TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

T (
Thu, 21 Jun 2007 22:01:24 -0400

In article <>,

> Yes, I do, That was subsequently determined by WE Engineers to have
> been an unintentional mistake.

> Also, another undocumented feature on both the 1 and 1A ESS was that
> call waiting would work during a three-way call. This was carried
> over to the 5ESS, but later dropped. The DMS-10 and DMS-100 couldn't
> hack that level of porting, so WE (Lucent) dropped the capability in
> deference to the less robust DMS switches.

I've been reading about the differences between WE and Nortel
switching platforms, particularly in the digital age. WE went with
centralized codecs, while Nortel used a codec per line.

I too find the DMS to be an inferior switch.

In article <>, says:

> In article <>,
> says:

>> wrote:

>>> On Jun 19, 9:25 am, Sam Spade <> wrote:

>>> Washington, DC had quite a few ESS offices when Watergate happened,
>>> which is a different environment than "Wrong Number" or "Dial M for
>>> Murder." ;-)

>> "Quite a few"? In 1973-74 ESS was still relatively new as a
>> production item. I dare say that within a city most would be served
>> by panel or #1 XBAR, maybe a few exchanges with ESS. Anyway, in
>> 1973-74 I think most subscribers still had plain vanilla dial
>> telephone service. In affluent neighborhoods, many people might have
>> Touch Tone.

>> Yes, quite a few. The first #1 ESS deployment was, as I recall, in
>> 1967. It started off slow, but DC became the first place to experience
>> a major deployment, for obvious reasons. ;-)

>> The public wouldn't have known about it because calling features weren't
>> promoted much, and not at all in some areas, until 1975, or so.
>> Touchtone was available on No 5 XBAR in most of those areas in the the
>> late 1960s.

>> The AT&T network policy makers deliberately held back on offering
>> calling features in the POTS environment for a number of reasons. But,
>> Centrex government customers in DC were offered the full array as soon
>> as the cuts were complete.

>>> My impressions of newspaper telephone service and hardware was based
>>> on visits to a major city paper of that time.

>>> But, typewriters had come a long way, with correcting Selectrics. ;-)

>>> I'm not sure when correcting Selectrics came out, but I think it was
>>> after '74. In any event, they were a premium expensive model,
>>> probably more found with executive secretaries than with junior
>>> reporters. In those years, the secretary to a manager had a nice
>>> electric typewriter, but those using a typewriter for routine work (ie
>>> bank clerk or librarian) had manuals. (Remington and Underwood both
>>> made very nice manuals in that time frame.) By 1980 things would be
>>> very different, but it was a slow transition. Typewriters were rather
>>> expensive.

>> Here is a ad featuring a Correcting Selectric II in 1973.


>> I know, as I bought one then. ;-) The first Selectric came out in 1961.

>> Reporters may not have had Correcting Selectrics in 1973 but all the
>> bosses secretaries, including the White House I suspect, got them really
>> quick.

>>>> When Watergate happened, the only mobile phones were those giant
>>>> bricks mounted in the car, and which transmitted and received in the
>>>> open on VHF low, where every sharp kid with a scanner could hear the
>>>> conversation with ease. ;-)

>>> There were only a few frequencies available and a huge waiting list
>>> for mobile service despite the high cost. But in those days, when
>>> more people were in a city, payphones were everywhere. Lobbies of
>>> office buildings had banks of them (nice ones with a tiny chair,
>>> table, fan, light, and closed door). Often every floor of a
>>> commercial building had one too, in addition to the lobby bank.

>>> For some reason I don't know, when Bell and Motorola applied to test
>>> new cell service, the FCC sat on it for two years.

>> I'd have to look through my old BSTJ's but I recall the AMPS tests
>> being conducted in New Jersey in the late 1970s. Chicago was the
>> first launch of AMPS in 1983.

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you recall one difference between
>> the way 'call forwarding' was originally set up and later on? People
>> could 'chain call-forward', that is, you forward yours to me; I then
>> forwarded mine to some other party; they forwarded theirs onward, etc.
>> Let's call them parties 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'. People realized they
>> could forward infinitly if they had enough co-conspirators to help
>> them, and make a (considerable) long distance call for the price of
>> a local call. The next generic of 'call forwarding' did not allow
>> that. Yes, A could forward to B and B could forward to C, etc, but
>> calls directed to A _stopped_ when they reached B. Calls directed to
>> B _stopped_ when they reached C. Officially the theory was that
>> persons calling A only wanted to talk to A. For A's convenience, his
>> calls could be forwarded to B, but party A did not want to be
>> forwarded onward to C or D. Or, so said telco. And originally, if A
>> forwarded to B and contemporaneously B forwarded to A, it would start
>> an endless loop until eventually all circuits in the CO were tied up.
>> Telco quickly put a stop to that also. But that 'chain forwarding' was
>> foolish anyway; people could rarely -- if ever -- make a series of
>> short distance calls for less expense than a single long distance
>> call. PAT]

> I remember proving the ridiculousness of RI's toll boundaries by doing
> just what you mention.

