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Volume 28 : Issue 46 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
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Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 21:39:08 -0800 (PST)
From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <9732596d-a644-40d7-a99b-729c967505f7@c12g2000yqj.googlegroups.com>

On Feb 13, 12:55pm, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote:
> >> Clearly the 33 was designed for computer use as well as telegraphy and
> >> I suggest the designers did an excellent job especially given the
> >> very limited computer time sharing capability when they began their
> >> task. 

> The Model 32/33 was designed for TELEX and TWX service. When I attended
> the maintenance school in 1976, the instructors told us that Teletype
> provided a "private line" version of the machine only because some
> customers were still using private Teletype networks for sending orders
> to warehouses or to collect sales figures from dealers. They made it
> clear that these were light-duty machines, not to be used as printers or
> for keypunch. That was why they came with current-loop interfaces: it
> was the standard private line interface, and computer hookups needed
> either external RS-232-to-current-loop converters, or a modem that
> included a 20ma interface.

I am not an expert on this history, but I have a different impression.

Yes, for the short term, the 32, 33, and 35 were intended for Telex,
TWX, and private network service.  But I feel that when they developed
both the 33/35 and ASCII they were not thinking so much of current
plain vanilla telegraphy but rather computer communications of the
future.  This would be both terminal-to-computer (the TTY 33/35) and
computer-to-computer (ASCII).

Recall that only a year or so after the 33 was introduced Dartmouth
Univ. used them as computer terminals for its pioneer time-sharing
service.

Data communication--sending blocks of data to be process by machine--
began in 1940 and grew after WW II.  IBM's 1950s product line included
card-to-tape and tape-to-card for transmission over telegraph lines,
and then later card-to-card and tape-to-tape for transmission over
higher speed voice grade lines.  (IBM developed its own modem but then
let the Bell System handle that end; the Bell System had DataPhone
devices out by 1960).  Clearly, batch transmission of data from remote
sites to headquarters was seen as a growing business for both computer
and communiations companies by 1960 and both were developing improved
technology.

Also forseen and under development were both time sharing (such as
BASIC users) and remote computer inquiry and update, such as airline
reservations.  ASCII and the models 33 and 35 were obviously well
positioned for this service.

The limited-use capability of the 33 would be fine for occassional
inquiries, say from a branch office to a central computer via dial-
up.  In any event, for this discussion I lump the 33 and 35 together
as ASCII terminals.

If all that was desired was traditional message transmission
telegraphy, Baudot and earlier TTY models (eg the 28) were more than
adequate.  Indeed, that technology remained in active commercial
service well into the 1980s for private line transmission, news
reporting, etc.



> > I forgot to mention something very interestin the WU Tech Review ASCII
> > article (see above for link). WU said it did not think ASCII would
> > have much of a place in the WU network since it wasted three bits.
> > Although at that time WU was very interested in serving as a data
> > transmission carrier, choosing to avoid ASCII, in my humble opinion,
> > condemned them to second rate status.
>
> I disagree: Western Union's fear of undermining their lucrative TELEX
> and TWX markets did them in, since competitors leapfrogged them by
> offering "bring your own modem" services which could carry any kind of
> traffic while WU tried to keep their existng TELEX/TWX customers in
> a closed system.

My impression from reading the WU bulletins was that they sought Telex
to be an open system; the bulletins described development efforts to
make such interfaces possible.  Their bulletins at the time (1964) had
numerous articles on computer interfaces.  WU wanted AT&T's TWX, but
by the time AT&T finally let it go the entire concept was approaching
obsolescence.

My impression is that the bulk of the WU network was actually low
speed with 5-bit repeaters, despite their efforts in microwave and
hopes for the future.  I sense their improvements to their network
were actually rather modest and AT&T simply outpaced them much faster
data lines and improved technology.

As far as I know, there was no reason WU couldn't have teamed up with
a computer company and offered a time sharing service using its
network and terminals.  But I don't believe WU, despite its
advertising claims, did that.


> ASCII's parity bit proved ineffective for error checking on computer
> data lines: it could only detect single-bit errors, but the noise
> encountered on voice-grade data lines was as likely to "flip" multiple
> bits as it was to kill just one, so data transmission networks had to
> combine block transmission with cyclic-redundancy checks to assure
> reliable transit. A noise burst that flips bits 5 and 6 would change
> "500 DOLLARS" to "900 DOLLARS".

That is true, but even one parity bit offered more checking than
Baudot did.  I believe the Teletype 33 could be set up to print an "*"
upon receipt of a parity error.  Not much, but better than nothing.



> > Further, computers require more printing characters and special
> > control characters which Baudot had no room for.
>
> Computers, per se, didn't require them: peripherals did. Most of the
> control characters in ASCII were intended for use with automated
> typesetting equipment and high-speed printers, which needed form
> control characters, such as form-feed, to work efficiently.

Yes, but peripherals are an inseparable part of the computer.  For
example, the 33 and 35 supported sprocket feed forms and forms
control, I don't believe the earlier units or Baudot did so.  That
enabled a report Teletype to print special forms, such as a rent-a-car
agreement, insurance document, airline tickets, under remote computer
control.

The ASCII designers undoubtedly were providing control codes for yet
to be developed peripherals.  The Teletype 33/35 was a modular design
to allow add-ons.  By Western Union choosing not to go ASCII, they
were locking their customers out of using such new devices.  It would
be as if a competitive PC manufacturer refused to provide any
expansion slots--how popular would such a machine be?

