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Purple Boxes

>Generally, you are right in suggesting that anything that
>requires people to crawl behind their computers, attach
>new cables, purchase and debug a sound card under Windows,
>and generally engage in techno-weenie hardware manipulations
>will have less appeal than something plug and play.

hey, how about this: remember all the plans for "blue boxes"
etc. that got circulated all over the place during the 70's?
I propose creating the schematics for a "Purple box". the
box would have, dangling, those little rubber cups that can fit over
phone receivers, like on the modems.

it would be called the "purple box" because I have not heard
of any other devices called "purple boxes" (i.e. this string
in the "colorful" hacker namespace does not seem to be used up yet)
and also the famous WWII compromised japanese diplomatic codes 
were called Purple.

the way it would work is that both the caller and callee would
have to agree to use the purple box. they would say "purple"
over the phone after they called up and then both hook up their
little gizmos.

the neat thing about this is that if it catches on, people
would end up buying and selling them and improving them.

actually, as I recall a long time ago someone proposed on this
list doing something very similar except using the devices
as a kind of "kids toy" that would introduce children to
encryption. it would allow them to talk through the device
like a bullhorn, and the receiver would hear gobbledygook
unless they had a decoder next to their ear. now I am
serious, this could be a *really* fun toy for kids. you know
how they love to keep secrets and play around with the idea
of communicating among their friends amidst their enemies.
someone who has an entrepreneurial nose, I bet you could
create a *hot*fad* out of this, and sell perhaps a fraction
as fast as Pogs!!! (you'd be a zillionaire at even 1% the

one of the problems is that serious crypto chips are pretty
expensive. but an analog scrambler would actually be a decent
start on all this, and I bet it could be built pretty cheaply.

I volunteer to find a place to *archive* (webify) any of the plans that
people write up and successfully test, including GIFs or whatever.

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