====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Bill Horne and
the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other
journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are
included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address-
included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article
herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the
Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be
sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters,
viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome.
We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we
are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because
we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands
against crime. Geoffrey Welsh
See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details
and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 22:57:48 -0500
From: "Neal McLain" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Video conferencing phone booth
danny burstein <email@example.com> in Message-ID:
> In <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com
> (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>>> I just want to sit down and begin seeing and talking to
>>> some people on the opposite coast, for about an hour,
>>> right now, without having to fly there, and without having
>>> to install and learn still another Mac app (especially
>>> when networking is involved).
>> Twenty years ago there were a lot of places where you
>> could do this. Many business incubators, PBS stations and
>> the like had small conference rooms equipped with the
>> Tandberg teleconferencing systems. The organization I work
>> for had one of them at each one of its sites.
> Kinkos, as in the copying and business service chain,
> offered video conferencing between many of their
> storefronts into the late 1990s. A friend and I queried
> their rates which were in the hundreds per hour, and
> decided against it...
Holiday Inn built a teleconferencing network known as "Hi-Net" during the
1980s. According the New York Magazine, Hi-Net was once largest
privately-owned satellite network in the Continental United States.
A former friend of mine, Richard Gall (now unfortunately deceased), was a
technical consultant for Hi-Net. He once described the system to me in some
detail. It carried teleconferencing signals and HBO (or Showtime) by C-Band
(4-GHz downlink) satellites to fixed TVROs located at Holiday Inn hotel
A few of the hotels that wanted to subscribe to Hi-Net were unable do so for a
variety of reasons -- signal blockage from nearby buildings, zoning
requirements, or interference from existing ground-based microwave links in
the 4-GHz band. In such cases, Gall's company was contracted to design and
install point-to-point microwave links to deliver the signals from one hotel
I happened to be involved in a repair job at one of these point-to-point
networks. It involved two microwave links in the Los Angeles area:
- Holiday Inn/LAX to Holiday Inn/Brentwood.
- Holiday Inn/Brentwood to Holiday Inn/Santa Monica
All three Inns subscribed to Hi-Net, but only the Inn at LAX had a suitable
site for a TVRO. Both the Brentwood and Santa Monica properties wanted to
receive the signal, but it was not possible to establish a microwave link from
LAX directly to Santa Monica due to signal blockage, so the signal went first
to Brentwood, thence to Santa Monica. The roof of the Brentwood building was
well suited for this: a multistory building in the foothills of the Santa
Monica Mountains. The two antennas (one receive and one transmit) were
mounted on the elevator penthouse.
Hi-Net didn't last long. Higher-power satellites using Ku-band transmission
permitted the use of small rooftop antennas at much lower cost. By the
mid-1990s, Hi-Net had ceased to exist, and all the old point-to-point
microwave systems were abandoned in place. The LAX/Brentwood/Santa Monica
system is long gone now, but believe it or not, the two antennas on the
penthouse of the Holiday Inn in Brentwood are still there. While writing this
post, I tracked them down on Google maps, and there they are:
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:09:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Video conferencing phone booth
--- On Wed, 2/9/11, Neal McLain <email@example.com> wrote:
[ ... ]
> ... The roof of the Brentwood building was well suited for this: a
> multistory building in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
> The two antennas (one receive and one transmit) were mounted on the
> elevator penthouse.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Brentwood several years ago when most
of the floor they assigned us to was under renovations--jack hammers
and other power tools going all day. We were on vacation and
intending to use the hotel for a base for points of interest in the LA
area and often coming back during the day to rest or for other
We left after one or two days.
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 16:52:00 -0800
From: Sam Spade <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Telephone humor on TV and Touch Tone calling
Lisa or Jeff wrote:
> In the 1980s Touch Tone was a premium charge service*. I discovered
> back then that even if a phone line was not equipped for Touch Tone
> sometimes a TT phone would work on it, sometimes not. If memory
> serves, a rotary line served by a No. 5 crossbar supported TT, but a
> line from an ESS did not. I suspect in the xbar it was easier just to
> wire everybody in rather than bother to make a distinction while in
> ESS it was controlled by computer.
> *Most telephone services in regulated days were based on value to the
> customer, not necessarily cost to provide. The idea was that very
> basic telephone service would be cheap and affordable while premium
> options would be profitable to offset basic service costs. Originally
> Touch Tone receivers for the central office were expensive but by the
> 1980s with ESS the cost dropped.
Indeed, with SxS and XBAR the entire office was either "on" or "off" for
DTMF. With ESS it could be by line, but here in California at least,
Pacific Bell elected to turn the entire office "on" in ESS offices,
because of liability issues of denying origination service in an emergency.
The then Western Electric advised the BOCs that it cost more in ESS
origination equipment to service dial pulse origination time than to
equip for 100% DTMF. So, that's the way a lot, if not all, BOCs bought
ESS, then digital switches.
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:43:04 -0800 (PST)
From: Lisa or Jeff <email@example.com>
Subject: Phila Inqr assesses Verizon iPhone 4
The Phila Inquirer had a detailed article discussing the phone.
For full article please see:
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:15:38 -0800
From: Sam Spade <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Gladwell, Google, Twitter & Egypt: Social Media's Revolutionary Mystery
Monty Solomon wrote:
> Gladwell, Google, Twitter & Egypt: Social Media's Revolutionary Mystery
> Posted by John Wihbey on Friday, February 4, 2011
> Here's an intriguing subplot lost amid all the press coverage on
> Egypt and the Middle East this week.
Ah, increase the pay of government employees to help maintain the status
Sounds like California.
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom-
munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in
addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup
TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational
service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents
of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in
some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work
and that of the original author.
The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne.
Contact information: Bill Horne
43 Deerfield Road
Sharon MA 02067-2301
bill at horne dot net
Subscribe: email@example.com?body=subscribe telecom
Unsubscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org?body=unsubscribe telecom
This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm-
unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and
published continuously since then. Our archives are available for
your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list
on the internet in any category!
URL information: http://telecom-digest.org
Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved.
Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA.
Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as
yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help
is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars
per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above.
Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing
your name to the mailing list.
All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the
author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only
and messages should not be considered any official expression by the
End of The Telecom Digest (5 messages)