How Telephone Phreaking Worked

24 okt 2019
1 368 087 visningar

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  • Haha good stuff! I remember some of it and actually got a tone generator myself. Unfortunately the phone companies was switchen from analog to digital back then (late 80's), so I never tried to use it. But I did a lot of war dailing with "tone loc" and the next day sitting with a terminal trying to connect to the systems it found. Usually just a fax :D But I remember one other thing. My school removed the key pad from the school phone so we could only receive calls, but if we pressed the "hang up button" the x amount times corresponding to the number we wanted to dial, then we could make outgoing calls, e.g an 8 was eight presses and 0 was 10 presses, but you had to do it with the right amount of timing in between each number.. Hahaha, I have totally forgotten it until I saw the title. Thanks man ;)

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  • In the early days of phreaking there was a blind kid with perfect pitch and he could whistle his own tones perfectly without using any boxes.

    Mike DoyleMike Doyle2 timmar sedan
  • You should have bought that Genesis/MEGA Drive

    Jack GibsonJack Gibson5 timmar sedan
  • I never have any quarters left to play that ATM game.

    Sid WalkerSid Walker15 timmar sedan
  • Really great Lecture, we all pirated games back in the day lol.

    Hannibal LecterHannibal LecterDag sedan
  • We have a local company called "geek squad"

    Tim TaltonTim TaltonDag sedan
  • I still have an old landlines. ..because they are the only things that work for communication after an earthquake when there's no power for days. They use no power.

    Andrea Oceania RegionAndrea Oceania Region2 dagar sedan
  • My friend had a watch with a keypad (old button style but miniature) with that could emit the tones and dial through the receiver via the tone. He did some other tricks too. Can't remember what.

    Andrea Oceania RegionAndrea Oceania Region2 dagar sedan
  • When you finally get up the nerve to ask the cute girl at the roller skating rink for her number and are horrified to find out that the prefix is different than yours. Mom and dad just don’t understand when they get the phone bill.

    Mr YetiMr Yeti2 dagar sedan
  • Man people really thought that the buttons were linked to the phone companies..? I always knew that the phone itself was a device that processes the information you input in to the system and sends that information down the line. I was a bit of a computer whiz in kindergarten though 🤣

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  • What's the background music at the start

    Barry BritcherBarry Britcher2 dagar sedan
  • Back in the day, (here in the UK) there was some sort of hack which in involved connecting a 9 volt battery across the phone line, can't remember what it did though, (maybe reversed the call, not quite sure now).

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  • BELL SYSTEMS TECHNICAL JOURNAL NOVEMBER 1960, "Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching"

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  • Relevant content finally starts at 5:51.

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  • how is darth vader playing the bag pipe whit all that breathing problem his got, lol

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  • lol @ pat the nes punk.... punk is about right.

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  • Could listen to your talks for hours

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  • Great stuff....I was also amused by watching Mansfield, Tx where I'm watching this, right now. LOL.

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  • I tried that number (1800 835 3001) and it was a dating chat line. I dialed 1 to tell I'm a dude and I was hung up immediately. I dialed 2 to say I'm a girl and heard the introduction messages of some dudes and it was hilarious!

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  • Unicycle Vader can actually be seen all around Portland, never know when he will show up.

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  • see Yes, Indeedee

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    • mattress address evictions at star center owner

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  • Wow, this brings back *_so_* many memories, did nearly all of those things. I also had a hobby of hacking into answering machines, I even remember the Code-a-phone master code: 159624708214098357. Those were the days. Not sure what sort of days they were, but they were phun.

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  • The short regional long distance calls were so expensive because long distance within your "local access transport area" (LATA) was exclusively provided by your local phone company with no competition. They literally were "the only phone company in town" and they acted like it by charging high rates. There was competition in the long distance market, so the prices were lower. Cell phones obsoleted their monopoly.

