The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Eight

in #story9 months ago

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This series is dedicated to my friend ‘The Pieman’ who hosted ‘THE P.I.T.S’ BBS in New York City and sadly passed away in 2016. I know his son ‘Blake’ will be reading this sequence of stories with anticipation.


We will never forget you man, you were one of a kind.


Also I would like to say a big thank you to Fabulous Furlough, ex-leader of ‘The Humble Guys’ who helps me fill in the gaps of what happened almost 30 years ago, The Slavelord who has given me a plethora of memories from the early days and to Suicidal Tendencies (@trolleydave) who remembers more about the UK scene than me.


The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) is a continuation of my previous series, The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops


Other articles in this series:
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part One
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Two
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Three
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Four
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Five
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Six
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Seven


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WARNING: Bad Language ahead, please put the kiddies to bed.

April 1991

With everyone finally at my place it was down to business, but what business? I had never me any of these guys before yet I felt like I knew all of them.

There were no awkward silences and conversation flowed well between all of us.

Having struck up an interest in Video Nasties with Suicidal Tendencies (@trolleydave) I was quite intent on watching some of them. Talk about forbidden fruit!

While the others were nattering about this and that I was feasting on the likes of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘Last House on the Left’ and ‘Faces of Death’.

With the presence of Hi.T.Moonweed this was my big chance to learn how to Blue Box from an active participant.

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It wasn’t just me, Night Ranger and Suicidal Tendencies were intently watching and learning as he showed us all how to configure UADialler for both the Brazil and Taiwan boxes.

Brazil works worldwide, even the UK’, he explained to us all.

Taiwan is shit, only works to the US and Canada and the speed is only around 700CPS’ he continued.

A modem at that time would transmit around 1350CPS, so half speed was indeed quite pants.


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We all took turns to call a BBS in the US using the Brazil number which required two different 2600hz break tones to grab the line from the remote operator. This is what I could never figure out unless physically shown.

After a couple of tries I found it was quite simple and meant holding the phone mouthpiece close to some headphones that were connected to the Amiga, clicking the UADialler to send tones after you heard the ringtone which would cut the operator off.

A further tone that was pre-configured would grab the line when sent down after a second delay, and you could then use your modem software to call your BBS.

Once you heard it ringing, you would then replace the handset and it would connect. It sounds complicated but after a few goes came naturally.

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I can’t show you Taiwan’, he mentioned flatly, as it only works during UK business hours.

Yeah I know’, he continued before we could counter, ‘It’s fucking weird but that’s the way it is’.


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I’m not going to state on a public forum that I used to Blue Box and phreak’.

Whenever I say that I called a BBS, it means I stuck my hand in my pocket and spent £50 to call legitimately. I will simply say that I knew how to do it, and decided it was too risky to use as an ongoing pursuit.

YOU… can believe what the fucking hell you like!


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I mentioned in the last Chronicles about Night Ranger’s obsession with death. He must have watched ‘Faces of Death’ half a dozen times during the meetup. Bloody lunatic.

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That night I have memories of visiting a dodgy kebab place in Nelson. Hi.T.Moonweed was a vegetarian and horrified at seeing all this meat skewered up on a rotating spit.

I can’t recall what he ate that night but he wasn’t going to convert to carnivorous ways due to mass opinion.

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We all crashed around 1am, except Hi.T.Moonweed who was a nocturnal creature and stayed awake all night. I swear he had some Vampire in him. The white unnaturally pale skin and drawn looks gave it away.

Regardless the master anarchist fixed all the issues on ‘The Demons’ Forge’ I was having including that annoying double login issue.

Vampire or not, he was a clever bastard and someone who you wanted as a friend and not foe.

We woke to him slumbered over one of my armchairs and no amount of noise would wake him.


To be continued...



All images have been cited and are under the category 'Labelled for Reuse' or are in the public domain.

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.NFO files courtesy of the .NFO libraries at https://defacto2.net


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Dodgy kebabs or not, I bet they were still great. That looks fantastic and I can't see why it wouldn't convert any vegetarian. That is cool how they used to work the phone system. I wish I had been old enough to understand all of that back when it was popular.

The US stamped out these kind of practices before the UK. it was likely the 80's when all that worked over there. it was rampant in Europe though, not just the UK during this time.

I've heard about blueboxes and stuff. Didn't the Apple guys start off making those? Never seen or used one though. It amazes me the lengths people would go to for cheap/free calls, but then they were really expensive back then. I rarely need to make an expensive overseas call these days.

US call prices where hideous then, so it doesn't surprise me at all. There needed to be a way to keep the illegal trades going!

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