Coolness of the analog station interface

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May 6, 2012 8:10 AM
May 6th, 2012

I was reflecting about some amazing facts regarding the universal phone line that was ubiquitous to our lives before the advent of all things digital.

To start with, consider it has been in existence for more than 120 years with virtually no modifications. That means you can hoop vintage phones to VoIP equipment and they will work. How cool is that for decorating a living room with some style.

I have to admit, I've been fascinated with phone lines, since I was a young kid. With that, we could connect to anyone in the world, instantly. I think my brother and I made some calls to Japan to see if it was true. However, since we could not understand Japanese, these were not long conversations.

Another thing that is cool, is that you can use it to talk room ro room as an intercom. Try that with some expensive ATA of today! Again, WE used that sometimes in my family. Of course, we had to dial a digit to break dialtone and yell the other party lift the phone so we could talk.

I have been able to take revenge about these annoying limitations when I coded a small UC script for a mining site. Down deep there, they could lay down only a single pair, and used to connect multiple phones on it. This presented the problem on how to advise other parties to go off-hook, because yelling is not much effective in an underground mine. The solution is that you dial a number that calls you back, and hang-up. Since all the phone were then ringing, people would be alerted and communicating.

And what else? Well, the analog line sounds quite well too. Sure better than cellphones. Have you seen any advertising for "pin drop" voice quality on cellphone networks, whatever their generation? But we have the 20 megabits speeds, go figure.

All in all, I can't say if the analog line is going to remain, as in most cases today one could do without. But for sure, it's some kind of achievement that we can still put to good use for a long time.

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Posted May 6, 2012 at 8:10 AM
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