Red Box Math

I happened across my old tone dialer red box today and made a video about it:

I wrote on Facebook that I used it to steal a kabillion dollars from the phone company back in the day, but I think that estimate might be a little high. So I’m wondering how much I did steal by red boxing calls from pay phones.

To initiate a call, I’d have to deposit about $2.80. Then I’d have to deposit 80 cents every 3 minutes. So that’s 20 times each hour that I’d deposit 80 cents ($16.00), making the total for an hour of red boxing about $18.80. Now that’s just if I placed a call and actually stayed on for an hour, without ever hanging up. And I did that a lot, for hours at a time. But many times my calls would be short, sometimes lasting just a minute or two, but I would make calls one after the other. Let’s say I did THAT for an hour, placing a new call every five minutes – $2.80 x 12 = $33.60.

Hmmm, that still doesn’t sound very impressive. There were times in the early 90’s that I really did spend hours every single day sitting at pay phones and dialing random phone number, party lines, phone company news lines and talking to friends. I red boxed before work, after work and during breaks. At certain jobs, like at Circle K, even during work when there were no customers around. I could have easily spent 5 hours a day at a pay phone, racking up between $94.00 and $168.00 each day. This lasted from 1991 until maybe 1995.

So if I red boxed 5 hours a day for an entire year and averaged only 1 call per hour, I would have stolen $34,310. ($94.00 x 365 days) If I was making short calls lasting about 5 minutes, it would be more like $61,320, but I’ll go with the lower number since I’m sure I took occasional days off. Four straight years of that would be $137,240. This is assuming I only called within the U.S. and Canada, but I did call overseas quite a bit for a while and those calls would take about $8.00 – $15.00 to initiate.

I guess 1994 or 1995 is when I really got into using credit cards and phone cards, though, so my red boxing use went way down after those years since using calling cards was easier and less of a pain since I didn’t have to enter more money every 3 minutes. 1994 was the year I racked up a $15,000 phone bill with GTE while living under a fake name. So I guess I wasted a lot more money without a red box than I did with one.

I was hoping to find out that I red boxed some astronomical amount like $1,000,000, but I guess the most I can possibly claim is $137,240.00.

Speaking of YouTube videos, I’ve been making a lot of them lately since R0xy and Tombstone have been getting me to respond to their vlogs. Here are some of the latest:

The oldest phone in my house

Using an old ATM in Corvallis

My son dancing in a Super Mario costume

Shutting off TVs at PAX

Nigerian Scammer Gets A Laptop From Me

Click here to listen to me hack Bell Canada’s voice authentication system!

Click here to listen to us trick Domino’s Pizza employees out of customer phone numbers!

Click here to listen to a hotel clerk at a hacker convention hand out private information!


nigerian laptop scam

After switching to a Mac recently, I decided to put my old laptop up for sale to help recoup a little of the Mac cost. I received an email almost immediately from a girl named Rebecca and we had this email exchange…

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 9:25 PM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

i love this item is it available for sell?kindly get back to asap..

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 11:23 PM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Yep, it’s still available. If you’d like to come by, just let me know when.


From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM
Subject: Re: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Thanks for the mail….what is the present condition of this it $400
for the item i will also be paying for the shipping cost so get back
to me with your paypal email id or you can send me a money request to so i can proceed with the payment. i will be
waiting to hear from you asap.


From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

It’s 3 years old so it has normal wear and tear on it. It’s in fine
condition, just has a lot of stickers on it. There’s no damage to it.
If you’d like to PayPal, this email address is fine.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM
Subject: Re: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Thanks for the mail….what is the present condition of this it $400
for the item i will also be paying for the shipping cost so get back
to me with your paypal email id or you can send me a money request to so i can proceed with the payment. i will be
waiting to hear from you asap.


After letting Becca (I can call her that cause we’re tight) know my PayPal email address, she immediately sent me the payment. But, as I expected, this was a Nigerian scam. The payment emailed looked very real, although the color scheme was a little off. Just to be sure, I checked my PayPal account to make sure there really wasn’t an extra $500 in it. There wasn’t. My dreams of receiving a bonus $100 for my old laptop were crushed.