    James AldermanJames Alderman3 dagar sedan
  • To add another story: we did this in Germany too, with tons of different tricks. Funniest one was when one of us who could speak American English called MCI and yelled at them why they changed the calling card test number pretending he keeps testing lines in Germany and they don’t work. The other side replied it’s still 16 times 6 and one seven. This number worked for almost a year for us and we were abusing it heavily. Like in having 20 hour conference calls on those expensive party chat lines.

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  • Nary a year before the world went insane. F

    Linus FuLinus Fu3 dagar sedan
  • Why was there four minutes before you got to the actual topic of this video?

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  • 4:30 thank me later

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  • There was actually a more destructive method to phone phreaking a pay-phone back then and it involved putting a sewing needle into the handset speaker in order to short the electronics and force a reboot of the power supply. The outcome would restart the phone system from an electrical shut-down which would allow for 1 free phone call since this was designed into the pay phone's software so that a technician could test the phone out on installation without having to use pocket change. The obvious downside is that some times it would kill the telephone's handset.

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  • Nice outline, no depth. I was evil at phreaking back then. As a 40 something year old man it’s made me capable of viewing a Visa card and being able to recite all 16 numbers and order the person shit online.

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  • Intelivision

    Dean PerryDean Perry4 dagar sedan
  • so, the black box was, if I'm remembering, a 50 Meg Ohm resistor in series with either the Green or Red wire, don't recall. When your long distance caller rang your phone you enable the resistor and pick up. The phone would continue to make the ring sound on the line as if you hadn't picked up. You could then have a conversation but had to put up with the ringing sound and a diminished volume, but the caller could yell out that they made the trip back home ok. At least that's what I'm told. A friend told me that if you worked at it, you could whistle the 2600 Hz disconnect tone. I don't remember seeing a demonstration. I also remember hearing that CPT Crunch had managed to tie up 1/3 of all phone lines in the US using a couple of phone booths and his equipment he had in a van. But the very best way to make free calls? A friend gave me an 800 number that would automatically give you the second dial tone. He told me to use it only in emergencies but, of course, I had to give it a try just to see. If a person's car broke down in the middle of nowhere and came across a pay phone owned by one of the fly-by-night telephone companies around at that time, if you didn't have the coin, you didn't make the call. But with the magic 800 number you could usually make a call.

    AlanAlan4 dagar sedan
  • whats the name of the guy that was arrested by the US government for his phenomenal ability to "phreak" telephones and it was suggested that he could potentially launch our nuclear missiles by simply whistling into a payphone.. now, i HIGHLY doubt that could have been possible.. but it was said that this person im trying to remember could whistle with just his mouth into a payphone and achieve the same results as the capn crunch whistle..

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  • Growing up in the early 90s we lived with my papa on the state line of mo and ok the road was litteraly named state line rd well we had one phone but 2 phone numbers one with the mo area code the other was exact same number but was the Oklahoma area code and papa would call one of the numbers before it rang he would hang up and then the phone would ring lol pointless but to a 8 year old it was great lol

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  • Memory that brings a smile- the time I walked into a radio shack and asked for a tone dialer and a crystal. Dude totally knew I was looking to make a RedBox.

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  • Makes me think of the movie hackers always.

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  • Pink floyd the wall

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  • 25:00 case you were wondering, this is where it gone went RACIST

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  • 2:12 that guy thinking it's a photo op not a video recording. lol

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  • Good times!

    Fabio M.Fabio M.5 dagar sedan
  • Me calling random people in 1987. Can I speak to Michael Jordan?

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  • When I was a kid in the early 2000s payphones in Brazil worked with magnetic cards that used credits to make the phone calls, there were 20, 50 and 100 credits cards, when your credits reached zero you would just throw then away. My brother learned from a friend in school a way to reset the credits count on depleted cards. We painted the entire back side of the cards with a ballpoint pen and let then on the freezer for a couple of days, when you inserted then on the payphone again it was like a brand new card with full credits. I would go around in pay phones searching for depleted cards people left there and took then home to do this trick so we never had to spend money buying new ones. It wouldn't always work and was labor intensive cause the coating needed to be spotless, around 1/3 of a bic pen was spent on each card. Cellphones became popular soon after, making payphones obsolete, those cards are colectors itens now. Damn, I miss those days.