Again, I'm not an expert on this, but it would seem that if say an
airline or car rental wanted to use form-feed Teletypes to print up
tickets at their counters, they could and would not use WU to carry
their data because a Baudot machine couldn't print a ticket as quickly
and efficiently as an ASCII machine could.  (As it happened, I think
IBM Selectric terminals were used instead in such applications).


> Kidding aside, I don't think the ASCII vs. Baudot conversion was that
> big an issue:

If you had a computer that was ASCII, as many mini-computers were, you
needed no conversion at all.  In the 1960s every operation added
noticeable and unwanted cost and time, especially on the mini-
computers.



> 1. Baudot was used only on military and TELEX circuits, both of
>   which were, by their nature, separate from the computer
>   world.

As I understand it, Western Union was seeking to go computer in a big
way with those circuits.  It had a major military contract AUTODIN as
well as a major Federal non-military contract (link up social security
offices).   It was using compuers to do switching and services.  Now,
I don't know if these networks were ASCII or Baudot.  However, WU's
ads and tech bulletins stressed these networks as its future.  My
guess is that even if those networks were ASCII, WU main network was
not.

After the end of WW II, WU modernized its national network.  I suspect
it was hesitant to scrap switchgear only ten years old to make way for
newer technology.  Heck, it took 25 years for the Bell System to
upgrade from relay to all-electronic.  The difference (as I see it)
was that the Bell System could afford to upgrade enough parts to
provide advanced features for enough of its customers, while WU didn't
have that luxury.

It would be of great historical interest to trace WU's 1960s Federal
contract life.  That is, we know about the early days of service.  But
how long did these networks last until replaced by newer ones?  Did WU
provide the newer networks or if not, why not?  I think that history
would tell us much about WU's decline.

> After PC's were established, Western Union did offer
>   it's "Easylink" service . . .

By the time PC's came out, WU was on its last legs, like Howard
Johnson's trying to survive against fast foods.  IMHO, WU missed the
boat in the early 1960s.   Further, when PCs first came out, they were
a tiny blip in the overall world of commercial computing and business
communications.


> 3. The computer revolution ramped up so quickly that most users
>   never saw a Baudot machine, and the few who did have to deal
>   with non-standard codes were usually geeks like me who could
>   deal with the issue.

As related to WU, the "computer revolution" was well underway by 1960,
and they knew and trying hard to be a part of it.  Things were
changing, but not so quickly back then as they were to change later.
The decisions WU made between 1960 and 1969 would determine the fate
of the company.

Again, I'm not an expert, but it would seem that WU's proportionate
role in business communciations in 1960 was far smaller in 1970.


[public replies, please]


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 20:44:48 -0600
From: Jim Haynes <haynes@giganews.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <slrngpf0d9.ar1.haynes@localhost.localdomain>

On 2009-02-14, hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com <hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote:
>
> I am not an expert on this history, but I have a different impression.
>
> Yes, for the short term, the 32, 33, and 35 were intended for Telex,
> TWX, and private network service.  But I feel that when they developed
> both the 33/35 and ASCII they were not thinking so much of current
> plain vanilla telegraphy but rather computer communications of the
> future.  This would be both terminal-to-computer (the TTY 33/35) and
> computer-to-computer (ASCII).

There is a lot of literature out there concerning the development of ASCII
and the need for a data processing character code and the problems of all
the then-existing codes.
>
> Recall that only a year or so after the 33 was introduced Dartmouth
> Univ. used them as computer terminals for its pioneer time-sharing
> service.

Definitely the 33 gave time sharing a big boost because an inexpensive
terminal was needed.

> My impression from reading the WU bulletins was that they sought Telex
> to be an open system; the bulletins described development efforts to
> make such interfaces possible.

Telex, using 50 baud and Baudot code was long-established in Europe
at the time.  One of W.U.'s goals was to tie into the European system,
something that TWX did not attempt.  W.U. was somewhat hobbled since
the government had required that company to divest the international
cable business.  Thus to connect with Europe W.U. had to turn to RCA
or WU International or other companies for connectivity.

> WU wanted AT&T's TWX, but
> by the time AT&T finally let it go the entire concept was approaching
> obsolescence.

W.U. either wanted TWX or wanted TWX to go away.  It was forever an
article of faith with W.U. people that AT&T had violated an agreement
to stay out of the telegraph business when it introduced TWX.  And
W.U. argued that TWX was cream-skimming business away from their public
telegram business.  AT&T countered that what they had agreed to was to
stay out of the public telegram business, and that TWX was in fact a
different service altogether since it provided a real-time two-way
conversation.  W.U. used all kinds of lame arguments to try to get the
government to declare there should be one national voice communication
system and a separate record communication system, as if the wires cared
what kind of signals they carried.
>
> My impression is that the bulk of the WU network was actually low
> speed with 5-bit repeaters, despite their efforts in microwave and
> hopes for the future.  I sense their improvements to their network
> were actually rather modest and AT&T simply outpaced them much faster
> data lines and improved technology.

One could argue that once W.U. had declined to buy the Bell patents
their goose was cooked.  The telephone infrastructure provided vastly
more local and long-distance circuits and bandwidth than the telegraph
system could.  W.U. had largely to depend on AT&T for its intra-city
circuits to customers' premises, and for some of its long-haul circuits.
>
> As far as I know, there was no reason WU couldn't have teamed up with
> a computer company and offered a time sharing service using its
> network and terminals.  But I don't believe WU, despite its
> advertising claims, did that.

