TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Urban Legend or Never Before Heard of Truth?

Re: Urban Legend or Never Before Heard of Truth?
20 Dec 2006 20:09:21 -0800


> On of the Portland radio folk today mentioned the early 90s and 900
> numbers in his show today. His claim was some television advertisers
> would encourage you to hold the handset to the phone and the broadcast
> the tones and actually dial the 900 number.

> Do I just not remember this or was it never real? I check SNOPES and
> didn't see a reference. Telcomm has so many references, thankfully. I
> figured I'd go to the Master!

This seems odd, but it would have the advantage that there is no chance
of a mis-dial. I wouldn't know whether any such advertiser actually
bothered. I'm pretty sure TV audio would have been able to produce
those dialing tones accurately enough.

Once tone dial was introduced, there certainly was never a requirement
that the tone generator be connected to the wall by a wire all the
way. The Apple Newton had that capability over ten years ago, and I
remember reports of other portable devices that could dial that way:

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