Though his birth name is Richard Cheshire, this pleasant and witty hacker with a cult following is known as Cheshire Catalyst or “Chesh” in the Computer Underground. He was the last editor and publisher of the TAP Newsletter in the 1970s and 1980s—the hobbyists’ newsletter, so it is said, for the communications revolution. Back then, Richard Cheshire became known in the computer underground for hacking the World Telex Network.
Cheshire Catalyst is now a regular speaker at the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) hacker conferences in New York City. In July 2000, he made an appearance on the “The Old Timer Panel” with fellow phreakers Bootleg and John Draper. In July 2004, Cheshire launched a public rant social experiment at the HOPE 5 conference that was very well received. Participants were told to write their rant and then to orally deliver it in 45 seconds, complete with relevant hyperlinks. Cheshire’s Web page can be found at http://www.CheshireCatalyst.com.