There was one point at which W.U. announced it was going to be in the
teleprocessing business.  I don't know why that never came off.  Maybe
companies like Tymshare and G.E. Information Services beat them at it.
>

Around Teletype Corp. there was a famous story of a truck parts supplier
whose computer system did not incorporate any reasonableness checking
on quantities.  (As many systems today still lack.)  A single bit
error turned an order for 7 dipsticks into one for 1007 dipsticks.

The computer dutifully sent out a reply that only a hundred or so dipsticks
were in stock, and they would be sent right out, and the rest of the order
would be filled when they could get some more made.  Fortunately some
shipping clerk packing up the order asked why that dealer needed so
many dipsticks, and the error was caught.
>
> Yes, but peripherals are an inseparable part of the computer.  For
> example, the 33 and 35 supported sprocket feed forms and forms
> control, I don't believe the earlier units or Baudot did so.

Form feed and tabulation very early showed up as customer requirements,
so the Model 15 (circa 1930) had those features.

> The ASCII designers undoubtedly were providing control codes for yet
> to be developed peripherals.

Most of the control codes were for use with switching systems and error
correcting systems rather than peripheral control.  Hence ASCII provided
start-of-address, end-of-address, start-of-text, end-of-text, end-of-block,
etc.  The irony in this is that lots of customers wanted to be able to
transmit pure binary data, so the control characters would happen as part
of the message.  The solution is to provide a single character, Data-
Link-Escape, and say that the character following DLE is a control
character.  If DLE happens in the binary data it is transmitted as
DLE-DLE and the receiver removes the extra character from the data stream.

> The Teletype 33/35 was a modular design
> to allow add-ons.

But not as modular as it should have been.  The 35 was an ASCII version of
the Baudot Model 28, so it did provide for quite a few features.  The 32/33
were a completely new design and were intended to not have many options as
a way of holding down cost.  Originally they would not have accomodated
sprocket feed and the form feeding and vertical tab functions; but apparently
some very important customer demanded those, as they did become available.

Sprocket feed and form feed/vertical tab usually were provided together.
The need for sprocket feed was recognized early on when customers wanted
to make carbon copies.  Without sprocket feed it is hard to keep copies
in register since the inner and outer sheets of paper move at slightly
different speeds.

I don't think W.U. was particularly blind about Baudot versus ASCII.
They could see that their own public message business was long past its
prime.  They supported Baudot for Telex because they were not in a position
to make the whole world switch to a new code.  They had a lot of military
business based on Baudot; but when the government started requiring
ASCII for everything W.U. moved in that direction.  (The G.S.A. system)
(Note that AUTODIN was developed before ASCII was standardized; it was
based somwhat on the earlier Fieldata code that was the military's attempt
at a common-language code for messages and data processing.)

> be as if a competitive PC manufacturer refused to provide any
> expansion slots--how popular would such a machine be?

Which did happen, for those us who remember a certain model DEC
microvax workstation that had epoxy poured into the expansion slots
to make it non-expandable.

> and efficiently as an ASCII machine could.  (As it happened, I think
> IBM Selectric terminals were used instead in such applications).

Probably because IBM had the contract to develop the SABRE system for
American Airlines, and naturally wanted to use their own terminals rather
than buying them from another party.
>
>
>> Kidding aside, I don't think the ASCII vs. Baudot conversion was that
>> big an issue:

You'd think so, yet one thing that stood in the way of getting ASCII
approved was that IBM wanted a code that was easier to translate to
card code.  That's why we got EBCDIC.
>
>> 1.  Baudot was used only on military and TELEX circuits, both of
>>     which were, by their nature, separate from the computer
>>     world.

There was a fairly short-lived business involving computers designed
specifically for telegraph message switching, replacing electromechanical
switching equipment and paper tape intermediate storage.  These systems
were largely Baudot, as they came from an era when messages went between
people rather than between a person and a computer.  The G.E. Datanet-30,
the Collins C-3000, the IBM 7740, and some other companies had products
in this area.  The Bell System couldn't play that game because of the 1956
antitrust consent decree which said AT&T would not do data processing.
The business of this kind of computer was fairly short-lived because
the person-to-person message systems gave way to person-to-computer
systems; and handling person-to-person messages was easily handled by
the new systems as part of their job.  G.E. had a very versatile product
in the Datanet-30, which served as well for ASCII as it had for Baudot,
but it grew long in the tooth and minicomputers could do what it did
for a lot less money.
>
> It would be of great historical interest to trace WU's 1960s Federal
> contract life.  That is, we know about the early days of service.  But
> how long did these networks last until replaced by newer ones?  Did WU
> provide the newer networks or if not, why not?  I think that history
> would tell us much about WU's decline.

I agree, that would be very interesting, and I wish somebody would do it.
All you learn from the business press is that W.U. had more debts than
they had income.  I wonder if they were shocked by having to replace the
AUTODIN computer with new models rather quickly, because of the rapid
evolution of computer technology.


------------------------------

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 01:04:01 -0500
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <q5qdnfeq3rzMLQrUnZ2dnUVZ_gydnZ2d@speakeasy.net>

Jim Haynes wrote:


> Around Teletype Corp. there was a famous story of a truck parts supplier
> whose computer system did not incorporate any reasonableness checking
> on quantities.  (As many systems today still lack.)  A single bit
> error turned an order for 7 dipsticks into one for 1007 dipsticks.