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: Notification of Instant Payment Received from Rebecca Nemanova (Transaction ID: 5Y758872CS5628811)

Thanks for your payment! I’m heading to the post office right now so I’ll get this shipped to you immediately. Thanks for the extra $100 too! It’s nice to see that you’re made of money and are willing to just throw extra $100 at people all willy nilly like. I will have this shipped to you in the fastest way possible.

God bless,

The next day, I found an email from the FBI waiting for me. Except that it was another very obviously fake email.

To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 7:22 AM
Subject: *** Collaboration Complaint From PayPal To FBI **Message From FBI Department***

nigerian laptop scam
Hello Brad Carter,
It is important we know the status of the item bought from you by Rebecca Nemanova otherwise, legal action may be taken against you since you have not provide the shipment information to the confirmation of the payment made to your account by our client via PayPal.We request for the Scanned Receipt and the Tracking Number to prove postage of the item in less than 24hours and we will fund the money into your account or face the consequences of LEGAL ACTION.

We believed you entered into buying agreement by requesting money through PayPal, and by non response to the payment confirmation made to your account you have violate PayPal agreement. However the buyer has already contacted us in other to make report about your non response. We are ensuring to make PayPal a safer place, therefore we need to set confidence on our users.

Therefore, your Money has been credit into your Account, that means the item must have been shipped to the Buyer. From IC3 we give you 24hours(1day) to ship the package to the Delivery Address given to you by your buyer, and also send the Shipment Tracking Number immediately to us to verify the shipment.Immediately we confirm the shipping.You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your account has been credited.

We use proprietary technology and constantly innovate to help ensure your transactions are safe. In addition, Pay Pal has over 20,000 staffs worldwide dedicated to keeping Pay Pal accounts safe, and stopping online criminals. And we work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to shut off fraudulent websites as soon as possible.

Pay Pal ‘s Fraud Investigation Team is highly experienced in fraud prevention. Several members of the team were former law enforcement officials with extensive experience in fighting online fraud. Pay Pal’s fraud investigation team focuses on: Identifying and preventing fraud before it occurs, Detecting fraud in process Mitigating loss, if fraud does occur, Delivering information to law enforcement around the world to help stop those committing online fraud.

Failure to Abide to this means your Name and Address will be forward to the law enforcement Agency to get you Arrested, because you are practicing Scam, And your Account with PayPal will be BLOCKED, In order to free yourself from this” Ship the package within 24hours and send the Shipment Tracking to PayPal for them to Verify. If you have any comment on this issue do not hesitate to contact us.If the information you wish to provide pertains to an emergency situation contact our customer service helpline (

New York Field Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Thanks for your co-operation.
Yours sincerely,
(there was a JPG of an illegible signature here)

Stuff like this puts me on the side of the Nigerian scammers. If people in the U.S. aren’t suspicious of free money, PayPal payments that look fake, the absence of a payment in their account, fake emails from PayPal’s FBI department or just Nigerians in general, then they deserve to have their money taken from them. If I hadn’t noticed this was a scam already, then this email would have let me know. I couldn’t believe they’d try to draw attention to themselves like this when a person otherwise might have gone ahead and mailed the laptop out.

I also got another email from Rebecca, accusing me of being a scammer.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

why silent?What,s Going on over there i have made the payment for the item and i haven’t hear anything back from you concerning the shipment of the package to my boss ,Please i will like to know what is going on because i am getting worried to know if this is not a scam please get back to me now to know what is going on waiting for your urgent Reply.

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 4:28 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

Hi Rebecca. I’m not being silent. I sent you two emails yesterday to
let you know that the laptop had been sent. It’s on its way and
you’ll have it in a week. I sent it fast shipping since you gave me
extra money. You can stop threatening me with the FBI now.


From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 6:52 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

so get back to me with the tracking number so i verify it

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:13 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

There is no tracking number. You should have told me you wanted one
before I mailed it. It’ll be there soon. Be patient.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:14 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

what about the scan receipt.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:53 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

what is the meaning of all this are you trying you scammed me or what?

