Making your phone ring

Page 4 of 4  
DerbyDad03 wrote:

Did anybody else, in the pre-ESS days, ever deliberately call a busy number (like your own), and then have conversations with other people doing the same thing? Back then, the busy signal for each switch came from a common source, and you could, sort of, talk between beeps. We called it the 'beep line', and their was much mourning when the electronic switches made it go away. Remember, this was small town, pre internet, pre chatline, pre-blog, pre-chatroom, pre cellphone, pre CB radio, etc. If you couldn't drive, and it was too far to walk and too crappy out to ride a bike, you took your social contact where you could find it.
Yeah, we were pathetic.
-- aem sends...
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How did you arrange these "beep talk sessions"? Did people just hang around listening to busy signals hoping someone else joined the party?
"We were pathetic" might be the understatement of the year! <g>
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DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

We just cranked the handled and "Central" picked up and would plug us onto the line--normally whether they were already talking or not... :)
And, of course, w/ the party line, all you had to do was pick up and join in almost any time... :)
--


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DerbyDad03 wrote:

This worked best on old step offices (Stroger) since busy tone was delivered to groups of 8 lines. The tone level dropped as each new recipient was added, so it was easier to talk over it. You all called the same busy number at the same time to end up on the same tone source.
The "feature" didn't last long in college towns. It caused all circuit busy for all 100 numbers in that group, ie: the busy target was 555-1234, when 8 calls were setting on busy, the rest of 555-1200 to 555-1299 couldn't receive calls.
Easy fix, busy tone was raised 20db, eight pairs of resistors dropped it back to normal. That put 40 db loss between each busy. Soldering resistors was a welcome break from replacing relay contacts, washing the racks and floors, for the new guy in 1968 ;-)
-- larry/dallas
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larry wrote:

Thanks for the memory jogger, there. Now that I think about it, we (the crowd I hung out with) would all call the number for the answering machine at the local theatre (it played a 'what is on tonight recording for about 45 seconds), since that is a number we all knew by heart, and was usually busy anyway.
-- aem sends...
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On Thu, 27 Mar 2008 05:17:21 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:
[snip]

If I dial my own number (7 digits) here I get a few seconds of silence followed by a recording saying I must now include the area code. Dialing 10 digits gives me a busy signal.
BTW, they started requiring 10 digits for all calls here about 3 years ago, because of a new "overlay" area code. I still haven't seen EVEN ONE number that uses the new area code.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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On Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:16:59 -0500, Mark Lloyd

Up until recently I could get my phone to ring by dialing it but now, (since Embarq?) it just gives a busy signal
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

What can I say? it was a small town, with only 3-4 prefixes at the time. Most weeknights after supper, there were people on there, as well as late at night on non-school nights. In many ways, much like anonymous chat sites are now- voices were pretty garbled, so lots of slamming people and spreading rumors. I mainly lurked. I wouldn't hang on there for hours (multiple siblings wanting to make or expecting calls would have killed me), but phone was in the hall, so on the way back from the can, I'd pop on there and see if there were any voices, and if the subject matter was interesting. Kinda like nosy neigbors used to do on party lines. One time, I was talking to a young lady that lived a ways out of town, and I used some Bad Words, and caught an earful from her old neighbor lady that liked to listen in.
-- aem sends...
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Small town? With 3 or 4 prefixes?? That's a contradiction in terms. The town i live in still only has one prefix. THAT's a small town. A town of 40,000 is not small.
s

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On Wed, 26 Mar 2008 20:08:47 -0500, "S. Barker"

The town I live in used to have just one prefix. That was before fax, internet, and cellular phones. You used to be able to make a local call by dialing only 5 digits. That's another thing that went away with ESS.

--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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re :You used to be able to make a local call by dialing only 5 digits
Slightly OT, but we moved our offices from downtown to the suburbs and got new numbers because the 3 digit exchange couldn't be moved. In fact, it's a whole new phone system, new phones, etc.
Anyway, downtown we could dial the last 4 digits to speak to a coworker, now we have to dial all 7 digits for an internal call.
We have to dial 9 for an outside line and most ot the time I hit 9 out of habit, thus making an outside call to talk to my assistant in the next office!
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