I've always been fascinated by the telephone. What other device in the average home can reach out to any other similar device, anywhere on the planet? Sure, your computer can do that now too... but until cable modems, you needed a phone line. I don't have a landline for voice, but I do have DSL, which uses the same copper that's always connected my apartment to the central office down the street. I have a cellphone that does far more than many of the computers I've owned, but I still miss payphones, operators, and various colored boxes.
I'm not going to try to catalog the past in its entirety-- there's too much, and a lot of it has already been cataloged. My mission here is to assemble some of the tools, and some of the information and stories and stuff that I've used, worked with, and been influenced by. If you're looking for information on learning how to phreak, you likely won't find it here. I won't teach you "How to phreak ". I had to learn on my own, so do you. You will find information about telecommunications, but everything here is publicy accessible anyway.
Much of the content here is bits and pieces of the original laslocomm.net. Some of the phone numbers you see on this site are probably outdated. Some of it may not matter to you at all. Most of it will be fairly static-- partly because my life is busy and I don't have the time to constantly post new content, and partly because that's how the original site was.
In the past, I ran the site similar to a blog. I didn't have Wordpress then, so I did all of the content managing by hand. I also published a few issues of the Laslocomm Technical Journal. (If you try, you can find those issues out on the net.) In a nod to the past, the LTJ is now the Laslocomm Labs Technical Journal, and it will be posted on the site as a released issue. I don't have a release schedule, so lets just say quarterly. Maybe.
More ancient history: in late 2000, I was stuck in a crappy job, in a server room full of 56k modems that dialed constantly all day. At some point I decided to set up a website on one of the many hosts that offered free sites. As I worked on it more and more, traffic increased and I wanted something more permanent. Somewhere in all of that, I ended up hosting the site on my home machine, a Cyrix 686 box with 48mb of ram. My internet connection was a 56k modem.
After a while, my ISP caught on and suggested I find a different place to host my site. I knew someone that was using Dreamhost, so I headed there, opened an account, and moved in. At one point, I lost the domain; I don't remember exactly why, but I didn't re-register. After a couple of years, I thought about bringing it back, and when it was available again, I registered it again. After a while longer, I dug up what I could find from the old site, and started putting it back together. You're looking at the results.
Eighteen years later the internet-- cyberspace in general-- isn't quite what I imagined it would be. I knew it would be commercial, ubiquitous, that the network itself would essentially grow and mutate until it disappeared from sight. It is The Matrix. All around us, yet we cannot see it or touch it or taste it unless we really go and look and dig for it.
The internet we got isn't necessarily the internet we wanted. Facebook connects us, yet it's terrible for our mental health. Twitter can keep us informed, while at the same time delivering opinions that go through no filters-- anger is instant, angry responses even faster. We check our phones constantly, but who are we talking to? What are we learning? We have apps that tell us we need to take a break, apps that train us to meditate, and apps that give us directions. Yet we're often stressed and disconnected and lost.
Laslocomm is just something I work on to keep myself grounded, to remember that there's really more to the story.