Sorry, that doesn't (excuse the pun) compute. A single bit error would 
alter the total by a power of two: I'd believe that 7 turned into 1031, 
but not 1007. Sounds like a company legend.

> The computer dutifully sent out a reply that only a hundred or so dipsticks
> were in stock, and they would be sent right out, and the rest of the order
> would be filled when they could get some more made.  Fortunately some
> shipping clerk packing up the order asked why that dealer needed so
> many dipsticks, and the error was caught.

I attended a computer-processing methodology class once, where they
drummed into us the need for always doing a walk-through of the code
design prior to coding. The instructor mentioned a case where the system
had been coded to automagically order more parts any time the inventory
was below the amount of an order - even if the system had already
ordered more parts.

These sorts of stories morph and mutate and are wrapped around whatever
organization they pass through: a Teletype salesman who needs to
convince buyers that a parity bit is really important probably came up
with your 7-to-1007 change, since a computer programmer would/should
know better.


>> Yes, but peripherals are an inseparable part of the computer.  For
>> example, the 33 and 35 supported sprocket feed forms and forms
>> control, I don't believe the earlier units or Baudot did so.
> 
> Form feed and tabulation very early showed up as customer requirements,
> so the Model 15 (circa 1930) had those features.

I didn't know that Baudot/Murray code had a form-feed character. How was 
it done?

Bill

-- 
Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator
Telecom Digest

(When sending a post to the digest, please put ""
{without the quotes but _with_ the brackets} at the end of
your subject line, or I may never see your mail. Thanks!)

(Remove QRM from my address for direct replies.)


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 22:59:07 -0500
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <MaudnVzUGpCWDgrUnZ2dnUVZ_sHinZ2d@speakeasy.net>

hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote:
> On Feb 13, 12:55 pm, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote:
>>>> Clearly the 33 was designed for computer use as well as telegraphy and
>>>> I suggest the designers did an excellent job  especially given the
>>>> very limited computer time sharing capability when they began their
>>>> task.  
> 
>> The Model 32/33 was designed for TELEX and TWX service. When I attended
>> the maintenance school in 1976, the instructors told us that Teletype
>> provided a "private line" version of the machine only because some
>> customers were still using private Teletype networks for sending orders
>> to warehouses or to collect sales figures from dealers. They made it
>> clear that these were light-duty machines, not to be used as printers or
>> for keypunch. That was why they came with current-loop interfaces: it
>> was the standard private line interface, and computer hookups needed
>> either external RS-232-to-current-loop converters, or a modem that
>> included a 20ma interface.
> 
> I am not an expert on this history, but I have a different impression.
> 
> Yes, for the short term, the 32, 33, and 35 were intended for Telex,
> TWX, and private network service.  But I feel that when they developed
> both the 33/35 and ASCII they were not thinking so much of current
> plain vanilla telegraphy but rather computer communications of the
> future.  This would be both terminal-to-computer (the TTY 33/35) and
> computer-to-computer (ASCII).

You're entitled to your opinion, but I don't think they were looking 
that far ahead: integrated circuits weren't invented yet in 1963, and 
Teletype probably assumed that electromechanical terminals would remain 
viable indefinitely.

> Recall that only a year or so after the 33 was introduced Dartmouth
> Univ. used them as computer terminals for its pioneer time-sharing
> service.

The Model 33-ASR was standard with DEC Edusystem installations as well, 
but the choices made by users don't reflect Teletype's design intentions 
any more than the choices made by truck drivers reflect those of the 
automotive engineers who design the trucks the drivers routinely 
overload. It's in the nature of capitalism that businesses get the most 
that they can out of machines and employees: the fact that those who 
sold the machines wouldn't be responsible for their maintenance probably 
figured into the equation as well.

> Data communication--sending blocks of data to be process by machine--
> began in 1940 and grew after WW II.  IBM's 1950s product line included
> card-to-tape and tape-to-card for transmission over telegraph lines,
> and then later card-to-card and tape-to-tape for transmission over
> higher speed voice grade lines.  (IBM developed its own modem but then
> let the Bell System handle that end; the Bell System had DataPhone
> devices out by 1960).  Clearly, batch transmission of data from remote
> sites to headquarters was seen as a growing business for both computer
> and communications companies by 1960 and both were developing improved
> technology.
> 
> Also foreseen and under development were both time sharing (such as
> BASIC users) and remote computer inquiry and update, such as airline
> reservations.  ASCII and the models 33 and 35 were obviously well
> positioned for this service.
> 
> The limited-use capability of the 33 would be fine for occasional
> inquiries, say from a branch office to a central computer via dial-
> up.  In any event, for this discussion I lump the 33 and 35 together
> as ASCII terminals.


I might lump Yugos and Volvos together for purposes of discussing
traffic control or urban congestion issues, but I wouldn't have any 
inclination to purchase a Yugo if I was in the market for a vehicle that 
I'd be able to use for fifteen or twenty years.

The Model 35 is the ASCII version of the venerable Model 28, a machine 
so reliable that many are in service to the present day. That 
reliability is why the 1A ESS came equipped with a Model 35 as the 
operator's terminal: it could provide a continuous record of operator 
commands and alarms, while interfacing directly with the exchange's 
control computer.

