Thursday, November 7, 2013

Phoney Business

An old stalwart from the 1970s
     Right here, sitting on my desk next to my computer, I have an old push-button phone. I picked it up from my office at work when the company revamped its phone system sometime around 1986. The phone itself probably dates to the 1970s ... and still works just fine. The only problem is that it doesn't have caller i.d.

   
     For some reason I got thinking about the different telephones we have around the house, and how telephones have changed during our lifetime. Upstairs, we have the white phone (below) that B got at some point in the dim, distant past. Is it a Princess? In any case, what would you say -- on hold since the 1980s?

Our cute upstairs phone
   
     We have a slightly more up-to-date portable phone in the kitchen; I'd i.d. it from sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s. It was a huge advancement at the time because the handset isn't hard-wired to the base. You can walk around while you talk, even take it outside to the yard. And yes, it has caller i.d. The only problem is that now, 15 years later, the battery is beginning to wear down. It doesn't hold a charge for very long anymore. 
The kitchen portable

     And then there are the cellphones. Here's what we still have around ...

This even looks historic
   
     ... an early version with an aerial, from circa 2000. It was my son's first cellphone; and a few years later he handed it over to me, as my first cellphone, when ... 





My phone, until a month ago
     ... he got this new phone (right) ...


     ... which he in turn transferred over to me when he got a Blackberry, and even though he traded in his Blackberry for an iPhone long ago, I kept his old phone until ...

My son's old Blackberry












Everyone's impressed with my new phone
     ...  just recently when I finally called up a smart phone -- the Samsung 4, which is a very impressive phone, but to be perfectly honest, I have yet to figure out how to use it. Oh, I can make a phone call; I can text; I can take photos. But I have yet to access the Internet or get an app for the phone, or do any of the hundreds of other things it can do. Just haven't found the time to figure it all out yet; but I will ... I will, I promise.

     So tell me, what's the oldest phone you have in your house? Meantime, yes, I know I should bring all those old cellphones to recycling -- but gimme a break, at least I've graduated beyond this:

Although, honestly, it's more my style













13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Is it a Princess?" I don't think so, Tom. The Princess phones had formed speaker and microphone "cans". (See Wikipedia's photo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_telephone.) I bought a red, phone like your white phone, for my apartment in Los Angeles - in the 1980s. It is currently the oldest phone in our house because I don't hang onto phones we aren't actively using. Your place seems to be a cemetery for old phones. *laughing*
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

I had cancelled my landline last year but after futile attempts to conduct business over a cell phone begged to get it back a few months ago. Speaking on a landline is crystal clear, no dropped calls and perfect to dial 911 and get our local police in a microsecond. Plus, when our electricity goes out, that landline phone is ALWAYS working and available.
I have a 1980's white wall phone hanging in the kitchen with a 25 foot extension cord. I will not give it up because it is a reminder of all the phone calls my two teenage daughters made while they were growing up in the 1980's. They would pull that phone, with it's extra long extension cord into their bedrooms for hours on end. Nope. Don't want to give up that memory. E V E R!
It's the best working phone we own! Conversations are crystal clear. Many a business deal has been conducted over that phone. When you're arguing with your cable provider, for instance, it's very important to be able to hear properly so that you can haggle for a better deal. (remember, most customer service reps are probably in a foreign country, like India, so I really need to hear our conversation succinctly.)
I would, however, Tom.....get rid of the touch tone at an antique center. It's worth a lot of money!

Meryl Baer said...

When we moved three years ago we ditched the land line. Hub and I have our cell phones - that's it. Old phones were relegated to the dumpster or consignment shop. We do not miss a landline.

gigihawaii said...

We have a landline phone in the bedroom and one in the living room as well as Samsung S-II cell phone for my husband and me. We need the landline in the living room because it is hooked up to our fax machine. The one in the bedroom is handy when electricity is out.

rosaria williams said...

Ah, we are given handy-me-downs from our children! I finally broke down and got a smartphone because I was sick and tired of seeing my husband pull out the phone and get an answer or assistance for everything, including doing his bills on-line. I have added emails and map-searching to my repertoire of apps. The best thing is the voice version of the phone, when I can ask it to call home, the doctor, or the weather.

Cool gadget; self adjusting as it navigates along with me to this and that; yesterday, on the road back home, it told me of a disruption and how long it might take me to navigate around it. I decided to stop and have a meal until that disruption was cleared, right after I told the phone to call home and alert my partner of the delay.

Douglas said...

Unless it has the dial/keypad in the base, it's probably a "Slimline." At one time, you could buy a CID display unit for that old desk set. Not sure if they are available anymore. I happen to like VoIP for my landline (there is no chance I would go cell only, Faye hates talking on them), clean and clear, have yet to drop a call, but if the internet goes out (or the cable modem, or the router) then I lose service. They are all on UPS so power hits don't cause problems unless the outage is longer than a 1/2 hour.

That desk phone? When they first came out, they often (like the Princess and Slimline desk units) fell off the desk or tables because of weight issues. The fix was adding a brass-like chunk of metal to the base, inside. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Douglas said...

The CID display units (now, with audio) are still available.

Linda Myers said...

We got rid of our land line a couple of years ago, and I still feel a little naked. Plus, when I come home, it makes no sense now to say "any phone calls?"

Stephen Hayes said...

Very interesting. I don't own a cell phone but I recently finished watching The Sopranos and cell phone technology changed remarkably just within those seven years the Sopranos aired.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

As old Bell hands, I have a landline (I worked for the company that became Verizon, David for AT&T, now Lucent). I have an iPhone from Verizon. David has a piece of junk he bought from 7-11... For years, we got free service owing to our years of service to the Bell System..but no more.

We called it POTS when the company was about plain old telephone service. But POTS is no more. Dianne

PS get Charles Krauteimer's new book. You will love it.

DJan said...

It astounds me how quickly phone technology has changed. I remember when we had a landline and DSL. Now we no longer have either one, but smartphones and internet almost everywhere! How much has changed, who knows where it will be in five years???

Olga said...

I have a landline in VT because there is no cell service. It is as though my house sits in some kind of dark hole with a technology field covering it.
I have a cell phone for FLorida. I don't plan on ever getting a smart phone since talk and text are all I care to do with the phone. I can wait until I am home to do other stuff on the computer.

Anonymous said...

I have a candlestick phone from the 1920's that I had rewired to work with modern phone lines. I keep it in the basement shop. No dial, but I can answer calls fine!