> If you lived in an area served by the Pawtucket rate center, you could
> only call as far as Providence to the south.

> The thing was, one of RI's more popular BBS's was in East Greenwich.
> So I setup a line in the house that had call forwarding to the EG
> phone numbers. I got use of the phone line and it would just forward
> calls like crazy.

> I love thinking how much I had to have cost then NYNEX in toll
> revenue.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I had a similar thing going on in
> Chicago for all of three or four days, back in 1973, right after
> Illinois Bell started 'Call Forwarding'. Calls within the city itself
> were only one untimed unit. Calls to/from the suburbs were two or more
> units on a timed basis. This sometimes led to the situation where
> Chicago was on one side of the street and some suburb was across the
> street i.e. Chicago and Evanston, so those calls cost more. If you
> lived 'all the way out' in Joliet (815 area) for example, typically
> it cost 6 units for three minutes of talking if you wanted to call
> Chicago. But, if we wished, we could purchase an 'unlimited metro
> line' (much more money but no regard for the units used on the calls).

> I had my recorded telephone news/advertising telephone lines operating
> in Chicago. I had various users in the Joliet area calling me each day
> on my Chicago number. Now, I had a couple of 'Enterprise' numbers for
> my Indiana and Wisconsin callers, but I thought of a smart way to
> handle the Chicago west/south suburban calls to cost them less money.
> My friend who lived in Joliet offered to get a second phone line for
> his home; it would be an 'umlimited metro area' line. He would leave
> _that line_ on permanent call forwarding to my Chicago number and he
> would make his outgoing calls on that line, while using his existing
> phone (with a very tiny unit allotment) for all his incoming calls.
> He disconnected the bell on the new line so he did not get disturbed
> by the ringing. There were a couple times when there were _two_ calls
> at one via his phone line in Joliet to my service in Chicago (at six
> units minimum each had they not been on the unlimited metro line) all
> the while he was on the phone with an outgoing call to Zion, Illinois
> (as extremely far north as Joliet was south, also an eight unit call.)
> That line was unlimited, right?

> Not quite _that_ unlimited, said Miss Prissy, the service rep when she
> caught us by trying to call him on his new unlimited unit phone line
> one day. You cannot have two phones in the same house, one unlimited
> calling and one with a tiny, 'regular' package of units, she warned.
> Furthermore, she noted, the 'company' finds it very questionable when
> you leave your umlimited metro line call forwarded 24/7 to a business
> place in Chicago. No excuses were satisfactory. He told her that many
> times when he was at home, friends of his in Zion would call him and
> they were interested in what I had to say that day, so he would 'three
> way call' so they both could listen to me at the same time. So what
> was the problem when 'he went away to Chicago for the day to visit me'
> if he simply left his phone on call forwarding 'while he was gone for
> the day.' Miss Prissy said she didn't believe a word of it. Then she
> called and gave me hell for it also, particularly after she checked
> with her cohorts in downtown Chicago and learned about the extreme
> volume of inbound calls I was receiving to my taped messages on
> HARrison-7-1234 (six or eight _thousand_ calls arrived each day on
> about a dozen heavy duty answering machines which were wired in
> rotary hunt behind 427-1234, and there were a few times each day that
> all the lines would still be busy. Miss Prissy was shocked when she
> examined my call volume stats and made my friend disconnect his
> 'unlimited metro line', since a couple hundred calls each day were
> in fact coming via the Joliet line.

> But it was Bell's own fault; had the geographic arrangement of 'units'
> been more fairly allotted (as they were starting in the middle eighties)
> it would not have been very cost-effective for my friend and I. PAT]

That's the thing, NYNEX wasn't THAT dedicated to toll collection,
particularly since this was post divestiture and Long Lines still
provided the instate toll service.

In article <>,

> TELECOM Digest Editor Noted:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I had a similar thing going on in
>> Chicago for all of three or four days, back in 1973, right after
>> Illinois Bell started 'Call Forwarding'. Calls within the city itself
>> were only one untimed unit. Calls to/from the suburbs were two or more
>> units on a timed basis. This sometimes led to the situation where
>> Chicago was on one side of the street and some suburb was across the
>> street i.e. Chicago and Evanston, so those calls cost more.

> That arrangement seems strange.

Charging units seem strange to me too. Rhode Island has always had
bizarre toll boundaries.

For example, if you have a Providence rate center number you can call
85% of the available exchanges in the state. If you have a Pawtucket
rate center number, it drops down to 65%. And heaven forbid you live
in south county and end up with a North Kingstown number because
Providence is toll from there.

VoIP gives lie to those artificial toll rates. I can dial anywhere and
not incur any additional charges. Kind of nice when your local calling
area spans continents.

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