Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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The "Giant" supermarket chain is offering a new shop by phone plan,
called "peapod".  At advertising billboards they have a QR (quick
response) code for mobile phone uers.  They then can select groceries
from the advertising billboard at train stations or the website, which
are then delivered to their home.

http://www.peapod.com /

This is interesting in that an early proposed automated telephone
applications nearly 50 years ago was grocery shopping by phone.  A
caller would have a list and use their Touch Tone phone to select and
order items.  Ironcially, that never seemed to catch on.

About 75 years ago it was common for neighborhood grocery stores to
deliver purchases to the home; many people walked to the store and
didn't have any way to carry a large order home (other than those
little wheeled baskets).  But then supermarkets came out with self-
service and big parking lots for the automobile and cut prices, which
wouldn't allow for delivery.  Shoppers liked the low prices and
supermarkets flourished every since.  Aggressive price competition
remains in the retail food business today, so it will be interesting
if people are willing to pay for this enhanced service.  (There are a
few "premium" supermarkets, but most shoppers seem to prefer to shop
on price.)

Telecom notes:  The manager in my local supermarket carries a cordless
phone hooked to his belt.  If he is paged, he can answer the page from
anywhere in the store.  He also can initiate a page from his cordless
phone.  Also, all the cashiers have intercom phones in case there is a
price check or other need for assistance.

The stores' checkout aisle have a mounted swipe reader for credit and
debit cards, which includes a keypad for the shopping to enter their
PIN.  When first installed, these machines would dial up to verify the
connection--you could the dial tone and connecting beep.  Now, they're
always on-line and work fairly quickly.  A nice free feature is when
paying with debit card, shoppings can get cash back by adding the
desired cash to the total of the purchase; this saves a trip to the
ATM machine.

When paying by check, a shopper gives the cashier a blank check, and
she then inserts it into a mini-printer.  The printer fills out the
pay-to and the amount automatically, all the shopper has to do is sign
the check.

Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:20:47AM -0800, HAncock4 wrote:

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ISTR coming across a Bell System study that evaluated the issue, some
years ago. The ghist of it was that the researches had found that
housewives were afraid of making a mistake and having the wrong
groceries delivered, and so they continued to shop the "old fashioned
way", because they could see what they were buying.

I don't know if Touch-Tone phones were originally intended to give
customers the ability to interact with automaticc response systems,
but they weren't adopted as quickly as was hoped: I think local LEC
customers didn't see the signalling capability as an advantage worth
paying for, and some might have shied away from automated systems that
depended on Touch-Tone because they didn't want to lose the human
touch that they enjoyed with the old system. It's also possible that
customers thought that they would have to surrender /all/ their
phones, including the millions of unauthorized extensions which still
had dials on them. I'm always fascinated by people's reactions to new
technology, both positive and negative, so I'd like to hear from
others who have better information about this.

The study I saw was from the 1970's, so it didn't cover the Internet,
but I think at least part of the reason that brick-and-morter
retailers discounted (pun intended) competition from Internet sellers
was that they thought buyers would continue to want to handle the
goods before purchase.  However, high-resolution photographs and
high-speed Internet connections to carry them gave buyers a "close
enough" experience, so they are now willing to order online: the
paradigm shift is also attributable to the pachaged-goods industry,
which produces uniform products with enough repeatability that buyers
can buy by brand instead of by item. After all, nobody cares /which/
tube of Crest toothpaste they purchase, just that the one they get is
like all the others.

It remains to be seen if Peapod (offered by Stop & Shop in my area)
will be able to leverage the public's experience buying packaged goods
in order to sell groceries: since nobody cares which bottle of soap
they buy, Peapod is hoping that they won't care which melon or tomato
or ear of corn is delivered.

Bill

--
Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

:It remains to be seen if Peapod (offered by Stop & Shop in my area)
:will be able to leverage the public's experience buying packaged goods
:in order to sell groceries: since nobody cares which bottle of soap
:they buy, Peapod is hoping that they won't care which melon or tomato
:or ear of corn is delivered.

I don't know, fifteen years of selling groceries online seems to be
enough to say if they're going to manage to succeed.  Peapod are a
subsidery of Royal Ahold, a Dutch supermarket congolmerate.  Ahold
owns both Giant and Stop & Shop.


