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 Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!

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_Howard
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PostSubject: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Thu May 03, 2018 5:36 pm

One week in the life of a tech user.

Last week, the credit union I use for most of my banking - including paying bills - changed their on-line-banking system. This required everyone creating new accounts. Their system was screwed up and it took me three or four days and about a dozen calls to get someone on the phone to get me hooked up again. After all the time it took to get his guy on the line (a total of maybe an hour wait time listening to shitty music), he straightened it all out in about two minutes. Fucking hassle.

A few days ago, I updated Firefox to version 59.0.3. The new program does not support all of the add-ons that make Firefox so good. I finally managed to get the new program working sort if like I want it to, but if you are not comfortable with messing with .css files, forget it. Fucking hassle (for little gain as far as I know).

A day or two later, I got a message from Verizon. They have created a new area code which is in the same geographic area as our current code. What that means is that for local calls, we now have to dial the area code. So all the numbers saved on the phones have to be edited to add the area code. If I use my landline, I even have to dial "1" before the area code. When the caller ID shows the calling number, it does not display the area code if is in the one I'm in. Will it show the newly added area code? I have no idea. Fucking hassle.

Yesterday, I got an email from AT&T (Directv) notifying me that the equipment I now have will have to be replaced sometime soon or I will no longer get the local channels. It won't cost me anything, and the new hardware will be much better than the old. But I will lose all of the NBA playoff games I have saved. My wife would kill me. Fucking hassle.


Let's give a big cheer for technology. Or not.
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richard09

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PostSubject: Re: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Thu May 03, 2018 8:12 pm

In NYC, they introduced 10-digit dialling for local calls last century. It wasn't much of a hassle, back then anyway. Caller ID started displaying the area code for all calls, even the ones in the same area code as you.
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_Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Mon May 07, 2018 5:50 pm

In 1984, they split the local area code - my sister had the same area code as me, and she lives 150 miles away. It was a huge area for one code.

But to split it, they just drew a line and everyone south of the line got a new area code. So if you lived in the northern part that kept the old code, you could still make local calls with a seven-digit number. Of course, if you called the other - new - area code, it was a long-distance call, which was big bucks then.

But now, of course, telephone usage has changed in nearly every way since then. And it hasn't been made easier, just much cheaper.
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richard09

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PostSubject: Re: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Tue May 08, 2018 8:26 am

_Howard wrote:
But to split it, they just drew a line and everyone south of the line got a new area code. So if you lived in the northern part that kept the old code, you could still make local calls with a seven-digit number. Of course, if you called the other - new - area code, it was a long-distance call, which was big bucks then.

That's different (and not good). In NYC, they were just running out of numbers, so they changed Brooklyn and Queens from 212 to 718, and later introduced 917 and other area codes without a specific geographic designation (primarily because of all the pagers and computer lines, I think). But all those area codes could call each other as local calls, not long distance. There was just the slight hassle of dialling more digits.
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PostSubject: Re: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Tue May 08, 2018 9:01 am

The proliferation of NPAs (area codes) from the original 1947 North American Numbering Plan stems from the 1984 Bell System divestiture.  

With divestiture, many other start-ups entered the carrier market and for ease of billing they were assigned numbers in blocks of 10,000 (i.e. a whole prefix).  Although something like 98% of these numbers never actually got assigned, it quickly ate up capacity and by 1975 it became apparent that the 152 original area codes would need to be expanded.  Eventually even the NBX format (N=2-9, B=0 or 1, X=0-9) had to be expanded to NXX (with some limitations).

Two kinds of NPA expansions were possible: splits and geographic overlays.  In a split, all callers in a particular region got a new area code and seven digit dialing was still possible in-region.  However the disruption of getting a new number -- and the years-long required delay before the old NXX-XXXX could be reassigned -- let to the creation of the geographic overlay.  In a GO all new numbers in a region are given a new area code.  This necessitates 10-digit dialing* even within a single LEC (local exchange carrier), and wasn't popular either, but was considered the better of the two options.

The NANPA (numbering plan administrators) drew up plans for an eleven or even twelve-digit numbering plan, but changes to the marketplace -- failure of most alternative carriers, the rise of wireless service, the elimination of long-distance charges, and the ability through computerization to "claw back" those 98% unused numbers in an NPA -- meant that the longer phone numbers (as used in Europe) were never required in the US.  Also the 1986 Telecommunications Act stipulated that customers should be allowed to keep their numbers even when moving -- so "area" codes were no longer tied to areas.

Although, for ease of billing, many carriers (including Comcast) have chosen to ignore the law (and there has been no FCC enforcement of the law).





*-Incidentally, in some Prefixes —like the San Juan Islands (360-378-xxxx) where my parents lived, or the hospital (206-987-xxxx) where I worked — 5-digit dialing was activated.  We had one building, dating back to the ‘50s, where 4-digit dialing was active. It’s all in how the PBX is programmed (although the IDT interdigit time-out will kill you).
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PostSubject: Re: Tech Changes Drive Me Nuts!   Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:03 pm

Today is the day that the requirement for dialing the local area code took effect.

This morning, I did something I almost never do - I made a phone call with my land line. It was a local call, and I have already gotten in the habit of dialing the area code for local calls. Of course, I normally make calls on my cell phone.

When I made the call, I got intercept telling me that I had to dial "1" before dialing that number. Oops. I had forgotten that on land lines the "1" was required as well as the area code. My question is: If intercept knew that I had to dial a "1", why didn't it just go ahead and insert it? Why did I have to hang up and dial again?
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