(snip)code tho). That was a rotary phone that
In the old days, with the relatively high-draw mechanical ringers, they
could put a meter across your line and see how much juice it drew when
the ring tone was sent. Look on the bottom of a modern throw-away phone
for the Ringer Equivalence Number (REN)- it is usually about 0.65 or
so, as compared to 1.0 for a real phone. And if Ma Bell was suspicious,
she could figure out how many you had. Standard home POTS line, if you
put too many phones on, none would ring. So people with bootleg phones
would disconnect the ringers on the 'extra' ones.
There was a day when repeatedly getting caught with bootleg phones would
get your service terminated. And since you could only get phones from
the phone company, you were presumed to be holding stolen property. (For
Ma Bell, at least, it said it was theirs right on it.) For a few years
after the judge said the phone company had to allow customer-owned
equipment, they were still allowed to require one phone-company owned
phone per line. So a lot of small businesses who were early adopters for
having their own phone system, would have a board on the basement wall
with a 'real' wall phone for each line, never used.
OK, yes I remember those days. As late as 1985 I remember hooking up
another "real" phone and it rang but the other phone just barely had the
power to "tick" the bells. Buying a cheap new phone took care of that
since their REN was so low. I also remember that I was supposed to pay
an extra $1/month for all additional phones. Screw that. I'm not sure,
but I think around that time they may have stopped charging for extra
phones because I vaugley remember asking the phone company to up the
power for the ringers and it was done free.
I also had what I think was a "Princess" touch tone phone, not sure
where I got it. For some reason I opened it up and saw a light bulb for
the buttons. I called the phone company and asked why my bulb won't
light and they told me they stopped supplying power for that. For free
they did send me a little wall wort type thing to plug in and hook up to
the phone so my light worked! I just saw it the other day, I think it
is "Western Electric" brand, damn, now I can't find it!
As a kid we had an outdoor phone ringer mounted to the chimmney which
was about the center of the house. I'm almost certain it was real Bell
of PA equipment. Our lot was a little over an acre and it could be
heard easily 1 or 2 houses away, and I don't think we paid monthly for
it. Just once for the bell and the hookup. That would drive me nuts if
my neighbor got one of them now, we had a large family so the phone rang
a lot! Gawd knows how many times we ran inside only to just miss the
phone, not to mention how many times the run included a trip and fall!
I know some business' still have some real phones for in case their
system dies or the electric goes out. The bank of real phones still
works with no electric.
Here is what gets me. It's hard to keep up with what area codes need to
be dialed (ok, toned). If I get a recording telling me not to use the
area code, they could have just as easily made it ring through either way!
I complained about that a long time ago.
Also the recording says......you need (or don't need) to dial a 1
before making this call. They could just ask to confirm you want to
make a long distance call, and put the call through anyway. It would
keep you from having to redial the number.
I used to travel frequently to Japan. I wondered why we didn't implement
changes to fill the need for numbers as simply as they did.
They have essentially the same system as the US where 3 digits are the
exchange and the next 4 digits are a phone number in that exchange.
When they started running out of numbers they increased the numbers per
exchange from 4 to 5 places. Existing numbers were given the prefix 3.
So 999-1111 became 999-31111. That added almost 90,000 numbers per
exchange without needing to do confusing stuff like area code overlays
where now your neighbor can be in a different area code.
I was pleased when we went to a 10 digit number because that included
us in the Atlanta calling area. Back in the old days, BBSs (and
anything interesting) were long distance.
404 was the Atlanta area code and the new area changed from 404 to
There was a big deal about local businesses having to change their
area code on business cards and signs and things. The solution they
came up with was to leave Atlanta as 404 and give the outside area
What they should have done was give businesses 404 and let residences
use 770. That way, you would automatically have known which people
had what area code. The way it is, you just had to guess what numbers
switched area codes and which stayed the same.
But no one called me and asked me. :)
Yeah, but I end up fumblefingering the phone too much to make that
worthwhile. Plus it's just one more thing to have to remember.
I am, however, tempted to route the phone through an old modem, and have the
computer do the dialing for me. That worked out splendedly the last time I
had it hooked up that way.
On Mon, 14 Jun 2010 05:30:14 -0700, "Jon Danniken"
That happened because your neighbors did not want to give up their
existing area code when the number of customers exceeds the available
Instead of splitting up the subscribers into 2 area codes with half of
them getting a new area code they just interspersed new and old in the
same area meaning you have to dial all 10 numbers.
Here they gave us a choice and we went with taking a new area code and
the 7 digit dial. Since then my AC has changed twice (813, 941 and now
239) but within the 239 area, it is a 7 digit dial to get me.
Aye, the thing is that they already did the area code split about 10 or so
years ago. Portland got to keep the area code once shared by the entire
state, and the rest of us got stuck with the new one.
Now they spring the 10 digit crap on us. It's just no fun anymore.
It was like that up in Philadelphia PA NW sub, suburbs for at least 10
years. I liked that better than here in east TN. Here sometimes you
dial a 1 then the area code, and other calls you can not dial the one
before the area code or you get a recording. If it was all the same
that would be great. Who knows, how low until they add another digit to
I love it when you dial a 1 before a "local area code" (like 602 from
480) and are basically told "fuck you, try again and forget the 1, you
should know what area codes we aren't handing off to your long
Those days are gone for me. I put pbxinaflash onto a retired p4
computer and now I pay $5/mo for the house phone plus about a
penny/minute for outgoing calls. I can have multiple simultanious
calls and it screens out all incoming autodialed calls by requiring
human inteligence (press "5" to complete an incoming call). The
latter reason was the primary reason for the setup. I'm to lazy to
do anything much fancier than the default setup but some added perks
include call logs, the ability to record everything, and messages
forwarded to me as emails that I can pick up on my smart cellphone.
BTW: I can set up any dialing rules I want. Press a 7 or 10 digit
number with or without a 1 and it just dials it. All circuits busy
with one carrier? It'll use a fallback.
Here, they added a second (overlay) area code. AFAIK no numbers have
been assigned to that code, but we're still required to dial all 10
digits even to call someone next door.
BTW, I want to an appliance store recently (an old local store, not
one something like Lowe's) and the (old) salesman was writing
customers phone numbers down with 5 digits (5-digit dialing ended
about 20 years ago, when we got ESS).
5 digits is a shorthand many people use, especially sales/marketing types.
For example, 3 = 393, 4 = 344, 2 = 278, and so on. It works well until you
get overlapping codes ending in the same digit.
Also, many predictive dialers are programmed to work that way; they're
usually called least cost routers. It's just software programmed for a
specific area is all it is. Great for 10 & 11 & 14 digit daling, especially
if auth codes go with it.
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