Chapter 5 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution

The Midnight Computer Wiring Society

The Midnight Computer Wiring Society was created by Stew Nelson, a hacker who was really interested in phone networks and computer programming. He created the MCWS because he wanted to add an instruction to the PDP-1 computer, and the lab administrators had forbidden anyone “not qualified” from messing with the computer hardware.

Just like many other hackers, he believed in the Hacker Ethic, and he would use any tools and make any modifications that he believed would improve the system. The hackers would find a way to unlock any door and any safe simply because they did not believe in bureaucracy and closed systems.

Nelson also wired the PDP-1 to automatically dial and route telephone calls through the use of a blue box. At the same time, he also believed that hacking should not be done for profit.