--
sig 16


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 09:03:03PM +0000, David Scheidt wrote:
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I don't know how well Peapod is doing in the market, but (as I wrote
before), I'd like to know what factors work against it and for it. My
questions cover several areas:

1. Predictability. I stayed at a long-term hotel once while working
   for Verizon, and it offered Peapod service. I filed an order, but I
   was disappointed that they delivered different brands of food than
   the ones I had ordered. Their service agreement gives them
   permission to do it, but I wanted Brand X cereal and they delivered
   Brand Y. ISTM that a service which is trying to make inroads into
   traditional buying patterns and customer habits would concentrate
   on delivering exactly what was ordered: it may be that Americans
   are more demanding in this regard than Dutch customers, so perhaps
   it's a culture clash.

2. Portioning. The order I filed included some vegetables, and the
   ones that were delivered where smaller than ones I would have
   chosen myself. I was left with the impression that Peapod customers
   are expected to accept fruits from the "bottom of the barrel", and
   felt I had been cheated. It's not a rational conclusion, I know,
   but that was how I felt. Once again, this might be a cultural
   difference.

3. Ease of use. I filed my order using a Touch-Tone phone, and found
   the IVR system to be (to my mind) overly complicated and difficult
   to navigate.

I was left with the impression that the whole thing was intended for
restauranteurs and chefs who were used to ordering over the phone -
and accustomed to accepting a certain percentage of discards - and not
for home users without experience in commerical food preparation.

The bigger questions remainss, though: what motivates customers to
accept a faceless transaction over the traditional supermarket? The
prices weren't that different from the market, and considering the
price of gas and value of my time, I thought the charges were
reasonable for my order. What makes the average buyer willing to pick
up the phone instead of the car keys?

Bill


--
Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
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[sneck]

Peapod was founded in Chicago in the '90s. Primarily web-based ordering.
(also telephone-orders to a live rep -- who was just using the web-form
for you -- with an additional surcharge.  this has, i believe been dropped)
Actual purchasing was executed through a large Chicago-area grocery chain
(Jewel Osco).  The route driver would go to a 'local' (to where he was
delivering), Jewel, with a 'consolidated' shopping list, and grab however
many of 'whatever' he needed to fill his shopping list.  Then wheel the
carts out to the parking lot, and sort stuff out of the carts, and into
tubs for the individual customers.  Then, off to each address to deliver
the orders.  Special space on board for handling frozen and/or refrigerated
items.  

In the early days they were almost exclusively residential delivery.

They subsequently expanded to other areas in the region served by Jewel.

They were successful/profitable enough that they were acquired by a major
Dutch grocer.  And, oddly enough,  shifted to using _their_ warehousing/
distribution.

Produce is, and has been "pot luck", they're buying/distributing enough
that they can't "cherry pick" like many retail customers do.  So, _somebody_
ends up with the 'choice' heads of lettuce from the crate, and somebody
else gets the left-overs.  They make a reasonable effort to rotate who is
where on the fulfillment cycle, so that the same customers don't regularly
get either the choice items -or- the left-overs.

They've also expanded into 'business' delivery -- this includes both
commercial restaurants, and businesses tha just need 'goodies' for a
meeting.

They've been constantly -- albeit in a controlled manner, and at a restrained
pace -- expanding their service area.  They presently cover a large part
of the nation.

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The short answer is 'convenience' --  you can search stuff on the web-
site a lot faster than you can go down the isles in the store; you can
keep 'saved lists' of stuff you purchase regularly, with a 'one click'
add of the entire list.  If you're not near a 24-hour store, you can
still -place- an order 24-hours/day.

For 'routine' shopping purchases -- an 'established' shopping list of
goods, it's only a few minutes (at most) online to place the order and
schedule the delivery.  And maybe 5 minutes when the delivery arrives.

Compare that to 10-15 minutes or more (door-to-door) each way with a car,
20+ minutes going through the store, 5 minutes or so for check-out,  plus
the time to load the groceries into the car.  and it can be a -big- time-
saver.

Consider a stay-at-home mom, with young kids, who's husband is out-of-town
for whatever reason -- she's either going to have to get a sitter, or bundle
the kids of to the store with her.  Online ordering/delivery begins to look
like a -real- bargain.

And then there are the 'snobs' -- who'd prefer not to mingle with the
'great unwashed' at the local supermarket.  :)

_lots_ of reasons.  *grin*


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]



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In the days when grocery delivery was common. you had to leave
your door unlocked or have a maid or other attendant.  Many foods are
perishable and can't just be dumped on the front porch.  There also
had to be someone to pay the delivery person unless credit was
extended.
 
When I was growing up my mother ordered groceries (there were two
deliveries a day) and the delivery person came around to the back and
brought them right into the kitchen.
 
