I used to build red boxes
for a living. Now before you blast me for not putting this under the Red Box node... just hold your horses
I built red boxes but they wern't called red boxes anymore... they were called 'chingers.'
I was first taught how to make red boxes in the summer of 1993 by my friend Sprite in Chicago. We were veterans of the Persian Gulf War Protest Scene as well as the general radical red/black scenen in Chicago. Sprite was at the time involved in setting up Chicago's first Infoshop The Autonomous Zone when he taught me how to build red boxes and recycle postage stamps. I was in town after having split from my wife and having left the west coast.
Well it was latter on in the spring of 1994 theat I was broke and homeless in Santa Cruz, California when I had the bright idea to take the red box to a Jerry Garcia show in San Francisco at the Warfield Theater and swing it.
This worked out well and as I found a custy and sold the box to him for 150$ (a 400% markup over my costs of $30 for the radio shack unit and the chip.
Well that spring tour I went in to business seeding Dead Tour with chingers as they were now known due to their ability to ching. As in, "cha-ching... I just called NYC from SF for free!"
Drug dealers, Deadheads and travelers in general loved the chinger... because for one fixed price they could call anywhere in the US from anywhere in the US for free.
Well to make a lonmg story short,,, I taught several others how to build chingers and they in turn taught lots of other folx... so that within a year or so the market was so proliferated with chingers that the price had fallen to about $50 from the initial $150 I had charged.
I stopped building chingers for pay after only a few months in the business because someone named Don Juan (i shit you not) mega-dosed me with raw crystal LSD and I ended up going on the proverbial long strange trip for the next 10 days... winding up in a Long Island, NY institution named King's Park, where i bounced off the walls for some time before coming down and getting released.
Never sold another chinger after that... well at least not for profit.
Thus being the moral of the story... something that is intended to allow free communication should not be profited from. What a greedy hippie I was.