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

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    And NJ got 201 because we invented the thing. :) Bell Labs was in Murray Hill NJ right down the street from where my dad worked.
    Ha! To drift further afield, Bell Labs had a couple of guys who discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation (and got the Nobel Prize for it), thus nailing shut the coffin of Hoyle, et al's steady state theory and providing the strongest support for the Big Bang, which continues today as the best explanation for the evolution of our universe.

    Ten or twenty billion years ago*, something happened -- the Big Bang, the event that began our universe. Why it happened is the greatest mystery we know. That it happened is reasonably clear. - Carl Sagan
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  2. #22
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    When the hackers convention came to Mandalay Bay every year, I'd leave my phone locked in my truck. Too many servers and bartenders ended up looking a photos from their phones on a customers phone with them saying, "Nice boobs!" Not that I had any boob pics but..... you know what i mean.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmo View Post
    Back in the day, at least in the computer manufacturing business, a "hack" was an elegant, temporary work-around to a problem. The term "kludge" was probably just an industry-insider thing, but that was the awful, ugly, temporary work-around. As far as I know, there never was a "kludger" term for what ultimately became the meaning of "hacker" (as in negative connotations). A "hack" was not a negative thing. Creative hacking was something highly prized back in the day of discrete circuitry. Kludges were frowned upon unless they were *extremely* temporary.
    Right-o. A hack was something you could take pride in. A kludge is still a quick & dirty thing to be got rid of ASAP…except when you're moved off a project before you can clean it up and it remains in place for ages, annoying you all over again every time you think of it. :)

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  4. #24
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Here's a random question that I was thinking about because of this thread:

    On your rotary dial, did you take your finger out of the hole after every number you dialed, or let it "ride"?

    I always let my finger ride for the lower numbers, but took it out for dialing a higher number - I just couldn't hang on when dialing "0"...

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  5. #25
    I took my finger off.


    BUT - back to original - was the person listening your call and taking time or was there some automated clock that alarmed some poor clerk to tell "more money" - and was the "more money paid - signal" then approved and whatever.



    Back here in 50-60:s when we made a "long-distance-call" - those were the ones that were outside our own region pre-number ( is that a correct expression ? ) - anyway - we had to dial state central and ask them to connect us to number so&so - then wait - wait - wait - until somebody in the other end answered - this could take hours if nobody was home - I guess that they tried every so many minutes again . . .


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  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Ha! To drift further afield, Bell Labs had a couple of guys who discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation (and got the Nobel Prize for it), thus nailing shut the coffin of Hoyle, et al's steady state theory and providing the strongest support for the Big Bang, which continues today as the best explanation for the evolution of our universe.

    Just to clarify, this took place at one of the two Bell Lab Holmdel locations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmdel_Horn_Antenna

  7. #27
    With hacker being the "positive" term, "cracker" was the negative term that never sort of caught on.

    A great read on all of this from the early days is Clifford Stoll's The Cukoo's Egg: The_Cuckoo's_Egg
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  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuska View Post
    I took my finger off.


    BUT - back to original - was the person listening your call and taking time or was there some automated clock that alarmed some poor clerk to tell "more money" - and was the "more money paid - signal" then approved and whatever.



    Back here in 50-60:s when we made a "long-distance-call" - those were the ones that were outside our own region pre-number ( is that a correct expression ? ) - anyway - we had to dial state central and ask them to connect us to number so&so - then wait - wait - wait - until somebody in the other end answered - this could take hours if nobody was home - I guess that they tried every so many minutes again . . .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-p_Wa13fk8

    I'm not sure about the mechanics of the pay phone timing out, but in the old OLD days you'd have to pick up the phone and have the operator ask you "number please?" In the US the numbers are broken out as follows:

    (area code) exchange (NXX) - number. Thus, (201) 647-1776. Before those days, you would pick up the phone and say something like PLainfield 7, 1234. That would mean 757-1234 because the P is on the 7 and the L is on the 5. It was really quite a logical system but it just didn't scale along with population growth. If you were within the exchange area already, you could just say 1234. IF it was a really small town you could just say, "Mary, please". :)

    As a fun aside, my wife's grandmother had one of the first phones in her town and her number was xxx-0013 because they doled them out in order. I always thought that was cool.

    BTW, all of the logic of the system was pretty much destroyed when people sued to keep their cell phone numbers between carriers. That gets far deeper into how the numbers are routed, but as someone who designs large schemes of things regularly, that was a sad day for me, even though I've reaped the rewards of number portability.

    Where it got really fun was with something called party lines where everyone on the street would share a single phone circuit. The phone would ring in everyone's house, but it would ring once for the first house, twice for the second house, and so-on. You could pick up the phone in your house and listen to people in other houses talking. It was a gossip gold-mind.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Here's a random question that I was thinking about because of this thread:

    On your rotary dial, did you take your finger out of the hole after every number you dialed, or let it "ride"?

    I always let my finger ride for the lower numbers, but took it out for dialing a higher number - I just couldn't hang on when dialing "0"...

    walrus
    Took my finger off
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  10. #30
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    Where it got really fun was with something called party lines where everyone on the street would share a single phone circuit. The phone would ring in everyone's house, but it would ring once for the first house, twice for the second house, and so-on. You could pick up the phone in your house and listen to people in other houses talking. It was a gossip gold-mind.
    There are great old videos about it!



    Ralf

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