Another product was milk, almost always delivered.  You could pick a
time you wanted it delievered (at two hour intervals, as I recall) and
at one time there were six different dairies calling on us for their
business in Oklahoma City (I believe not quite that many in St. Louis
and I don't remember how many in Dallas).
 
Now there are no milk delivery men and no grocers that deliver.

Wes Leatherock
wleathus@yahoo.com
wesrock@aol.com


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
In article
wleathus@yahoo.com says...
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Here in Providence, RI we still have one delivery outfit, Munroe Dairy.
I remember getting a tour of the facility they use when I as a kid and
was suprised to see they still do deliveries.

The product mix is interesting too!

https://www.cowtruck.com/products/products_list_all.php ?
cmd=reset&sel_category_id=1

***** Moderator's Note *****

I called the dairy, and talked to Lindsay Armstrong-Mitchel. She told
me that they still take orders over the phone, without benefit of an
IVR system, although they prefer that customers use the web, since
they have over 300 products and serve a multi-lingual client base.

Ms. Armstrong-Mitchel told me that their average phone order is $20,
whereas the average web order is $35: phone orders, however, are more
profitable, because their sales force can "upsell" higher-value items.

As an example, she cited a sale they had for "lobster ravioli" last
December: they sold more online, but phone orders generated more, (and
more profitable) follow-on sales for related items used in preparation
of a sauce to go with the ravioli.

The company's customers, she said, are mostly young families, but they
are seeing more childless, professional couples as time goes by.

I asked if they serve a lot of physically-challenged customers who are
unable to shop for themselves, but Ms. Armstrong-Mitchel said that
they have thirty routes, and handicapped customers are only one or two
stops per route.

When I inquired what benefit her customers get by ordering deliveries:
Ms. Armstrong-Mitchel told me that taking kids to the store is
expensive, and told me that industry studies show families spend 40
extra dollars when they go to the supermarket, not just in "kiddie
grab" items, but in impulse buys by adults.

Long story short: ordering groceries by phone is alive and well - and
sometimes cheaper than going to the supermarket!

Bill Horne
Moderator


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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In doing a search for "Touch Tone" in the New York Times for the
1960s, I came up with the following.  It seems some of the services
were envisioned quite a long time ago, and took longer to become
universal.

12/19/1962:  Touch Tone installed in Chardon, Ohio, by the Chardon
Telephone Company, using sets made by Stromberg Carlson (a division of
General Dynamics).  This is of interest since it was an Independent
company, not part of the Bell System.  Also, Stromberg Carlson was a
relatively small maker of telephone equipment--I would've presumed
Automatic Electric* would've been the pioneer because it was the
biggest independent company.

11/15/1963:  Bell installed Touch Tone in Greesnburg and Carngegie, in
Western Pennsylvania.

9/20/1964:  Article talking about future modernization of the
telephone system.  ESS and its customer features are described.  Touch
Tone is described, along with examples of interfacing with a
computer.  It also said Touch Tone services were in demand and Bell
had trouble keeping up with orders for sets and converters to meet
demand.  So, as far back as 1964, they envisioning using TT phones for
computer interface.  (I remember bank tellers having a TT keypad next
to their rotary phones circa 1970 to get balances from the bank's
central computer.)

--Salesman inquiring if an item is in stock in a warehouse;
--Housewife ordering groceries,
--Investors getting stock quotes
--Housewife remotely turning on/off oven, air conditioner, and heater.

1/12/1965:  The Bell System had a display at a convention of
department store executives, suggesting using Touch Tone phones for
immediate credit authorization, ordering from home, and in-store
purchasing and paying bills from home.  [As an aside, some of the
fears expressed at that convention--discounters taking over markets
from traditional department stores--did come to pass.]

5/27/1966:  Centrex receives a patent.  Instead of a big cord
switchboard, operators use small consoles with Touch Tone keypads to
connect calls that can't be dialed directly.

5/21/1967:  The Checkless Society:  Using the card dialer phone plus
some entered codes, customers could pay bills.  Envisioned to be up in
1980.  Issues of privacy and security were discussed.

8/30/1967:  Touch Tone phone panel for aparment house lobbies, tenant
dials a code on their phone to let someone in.  Rental:  $60/month
plus $1.10 for each apartment.  (I saw this system in use at the
Stuyvesant Apts in NYC in 1968.  Pretty slick for its day.)



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People always shopped by mail order, especially when there were
specialty goods not available locally or the price was better than
retail.  But mail order in the old days was cumbersome.  One had to
fill out a form, carefully entering complex product codes.  Then,
shipping had to be carefully calculated using complicated charts since
rates varied by both distance and weight.   If a person didn't have a
personal checking account, they had to go out and buy a money order.