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  • Portlander here. Gotta come to the next retro gaming convention when that’s a thing again. Sounds so awesome

    LukeLuke5 dagar sedan
  • Are you phreaking kidding me

    Noobish!Noobish!5 dagar sedan
  • Completely forgot the video was about telephone phreaking until you brought it back up lol was too invested in all the cool retro stuff in the convention

    Yung ReaperYung Reaper5 dagar sedan
  • I was on the very tail end of this phenomenon, and only really got a few years of experience before the phone networks were all changed. What really surprised me was to learn that the 8-bit guy literally lived a few miles from me. Hell, I might have even war dialed him a few times.

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  • Wow, I used to have a red box.

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  • 960 dillaltone 7 ringback?

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  • Captain crunch!! Anarchist cook book !

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  • 2:23 - The Portland Unipiper. Look him up on Facebook, etc. He's an icon around here.

    Patrick CampionPatrick Campion6 dagar sedan
    • Yes indeed. Southeast native here. What part of town you in?

      LukeLuke5 dagar sedan
  • what alerted you to these possibilities? How did that information travel at that time? I imagine from word of mouth, but how far does that go?

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    • Its really cool info !

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  • Inmates still do this on prison phones for collect calls

    Sam RubenSam Ruben6 dagar sedan
  • I've seen sailors use tone generators at a pay phone to subvert long distance charges.

    UnmericaUnmerica7 dagar sedan
  • Great presentation... but you forgot “digipulse”. Some of us with perfect pitch could whistle a 2600hz tone. Little old ladies would talk to their friends (other LOL’s) and find the line drop. They would hit a high note in their voice and the line would drop. Bell would put a filter on individual lines. But eventually, all phones had these filters because there was no legitimate reason for that tone to originate from a consumer phone. The 2600hz tone was used for years after, but only within the toll circuits. Some of us called around the world (you didn’t mention country codes or DTMF ) using a telegraph key! Not dual tone multi frequency... just digipulse!

    Douglas GourlayDouglas Gourlay7 dagar sedan
  • I wish i knew this back then. I had to collect call someone and quickly say what was happening when it asked me to say my name.

    Nope NopeNope Nope7 dagar sedan
    • I’d collect call my friend and rattle off the phone number of the pay phone and he’d call it. Boom, free call :)

      LukeLuke5 dagar sedan
  • Galaga 88 ... a very good and underrated game

    Jay BrooksJay Brooks8 dagar sedan
  • Was AVGN present back there?

    Deimos MusikDeimos Musik8 dagar sedan
  • Everyone’s spreading corona all over the place in this video... hope there were survivors...

    Diego MirandaDiego Miranda8 dagar sedan
  • Yeah, good times. I was at BELL when they phased this out.

    Wall JamWall Jam8 dagar sedan
  • I remember reading the "Anarchist Cookbook" which said you just had to drive a nail into the microphone of a payphone and then you could make free calls. To my surprise, nobody on the other end could hear me, and my calls still weren't free.

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  • What was the way to get your phone to ring back to you without someone calling you. I can't remember what it was. I use to do it as a kid all the time to my house phone as well as the payphone outside of favorite candy store. It was something like Dial a certain number and then hang up the phone three times and then it would ring back on its own. I know you said that these are absolutely I'm not looking to try to do it again I'm just reminiscing with a friend and we happen to come across your video and was hoping that it would explain what I was trying to explain to my friend. Date I watched was 01/12/2021. And I watch a lot of your stuff very good content.

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  • i used to use the paperclip phonecall think it was on ferris buellers day off

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  • I lived in Tarrant County (Hurst). Best place in the world to have a Commodore 64 in the 80s. I got 95% of all my games for free and 80% of them worked :^)

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  • Well, if I ever end up time travelling to the 50's now I'll know how to make calls for free..

