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Re: [coldwarcomms] Picture phone

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  • Kenneth Coney
    Back in the mid 70s I was a security grunt at the AT&T building on Ave. of the Americas & 41st. A lot of the upper floor executives had picture phones in
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 2, 2004
      Back in the mid 70s I was a security grunt at the AT&T building on Ave.
      of the Americas & 41st. A lot of the upper floor executives had picture
      phones in their offices.

      Mark J Cuccia wrote:

      >Mike Magnus wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >>Mark J Cuccia wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      >>>But why do AUTOVON phones have that FIVE-POINTED-STAR in the
      >>>lower-left rather than the six-pointed "asterick" star (*) that is
      >>>used in civilian applications ??
      >>>
      >>>And why do AUTOVON phones have that "big letter 'A'" in the
      >>>lower-right (of the standard 12-button keypad) rather than the
      >>>civilian use of the "pound" or "tic-tac-toe" or "square" or
      >>>"octothorpe" (#) ??
      >>>
      >>>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >>However, the field phones have a 'C' there, rather than an 'A'.
      >>I found at least one reference that claims the 'C' is for
      >>conference.
      >>
      >>Presumably the AUTOVON layout was dictated by Uncle and perhaps
      >>predates the choice of the '*' and '#' for civilian pads. Remember
      >>that the first TT phones Bell deployed had only 10 buttons...
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >When did the _AUTOVON_ keypad first come out?
      >
      >I know that in the early 1960s, there were articles in Bell Labs Record
      >(and BSTJ) magazine about DTMF (touchtone), and there WERE provisions
      >for a future "11th" and "12th" position button (what would become the
      >'*' (star) and '#' (pound) -- "future applications") and even a
      >"reserved for future use" fourth-column (1633 Hz upper frequency) which
      >is the Autovon F/FO/P/I or the "generic" A/B/C/D column.
      >
      >I also saw a circa 1965 or 1966 dated picture of a WECO 2500 12-button
      >DTMF desk telephone, and the 11th/12th position buttons were already
      >designated '*' and '#' respectively.
      >
      >
      >The current Bellcore/Telcordia specs (if they are even still in force)
      >for leading off a telephone address-string with a '#' (pound), which
      >dates back to the late 1980s/early 1990s, although I doubt that this is
      >ever going to be implemented in regular day-to-day practice is "Facility
      >Codes" -- You would HAVE to have DTMF "service" from the LEC (which I
      >think by now is mostly universal in the NANP -- you can still use
      >pulse/rotary dial phones in most circumstances, but you are billed for
      >DTMF capability in the switch whether you want/use it or not,
      >now-a-days), and you MUST be able to generate a DTMF '#' signal (there
      >is no rotary counterpart) --
      >
      >is to use the _PREFIX_ of '#' followed by two-digits 'XX', then continue
      >dialing the destination number (with '*XX' codes if necessary)...
      >
      >This '#XX' (POUND-XX) code (as opposed to the usual STAR-XX code) is a
      >Facility code, and the intent was that it designate the bandwidth
      >facility you might need for that call. Presumably it could have been
      >used in ISDN situations. i.e., if you needed a 64K bandwidth dial-up
      >connection, you'd enter #64 followed by what you'd normally dial
      >(including *XX feature code prefixes) for that destination. If you
      >needed a 56K bandwidth dial-up, you'd enter #56 and continue.
      >
      >Those were the only two "standardized" facility code assignments that I
      >ever came across in any Bellcore TR's (Technical References) of the late
      >1980s and early 1990s.
      >
      >This was an extension of the originally intended use of the '#' (pound)
      >as a leading-off prefix (alone), in the 1960s/70s era proposals for...
      >
      >"PICTUREPHONE" (WE-tm)
      >
      >(remember the Picturephone!? :-)
      >
      >The mid-1960s era Picturephone experiments at the 1964/65 NYCity
      >"World's Fair" had _ELEVEN-BUTTON_ DTMF (touchtone) base-unit phones,
      >with a "12th position" (lower-right-hand) button, where the '#' is
      >today. The "11th position" (lower-left-hand) button, where the '*' is
      >today was "blanked", with no button protruding from the internal keypad
      >out thru the faceplate. I've only seen small photos of these
      >Picturephones, nothing up close, but I was told that the 1964/65
      >experimental model had the letter 'P' on this 12th (lower-right-hand)
      >button (you really can't see the keypad that closely though for detail).
      >The Picturephone video unit itself was in an OVAL shaped case.
      >
      >By the later 1960s, Bell/AT&T/WECO/Labs came out with Picturephone-II,
      >and the pics you see of this unit show a more "compact" square or CUBE
      >shpaed case video unit. And it also had a secondary camera at the bottom
      >of the square unit (on a stand) facing down, to "scan" papers or
      >documents in a full video conversation. The base telephone units were
      >full twelve-button 2500 desk sets (usually with extra line-keys,
      >hold-button, etc). The DTMF keypad presumably had the */# labels on the
      >11th/12th buttons.
      >
      >If you wanted to make a voice-only phone call, you simply dialed (keyed)
      >as usual. But if you wanted to make a full video call (which needed the
      >added video loop), you keyed a '#' followed by what you normally dial.
      >(Since the 1964/65 World's Fair models presumably had the 12th button
      >labelled 'P', you keyed that 'P' followed by what you would normally
      >dial).
      >
      >mjc
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
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      >
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      >


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