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

I’m sorry, but I ran out of toilet paper so I ended up using the
receipt to wipe my bottom. You’ll just have to trust me that I sent
it to you. That’s what Jesus would do. Be more like Jesus.

At some point during this exchange, someone gave me the idea to mail them a fake laptop for my fake payment. It seemed only fair. I think it was Angela that came up with this, but it’s been so long (over a month!) that I don’t remember. Instead of doing it myself, I told my kids all about Nigerian scammers and asked if they would make me a fake laptop to mail to this guy. Er, I mean girl, because I’m sure she wasn’t lying to me about that.

I cut out pieces of cardboard, using my real laptop to make them the right size. Then Emily and Payton began drawing a laptop on the pieces. Emily quickly got bored with it, but Payton finished it all up, even copying the vents and screw holes on the bottom.

nigerian laptop scam

nigerian laptop scam

nigerian laptop scam

The last picture shows the top of the closed cardboard laptop. For hinges we used black electrical tape. It was Payton’s idea to make the screen show the Google homepage, but I had him write “Nigerian scammers” into the search box.

I shipped it the next morning at the cost of around $9.00, which almost made me feel bad about all the extra money she sent me for shipping. On the customs form, I put the value at $500 and the description said “cardboard art.” I’m not completely sure of this, but I think Nigerians have to pay a small percentage of the value to customs, so putting a high price on the customs form hopefully cost them a little money. Although the post office promised me that it would arrive in about 10 days, I didn’t hear back from Becca until this morning. As I was eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, she begins messaging me.

9:25 AM: rebecca: you are stupid for what you did
9:26 AM: rebecca: you are crazy
9:27 AM: me: why do you think that?
9:27 AM: rebecca: what did you ship to my boss
9:28 AM: me: a Dell laptop, just like you ordered
9:28 AM: rebecca: is that a laptop
9:28 AM: me: of course
9:29 AM: rebecca: ypou are crazy
9:30 AM: me: what are you talking about? did the laptop not work?
9:32 AM: me: please tell me what’s wrong with it
9:35 AM: rebecca: suck my divck
9:35 AM: me: what’s a divck?
10:08 AM: me: please don’t be mad at me
10:18 AM: me: helllloooo?
10:18 AM: me: talk to me rebecca!

Soon after that chat, she tried to voice chat with me on Google, but I couldn’t do that since I was on the phone. I’ve tried talking to her a few more times, but she refuses to answer me now.

3:30 PM: me: sorry i can’t voice chat with you. i don’t have a microphone
3:32 PM: me: i really would like to work out any problems you might have with the laptop though
3:33 PM: me: maybe you could turn it on and i could help you troubleshoot from here
3:37 PM: me: let me know when you’re there and we’ll get started
3:48 PM: me: are you ready to troubleshoot yet, rebecca?

So that’s about it. Tee hee! Interesting that she said she has a boss. Guess she’s just a minion that does the scamming since she’s so good with her people skills and it gets sent to the boss. Kind of like a pimp/ho relationship. I’ll keep trying to chat with her and append anything else that happens to this post, but I doubt she’ll say anything more to me.

2 years later update: Jesus, people, I know this scammer was from Nigeria because I SENT THE PACKAGE TO NIGERIA. Quit accusing me of being racist and hating all Nigerians and teaching my kids to stereotype.

Click here to listen to me hack Bell Canada’s voice authentication system!

Click here to listen to us trick Domino’s Pizza employees out of customer phone numbers!

Click here to listen to a hotel clerk at a hacker convention hand out private information!


Spuds gets Mugged in London!

Robert Spuds Holloway: hey
Robert Spuds Holloway: are you there?
Brad Carter: howdy
Robert Spuds Holloway: not too good. and you?
Brad Carter: i’m ok
Robert Spuds Holloway: I’m stranded in London
Robert Spuds Holloway: got mugged at gun point last night
Brad Carter: that’s never fun
Robert Spuds Holloway: all cash,credit card and phone was stolen

(It appears that his ability to construct sentences was stolen too!)