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  • FYI The red box was used to fake putting money into a pay phone. How it worked was it produced 3 tones. One for each possible coin, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. The operator would tell you how much money to put in for your call and you would do so. Each coin deposited one at a time would hit a different bell and make it ring a different tone . So if the call was $.85 you could deposit any combination of coins to make that total. With the red box you would hold the handset to the box speaker and push the right buttons like you putting in coins on at a time and operator would make the connection. I remember doing that with coins.

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  • The Old School Guy

    Daniel LecaDaniel Leca8 dagar sedan
  • I arrested a number of people in the early 80’s operating a war-dialer to find valid long distance credit card numbers. Southwestern Bell would call me whenever they detected a war-dialer, and I’d run over to the judge for a search warrant. They would sell these numbers to an enterprising person in various housing projects where large groups of immigrants wanted to call home cheaply. In one case the computer dialing was an Apple ][ stolen in a high school burglary. I took that on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and hacked into Western Union Metrophone (with permission) in real time to demonstrate why they should vote for a new Computer Crime law, Chapter 33 of the penal code. A good book on these is _Hacker Crackdown, Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier_

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  • Years ago I had a little black box with a red button on it When you pushed the button it sent a signal that made radar detectors think there was a speed trap. If someone was wildly barreling down the highway, hitting the button set off their radar detector and they slowed down to a safe speed. I’m not sure what the device was called. I misplaced it years ago and I have never been able to replace it. It may have come from Radio Shzck of Sharper Imsge. Does anyone know where I can get another one?

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  • Disambiguation for any younglings... DTMF: Dual Tone Multiple Frequency BBS: Bulletin Board System

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  • Great subject and excellent presentation skills.

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  • Black Box = Bookie Box.

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  • 2:19 ( . Y . )

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  • We had a code that we use to type in and it would give all the money out that was used in that call.. It was in the 90s I can't remember exactly what it was but something like*#100* we use to ask people if we could use the last of there credit to call our mum sound so silly now but when we were 12 yo hearing the coins coming back out was like winning the lottery.. That was in Scotland.. Apparently it was a service engineer number for them to test lines and keep using same coins

    David MathiesonDavid Mathieson9 dagar sedan
  • I remember having a small handheld signal gen pre-programmed to dial any pay phone for free. Now I have to drive to another nearby town just to find a working payphone. I had a paper route and phreaking boxes were NOT my best side hustle. Pay TV descramblers were hot! ON TV and HBO were over the air scrambled signals and for $100 you didn't have to pay the $20-$30 a month and the soft core porn on ON TV (after midnight) was also available for FREE! Black & blue boxes sold fairly well too, but TV de-scramblers. I couldn't build those fast enough! I drew drilled and etched all my own PCBs. >>>>> WE could hack the police department and could tell where each police car had last been dispatched too. We had a trace detector that cut the phone line off as soon as any back trace was detected. PPD always traced a hack, but almost no one else did. Banks were fun. You could take control of an ATM over the phone. It took a while but eventually we figured out how to get the ATMs to spit out cash.

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  • It truly was the Phreak Phone

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  • Nerds! Yowwwww

    Brandon HolmesBrandon Holmes9 dagar sedan
  • the blue box really didn’t exist what you would do wish you would call forward the main trunk line like a 4620 to 160 200 into the other exchange and you would end up looping in Central Station

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  • 817-473-0002. ahoy hoy

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  • Cool city to grow up in

    Ian MansfieldIan Mansfield10 dagar sedan
  • One more phone hack. Our school had one of the old fashioned dial pay phones with the 3 coin entry holes on the top, one for nickel, dime and quarter. A local call was 10 cents. One could put a penny in the nickel hole but hold it from dropping. Simultaneously, I dropped the penny and slammed the coin return button. I didn't hold the button in. Just a passing swipe on the button. 9 times out of 10, the penny would go through the dime register and I'd get a dial tone and could make the call. Later I figured out I could use nitric acid to consume just enough of the all-copper penny until it would pass through the phone.