I'm not sure when this happened, but to me the big change was when
credit card companies accepted a telephone submitted credit card order
(1980s?).  Well before the Internet was commonplace companies had 800
order lines.  At that point, for the consumer, the transaction was
effortless.  Consumers didn't only use catalogs, but also ads from
magazines.

Indeed, going way back, the telephone companies offered special
equipment for department stores to accept telephone orders ("order
turrets") that automatically queued and distributed calls to order-
takers.


According to the Bell Labs history, Touch Tone interpreters for
central offices were expensive.  Different models were developed for
different sized applications.  A "cheapo" model was developed for PBXs
where the loop distances (between extension and PBX switch) were short
and accuracy not as critical.  We take for granted the precise
accuracy of electronics today, apparently back in the 1960s it took a
lot more effort and expense to achieve that precision.


*As an aside, the Bell System gave Touch Tone (as well as wall and
desk sets) all different model numbers, eg 500, 2500, 2554.  AE,
instead, used the same code for a variety of equipment.  Thus, the AE
80 covered the 500 equivalent of desk and wall, and rotary and Touch
Tone sets.


credit cards, was: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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When I was working retail in a small store 1970ish, we usually
took a physical card (using the carbon imprinter...) but we
could also take telephone orders. We simply handwrote the
person's name in the signature line, with a "t/o" (for "telephone
order") next to it.
 
However, the big time issue was that we had to check each
card against a very big pamphlet with very teensy type, that
was updated each week... If the sale was over fifty dollars,
we also had to call in to the card company for validation and
get a ticket number.

- In the late 1970s online terminals came into use at the
larger retail stores, and presumably the call centers.
And then, bit by bit, the time and effort got to be less
and less...


--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
                    dannyb@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]


Re: credit cards, was: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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The Bell System developed a product line of transaction telephones--
and a special network to support them--to handle the growing volume of
credit card transactions.

One aspect include the development of a new network, called the
Transaction Network, which introduced a message switching service
tailored to transaction-oriented applications.  This would be faster
and easier than using a dial-up, and cheaper than private-line
services.

The December 1978 issue of the BSTJ is devoted to this service.  (I'm
not sure how widely this service was utilized in the market place.)

As per traditional Bell System practice, they thoroughly researched
all facets of the application.   This includes separate articles on:

"Transaction Network Service",
"Communication Network and Equipment",
"Transaction Network Operational Programs",
"Maintenance and Administration",
"Polled Access Interface",
"Dial Access Interface",
"Customer Service Center Interface",
"The Switched Network Transaction Telephone System",
"Transaction Stations",
"Physical Design Banks", and
"Transaction Printer".

see: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/bstj/vol57-1978/bstj-vol57-issue10.html

Also, it should be noted that the during the late 1960s and 1970s the
line between computer functions and telecommunication functions began
to blur.  That is, when did processing cease being telecom (under the
jurisdiction of the regulated common carriers) and become data
processing (handled by customer owned computers)?  A series of formal
FCC Inquiries investigated those issues.  In those days there were
predictions of an upcoming war between IBM and AT&T as technology
increased.


Re: credit cards, was: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]



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Along about that time I was the designated person to pay for a dinner
for a company meeting.  The amount was betwen $50 and $100.  This was
in the evening, and the credit card authorization center had closed
for the day.  The solution, which came to me and the restaurant about
the same time, was to run two charges, each for less than $50, on two
different credit cards I had, so neither charge was over the floor
limit.  That was in the days when they sent out credit cards
willy nilly, without your asking for them.
 

Wes Leatherock
wleathus@yahoo.com
wesrock@aol.com


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 15:13:07 -0500, Bill Horne wrote, of Touch-Tone phones:

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"An extra 5 or 7 bucks a month to save 5 or 7 seconds of dialing time?"
folks thought, "Ya gotta be kidding!" I remember: I was one of them.

And later, when it was learned that DTMF would save Ma Bell money as
compared with pulse dialing, folks thought, "You should pay *us* to switch
to DTMF, not the other way around!" And I was one of those, too :-) .

Ultimately, Ma Bell gave in, and just made everything both pulse /and/ DTMF
dial responsive, at no extra monthly charge.

Cheers, -- tlvp

- -
Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.

***** Moderator's Note *****

I'd really like to know if Touch-Tone was intended to be used for IVR
access when it was on the drawing board. I always thought it was
invented in order to cut down on local cable costs, i.e., to make it
possible to use Voice Frequency repeaters and thinner wire.