Brad Carter: bummer
Robert Spuds Holloway: I was attacked returning from the mall back to the hotel room,i was hurt on my right hand, but would be fine
Robert Spuds Holloway: sucks and scary!
Brad Carter: i bet. what are you doing in london?
Robert Spuds Holloway: on a short vacation
Brad Carter: with brenda?
Robert Spuds Holloway: It was a Brutal Experience but Thank GOD i still have my life and passport
Brad Carter: yep that’s a good thing. is brenda there with you?
Robert Spuds Holloway: yes

(Oh weird, Spuds doesn’t know anyone named Brenda…)

Robert Spuds Holloway: the police are investigating it but nothing came up yet
Brad Carter: good thing they didn’t mug her too
Robert Spuds Holloway: she was hit on her head
Brad Carter: oh, well thank god for that metal plate in her head
Robert Spuds Holloway: my return flight leaves in few hours but having troubles sorting out the hotel bills
Robert Spuds Holloway: I need your help
Brad Carter: just ditch the hotel man. just like we did in orlando that time!
Robert Spuds Holloway: wondering if you could loan me some money to sort out the hotel bills and also take a cab to the airport?
Robert Spuds Holloway: I will definitely refund it back tomorrow
Brad Carter: no way, you already owe me five bucks for lunch from last year
Brad Carter: not until you pay that back
Brad Carter: but i can still help you out
Brad Carter: i know this guy in stonebridge that will loan you a gun. he’s a drug dealer
Brad Carter: get a cab to stonebridge and i’ll give you the address
Brad Carter: you can use the gun to rob a store so you’ll have the money
Brad Carter: you’ll need to return the gun before you come back to the states though

Robert Spuds Holloway disconnected 11:57


Jammie visited last week, after not seeing her for more than 3 years. We went to a Local H concert, had dinner with her cousin, and she bought a Mac at the Apple store. Also went to Ground Kontrol arcade. This is all before we even left Portland. We were supposed to buy Macs together, but I found an awesome deal on Craigslist a couple months ago and couldn’t pass it up, so I already had mine.

We failed a Geocaching repeatedly, even on one Geocache that I’d found before. We swapped a few iPhone apps and I’m now addicted to a game called Angry Birds. As if Desktop Defender doesn’t eat up enough of my time. Thanks, Jammie. We visited Albany’s history museum, which is always good for a laugh. We also visited a furniture store across the street from the museum and this place was like a wax museum of celebrities. They had a Terminator and a Charlie Chaplin and a Hulk Hogan. Jammie asked what was up with them all, and we were told that the building was once used to make life-sized characters and a lot of them got left behind when they took over the building. Weird. But awesome.

We visited the carousel place and a couple antique shops. I ended up finding a good item to place in a Geocache as a PLA themed travel bug. We rode bikes and hiked through the woods, failing at another Geocache. Played minigolf. Jammie surprised me by telling me she hadn’t heard of the “Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work??” internet meme yet, so I showed her all the related material and got to watch her laugh hysterically at a months-old meme.

We had our traditional dinner at Red Robin with kcochran and Chad, then went to Game Time and played darts. Attempted some android red boxing and failed. Attempted some 11pm minigolf and failed. A day or two later, kcochran and Chad came over and we all did The Phone Show together. (Episode here.)

On Wednesday, we had breakfast at Rogers and I drove Jammie back to the airport, with a brief stop at Fry’s Electronics. The end.

RIP Charcoal

On Friday, we had to put our cat Charcoal to sleep. He’s been having issues the past couple weeks and on Friday we were told he had irreparable liver damage. The kids were at their moms that day, so I picked them up for a few hours so they could say their goodbyes. Charcoal seemed really happy that entire day, hanging out with Emily on the chair while she played on her laptop and purring a ton. It was great to see him seeming so happy, but just made me feel more guilty for what I had to do. I stayed with him until he was gone. Saddest day ever.

Merry Memorial Day!

I tried to cause mass confusion on a Salem Facebook account today by posting something terrible, waiting for hateful replies, then deleting my post.

It didn’t evolve into a lot of confusion and finger pointing like I hoped, but it still kind of looks like the first few people are offended by the original question. I need to refine this technique.

