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Do you remember the days of Rotary Phones?

The concept of the rotary dial phone, it using the dial, produced a series of electronic clicks on the line that denoted a number. Each of those numbers was then broken into three components. The areas code, the prefix, and the unique identifier. The potential for numbers then meant that any single name out there has plenty of headroom. There are some cities, however, that have consumed the majority of a prefix. In that case, they get a second, third, and fourth. I used to live in Bloomington, Indiana, the entire country where we lived plus four others, all had an area code of 812. In the city of Bloomington, where I grew up, they used the 33x prefix for entity numbers. Other designations denoted other areas in the 812 area code.

The same is true for IP addresses. The original Internet Protocol or IP addressing scheme was called IPv4. The spring was 000.000.000. There are, of course, a finite number of combinations in that range, and we literally will run out of IPv4 address in the next 20 years. The reality of IPv6 was introduced; it has a different addressing scheme and gives us many more addresses to use for computing devices. You see, when the telephone numbers were first invented, there were less than 1000 telephones in the entire world. Now, many people have two, three, and even phone unique telephone numbers, so where we once had 1000 total numbers in the world, we now have between 10 and 12 billion unique phone numbers.

This conversation is an extension of one I had in the comments yesterday. It has to do with the reality of where we are today. In a world where things are not always as they seem, interesting and telephone addressing are precisely what they seem. Except they aren’t, in the early days, if you crossed an area code (812 calling 317), you paid long distance. Now there are no long-distance charges, but there are international phone charges. Now area codes and prefixes fill up pretty quickly, so they add another prefix. Near where I live, there are three depending on what part of the country you are in. There are also carrier-specific (Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T). But the newest and most interesting trend is that some people get their first cellular phone and never change that number. They understand that phone in Indianapolis and move to Florida with the same name. There no longer are long-distance changes, some number year after year.

I am waiting for the lawsuit when one parent leaves their telephone number to one child, and the other children want that number!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

  • Question of

    Caller number 7 wins a prize, it took an hour just to dail!!!!

    • Yes
  • Question of

    Did you ever have a rotary dial phone?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you remember the arrival of touchtone?

    • Yes
  • Question of

    Do you remember the fun phones you could get?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you remember party lines?

    • Yes

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What do you think?

Legend

Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

33 Comments

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  1. Q: CALLER NUMBER 7 WINS A PRIZE, IT TOOK AN HOUR JUST TO DAIL!!!!
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%
    Q: DID YOU EVER HAVE A ROTARY DIAL PHONE?
    Yes (4 votes) – 80%
    No (1 votes) – 20%
    Q: DO YOU REMEMBER THE ARRIVAL OF TOUCHTONE?
    Yes (5 votes) – 100%
    Q: DO YOU REMEMBER THE FUN PHONES YOU COULD GET?
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%
    Q: DO YOU REMEMBER PARTY LINES?
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%

    1
  2. Of course I remember the old rotary phone. Heck my grandparents had the really old phones with a crank and one earpiece only. I used to love those old phones and was disappointed when the touch phone came along. But progress cannot be stopped and now I am touch typing just about everywhere….

    2
    • i do remember those old crank phones, they were before my time, but I have seen some of the restored ones.

      My grandfather and mother used to tell me about party lines, if one of your neighbors liked to talk you could never use the phone!

      1
  3. You could still accidentally dial the wrong number, by trying to dial too fast, and not letting the previous number complete its redial back yet.

    It did have a nice pleasant sound to the dialing, lost now by a digital beep.

    1
  4. I never had a “fun” phone (POUT!!) I remember that relatives in the country had party lines but we never did living in the city.

    Re: lawsuit over kids fighting over phone number left to them in estate. I wouldn’t doubt that at all. Some would want it just so the others can’t have it. Sad world we live in now.

    2

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