    NeonJohnNeonJohn10 dagar sedan
  • Greetings from a 60-something phreaker. You left out one of the major goals of phreakers - trying to reach high officials in other countries. One famous incident is when phreaker reached the Queen of England. Maybe in another video you could discuss TAP magazine. This was an underground phreaker magazine that combined phreaking info and Vietnam anti-war protest articles. Its logo was a black power-like fist holding a pipe bomb and the slogan was "Light a candle, see the light". I still have my whole collection of TAP. Maybe someday I'll take time to scan them.

    NeonJohnNeonJohn10 dagar sedan
  • Interesting video but my biggest question is why wouldn't freaking work today most companies still use landlines I get that it would be pointless but still kind of interesting

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  • I saw this on war Games waaaaay back in 83 lol

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  • Ahh... That freely 2019... Last year o freedom! vi rus is only far away.

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  • I learned how to build a red box by modifying a portable phone dialer (battery-powered programmable tone generator you hold up to the receiver) from Radio Shack. You simply had to replace a capacitor with one of a different value and off you go. Free quarters forever.

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  • Man large events like this are so rad

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  • On related notes, many schools and businesses once used internal PBX exchanges whereby outside dialing was blocked on most handsets, but with a bit of patience if one rapidly clicked any receiver's cradle switch (which normally just hung up a call) several times clickity-click, you could often coax a dial tone to make an outside or long distance call. I can only assume the clickety-clicking must have mimicked the sound of an old rotary dial phone sending the outside line access code to the PBX exchange to open it up for outside calling. A LOT of calls were made from dorm floor phones that way. Another weird phone system thing back in the '70s was a sort of "shared party line" one could access from any home phone by dialing 555. In between the usual automated "Please try your call again" recording, random people, usually teenage kids with too much time on their hands, could talk with each other. If memory serves, folks called it "The Pipeline."

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  • ahh the good old days when hacking was a nerd thing..

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  • rip :(

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  • Man, it has been a long time since I heard someone talk about something like blue-boxing, or black-boxing. I just always enjoyed the name Beige-boxing, its kinda like a little tongue twister for me.

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  • Maybe they did it because they were so broke they could barely pay a compliment

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  • GTE wasn't a scam?? A General Telephone was better than no telephone, but not much better!

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  • A 24-gague wire can handle up to 5 amps This is WHY you had to keep your REN codes equal to no more than 5.0

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  • Once you call to a different state, your rates were regulated by the FEDERAL government. Call Los Angeles or NYC and the FEDERAL government tells them what to charge. If you call Waco, your STATE either regulates the rates or lets the phone company charge whatever they want

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  • 800 numbers were just an automated method of ,making collect calls!

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  • Ok so the dark vader and the hentai manga got me LOL

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  • Certified Phreak, 7 days a week

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  • "This convention is like Mecca for retro gaming enthusiasts" ... and the city if Portland is like Mecca for drug addicts.

    Sean WattsSean Watts11 dagar sedan
    • There are drug addicts everywhere my friend

      LukeLuke5 dagar sedan
  • On payphones, we used to be able to take a paper clip, stick it in one of the holes in the mouthpiece, and rub the other end on the metal part of the payphone, and get free phone calls. Good times!

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    • @Barrett Lewis not sure how it worked, but as you scratched the paper clip on the phone housing, you could hear static, then suddenly you'd get a dial tone.

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    • Wow that was a real thing? I remember that being described as an alternate form of a red box, but it was on a site (in the 90s) that was full of very "embellished" info so I always wrote that one off. It was like grounding the magnet in the microphone or something?

      Barrett LewisBarrett Lewis10 dagar sedan
  • So this is the generation that energy drinks and hot pockets produced 🤭.

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