> If all that was desired was traditional message transmission
> telegraphy, Baudot and earlier TTY models (eg the 28) were more than
> adequate.  Indeed, that technology remained in active commercial
> service well into the 1980s for private line transmission, news
> reporting, etc.

The Model 28 _IS_ a Baudot machine. ITYMTS "Model 32 and earlier ...".

Yes, UPI and AP used Model 15's until they were made obsolete, first by 
dot-matrix printers and then by "online" CRT-based computers which 
allowed news editors to paste copy directly onto TelePrompTer or 
Compu=Prompt inputs, and to feed the news directly into "Pagination" 
newspaper preparation systems.


>>> I forgot to mention something very interestin the WU Tech Review ASCII
>>> article (see above for link).  WU said it did not think ASCII would
>>> have much of a place in the WU network since it wasted three bits.
>>> Although at that time WU was very interested in serving as a data
>>> transmission carrier, choosing to avoid ASCII, in my humble opinion,
>>> condemned them to second rate status.
 >>
>> I disagree: Western Union's fear of undermining their lucrative TELEX
>> and TWX markets did them in, since competitors leapfrogged them by
>> offering "bring your own modem" services which could carry any kind of
>> traffic while WU tried to keep their existng TELEX/TWX customers in
>> a closed system.
> 
> My impression from reading the WU bulletins was that they sought Telex
> to be an open system; the bulletins described development efforts to
> make such interfaces possible.  Their bulletins at the time (1964) had
> numerous articles on computer interfaces.  WU wanted AT&T's TWX, but
> by the time AT&T finally let it go the entire concept was approaching
> obsolescence.

WU had strict prohibitions against users attaching anything to TELEX or 
TWX circuits: I've never heard of them opening those networks even 
slightly. The company's later efforts, such as Easylink, were geared to 
providing separate revenue streams and to attracting customers (I was 
one) who would not have leased a TELEX/TWX service because they didn't 
have enough occasion to use them.


> My impression is that the bulk of the WU network was actually low
> speed with 5-bit repeaters, despite their efforts in microwave and
> hopes for the future.  I sense their improvements to their network
> were actually rather modest and AT&T simply outpaced them much faster
> data lines and improved technology.
> 
> As far as I know, there was no reason WU couldn't have teamed up with
> a computer company and offered a time sharing service using its
> network and terminals.  But I don't believe WU, despite its
> advertising claims, did that.

I'm not familiar with WU's history, so I'll ask other readers to chime 
in on that question. I know that WU did offer dedicated data circuits in 
the 70's and into the 80's, but the advent of FedEx and email killed its 
telegram business, and high-speed fax machines were the death knell of 
the TELEX network.

>> ASCII's parity bit proved ineffective for error checking on computer
>> data lines: it could only detect single-bit errors, but the noise
>> encountered on voice-grade data lines was as likely to "flip" multiple
>> bits as it was to kill just one, so data transmission networks had to
>> combine block transmission with cyclic-redundancy checks to assure
>> reliable transit. A noise burst that flips bits 5 and 6 would change
>> "500 DOLLARS" to "900 DOLLARS".
> 
> That is true, but even one parity bit offered more checking than
> Baudot did.  I believe the Teletype 33 could be set up to print an "*"
> upon receipt of a parity error.  Not much, but better than nothing.

I agree it was better than nothing for Teletype printouts on TELEX or 
TWX connections, which were always intended to be human-to-human 
conduits. However, I was speaking of computer-to-computer or 
computer-to-terminal-server communications, which required a more 
reliable error detection scheme.

>>> Further, computers require more printing characters and special
>>> control characters which Baudot had no room for.
> >
>> Computers, per se, didn't require them: peripherals did. Most of the
>> control characters in ASCII were intended for use with automated
>> typesetting equipment and high-speed printers, which needed form
>> control characters, such as form-feed, to work efficiently.
> 
> Yes, but peripherals are an inseparable part of the computer.  For
> example, the 33 and 35 supported sprocket feed forms and forms
> control, I don't believe the earlier units or Baudot did so.  That
> enabled a report Teletype to print special forms, such as a rent-a-car
> agreement, insurance document, airline tickets, under remote computer
> control.

AFAIK, Teletype machines were always available with sprocket feeds for 
forms handling: my own Model 15 came with a sprocket-feed platen when I 
received it after it was retired from a railroad-dispatch center.

Although the Baudot code doesn't have form-feed and other 
forms-management control characters, some Teletype machines were 
equipped with "Stunt boxes" that could interpret special sequences of 
letters as forms-control or other special actions. They were often used 
for "station select" functions, which prevented printing on machines in 
a network when a message was intended for a single recipient or a subgroup.

> The ASCII designers undoubtedly were providing control codes for yet
> to be developed peripherals.  The Teletype 33/35 was a modular design
> to allow add-ons.  By Western Union choosing not to go ASCII, they
> were locking their customers out of using such new devices.  It would
> be as if a competitive PC manufacturer refused to provide any
> expansion slots--how popular would such a machine be?

Since many PC's now come equipped with all the common functionality on 
one motherboard, many users are unconcerned with expansion slots. I 
think they were always valued more for theoretical expansion than 
practical need, but I digress.