Raining Pepsi

Few weeks ago I drove to Little Caesars for pizza since I’m too cheap to pay 3x as much for delivery. I threw the two large pepperonis on the front seat and the 2 liter of Pepsi in the back seat. As I rounded the corner onto my street, I turned down the blaring MC Chris and stepped on the brake to bring me to a reasonable level of speed. This caused the Pepsi to shoot off the back seat, hitting the front seat, which was slid all the way to the front. Then it dropped and landed on the corner of the metal track that the seat slides on, puncturing the bottle.

Then the bottle rolled over, spraying Pepsi all over the seats, windows, and ceiling. Pepsi was raining from the ceiling in my car. After a few seconds of this, I held my hand over the spraying Pepsi as I pulled into the driveway until it finally stopped. When it did there was a miniature lake of Pepsi on floor. I went inside and told Payton he wouldn’t believe what just happened. He immediately ran outside to survey the damage and laugh at me. Surprisingly, barely a drop hit me or my phone or car stereo, aside from my hand being covered in it to stop it from spraying everywhere.

After dinner I spent about an hour wiping out the car and managed to get it cleaned up pretty good. In fact, I even Windexed all my windows which I’ve never done before in the 7 years that I’ve owned the car. I still find occasional drops of Pepsi in parts of the car. Too bad they don’t still make glass 2 liters. That probably would have been easier to clean.

REMEMBER GLASS PEPSI BOTTLES??? I remember the very first commercial I saw for one in the 80’s. Some person accidentally knocks a 2 liter bottle off of a counter or table. In slow motion it takes forever to fall to the floor. Just as your expecting the bottle to shatter, it bends like a plastic bottle does and bounces back up in slow motion. At the time it looked like the coolest special effect ever since nobody had ever seen a plastic 2 liter and it was completely unexpected. GOD I’M OLD!

I just searched YouTube, trying to find that commercial and didn’t have any luck. But this lady sure had better luck with 2 liters in her car than I did.

MC Chris owns

Since yesterday I’ve been cleaning up the hard drive on my laptop. When I switched to Mac, I directly copied everything over from my old drive and I probably haven’t cleaned it out in years. I’m finding lots of awesome old sound files, pictures and other things. I’m completely restructuring how my directories are organized too. I haven’t changed much in the past 10 years until today. I still have a directory called html_development that I created in 1996 that is full of really bad website clipart. Tons of animated GIFs, under construction signs, dividing lines, snippets of java, html, php and perl code that could someday be useful but never was. For some reason I’m having a hard time throwing this directory out, even though it’s completely useless.

I’m going to see MC Chris live in a few days. I haven’t liked an artist this much in a really long time. MC Lars will be there too, so it’s going to be so great. Last weekend I went on a pub crawl with Angela in Salem, then we went to Geeky Karaoke in Portland. Wait, that was 2 weeks ago. Last week we had a Lost party at my house for the final episode of Lost.

I purchased a $5/month subscription to so I can listen to music commercial-free all night on my iPhone while I’m sleeping. I’ve gotten bored with all the normal stations and have been picking things like disco and classic country and other random things. I woke up at 4am this morning, recognizing an old country song I once liked as a kid and favorited it. I’m posting this only to be laughed at.

CNN did a story on sign hacking this week and featured my site a lot. They even played part of a commercial I made for the site, music and all. This motivated me to update with a new post.

I stopped at a light on Waverly recently and some guy in a truck next to me was waving like crazy, trying to get my attention. I finally looked over at him and he held up a GPS receiver for me to see and waved. Guess he saw one of my Geocaching stickers on my car and desperately needs a geocaching friend. Reminds me of when I had an ICP sticker on my car about 10 years ago and some guy behind me kept honking and waving like crazy. Looking in my mirror, I noticed he had a giant ICP decal on his hood. He was going nuts because I wouldn’t acknowledge him, throwing his hands up at me and stuff. I’m bad at socializing.

