Thursday, 6 December 2012

Captain Crunch Cameo

On the Fedora front page are a series of pictures, when the one regarding community comes up I was immediately struck by the chap with the flame ginger beard, not that I have anything against him, but he attracted my eye... And its a good job he did, because to the left, sort of hedging into view is a chap whom to the casual observer would look like a guy who was dragging in off the street.  Literally from laying a sleep on the street.

But, the casual observer would be oh so wrong, take a look:

You see, that awkward looking chap with the beard and very new looking Fedora hat, is none other than a hero of mine, John Draper.  Affectionately known as Captain Crunch.

He is one of the original Phone Phreaks and original Hackers, and when I say hacker, I mean great programmer, this guy was at one time locked up in prison and only let out to work during the day, so he would work all day on software (I think) and then as he had to report back to prison (for being prosecuted for phone phreaking) he would take a copy of the source code with him and work on the source code so his following day would be doubly productive.

Now that is a great programmer.  I wish I have ever had the balls to try that, I suppose with a modern operating system and all the different threads, libraries and dependencies such work would be near impossible.  But back then, he did it... 

The software he wrote is also a piece of software a lot of people have probably heard about, or even use, it was EasyWriter for the Apple II.  One of the first Word Processors in the fledgling personal computer world.

John himself has appeared on a few documentaries in his time, and you can find some of them on YouTube.  You can read more about him on Wikipedia, and unlike other Wikipedia pages his entry is rather accurate (least according to the other books I've checked it against - books I might add which pre-date the internet and wiki's, so I trust).

The only two questions remain... Why is John stood there?... And quite why is he Scratching?

By the way, there was a webpage up earlier in the year about "Saving Captain Crunch", I believe John suffers a motor neurone degenerative disorder, and the site was up to try to earn some spondulix to pay for treatment - John - Pop to the UK, the NHS'll take a look, I pay enough National Insurance you can have a bit!

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