IBM chose not to go ASCII: those in the mainframe world still wrestle 
with EBCDIC, yet IBM is a mostly-profitable business to this day. 
Western Union's choice not to embrace ASCII had, IMNSHO, nothing to do 
with its demise: the company failed to adapt to the marketplace's demand 
for more sophisticated tools, and WU could have provided them without 
abandoning Baudot in legacy uses such as TELEX. Keep in mind that TWX 
machines, which (at least for the "100 speed" side) were already 
equipped for ASCII, never played any significant role in computer data 
processing. Baudot is just a way of getting something done, and WU chose 
not to do it, i.e., the company refused to face the threat to its 
TELEX/TWX networks in time to reform itself for the new age.


> Again, I'm not an expert on this, but it would seem that if say an
> airline or car rental wanted to use form-feed Teletypes to print up
> tickets at their counters, they could and would not use WU to carry
> their data because a Baudot machine couldn't print a ticket as quickly
> and efficiently as an ASCII machine could.  (As it happened, I think
> IBM Selectric terminals were used instead in such applications).

Believe it or not, Baudot code machines are actually faster than ASCII 
for many "plain text" applications, which is why the military still uses 
them. Western Union was as well prepared to carry customer's data as Ma 
Bell, but chose not to: they had the people, the tools, the 
rights-of-way, and the expertise - just not the will.

You're right about the Selectric terminals: my Anderson-Jacobson 841 
was, in fact, a Selectric typewriter which had solenoids added to 
control the mechanism in step with incoming data. Airlines used them to 
print tickets, most likely because the SABER system ran on IBM 
mainframes and IBM was never slow in tying its products together.

>> Kidding aside, I don't think the ASCII vs. Baudot conversion was that
>> big an issue:
> 
> If you had a computer that was ASCII, as many mini-computers were, you
> needed no conversion at all.  In the 1960s every operation added
> noticeable and unwanted cost and time, especially on the mini-
> computers.

Sorry, I don't follow you here. No conversion for/from what?

[snip]

> 
>> After PC's were established, Western Union did offer
>>     it's "Easylink" service . . .
> 
> By the time PC's came out, WU was on its last legs, like Howard
> Johnson's trying to survive against fast foods.  IMHO, WU missed the
> boat in the early 1960s.   Further, when PCs first came out, they were
> a tiny blip in the overall world of commercial computing and business
> communications.
> 
> 
>> 3.  The computer revolution ramped up so quickly that most users
>>     never saw a Baudot machine, and the few who did have to deal
>>     with non-standard codes were usually geeks like me who could
>>     deal with the issue.
> 
> As related to WU, the "computer revolution" was well underway by 1960,
> and they knew and trying hard to be a part of it.  Things were
> changing, but not so quickly back then as they were to change later.
> The decisions WU made between 1960 and 1969 would determine the fate
> of the company.
> 
> Again, I'm not an expert, but it would seem that WU's proportionate
> role in business communciations in 1960 was far smaller in 1970.

Well, in the end we're saying the same thing with different analogies: 
Western Union could have, but chose not to, adapt to the revolution in 
business practice brought about by the invention of cheap general 
purpose computers. It's easy to see, in retrospect, that the PC was only 
a gateway - but it was the mother of all apertures, through which poured 
an incredible, pent-up demand for connectivity, for entertainment, and 
for the capability to reach others who share an individual's interests.

No one ever sees it coming when it's _their_ ox that's about to be 
gored. C'est la vie.

Bill
P.S. "Baudot" is actually a misnomer, since Baudot's code was never used 
for teleprinters. In fact, teleprinters like the Teletype Models 14, 15, 
19, 28, and 32 use variants of "Murray" code, but it's a difference that 
makes no difference: Murray will forever be in the shadow of his 
predecessor.

-- 
Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator
Telecom Digest

(When sending a post to the digest, please put ""
{without the quotes but _with_ the brackets} at the end of
your subject line, or I may never see your mail. Thanks!)

(Remove QRM from my address for direct replies.)


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 09:57:09 -0800 (PST)
From: marika <marika5000@my-deja.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <39ea7f81-2bdc-427c-b2ed-c645820c251b@r41g2000prr.googlegroups.com>

On Feb 13, 12:55pm, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote:


>
> The Model 32/33 was designed for TELEX and TWX service.

this is all news to me


mk5000

Alexis Fogarty: [whining] I kept her secret all though high school. I
was practically her only friend at her grandmother's funeral. I've
listened to all her problems. All of time.
Andrea Moreno: [peeved and annoyed] Alexis, that's just what friends
do. --Ghost Whisperer


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 20:49:33 -0600
From: Jim Haynes <haynes@giganews.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <slrngpf0m6.ar1.haynes@localhost.localdomain>

On 2009-02-14, marika <marika5000@my-deja.com> wrote:
> On Feb 13, 12:55 pm, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote:
>
>
>>
>> The Model 32/33 was designed for TELEX and TWX service.
>
> this is all news to me
>
>
Well, it's true.  Of course the 33s turned out to be fine terminals
for time-shared computers.   Well not very fine, but they were cheap,
and that's what the market needed.

TWX operated under the Bell System's "no foregin attachments" rule,
so from a TWX machine all you could contact was another TWX machine.
For a computer terminal you had to use Dataphone service; and the latter
was charged at voice call rates whereas TWX was cheaper.

Telex was similarly a person-to-person service with everything being
supplied by the telegraph company.  Until W.U. was in such dire straits
they they started selling off the Telex machines to raise cash.


