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Author Topic: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing  (Read 1464 times)

4candles

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2020, 10:57:29 PM »

Never got acquainted with Crossbar. We only had one SAX on our patch, and as you say, not quite the same.
In the middle of a row of not very rural-looking houses, and with less than average line count. Pale blue vinyl tiles, cavernous, and due to the location, an ice box in winter.
Always glad to finish a job and shut the door on the soulless place!
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Black Sheep

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2020, 09:27:59 AM »

The heat and noise of the Strowger equipment though ..... compared to the relative noise-free TXE2/4 equipment  :-\

Only had one Crossbar Exchange on my patch and if memory serves the TO's used to say they were harder to fault-find on than the other types in use ??

I certainly remember this one time, the Strowger TOA in my local Exchange opening up a couple of mahooooosive detached contact, electro-mechanical diagrams, to locate an issue a customer was having.

They were like my living room carpet when put next to each other and to say I was in awe watching the bloke, (who as an aside, was my old man's drinking buddy in our local boozer) work his way through it and locate the problem, is an under-statement !!

Still .... he could have been talking to me about the nuances of creating a proper 'Full English' breakfast for all I know ... the bl00dy noise in there !!!!!!  ::) ;D

 
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Weaver

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2020, 11:53:11 PM »

Makes you feel young, Black Sheep?
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Black Sheep

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2020, 11:46:16 AM »

Makes you feel young, Black Sheep?

Ha ha .... when I think back (35+yrs), as a newly qualified electrician who had just landed his dream job at BT and being introduced to this bespoke electro-mechanical equipment that performed the magical task of connecting people around  the world ... it was a genuine eye-opener.

I never worked on the actual equipment, bar helping out with 'bank-cleaning' once (a device that cleaned both sides of the Strowger selector contacts at the same time), as my role at the time was on power construction, then power maintenance.

Can't give a definitive time-line but I'd say within 7/8yrs of being employed by BT, the massive wet, open-cell back-up battery sets had been replaced with basically car batteries and the large, clunky rectifiers (231, 233's) were reduced to slide in units
 weighing about 6/7kg.

I'd say the only functional device that is left from that era, is the back-up generator (engine) sets ??

Glad to have been witness to the old tech and part of the whole project upgrading to the new tech. As we can see, the tech has moved on massively from those days which is both scary and intriguing to think that just 30-odd years ago we still had party-lines and dial-phones  ???

Obviously, as I'm typing I'm A) more than aware the tech hasn't quite got to you yet Weaver, but this is purely a cost-decision ... and B) I seem to have deviated from the OP, apologies. 

 
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tiffy

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2020, 02:10:51 PM »

As a N.I. resident bordering county Donegal, I had a work colleague back in the 1970/80's who lived in Donegal where they still had non-dial, magneto phones with 3 digit numbers and a local exchange operator.

He gave an example demonstrating where that system could actually produce additional benefits.
It was not unusal to receive a call from the operator in the morning advising that there had been a call late the previous evening, the said operator insisting on knowing the nature of the call and if deemed to be unimportant the subscriber would not be disturbed until a reasonable hour the following morning.

Donegal has moved on now, virtually 100% FTTC (with vectoring) coverage and the said operator is probably long since deceased.
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licquorice

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2020, 05:07:01 PM »

But, of course, it also had its disadvantages, hence prompting Almon B Strowger inventing his automatic system.

As an aside, there were still quite a few manual exchanges extant when I first ventured forth with the GPO. :oldman: :oldman: :oldman:

With one exchange in particular, I was involved in providing a Strowger replacement for the manual switchboard above the post office, I then installed a Crossbar to replace the Strowger and moved the subscribers to that and later saw it move to a digital exchange. 4 different technologies at one location in my working lifetime.
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4candles

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2020, 07:56:19 PM »

But, of course, it also had its disadvantages, hence prompting Almon B Strowger inventing his automatic system.
As an aside, there were still quite a few manual exchanges extant when I first ventured forth with the GPO. :oldman: :oldman: :oldman:
One of our manuals went auto the previous year, and there were still two on the patch when I joined in '65.

I recall that many of the older subscribers questioned whether this dialling malarkey was really "progress". 
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2020, 09:01:10 PM »

I recall that many of the older subscribers questioned whether this dialling malarkey was really "progress".

Were they necessarily wrong?   

Iím assuming the earlier option was ďOperator! Operator! Get me this number...Ē.

