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  #16  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:17 PM
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Jon A. Jon A. is offline
Don't mess with Esther.
 
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Location: Canada
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I can think of at least two newer payphones near where I live. They have small VFD readouts, accept plastic as well as coins and at least one has a full set of letter keys on it. So now this region is only one century behind.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:16 PM
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Telecolor 3007 Telecolor 3007 is offline
I love old stuff
 
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And this is good or bad?
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:02 PM
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Don't mess with Esther.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
And this is good or bad?
It was a joke. I meant that this region is lacking in a lot of things that are standard in other provinces.
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:34 PM
nasadowsk nasadowsk is offline
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Interestingly, as late as 1989, there were phone numbers not directly dialable in the US:

https://www.yarchive.net/phone/inward_operator.html

Gives an interesting account of some of the fun stuff you could encounter in the phone system, back then...
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:43 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
<----Zenith C845
 
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Location: Fairport Harbor, Ohio (near Lake Erie)
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I live in a very small town (population just under 3100) in northeastern Ohio. There are no more pay phones here. The last one I remember seeing was in the supermarket three blocks down the road from my apartment. That one was removed a couple years ago, as was the phone outside the convenience store near the lake, just up the road from here.

I guess the sheer popularity of cell phones pretty much killed pay phones as everyone, or so it seems, has at least a basic cell phone these days, with many folks upgrading to so-called smartphones as soon as their wireless carrier makes them an offer. (I did this a couple of years ago, and have never looked back.) The wired phone carriers aren't out of business yet, but they are nowhere near the communications giants they once were before wireless came in. I know folks who don't have landline phones in their homes anymore, instead using a cell phone for day-to-day communications and other business.

"The times they are a'changin'", as the old song says; this is very true nowadays with just about everything, including the telephone, which has come a very long way since the days of hand-cranked wall phones of the 1900s (the ones where you asked an operator to dial or to connect you to the number you wanted to call) and slightly earlier.

If he were alive today, Alexander Graham Bell would be astounded to see the telephone system he invented (and after whom the Bell System was named) having come this far. I honestly don't think he could have imagined a day in which people would be able to call others on a portable phone that can fit in a pocket and is run by a battery, much less be able to do their banking, shopping, etc. from just about anywhere, just by using a smartphone.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:56 PM
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MIPS MIPS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
I heared about "Millenium". What exactly it is?
To quote the Wilipedia article ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nortel...nes#Millennium ):

Quote:
The Millennium line was introduced in the 1990s and allowed the use of coins (5, 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar for Canadian versions) and cards (credit card or phone cards as well as "smart" chip cards.) They were equipped with an advanced electronic coin validator, which could detect slugs or coin blockages. These units came with a touch tone key pad only. A display screen allowed the user to view the number dialed and switch between two languages, where the operating company has a choice of any combination of English, French, Spanish and Japanese. The VFD display also allows the operating company to set scrolling messages and ads, with a total of 20 messages possible in total, 10 for on hook and 10 for off hook. [1][2][3]

These units were used by:

Bell Canada
Telus
Qwest
Sprint
Sasktel
Telebec
Telephone de Nantes
Telephone de Warwick
US West Express
GTE
Nevada Bell
Embarq

Millennium phones require a CO line with polarity reversal for CDR (call detail record) purposes, as well as for coin return, hence these phones have no coin return button.

The rights to Millennium phones were sold to QuorTech when Nortel moved away from manufacturing phone devices, and were subsequently sold to WiMacTel. Quortech has all but disappeared from the public and in March of 2014, WiMacTel announced they were the only operator of Millennium payphones in Canada and the US. [4]

The phones themselves are quite complex, using a Zilog Z80 processor with a number of peripherals attached. The whole point of the Millennium system was security and advanced monitoring. All Millennium phones connect to a server platform called Millennium Manager, which allows the operating company to control and monitor virtually every aspect of a phone. The phones 'call home' on a regular basis, uploading CDR records if they are full and reporting coinbox status (down to the amount of coins in a given denomination). The coin vault lock has a small micro switch that can detect break ins, which will cause the phone to call into the Millennium Manager with an alarm. The main housing lock also has a similar switch, which if triggered without entering the craft interface beforehand will trigger an alarm as well.

A Mondex version of the payphone was also produced, it has a special larger display with navigation keys. There is also an inmate version of the card only set, as well as a smaller deskset that used only a card reader. The desk set closely resembled a regular Meridian M7310 office phone. These smaller sets were often found in malls and hospitals.

These phones can sometimes be found on eBay for relatively cheap, though one cannot do much with them without the connection to the Millennium Manager. There are a few active projects which are trying to solve this problem however.
They look like this:



As the Wikipedia article mentions, without the control from the Central Office they are otherwise unusable. Up until a few years ago every station on the SkyTrain had at least three in the ticket hall. The rapid adoption of cellphones meant that TransLink was paying more to lease them than they got back and most stations removed them.

Last edited by MIPS; 01-14-2019 at 09:59 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:03 PM
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Telecolor 3007 Telecolor 3007 is offline
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A payphone with a minicomputer included,
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  #23  
Old Yesterday, 10:16 PM
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There is an Amish-owned country store that I've been to in Pennsylvania that still has a working pay phone in the parking lot. They had GTE in that area instead of the Bell System so it's odd looking to my eyes. Even there, I doubt it gets much use. I've seen many Amish using cellphones.

We were at a National Park earlier this year and they had a 60's vintage phone booth built into the wall of the gift shop with the phone still there but a sign stating it was for decoration only. It also gave directions to a real pay phone located elsewhere in the complex. This was an area with very spotty cell reception.

It was a real hold-out for getting a cellphone. The final straw came when I made a deal to get some free vintage magazines that were posted online. The giver wanted me to call when I got close. I had to drive an extra 10 minutes out of the way to find a pay phone.
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  #24  
Old Yesterday, 10:30 PM
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Telecolor 3007 Telecolor 3007 is offline
I love old stuff
 
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
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I've got a mobile (cell) phone for years. Anyway, I use two simple phones, old, monochrome display. Older then 13 years
In Romania the are 0 pay phones left in use. Probably you can call 112 (Europeanen version of 911), but no more. Otherwise, you may have to ask somebody to let use the phone.
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