portrait of the incredible story that is his life.
- Craig Wilson Fraser
The foreword to the biography was written by renowned inventor, electronics engineer and programmer Steve Wozniak. Mr Wozniak, along with Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple Computer. Mr Wozniak has worked with Mr Draper a few times over the years, and has remained a long standing friend and ally.
Childhood anecdote by brother, Ron Draper
There was this ‘mom and pop’ super market at the end of Edith St. in Petaluma, called 'The A & B market'. It had light bulbs and licorice. John wanted bulbs. PR-2’s, PR-4 flashlight bulbs, and batteries, but as usual we had no money. Our mom would not concede to John’s wishes this time (these 'wishes' turned into outright demands when he became a teen), so we resorted to theft.
I can honestly say it wasn’t my idea. We had never stolen anything up to this point. I think I was blackmailed actually, but my dim memories don’t have the details. We thought we would use my calm demeanor and appointed me to actually steal most of the stuff. So, I was the one caught by the store manager as we were walking out.
We were asked to empty our pockets. I don’t remember what John had, but my pockets were loaded. I mean really loaded. 110v light bulbs, Christmas tree light bulbs, flashlight bulbs, AA batteries for my pen light (well, I thought, while I’m at it). I remember the store clerk adding up all the charges and it came to quite an amount.
John and the Phone Phreaks
I got a phone call from someone calling himself Denny San Jose, who told me he knew about various methods of making free phone calls. He also said there was this whistle that blew the magic tone that disconnects long distance calls, and that he had a spare. He asked me if I could drive him to San Francisco so he could show me how it worked.
I began to realise there was more to these guys than I first thought. They were a connected and organized group, and seemed to be inviting me to join. When the discussion got around to our trip to Burlingame, we talked about what my ‘handle’ should be. Most people had just chosen their first name and city, like ‘Denny San Jose’ or ‘Bill from New York’. Well, ‘John San Jose’ was already taken, so I said ‘how about Captain Crunch?’
The first bust
I suspected the FBI knew about me even before the Esquire article was released, but I had no idea how much they wanted to collar me. Up to that point all they had was the name Captain Crunch, but no way of finding out who I actually was. Most of the blind kids didn't know my phone number, and those who did had no need to write it down, but of course eventually I made the mistake of giving my number to the wrong person.
I made sure that I had removed all of my 'forbidden equipment' from my car, and stashed it in my gym locker. I took a non-working Blue Box out of my locker to take home and fix, put it in the back of my car then started the drive home. I stopped at a 7-11 to get a soda. I parked in a small parking lot next to a middle school, and just as I got out of the car, four FBI agents swooped down on me, handcuffed me, and read me my rights.
In the 70's and 80's, they called Lompoc a Country Club. It was even home to Nixon's sleazy Watergate lawyer for a while, as well as many other celebrity prisoners. Contrary to popular lore however, it did not have a swimming pool, but it did have a nice gym, tennis courts, and Volleyball courts. I’m not sure that it still has those facilities these days. Apparently the whole place was turned into a medium security prison in the 90s, with proper fences and razor wire.
After a few weeks I was promoted to landscaping. It mainly consisted of cleaning. My supervisor was a guy named Easton. I used to watch this guy while I was outside cleaning his windows. He had this habit of sucking on his walkie-talkie 'rubber duck' antenna. I'd giggle as I imagined him as a suckling baby pig, wiggling his ears in pure bliss. One day I was in his office emptying his trash bin, and he got called out of his office. I couldn't believe he left me in there. I went looking through his files, but didn't find anything of much worth, then I checked out his phone to see if I could access anything outside of the prison.
John Thomas Draper - Co-author
Mr Draper is a computer pioneer, privacy advocate, and public speaker. He rose to prominence in the early phone phreaking movement of the 1970's before working on some of the most ground-breaking projects of the emerging computer era. He has lived in several US states and travelled extensively, often for months at a time. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is involved with various projects concerning privacy, piracy, and security.
Craig Wilson Fraser - Co-author and editor
Mr Wilson is an author, artist and graphic designer. He has been close friends with Mr Draper for over twenty years, and they have enjoyed many adventures together. Originally from the United Kingdom, he spent several years in the United States and currently lives with his family in southern Spain.
We are keeping this as simple as possible. Six tiers of backer support with six simple reward packages. There is a support level for every budget.
For early bird backers there are Ebooks, pre-released ahead of our publishing date. If you pledge the second tier of $20, you’re basically pre-ordering a first-edition signed paperback copy of the book. At the other end of the spectrum for the most devoted Crunch fans, there are some very special rewards, including some 1-on-1 time with Mr Draper himself.
