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joseph marquez

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Aug 14, 2015, 4:39:56 AM8/14/15
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1st story is a western in which the main character is a young man who returns to town years later after adventures working on a ship with his uncle. He is trying to win back the love of a girl who is half Anglo half Mexican.


2nd story is time travel story of a man that was put back in time during slavery. Becomes involved in family that owns plantation and helps build tugboat and shipping empire.

lonelydad

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Aug 14, 2015, 5:33:16 AM8/14/15
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The first one is 'In My Life' by HardDaysKnight

The second is 'Winds' by H2OWader.

rbhol...@charter.net

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Aug 14, 2015, 8:51:04 AM8/14/15
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If I remember correctly he pulled Winds in order to have it published.  I don't remember where it was being published however.  Definitely a good story and I definitely wish I had saved it somehow.

lonelydad

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Aug 14, 2015, 7:50:26 PM8/14/15
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Drop me an email.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 14, 2015, 11:32:32 PM8/14/15
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I often wondered about that, drop a written letter it just lies there, but since you can 'bounce' and email when the mailbox is full or the address is faulty, does an email bounce when dropped?

Sagacious

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Aug 14, 2015, 11:42:31 PM8/14/15
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Its like hanging up a phone has turned to pressing end call. 

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Deadly Ernest

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Aug 14, 2015, 11:52:11 PM8/14/15
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That still varies, with my current phone at home (and most business handsets) you 'punch a number' instead of 'dial a number' but you still 'put it down on the hook' to 'hang it up' - most wall phones still require you to 'hang it up' to disconnect. Only cell phones require you to hit 'end call' and even that's ending with the smart phones working off verbal commands.

joseph marquez

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Aug 15, 2015, 1:58:02 AM8/15/15
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Thank you lonelydad for the assistance. I wished I had saved Winds before he pulled it. It was a wonderful piece of writing.

massivereader

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Aug 15, 2015, 4:26:04 AM8/15/15
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Talk about usless trivia... Some tine ago I needed to find out what you called that thing on old fashioned phones that indicated the phone was 'hung up' and the call completed.
 
A retired Bell technician that drove for me provided the answer (pre search engine era).
 
Depending on where you are and when you are writing about it's called either a switchhook or a hook-switch.
 
Most homes in the US (if they still have a land line, most millenials don't bother anymore) mostly use cordless phones these days, which have and 'off' button to end your call, much like a cell phone. You can also hang up some modles by returning the handset to the base/charging unit.
 
The major advantage of the old Bell System Phones is that they still work when you have no power. Most cordless phones don't. Even most modren replacement land line phones don't work with the power out.
 
I still have a pair of Western Electric 'Touch Tone' model 2500 phones, the type that used to be leased to residential customers in the US (they were not available for purchase until the Bell System monopoly was broken up by court order.) 
 
I always kept one in my bedroom, because they were so much louder than modren phones and could wake me up from a dead sleep no matter how tired I was. That was necessary because I was on 24 hour call for 17 years when I woked for a courier company.
 
My parents still have a Western Union Model 500 rotary dial phone. It still works, but you have to let the phone company know you have a phone in service that uses pulse rather than tone for dialing out.
 
These are the phones I'm talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_500_telephone
 
John

lonelydad

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Aug 15, 2015, 6:01:34 AM8/15/15
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More phone trivia. Back when the phones were still rotary dial, you could impress your friends by dialing a number with the switchhook. It wasn't easy to do, but if you were very nimble-fingered it could be done.

In the early 80s, our phone company actually had a surcharge to get a touch tone line. We got around that by buying a tone dialer. It was a small box about the size of a deck of cards with a touch tone pad on one the front, and a speaker on the rear. One held it up to the mouthpiece and dialed the number on the touch pad. The circuits inside produced the tones like a touch-tone phone and the speaker sent them down the line.

I have the distinction of having installed the last Bell 801A computer operated rotary dialer in Cincinnati on our IBM Mainframe at work.

Saqib Jawaid

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Aug 15, 2015, 6:14:54 AM8/15/15
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They still had those phones in Pakistan in the mid nineties, they had a unit with out the rotary dial (on incoming calls only) at my hostel, I used to use the switch hook to call my folks in Saudi Arabia (try dialling thirteen digits like that). Ended up getting a Casio watch that had a phone book with a dialler that would send out the beeps into the mouth piece of the hand set.

Sagacious

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Aug 15, 2015, 9:46:48 AM8/15/15
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I used to keep a cheap phone to use during power outages, the wireless phones needed power to their transmitter. Then I realized that I was paying for a phone that only rang for bill collectors, salesmen and wrong numbers; everyone else used our cell numbers. After that epiphany I dumped the land-line.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 15, 2015, 1:18:07 PM8/15/15
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Down here in Australia our Internet access is a bit different to what you have in the USA. The cost of ADSL over land-line is less than one tenth of cell phone Internet access download charges, so I have a land-line just for that. I have a phone on the line with the ringer turned off because when I ring government agencies with long wait times it's a lot cheaper to do that on the local call 1300 number than on the timed cell phone at so much per minute for half an hour. However, I have the ringer turned off so the telemarketers never bother me.