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 12:27:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Joseph Singer <joeofseattle@yahoo.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: Teen sends 14,528 text messages in one month 
Message-ID: <299777.77318.qm@web52702.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 11:49:33 -0800 (PST) furles@mail.croydon.ac.uk wrote:

>> Wow! I can barely send 10 messages a day. The most is about 20 and
>> half of those are business related.

> I've sent five since the start of the year, and that's probably higher
> than average.

And I'm betting that you're not in your teens any longer or that you
don't live in the Philippines either :)

Many factors determine how much people use text messaging.  Among the
factors are the age groups involved, how much voice calling costs as
well as what's "right" for the situation.  Many times the sending of a
text message to someone who's tied up with something is a better fit
for that person than actually making them stop what they are doing to
have a telephone conversation with you at the moment.

According to
http://www.themda.org/mda-press-releases/the-q4-2008-uk-mobile-trends-report.php
almost 79 billion text messages were sent in the UK in the year 2008.


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 21:16:42 -0400
From: "Julian Thomas" <jt@jt-mj.net>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: Teen sends 14,528 text messages in one month 

I know that with our basic Verizon plan, with text msgs at $0.20 US each,
it's not going to happen!

 
-- 
 Julian Thomas:   jt@jt-mj.net    http://jt-mj.net
 In the beautiful Genesee Valley of Western New York State!
 -- --
 Good Intentions Paving Company: "We did the road to Hell."




------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 22:39:11 -0500
From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: news coverage of the free/very cheap (to user) cellphones   
Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.64.0902142236410.11990@panix5.panix.com>

from WGRZ TV (Buffalo, NY)
    -----
Safelink Wirless and Tracfone are rolling out a new offer in New York that 
could mean free cell phones for low-income families. The phones come with 
68 minutes of airtime a month, along with voicemail, caller ID, call 
waiting, and text messaging.

The program is supported by the federal government, but it isn't exactly 
tax dollars footing the bill. Instead, many cellular customers are paying 
for it.

Cell phone companies must contribute to the Federal Communication 
Commission's Universal Service Fund.
    ...
Once that money is collected, the federal government subsidizes the 
Lifeline phones by paying $10 per phone/per month from the fund
   ...
rest:
http://www.wgrz.com/news/investigative/youpaidforit/story.aspx?storyid=63986&catid=220
    and
https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx

_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
 		     dannyb@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:12:19 -0800
From: Steven Lichter <diespammers@ikillspammers.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Hands Free 
Message-ID: <UZJll.5297$%54.1613@nlpi070.nbdc.sbc.com>

So much for the hands free use while driving.  I was stopped at a red 
light today and was hit from behind by a person using their cell phone 
with a hands free devise, the interesting part was he was a County 
Sheriff in his cruiser.  No damage done to either of the vehicles since 
he hit his brakes, but did not come to a full stop and hit me lightly; 
it took hours to get the paper work done.

-- 
The Only Good Spammer is a Dead one!! Have you hunted one down today? 
(c) 2009  I Kill Spammers, Inc. A Rot In Hell Co.

***** Moderator's Note *****

Please remember that the word "Telecom" by itself is not enough to
escape the spam filter here at Digest Central. You must put telecom
inside brackets, e.g., [Telecom].

I know this sounds weird, but I had to add the bracket requirement
because spammers started "personalizing" their spew with the user part
of the address, so subject lines like "Dear Telecom - would you like
to get rich?"  were sleezing by.

If the readers would be comfortable with a different code word which
is _not_ part of the email address, I'll be glad to switch.

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 21:22:12 -0800 (PST)
From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Re: Hands Free 
Message-ID: <b00b7a6f-977d-46f0-957b-283ab9e2bae8@o11g2000yql.googlegroups.com>

On Feb 14, 11:34pm, Steven Lichter <diespamm...@ikillspammers.com>
wrote:
> So much for the hands free use while driving. I was stopped at a red
> light today and was hit from behind by a person using their cell phone
> with a hands free devise, the interesting part was he was a County
> Sheriff in his cruiser. No damage done to either of the vehicles since
> he hit his brakes, but did not come to a full stop and hit me lightly;
> it took hours to get the paper work done.

There have been formal studies conducting proving cell phone usage
while driving is dangerous, regardless of hands free or not.

This was mentioned on the misc.transport,road newsgroup and the road
people were absolutely furious--how dare someone tell them how they
should drive!  It really struck a nerve with them, and there were
absolutely opposed to any law prohibiting such driving.  I'll dig up
the thread URL if anyone is interested.

I had to make a cellphone call today while driving and I pulled over.
Partly, frankly, since I didn't want to get a ticket, but also because
I didn't want to wrap myself around a tree.  I find even using a
headset distracting while driving.

Talking on a cellphone is completely different than talking to another
person in the car.  The person in the car sees what you sees and
pauses when necessary due to traffic, but someone on the other end of
phone will keep yakking as you try to merge or will start hello?
hello? if you pause to concentrate on the road.


------------------------------

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 00:08:49 -0500
From: ed <bernies@netaxs.com>
To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
Subject: Verizon's Philly FiOS deal avoids $3.5M funding of public-access CATV 
Message-ID: <1234674529.4997a36105508@webmail.uslec.net>

Verizon just successfully avoided paying $3.5M to help fund
Philadelphia's nascent public-access CATV system, compared to
Comcast's fulfilling a similar obligation under a 20-year old city
ordinance.  The below Philadelphia Inquirer editorial tells the
background, but fails to mention that Comcast has paid its $500,000/yr
obligation for 20 years--which the city kept misappropriating until
finally signing the city public-access articles of incorporation last
year.

