To make a telephone color box, you often needed to solder or connect different wires together. But with the popularity of personal computers, people soon wrote programs to mimic the different telephone color boxes. By running a telephone color box program on a laptop computer, you can experiment with the phone system from any pay phone in the world.
Of course, personal computers aren't the only tools available to phone phreaks. If you visit the Hack Canada (http://www.hackcanada.com) Web site, not only can you learn about hacking the Canadian phone system, but you can also download the source code to telephone color box programs (dubbed RedPalm) that run on a PalmPilot handheld computer.
By using the RedPalm program, you can make your PalmPilot emit tones that mimic the sounds made when you put real money into a Canadian payphone. The tones make the pay phone respond as if you had dropped in a nickel, dime, or quarter, letting you make phone calls for free.
In addition to using a personal computer or PalmPilot to run telephone boxing programs, a group of hackers calling themselves TeamKNOx has released a program called PhreakBoy, which mimics red and blue telephone boxes and includes C source code. The PhreakBoy program even runs on Nintendo GameBoy systems.