Ernest

perv...@gmail.com

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Aug 16, 2015, 12:15:58 AM8/16/15
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The phone lines are of course power lines all on their own, providing the necessary electricity to operate the original, simple phone units, and are independent from the wires that feed your AC sockets. Somehow it's much more rare for the phone lines to get taken out by a thunderstorm than the power lines.

Those old phones gave us terminology that lingers long after the context was removed, we still "dial" a phone using the buttons and we "hang up" phones that do not have a switchhook.

More trivia, the rotary phone system that automatically connects you was developed by a businessman who suffered from the human operators used at the time too often connecting callers to his competitor. And the business in question? He was an undertaker.


On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 3:26:04 AM UTC-5, massivereader wrote:

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 16, 2015, 12:43:38 AM8/16/15
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G'day,

When phones were first installed they were up on poles just the same as the power lines and the wires were not insulated either. Within a short time they found they needed to have a lot more lines along each route than they had, so they started insulating them. Withe them being insulated they could bury them. Since this greatly reduced outages and the number of repairs needed to the lines they very soon had all the lines buried, thus when a storm takes out a power line by knocking down a pole the storm has no such effect on the buried phone lines.

Ernest

massivereader

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Aug 16, 2015, 4:51:53 AM8/16/15
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Not so much the case in the US. Most phone lines in neighborhoods that do not require underground utilities and virtually all rural service still have aboveground wires on poles. In fact, we still call them telephone poles, even though they also carry electrical power and cable wiring. It's probably because phone service predated electricity in much of this country.
 
It is still much less common to lose phone service here than to lose power. It's not the breach of lines issue, since it's all carried on the same poles the loss of a phne line is just as likely as the loss of a power line. The reson for the dependability of the phone service is the more robust architecture of the phone system and also the fact that the voltage carried by phone lines is so much lower, so the lines (phone cables) are lighter, better designed and less likely to get blown down in storms or fail from icing conditions. In addition, the phone lines runs on DC so the junction boxes for the phones cover much smaller areas and use a distributed topography. The power grid is essentially heirarchical (high tension wires to feed substation to local step down transformers to neighborhood transformer on telephone poles) Finally, the phone company still provides it's own power though the phone lines, which is independant of the power grid and in outage situations, has enough battery power on tap at each local office to keep the system up for a day or so and enough reserve emergency power generatiing capacity to keep the batteries topped off during long term interruptions of the power grid.
 
John

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 16, 2015, 5:18:34 AM8/16/15
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I don't know exactly when they started doing it, but the phone lines in urban areas were all underground during the 1960s and since. Since the late 1970s new urban development requires underground power as well. Out in the country they replaced all the above ground trunk phone line with underground phone trunks either just before or just after WW2. As they replaced party lines they put in below ground local lines. A part of that was the farmers not letting them stick phone poles in the fields because they lost too much crop land  around each pole. So we've had underground phones for a few decades. now they don't run lines out to remote areas, they just stick in a radio tower beside the nearest trunk line and tie in, telling people to buy cell phones.

Ernest

Crumbly Writer

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Aug 16, 2015, 1:57:58 PM8/16/15
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I know several early 'hackers', who'd hack AT&T by whistling access codes to get free service. But that was before my time.

Crumbly Writer

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Aug 16, 2015, 2:04:36 PM8/16/15
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Living in Hurricane alley, those powered lines are vital (i.e. when ALL the power goes out, it's handy having a way to get news to family once the storm has passed). Yet ... we got an internet phone instead. Now, it's easier charging a cell phone by starting your truck than anything else. As long as your vehicle doesn't get flooded (you have to keep relocating it to higher ground), you're set.

tannag

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Aug 16, 2015, 6:54:22 PM8/16/15
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Crumbly, et al,

There was also the famous, or infamous, "Purple Box" an electronic device designed specifically to create the dialing tones. It's been a long time but I seem to recall they were available for purchase, as were plans to build your own; all quite sub rosa of course. 

massivereader

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Aug 16, 2015, 8:00:27 PM8/16/15
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Ah, yes, that was back in the the days of 'phone phreaks'.
 
John

lonelydad

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Aug 16, 2015, 10:26:34 PM8/16/15
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The "Purple Box" generated control tones not normally used by a handset that did funky things with billing, etc. For several years during the transition period portable phone dialers to use with rotary phones were available. We got ours from Radio Shack.

Tim Merrigan

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Aug 16, 2015, 11:19:36 PM8/16/15
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I thought I'd always (including during their hay day) heard the devices used by Phone Phreaks being called "blue boxes".  Where are you getting purple?

Soronel Haetir

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Aug 17, 2015, 1:29:59 PM8/17/15
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But that is assuming the tower is still functioning, which does not
necessarily seem a safe belief.

Much easier to storm-harden one or a few ttelco offices than cell
towers that are set up all over the place. Of course you then have
real problems if that central office goes down (although if that
happens the cell phones will still be out so no real difference
there).
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Warren Stewart

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Aug 17, 2015, 2:42:40 PM8/17/15
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Tim,

I remember purple, way too long ago to have any idea where it came from. Trying to check my memory I found this http://www.aboutphone.info/lib/phreak/boxes-2.html Apparently there were lots of colors used to describe similar devices.

Dem Gnomes

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Aug 25, 2015, 9:04:25 PM8/25/15
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You could just invest in a Monster Truck. That way, the first 48 inches are free...
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