Oh yeah, about a month ago I was returning to my car when I was at a mall in Salem and some guys across the parking lot screamed “FREE GEEK!” at me. I have a Free Geek sticker on my car, courtesy of Evie and Joe. It was a friendly yell, but my social anxiety issues prevented me from looking up and waving. Don’t put stickers on your car, it’s nothing but trouble! I should put a sticker on there that reads “Abortion is Hilarious!” and see what kind of friends I make.


I think I got everything migrated over to the Mac this weekend. It’s awesome and I love it. So far there’s only one important program that I can’t use on the Mac, which might force me to do some Windows or Linux emulation. Either that or I should stop using my Pro CD 2004 phone directories and find an alternative to it. (Don’t make fun of me, it’s work-related!) Now I need to get some stickers to cover this thing with.

Man…last night after typing that, the mouse and keyboard on my Mac completely stopped responding. It had been doing that intermittently since I got the thing, but this time it was for good. I wasn’t happy. I ended up plugging in an old Mac keyboard/mouse this morning and it worked fine. I took the laptop apart twice, ensuring that all ribbon cables were in place, but the keyboard and mouse still didn’t work. Then I finally found a post on some Apple forums about billions of other people having this same problem and the solution was to stick some folded paper on top of a certain part of a ribbon cable underneath the battery. I did it with some black tape and the laptop is back to normal. What a bizarre defect. I’m just happy it’s working again and all these other people claim that will solve my problem forever.

So in other news…I spent a few days in Idaho last week and that was a lot of fun. Yesterday the kids and I went to OMSI and it was awesome. I haven’t been there since 1994 and my kids hadn’t been there in a few years. Tonight MC Frontalot is playing in Portland and I’d like to go, but I don’t know anyone else who likes his music and would want to go. I’ll probably just stay at home and cut myself instead.

MacBook Pro

I’ve been shopping around for a Mac lately and I finally found a good deal on Craigslist for a 15″ MacBook Pro laptop, which I picked up today. So far I’m pretty happy with it, even though everything is completely foreign to me on it. The only time I’ve ever used a Mac is when I play with the display models in stores. This mouse is going to take some getting used to – it keeps confusing me with its single button. Garage Band rules so far and will probably be the thing I love most about the Mac.

The people I bought it from didn’t seem to put much thought into clearing their data. The amount of stuff they left in here is insane. Aside from just their entire personal photo album and music collection and a few home videos, they’ve given me the password to everything they’ve ever logged into. Five different Facebook accounts, Myspace, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, an LDS dating site, Gmail, Yahoo, everything. There’s gotta be at least 100 passwords saved in their Firefox browser. They probably didn’t realize that all their passwords are viewable from within Firefox.

The first thing I did on this laptop was attempt to check my email on, only to find out that I was already logged into this guy’s account. Hundreds of emails, available for me to peruse. I clicked on a gmail chat log between the two of them and skimmed over their lovey conversations before logging out. I later noticed that he had AIM actually running and it was still logged in. He didn’t even bother to close it. He also had some member site open in Chrome that he was logged into. Assuming there’s a way to list all the passwords saved in Chrome, I’ve probably get even more things I could log into. Not that I’m going to. No really, for realz!

I was happy to see that they left their entire music collection to me, some of which I’ll enjoy. There’s tons of church music, church sermons, 80’s music and more original motion picture soundtracks than I’ve ever seen a person own. But there’s quite a bit of good stuff in there too, which looks like it’s all non-DRM. Kind of ironic that they’re pirating church music. While in iTunes, I decided to click on the iTunes store, just to see if they were logged in to that. And they were. I could have purchased billions of dollars in music and movie rentals if I wanted to. I immediately logged them out, just to avoid the temptation.

I have access to all their online bill payment accounts and their bank. Who knows what that Wal-Mart and Walgreens stuff is, but it could be to refill prescriptions. It’s probably just photo development though.

Oh man, I’m digging deeper now and I just found 707 video files, most of them taken with a cheap digital camera. A few are pirated TV shows, but most of these are just church events and birthday parties and stuff. I bet if I kept looking, I’d find their personal nude photos and videos. Looks like there are over 4,000 JPG files in here. Most likely their entire lifetime of photos.

