Exploding The Phone: tour for phreaker/hacker proto-history book by Phil Lapsley

Phil Lapsley is on tour starting today to promote his new book, "Exploding the Phone," which features a foreword by Steve Wozniak.

The book "traces the birth of long-distance communication and the telephone, the rise of AT&T's monopoly, the creation of the sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma Bell's Achilles' heel," the publisher blurbs, and it "weaves together the clandestine underground of phone phreaks who turned the network into their electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, and the counterculture movement that argued you should rip off the phone company to fight against the war in Vietnam."

It's a fascinating book steeped in the rich history of phreakers and hackers, and the discussions and readings around the USA should be great fun.


  1. i used to do a little phone freaking back in the day. i could actually whistle some activation tones on our local tel system (a single tone system) to access long distance. i also had an answering machine that i could activate by whistling the activation tones. those were the days.

  2. I was lucky enough in the early eighties to get a chance to copy a bunch of YIPL newsletters from the late sixties. They are fun as heck – all those tricks you heard about but were afraid to try because The Phone Police would track you down and kill you. Many circuits for black boxes, red boxes, blue boxes, etc.

    1. That is in many ways the follow up to this book. This book is about the analog age, and the Hacker Crackdown covers a decent chunk of the digital telephony age. Exploding The Phone is a great book, I just finished it (I read The Hacker Crackdown too long ago to remember how much of a page turner it was).

Comments are closed.