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Fancy Phones

July 13th, 2011

As a child, we had a phone whose last four digits were 1101. Not a good thing as it was close in numbers to a couple of business resulting in more than one late night drunk getting us instead of his intended target. That was my introduction to wrong numbers as well as rotary phones.

Remember the Princess Line phone? Or the first phones that were not nailed to the kitchen wall?

What a concept – a house with more than one phone increasing a person’s privacy so that the kitchen did not have to be cleared every time the phone rang while creating the side effect of “hang up the phone” yells from one end of the house to the other. And slim phones; and in color! Wow! A serious interior design effect after years of black, black and more utilitarian black phones.

The only thing more important was the shift from Party line (with everyone listening in) to private phone lines.

There progress sat for years. You can Google if you want – but most of the articles about Telephones and History devote themselves to the early development of the actual first instrument. Wikipedia does address briefly some of the improvements in the 20th Century. The most fun site is here – on antique phones, collections and current collectors.

The next major step was the change to push buttons – more choices in phone designs and less painful fingers. My Eldest may have seen rotary phones (we certainly still had them on the all military bases in the early 90s) but I don’t think my younger three have any familiarity with the actual practice of dialing a phone numbers. Never the less – dialing up someone, or dialing a number is still in common usage only more recently superseded by “phoning.”

Remember the development of private phone lines where you could actually talk to someone without all of your neighbors and family listening in? Well, here we are in 2011 – everyone has a cell phone with their words being broadcast and bounced through relay towers providing a great chance for eavesdropping. It isn’t necessary though – all you have to do is sit anywhere in public and all those around you will happily let you in on the most intimate details of their lives as they sit and chat within a pretend bubble of privacy.

I am on this rant again because, after a wasted a couple of hours (by one technologically quite competent individual and his father) we have discovered why our expensive, fancy phones (bells, whistles, answering capability, programable rings, a call log and a contact register.) don’t work.

There is a problem with the line. Not the whole line – Telekom informs us – just the voice portion.

So here I sit on my computer, able to email to the world, post to this blog, and dial internationally on the VoIP phone but can’t make a local call or a Germany call on the regular phone. The reset that was tried also wipes the phone memory which means my alternative of calling people on my handi is limited since I don’t have any numbers…….

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  1. Carmen
    July 13th, 2011 at 17:47 | #1

    Oh, for exasperating!
    This summer everything’s on the fritz.
    I hope you can get it fixed soon!

  2. Jan
    July 13th, 2011 at 17:48 | #2

    Carol’s Xenna Corp’s main line is 609 921-1101. Hopewell family practice is 609 466-1101. I don’t use them anymore because they refuse to prescribe antibiotics when I know I’m coming down with Pneumonia, and they feel obligated to save the world. Don’t know any drunks with that number.

  3. Mitch
    July 13th, 2011 at 17:49 | #3

    Ah, progress is so wonderful.

    BTW, my brother and sister-in-law still have a rotary phone on their kitchen wall (and individual cell phones).

  4. Holly
    July 13th, 2011 at 17:51 | #4

    Which leads me to suspect that they have been in the same house (or with the same kitchen) for a significant number of years.

    Heck – most people I know don’t even have the same phone number for long enough that anyone learns it!

  5. Mitch
    July 13th, 2011 at 20:29 | #5

    1972

  6. Bob
    July 13th, 2011 at 20:31 | #6

    Okay, so I’m no longer a major player. But one thing learned from many, many years of working on equipment and software of others: Never, ever attempt anything unless and until there’s a complete backup available from whence to recuperate in event of losses/malfunctions. And anything on these “smart” phones can be backed up. Sorry to hear you lost those numbers.

  7. Holly
    July 13th, 2011 at 20:32 | #7

    we will be ok, they are on other phones. It is just a pain to have to re-enter…

  8. Alison
    July 13th, 2011 at 20:37 | #8

    Like my computer Monday night. It could read incoming Thunderbird but do
    nothing else. [] finally figured out that with our Apple server
    down, my computer couldn’t read its name.

    “Hello, my name is PC and I am not…”

  9. Cat
    July 14th, 2011 at 07:19 | #9

    Former neighbour used to be accountant for big funeral business. It had a number one digit different from a taxi company. He said they would send a hearse for repeat offenders!

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