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As Jobs explained, you could use the device to call “from a payphone and go to White Plains, New York, take a satellite to Europe, take a cable to Turkey, come back to L. You can go around the world 3 or 4 times and call the payphone next door and shout in the phone and it would be about 30 seconds and it would come out the other phone.” (This was something John Draper used to demonstrate to people at parties using one of his own blue boxes.)We were so fascinated by them (blue boxes) that Woz and I figured out how to build one.We built the best one in the world; the first digital blue box in the world.
These boxes were designed in 1972 by Jobs’ close friend and future co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak. The two learned about blue boxes from famed “phreaker” (phone freak/hacker) John “Cap’n Crunch” Draper.
(This nickname was alluding to a whistle given away in the 1960s in Cap’n Crunch cereal which produced the perfect tone, 2600 Hz, to allow a person to enter operator mode on AT&T’s phone system.
Draper later briefly worked at Apple, even while serving a five year jail sentence for his phreaking escapades.) The blue box worked by producing certain tones that were used in the telephone system to switch long distance calls.
Once you made a long distance call, you could use the box to enter operator mode, then use it to route your call as you wanted and to wherever you wanted, all for free and extremely difficult to trace, making blue boxes a popular item amongst various criminal elements.
The event is the first to be held in the brand new Steve Jobs Theater, which was officially opened today ahead of the rest of the company's upcoming $5 billion 'spaceship' campus Today's i Phone launch is the first event to be held at the new Steve Jobs Theater.