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Thread: . . . and the operator says forty cents more for next three minutes . . .

  1. #1

    . . . and the operator says forty cents more for next three minutes . . .

    Hello

    Heard Sylvia's Mother in radio - I have never used public phone in US - how did it work back then? Was there a voice cutting in telling you have to pay more to continue?
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - still regret letting it go 25 years ago - used to have Artist Award and Starfire - no regrets here.
    Present guitars - all bought new - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - OM-240CE 2018 - Schecter Startocaster
    Bought secondhand - B30SB fretless - RED Songbird - White Songbird - S-60D - D-125 - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  2. #2
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    Sure was.
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  3. #3
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    In the mid 60s my college dormitory had a couple pay phones on each floor. The phones had three coin slots--nickel, dime, and quarter. All local calls (girls' dorms) were a dime. But if you had great hand cordination and "timing" you could drop a nickel in and immediately hit the coin return and phone would accept the nickel for local call. Folks have always tried to outsmart the "system."
    1971 Guild D40 "Guild Guitar Inc" label SN 55360
    2001 Chris Bozung Rosewood Dred - Antique Sunburst - "A Dozen Roses"
    2011 Chris Bozung CB "45" Brazilian Rosewood Dread

  4. #4
    Hello

    Outsmarting system was fun - imagine my joy when I discovered that a finnish 10 penny coin was exact match for german 50 pfennig coin - so about 10x gain, while those days 1 DM was about 2 FIM. So next trip I took a small bag full of finnish coins to use in germany.


    Back to your past system - was that voice cutting in a real person or automatic recording? More details, please.
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - still regret letting it go 25 years ago - used to have Artist Award and Starfire - no regrets here.
    Present guitars - all bought new - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - OM-240CE 2018 - Schecter Startocaster
    Bought secondhand - B30SB fretless - RED Songbird - White Songbird - S-60D - D-125 - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  5. #5
    Senior Member rampside's Avatar
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    My wife was once, one of those real person lovely voices. So was my aunt. According to my wife, my aunt was the best of them all (best voice and fastest hands) and full blooded Finn to boot!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    A real person at first, then later if I remember right, automated.

    It was called "phreaking" when you fooled the phone with a simulation of the sound of coins. The beginning of the "hacker" culture...

    walrus
    2011 Guild F-30RCE
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  7. #7
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Fun song!

    Yes, long distance from a telephone booth was pay-as-you-go, with live operator assistance. And it wasn't cheap, you needed a pocket full of coinage.

    The Martin Jim Croce memorial guitar had a 1973 US dime inlaid at the 12th fret, inspired by words from his song "Operator:" "you can keep the dime"
    "Heat lightning burnt the sky like alcohol." John Prine

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  8. #8
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    A real person at first, then later if I remember right, automated.

    It was called "phreaking" when you fooled the phone with a simulation of the sound of coins. The beginning of the "hacker" culture...

    walrus
    I think I agree with that Walrus... Though I suspect making slugs to fool vending machines and pay phones preceded "phreaking" [thanks, I never heard that term before!], making the coin sound was definitely more of a hacker-like activity.
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  9. #9
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    Didn't realize there were so many "criminals" on this site. Oh, the things we all did (me included) to save a few cents back in the day.
    '75 D 40 C
    '18 D 40T Custom
    '64 D 50 Braz. RW
    '14 D 55
    '98 D 60
    '86 D 66
    '81 D 70
    '94 DV 72
    '94 DV 73
    '00 F30R
    '10 F 40 GSR Cocobolo
    '12 F 47 GSR KC
    '08 F 50R
    '09 F 50
    '74 D 55-12
    '07 F 412
    '74 F 512
    '72 F-612
    '83 G 45
    '87 GF 50R
    '95 JF 100 NAT CRV
    '99 Finesse
    '13&'14 Orpheum Jumbo
    '97 45th Anniv. #45
    '03 D 55 50th Anniv. #23
    '13 F 30 60th Anniv. #17
    '64 S 50
    '57 X 175
    '70's M 75 CS
    '69 Studio 402
    '98 SF 2
    '81 SF 4
    '67 SF 5
    '67 SF 12
    Blues 90X2

  10. #10
    Phreaking wasn't simulating the sounds of coins - it was simulating the tones that could manipulate the digital switching systems back when they used in-band signaling. This was famously done by John Draper with a Cap'n Crunch (a breakfast cereal in the US) toy whistle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Draper.

    BTW, if you've ever seen the hacker magazine 2600, it's named after the frequency that the Cap'n Crunch whistle produced: 2600Hz.
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