TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

Curtis R Anderson (
Wed, 20 Jun 2007 20:43:38 -0400

Sam Spade wrote:

> Yes, quite a few. The first #1 ESS deployment was, as I recall, in
> 1967. It started off slow, but DC became the first place to experience
> a major deployment, for obvious reasons. ;-)

> The public wouldn't have known about it because calling features weren't
> promoted much, and not at all in some areas, until 1975, or so.
> Touchtone was available on No 5 XBAR in most of those areas in the the
> late 1960s.

I remember even independent Rochester (NY) Telephone making their
cutover to DTMF dialing in our corner of the town of Irondequoit where I
was barely going to kindergarten, which would have put the cutover
around 1969, give or take a year, on what I believe was their #5XB.
Today that switch's CLLI is ROCHNYXFRS0 on Norton St on Rochester's
north side. I remember the old dialtone from the #101A low tone
generator being changed to the 350/440 Hz we know today and wondering
why it changed.

My aunt worked for Rochester Telephone and was able to get the freebies
with tone dial when it was deployed on the south side of Rochester, on
the switch now known as ROCHNYXCDS0 on Field St. That was done at about
the same time as our dialtone cutover.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you recall one difference between
> the way 'call forwarding' was originally set up and later on? People
> could 'chain call-forward', that is, you forward yours to me; I then
> forwarded mine to some other party; they forwarded theirs onward, etc.
> Let's call them parties 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'. People realized they
> could forward infinitly if they had enough co-conspirators to help
> them, and make a (considerable) long distance call for the price of
> a local call. The next generic of 'call forwarding' did not allow
> that. Yes, A could forward to B and B could forward to C, etc, but
> calls directed to A _stopped_ when they reached B. Calls directed to
> B _stopped_ when they reached C. Officially the theory was that
> persons calling A only wanted to talk to A. For A's convenience, his
> calls could be forwarded to B, but party A did not want to be
> forwarded onward to C or D. Or, so said telco. And originally, if A
> forwarded to B and contemporaneously B forwarded to A, it would start
> an endless loop until eventually all circuits in the CO were tied up.
> Telco quickly put a stop to that also. But that 'chain forwarding' was
> foolish anyway; people could rarely -- if ever -- make a series of
> short distance calls for less expense than a single long distance
> call. PAT]

BBSers knew all about doing that around Buffalo throughout the '80s,
especially people living in and around the cities of Tonawanda and North
Tonawanda (The Tonawandas), served by what is now a #5ESS whose CLLI is
TWWNNYTWDS0. It might have been a #1AESS at that time. From the
Tonawandas, it was a local call to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, but not
all of Buffalo's southtowns. So a BBSer would set up a call forward for
his Niagara Falls friends from his number at 716-69[023456]-XXXX to,
say, a north Buffalo buddy whose number was either 716-83[2345]-XXXX at
the #1AESS (then) at Buffalo Main St (BFLONYMADS0) or
716-87[1345678]-XXXX at the DMS-100 at Buffalo Hertel Avenue
(BFLONYHEDS0) to then forward to 716-627-XXXX at the Lake Shore Rd
switch in Wanakah (WNKHNYWKRS0 now). I knew folks who would do just
these things. And I believe New York Telephone put a stop to it by
limiting the time a call forward was active.

Just seeing that post reminded me of those interesting pre-Internet days
of BBSing and those times I got to meet the folks I would converse with

Curtis R. Anderson, Co-creator of "Gleepy the Hen", still
"In Heaven there is no beer / That's why we drink it here ..." (and others) Yahoo!: gleepythehen

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But see my earlier note in this issue.
It was not the length of time for the connection (all my callers
listened to me for exactly three minutes or less, but there were so
damn many of them. On the other hand, a BBS'er could easily stay on
line for 30-45 minutes; I know there were times that I was on line
that long to a BBS or someone was on that long calling mine. PAT]

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