I’m completely blown away by the amount of havoc I could cause with all of this. This just makes no sense at all. They were nice people and didn’t seem like complete morons. Even a person who’s not technically savvy would know not to leave massive amounts of personal data sitting on a computer that you’re selling to a stranger. And this guy seemed like he was into computers. He had several sitting around the house and had a 1TB external drive and his wife was typing away on a Mac. A quick look through his Gmail shows me that he’s taking physics, chemistry and statistics at OSU. So he’s not retarded. But he’s retarded! This whole thing is nuts.

As I’m writing this I keep looking around and finding MORE stuff that I have access to. I can log into about 5 different accounts on Gmail and they use Google Voice for their voicemails that I could listen to. I bet they use Google Docs too. You people reading this know the kind of stuff I’m likely to do, just because it’d be hilarious. I could cause such a ruckus and I’m so tempted to. I really won’t though. I’m going to wipe all of this stuff out of here and just concentrate on migrating all my own stuff to my new Mac.

I’ve bought plenty of used computers from people in the past and there’s always a few things that they’ll forget about and leave behind. That’s expected. But this is just unbelievable. He didn’t even shut down AIM. The joke’s probably on me – they’re probably remotely monitoring me while I type all this since I’m a newb and wouldn’t know how to spot anything like that running. I’m expecting a phone call from them any minute now, saying, “OMG, we gave you the wrong computer!” That’s the only logical explanation for all of this stuff in here, that they gave me the wrong Mac.

Anyway, Spessa says I owe it to him to send him an email telling him how incredibly stupid he is. I hope he doesn’t get mad at me. It should be interesting to see how he responds. Here’s what I just sent to him:

Hey Chris. I’m the guy that purchased the laptop from you today. I’ve been on it for a few hours now and everything is working great.

I feel like I really need to mention to you how much personal data you left on this thing. Besides the more than 4000 personal photos and around 700 personal videos, there’s a list of your saved passwords in Firefox and there must be 100 logins and passwords in plain text. I assure you that I’m deleting all of this stuff and not logging into anything of yours, but there’s just such a massive amount of personal stuff on here, I think I owe it to you to let you know about it. It seems like I have access to several Facebook accounts, several Gmail accounts, Amazon and who knows what else. I just worry that next time you might sell a computer to someone a lot more malicious than me.

I hope you don’t mind me telling you about this. Once again, please don’t worry because I’ve deleted all of your saved logins and passwords already and I’ll delete the rest of your personal stuff tomorrow when I start migrating my own stuff onto it.

Thanks again for the awesome deal on this Mac!

I’m way too nice and concerned. Spessa suggested some awesomely terrible things to write to him, such as, “Had I been a more malicious person, I could have impersonated you on your LDS forums and told all the members that Brigham Young was a fraud.”

I’ll append his reply to this post as soon as I get it.

EDIT: His reply the next morning:

Thanks for the email. I was stuck with a dilemma of reformatting which would kind of render the computer unusable more or less in case you had any questions about the operation, since for someone to use it would require me registering and putting in some kind of user info over again. I finally came to the conclusion I would just reformat when someone decided to get it, it sounded like you were in a hurry so I just made a decision to trust that you’d reformat it. My wife deleted the documents a few days ago however so I figured the worst that could happen was you’d read some of my boring email.

The whole thing still seems crazy to me. It was hours between the time I talked to him on the phone and the time I picked it up. It would have taken just a few seconds to highlight all their videos/pictures and tap the delete button. And not much longer to wipe out Firefox’s stored password file. His logic of trusting the random guy from Craigslist is stupid. I’m crazy! I’ve screwed with peoples identities before. I’ve hacked accounts and caused online turmoil and devastation! This guy has no idea what kind of person he just handed all his passwords to. It’s a good thing Mr. Spessa isn’t visiting me this week, because he wouldn’t let me just delete all this stuff. He would insist that we do terrible things to everyone, just for the lulz. We would probably lock them out of every account they own, just to be jerks.

Whatever, though, I’m happy I got a laptop full of expensive Mac software, including iLife and the latest version of Photoshop!

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