Lots of people seem to think the way forwards is to ask Siri to call a number, and Siri is still not all that good at it. :)

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4candles

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2020, 11:51:39 AM »

Were they necessarily wrong?   
Iím assuming the earlier option was ďOperator! Operator! Get me this number...Ē.

Precisely that.

Suddenly the personal contact they'd grown up with was gone. If they encountered a wrong number, excessive noise, or a dropped call etc, they couldn't just flash the switchhooks to get the operator back on line. They still had to call the operator for trunk calls of course, but it would be an unfamiliar voice from the switchroom in the GSC.

So, I understood their annoyance.


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Weaver

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2020, 12:49:03 PM »

I think that Siri is going to be absolutely wonderful for old folks, especially when it improves in its accuracy and its range of abilities. When I am in bad pain or confused or paralysed or simply canít work out how to do something then I just get Siri to do it for me. You can type commands and questions to Siri too, instead of speaking them. Might depend on settings, canít recall. For example then I just ask Siri to send an emergency iMessage to Janet and I can do that even if I canít move. When I want to cancel an alarm, I can never work out how to do it, so I just tell Siri.


It really is finally Startrek or Ď2001í become a reality, albeit the primitive early beginnings of it, talking to the computer. You never need to know how to use a cryptic UI or need to use a keyboard to type commands (see Startrek IV comedy scene). In the 1960s though, they couldnít think beyond the idea of a single massive mainframe, like in 2001; couldnít imagine the desktop PC, or laptop or even less the iPad or iPhone or Raspberry Pi, Apple Watch and other tiny computers, and they hadnít thought up the internet or wireless and wireful LANs.
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bbnovice

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2020, 06:52:28 PM »

I think that Siri is going to be absolutely wonderful for old folks, especially when it improves in its accuracy and its range of abilities. When I am in bad pain or confused or paralysed or simply canít work out how to do something then I just get Siri to do it for me. You can type commands and questions to Siri too, instead of speaking them. Might depend on settings, canít recall. For example then I just ask Siri to send an emergency iMessage to Janet and I can do that even if I canít move. When I want to cancel an alarm, I can never work out how to do it, so I just tell Siri.


It really is finally Startrek or Ď2001í become a reality, albeit the primitive early beginnings of it, talking to the computer. You never need to know how to use a cryptic UI or need to use a keyboard to type commands (see Startrek IV comedy scene). In the 1960s though, they couldnít think beyond the idea of a single massive mainframe, like in 2001; couldnít imagine the desktop PC, or laptop or even less the iPad or iPhone or Raspberry Pi, Apple Watch and other tiny computers, and they hadnít thought up the internet or wireless and wireful LANs.

Sorry but I wouldn't trust these voice recognition and command systems as far as I can throw them. Last week was a classic - told the Sat Nav in my Mercedes to cancel route guidance, and the response I got was "Turning off rear interior lights" (which were not on in the first place).

And I'm a 73 year old old folk.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 06:55:28 PM by bbnovice »
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Weaver

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Re: Phasing out local/non-STD dialing
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2020, 08:22:09 PM »

Hence my remark about Ďwhen it improvesí. And god help those of us whose accent is not RP and therefore outside the training set that Apple et al trained their software on. I have seen video on youtube about for example lowland scots trying to get a voice recognition system to do the right thing.

I wonder if your Mercedesí system is rubbish because of background noise. Siri doesnít like it at all, everything has to be quiet, so no oriental tomcat yowling for smoked salmon (Somhairle) while Janet is making sandwiches and Iím trying to talk to Siri.

However as I said, Siri is good at speech recognition but just damn stupid, definitely still in the remedial class. It doesnít have a proper parser for English and I suspect it relies on just a load of heuristics and hand-crafted rules, but thatís pure guesswork based solely on its failings when tested with non-trivial sentences. Give it another ten years and it might be something impressive.

If they had based it on something powerful like RRG (Role and Reference Grammar) then they might have a chance of really understanding sentences. However RRG only does syntax, specifically the syntax-semantics interface, and so needs a lexicon, phonology, morphology and pragmatics components from elsewhere and also more semantic analysis obtained from some other software shop. And a truly massive computer to run all that lot on, which is why Siri needs an internet connection, because she doesnít have remotely enough CPU power available locally.

Forty years ago, I remember having a little chat with ELIZA on a DEC-10 mainframe. I said to her "If you donít tell me what sex you are, I am long to kill myself" Answer: "We were talking about you, not me", Me: "I am going to my doom post haste", ELIZA: "Tell me more about your doom post haste."
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