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The Telecom Digest for November 28, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 302 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Chubby fingers vs "Smartphones" (David Clayton)
Cell phones: more texting, less talking? (HAncock4)
Re: Early advanced PBX systems--Telephony on TV (Wes Leatherock)

====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 17:40:25 +1100 From: David Clayton <dcstarbox-usenet@yahoo.com.au> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Chubby fingers vs "Smartphones" Message-ID: <pan.2011.> As someone who has to continually set up these things to interface with Exchange systems, I can totally relate to this cartoon even if my fingers aren't too chubby! (I really hate interfaces designed for those under 30 years old...): http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2011-11-27/ I don't think I've set one up yet without swearing over mistyped server DNS entries or user credentials.... -- Regards, David. David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have. ***** Moderator's Note ***** The interfaces aren't designed; they're dictated. The Salesdroids demand something that looks familiar and easy-to-use, because that's what moves the product off the shelves. The problems that come after the sale are externalities to the Salesdroids. A competently engineered design would have a stenographer's keyboard, a few context-sensitive function keys, and a screen that can be seen in daylight. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 09:21:39 -0800 (PST) From: withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org (HAncock4) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Cell phones: more texting, less talking? Message-ID: <25af9f5e-1e64-4a28-8e9f-a3818cfc0497@cu3g2000vbb.googlegroups.com> On the commuter train on Saturday I noticed it was quieter than usual. Typically on a weekend many passengers, especially the younger ones, are yakking away on their cell phones making the train rather noisy. (That's why some railroads have introduced "quiet cars", though not on weekends). Anyway, I did notice a number of passengers 'thumbing away', that is, apparently sending and receiving text messages. I understand text message traffic has gone up, which the cell carriers love because texting uses less bandwidth capacity than a voice call does, but they charge more for it. One needs to pay extra to get unlimited texting. Otherwise, as many parents found out the hard way, texting is expensive. Has text message traffic overcame voice message traffic? Could someone expand on today's cell phone traffic mix? Thanks. [public replies, please]
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 08:41:56 -0800 (PST) From: Wes Leatherock <wleathus@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Early advanced PBX systems--Telephony on TV Message-ID: <1322412116.24642.YahooMailClassic@web111707.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Thu, 11/24/11, HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> wrote: > Let's use 1940 as a base year. What kind of advanced PBX systems and > special features for high volume users did the Bell System and > Independent companies offer at that time? My recollection of the > Bell System history is that except for a few cordboard features (eg > automatic ringing), _advanced_-dial features wouldn't come until > well into the 1950-60s when crossbar was developed for PBX use. > But, some Bell companies developed special services on their own and > perhaps some were offered to Hollywood studios since presumably they > were major customers. > I think at that point for large users Bell basically had its 701 > dial PBX, with special features mostly handled manually by the PBX > attendant or someone's own secretary via an office key system. For > instance, if an executive barked "get me John Smith over at > Paramount!", a secretary or PBX attendant would look up Mr. Smith's > phone number, dial it, get Mr. Smith (or his secretary on the line), > and announce the call to the caller when it was ready. If Mr. Smith > wasn't available, the secretary would manually leave a message or > search him out elsewhere. Other businesses worked the same way, > indeed these practices continued well into the 1970s. There were tariffs for "speial assemblies" which provide how costs would be charged for items and services not listed in the approved tariffs. Each one was costed for its particular assembly, and there were many special assemblies written and installed by telephone companies everywhere. Customers, especially business customers, had useds for all kinds of things not enumerated in the tariffs. In the 1940s, I worked as a reporter and editor for the Daily Oklahoman / Oklahoma City Times in Oklahoma City. On the switcchboard multiple, besides the local dial trunks, there what we could now call s "rotary group" of toll trunks, assigned number L.D. 343, which gives an idea of the volume of toll traffic. There were also tie lines to and from other related businesses, as well, I believe to the Washington, D.C., bureau. There was also L.D. 419 which appeared on a regular black set on a desk behind the city editor, bypassing the switchboard. In my experience, the switchboard operators were more then pluggers. If someone asked for Mr. Smith, the PBX operator probably knew the number and would connect to it without further discussion. They also took incoming calls and messages, and were uncanny in guessing where someone was if they were away from their desks. > The studios probably were liberally equipped with extensions, > trunks, and, key systems in offices.0 My guess is that they may have > had more trunks and extensions than other large businesses. Back > then, some offices had their own intercoms between a manager and his > secretary and staff - these are often depicted in old movies, and > such 'squawk boxes' may have been cheaper than a Bell provided key > system intercom. Newspapers were also very big users of communications services, by the nature of the news business. Many of the buzzers and squawk boxes were part of the telco provided quipment and integrated with the key systems. > Studios may have extensively used "code call" which was a system of > coded flashing lights that signalled a particular person to call > in. Studios sometimes had branch offices in New York City to deal > with financing or the theatre community. I wonder if studios had > cross-country tie-lines back then (very expensive to carry, but > eliminated expensive a la carte toll charges and may have allowed > faster calling.) Many of them were arranged so they could be dialed like a local extension. > Perhaps they had cheaper private TWX or Western Union lines. In > those days telegraph traffic was "piggybacked" on low bands of voice > trunks. Slow at a rate of 60, but cheaper. Telegraph channels were also provided by the telecos, presumably at competitive rates, in view of the number that were provided by the telcos. TWX was a switched service. A private line system connecting Teletypes was called just that, not TWX. The nation was blanketed by such systems of the United Press (for which I later worked), Associated Press and International News Service, with local, regional and national wires. All of them I was familiar with were telco-provided, except on Saturday afternoons and nights in the fall when W.U. had rights to various stadium and private circuits were ordered from them to the selected wire service bureau or to some newspaper that sent thir own sportswriters. Sometimes W.U. would provide Morse operators with their keys and sounders. It was always a pleasyure to get them because they were so skillewd and understood what they were doing and could break immediately and send a query if there was some question that needed to be raised. > Like many industrial sites of the time, they may have owned a > separate in-house telephone network for internal calls. Someone > who had two phones on their desk, particularly two different types > of phones, often had one Bell phone and one internal phone. A > privately owned system saved on monthly Bell rentals, but meant that > the owner had to do his own maintenance. If an organization was > large enough, it would already have a staff available for > that. (Many school classrooms had such networks). As I recall, all Montgomery Ward stores had their own isolated systems. On the other hand, later when I was working for the Bell System, I knew of one industiral installatiion on the Gulf Coast that chose to go with Bell even thought it was higher in cost because of the massive ability of the Bell System to restore service after a hurricane. > In those days one could ask the long distance operator to "get me > John Smith in Scranton" and the long distance operator would call > distant directory assistance to get the number, then place the call > person to person. Long distance back then was expensive partially > for that reason. In the immediate postwar era, the Bell System urged > callers to place calls by number to save on time and make better use > of [the] operator distance dialing [service] which was becoming > available. I remember the first time I had a call handled by interoffice dialing. I worked in the Dallas bureau of United Press and called for our correspondent or client in Corpus Christi, passed my call and expect the next thing I heard would be the Corpus Christi inward operator answering and the Dallas operator passing the number. But the next thing I heard was the C.C. number ringing. Wes Leatherock wleathus@yahoo.com wesrock@aol.com
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