The funds raised in the Kickstarter will be used towards printing and shipping your book. The books will be printed by Friesen Press in Victoria, Canada, shipped to our authors to be signed, and then sent for distribution to our US base.
The funds will also be used to pay for the costs incurred in producing the rest of the backer support level items. Every time we exceed one of our goals, we've added stretch goals in order to provide each backer with more and more value to their backer kit.
Reward Fulfilment, Project Timeline, & Shipping
When this campaign ends on December 5, all backers will get a final check out survey sent via email. We'll collect your shipping/fulfillment information. Here you'll be able to choose from available add-ons, such as T-Shirts, Book Bags, Extra Copies of Books and other items. Until then just sit back and relax and thank you for your support! We have every intention of producing and shipping our rewards starting shortly after our funding campaign ends.
***Please note: Shipping costs are fully calculated at final checkout. You are responsible for shipping and any applicable taxes, if applicable. Book-only orders may be shipped via media mail within the continental US.
We will use either USPS or UPS and each order will have insurance and a tracking number.
The books are already written and just in final editing phase. On the last day of the campaign, we'll have a pretty good idea of how many copies we're ordering for print and we'll order them as soon as our final check out surveys are completed. We estimate lead time and manufacture time on our rewards at 6-12 weeks, which puts us at about February/March for fulfillment.
Wwe plan to have rewards shipped no later than March 31, 2018 and you will most likely receive yours no more than 8 business days later.
Digital items, aside from PDF books will be fulfilled just as soon as backer funding is cleared and delivery addresses are finalized. PDF books will be delivered 2-4 weeks prior to printed materials, depending on whether stretch goals are unlocked, which would increase production time on ebooks.
All rewards will be shipped using USPS as the carrier, sent Priority Mail, will arrive within 6-10 business days, no tracking number or insurance provided.
The books are already written and just in final editing phase. On the last day of the campaign, we'll have a pretty good idea of how many copies we're ordering for print and we'll order them as soon as our final check out surveys are completed.
We estimate lead time and manufacture time on our rewards at 6-12 weeks, which puts us at about February/March for fulfillment.
All items we plan to have shipped no later than March 31, 2018 and you will receive yours no more than 8 business days later.
Digital items, aside from PDF books will be fulfilled just as soon as backer funding is cleared and delivery addresses are finalized. PDF books will be delivered 2-4 weeks prior to printed materials, depending on whether stretch goals are unlocked, increasing production time on ebooks.
Our terms of sale for international orders are FOB Destination. This means that you pay all freight and duties or taxes. There is a possibility that international backers may receive their rewards at a later date depending on the customs, sorting, and shipping procedures of their destination country.
REFUNDS, RETURNS, WARRANTY
We do not offer refunds or returns on any items that are received as a Kickstarter reward. However, we will address concerns on a case by case basis, as your satisfaction is important to us. We know you understand.
Risks and challenges
Well, in all honesty, we are novices at Kickstarter. But please don't let that worry you! We have conferred and consulted with the best of the best. Experienced crowd funders and people at the top of their fields. Because this has been a labour of love for the whole team and nobody's taken a salary, we've done the best we can with what we have. That said - we think we've planned it out pretty good along the way.
Getting the book done.
To address this, we decided not to even start the Kickstarter campaign until we were on the last step before actual publishing/printing. We chose to wait until all the writing was done, and nearly all the editing. By the time the KS launches, the last editing process will be nearly complete (if not already complete) so the only thing left will be the logistics of printing set up and detail. Then, when the KS is finished, we will have numbers and can print pretty much immediately, which greatly shortens the process for you - our backers. Of course, there could be some unforeseables in there, but we've built some padding into our timeline.
Backer reward fulfillment delays:
Let's face it, sometimes things happen that are out of our control. We've done everything in our power to identify reliable vendors where we have to rely on outside vendors to produce items for us. We've mapped out lead times, and kept fulfillment to digital formats and within our control as much as possible.
We've finalized our designs, mocked up our rewards and completed every process aside from pulling the trigger on order amounts.
Of course we'll keep you all apprised if anything beyond our control occurs, but we think we've darn near thought of everything and anticipate being right on track.
What if you don't get funded?
We think we've set a pretty reasonable funding goal, so we don't think that this will happen. But, if it does, then we'll still publish the book - you just won't be able to get all these awesome extras. You'll be able to buy copies on the publisher's website, when it is published and available to the public.
We hope this does not happen, of course. We worked hard to bring you an awesome campaign and we hope you take advantage of it and encourage all your peeps to do the same thing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!