Last week, Verizon lobbyists convinced Philly's mayor to let the telco
slide, using the rationalization that it shouldn't have to start
funding public-access CATV until five years of FiOS buildout provided
them with enough revenue to afford that.

-Ed Cummings
Philadelphia Community Access Coalition
http://www.phillyaccess.org


http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20081211_Editorial__Public_Access.html

Editorial: Public Access
Verizon should do more
Posted on Thu, Dec. 11, 2008

As City Council members delve further into Verizon's welcome proposal
to expand its pay-TV service to Philadelphia, they can improve the
deal for viewers as well as the city's civic life by insisting that
Verizon provide more support for citizen-run channels.

With a hearing on the 15-year cable franchise negotiated by Mayor
Nutter set to resume today, it's likely Council will continue to press
Verizon for assurances the company will deliver on its pledge to
provide citywide service. That's a valid concern, since Verizon drove
a hard bargain and landed a deal without daily fines for failing to
wire everywhere. (The firm would risk performance bonds required as a
safeguard.)

There's little question, however, that Verizon could provide more
financial backing for the launch of public-access channels that will
give amateur broadcasters an outlet.

While cable leader Comcast is soon due to pay its first $500,000
annual operating subsidy for up to five citizen-run channels, Verizon
won't have to make its first contribution for five years. Nor would
Verizon's total $4 million for public access match Comcast's $7.5
million.

The city's Public Access Corp., formed to oversee the amateur
channels, makes a compelling case that Verizon should pay more. With
its meager budget compared with other big-city public-access programs,
Philadelphia's fledgling effort can use all the help possible in
improving its financial picture.

-Ed Cummings






Quoting Telecom digest moderator <redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu>:

> Ed,
> 
> Please tone down the rhetoric and resubmit: "screwed" and "cheated" aren't 
> words I feel appropriate for the Digest.
> 
> Bill Horne
> Temporary Moderator
> 
> 
> 
> On Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 05:21:08AM -0500, ed wrote:
> > Verizon successfully cheated Philadelphians out of $3.5M in public-access
> CATV
> > funding, compared to Comcast's fulfilling its identical obligations under
> a
> > 20-year old city ordinance.  The below Philadelphia Inquirer editorial
> tells the
> > story, but fails to mention that Comcast has paid its $500,000/yr
> obligation for
> > 20 years--which the city has misappropriated until finally signing the its
> > public-access corporation's articles of incorporation last year.  Last
> week,
> > Verizon lobbyists convinced Philly's mayor to let the telco slide.  Philly
> > politics aren't much better than Chicago's.
> > 
> > -Ed Cummings
> > 
> > 
> >
> http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20081211_Editorial__Public_Access.html
> > 
> > Editorial: Public Access
> > Verizon should do more
> > 
> > As City Council members delve further into Verizon's welcome proposal to
> expand
> > its pay-TV service to Philadelphia, they can improve the deal for viewers
> as
> > well as the city's civic life by insisting that Verizon provide more
> support for
> > citizen-run channels.
> > 
> > With a hearing on the 15-year cable franchise negotiated by Mayor Nutter
> set to
> > resume today, it's likely Council will continue to press Verizon for
> assurances
> > the company will deliver on its pledge to provide citywide service. That's
> a
> > valid concern, since Verizon drove a hard bargain and landed a deal
> without
> > daily fines for failing to wire everywhere. (The firm would risk
> performance
> > bonds required as a safeguard.)
> > 
> > There's little question, however, that Verizon could provide more
> financial
> > backing for the launch of public-access channels that will give amateur
> > broadcasters an outlet.
> > 
> > While cable leader Comcast is soon due to pay its first $500,000 annual
> > operating subsidy for up to five citizen-run channels, Verizon won't have
> to
> > make its first contribution for five years. Nor would Verizon's total $4
> million
> > for public access match Comcast's $7.5 million.
> > 
> > The city's Public Access Corp., formed to oversee the amateur channels,
> makes a
> > compelling case that Verizon should pay more. With its meager budget
> compared
> > with other big-city public-access programs, Philadelphia's fledgling effort
> can
> > use all the help possible in improving its financial picture.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Quoting telecom-owner@telecom-digest.org:
> > 
> > > Message Digest 
> > > Volume 28 : Issue 38 : "text" Format
> > > 
> > > Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 13:52:54 -0800 (PST)
> > > From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com
> > > To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu
> > > Subject: Verizon wins Phila FIOS contract 
> > > Message-ID:
> > > <61304e7c-0dd6-4fb1-a5e9-4f5032c08254@a39g2000prl.googlegroups.com>
> > > 
> > > City Council breathed competition into Philadelphia's cable market
> > > yesterday, approving a 15-year franchise agreement with Verizon
> > > Communications Inc. that will bring the FiOS network into the city and
> > > break Comcast Corp.'s monopoly.
> > > 
> > > Verizon overcame resistance in Council by offering assurances on
> > > minority hiring and committing to rolling out its fiber-optic network
> > > evenly across the city over seven years, and the deal passed by a 17-0
> > > vote.
> > > 
> > > For full article please see:
> > >
> >
>
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_region/20090206_Verizon_wins_Phila__franchise.html
> > 
> 




------------------------------




TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom-
munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in
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