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  • Newsletter Issue #1025: So Apple Isn’t Warm and Fuzzy

    November 8th, 2021

    For many, Apple is the counter-culture company, or one of the remaining firms to fit into that category. No doubt that feeling revolves around the two founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Indeed the first project they delivered, before there was such a thing as an Apple Computer, was a blue box. That was a device designed to hack the touch-tone phone system to make free calls.

    Officially, they sold between 40 and 100 of these devices for $170 each. So they weren’t so cheap, since that would be roughly $866 in today’s dollars. Regardless, hacking the phone system was illegal and the police soon shut them down. So no more blue boxes, and I suppose Jobs and Wozniak should have felt lucky that they weren’t jailed for their transgressions. The story goes that they gave up on the illegal stuff and decided to build legal gear instead.

    Now even though Apple’s computers were decidedly normal technological gadgets, Apple’s renegade reputation stuck over the years. It certainly didn’t hurt that they opted not to conform to industry-standard processors and operating systems. Rather than “borrow” someone else’s achievement as a certain fellow gearhead was said to do, they went their own way.

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