Bill Horne
Moderator


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:21:55 -0500 tlvp wrote:

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That was my understanding. VF repeaters couldn't pass dial pulses.

The DLL (Dial Long Line) equipment was not cheap. It occupied a rack unit
or two. It used power. It created heat. Contacts got dirty. It was noisy.

Solid-state sender conversion kits were not that expensive, and solved the
problem for older COs, like the 1XB, and early 5XB.

I wonder if they were available for SXS offices?

Often money dictates upgrades. I remember one scheduled 2B ESS replacement
for Bonner Springs, KS, a mostly rural town. It was instead used in a
smaller suburb of Stanley, KS (now consumed by Overland Park, KS).

The reasoning was because all the rich folks lived there, many who worked
in high financial jobs in the big city, and the Bonner Springs farmers
didn't need the features.

What about the military, and their fourth column of priority buttons on
telsets? Were these lines not locally switched, perhaps wired to Autovon
as FX lines? That could get expensive, but fortunately only senior
officers had such phones. Maybe they used a line concentrator?

All of the Army and Air Force switches I worked on (up through 1968) were
All Relay SXS, and some X-Y SXS. No Strowger SXS, with their inherent
horizontal dust-collecting banks.

--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?

***** Moderator's Note *****

Dirty and noisy: ah, the good old days!

I thought Autovan was all four-wire: someone correct me if I'm wrong,
but I heard that Autovan switches were, technically, tandems and that
they switched all calls using separate transmit and receive paths.

The four-column phones, BTW, were located in a lot of different
places, not just on the desks of high-ranking officers.

Bill Horne
Moderator


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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Indeed they were avilable,but for SxS offices they were an add-on, not
just a conversion, and sufficiently expensive that many step offices
were never equpped with them.
 

Wes Leatherock
wleathus@yahoo.com
wesrock@aol.com


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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Excerpt from the Bell System Engineering textbook, 1977, pg 457:

. . . "Conversion to Touch Tone operation is difficult and relatively
expensive in step-by-step systems.  All Touch Tone lines must be
grouped together and new switching stages introduced so that these
lines may access Touch Tone registers which then generate dial pulses
to drive the succeeding switches." . . .

"It was necessary to fit a new dial tone signal, composed of
frequencies that did not interfere with TT operation, into all TT
offices." . . .

"For economy, the TT station was designed to function with single
polarity on the loop*, and would not work with reversed battery--step-
by-step usually transmits a battery reversal to the originating
station after answer.  This prevents using a TT set for end-to-end
signalling after the connection was set up."  Some kind of workaround
was necessary.

*TT telephone sets were later changed so that polarity didn't matter.

Excerpt from the Bell Labs History, 1925-1975, pg 339:

"After WW II, there was a need in some situations for more efficient
interfaces between local SxS and other systems using multi-frequency
pulsing.  Further, there was a need to introduce a degree of
flexibility into SxS systems." . . .

Step by step was cumbersome in large metropolitan areas with many
trunk choices due to the limits of the 10x10 switch; that was a key
reason panel and No.1 xbar were developed.  "Senderization" was an
effort to improve that (as had been done in the UK), but crossbar was
found to be a more cost-effective approach.  (If anyone is familiar
with any US effort to "senderize" an SxS exchange [such as in Los
Angeles], could you share it with us)?

In 1961 Bell developed two projects for TT to serve SxS exchanges.
One was the more expensive "compatible" which would be adaptable for
common decoders for office translation and to output MF to outgoing
trunks.  The first of 250 installations was in Kokomo Ind. in March
1965. . . .

The first "non-compatible" was in 1960 in Cave Spring, Va. using TT
register-senders.

Later, a lower-cost design was developed for offices with a shorter
expected lifespan; this was first implemented in 1974.

In 1976, about 70% of Bell System lines could get TT, and 30% of
customers served by such lines had subscribed.

(Would anyone know the experience of General Telephone/Automatic
Electric and their early support of TT?  Per our discussion of
computer access, AE offered a telephone set with both a dial and TT
keypad--the user would use the dial to make the connection and then
the TT keypad to communicate to the computer.)


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

[... ]

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As far as I know the entire Los Angeles area (much of it independent
and General Telephone in those days) was senderized because of the big
installed base of step offices.
 
I also remember reading the first 5XB in a non-Bell office was at the
Sunland-Tujunga Telephone Compamy, in the L.A. region.


Wes Leatherock
wleathus@yahoo.com
wesrock@aol.com

 


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 09:06:39 -0800 Wes Leatherock wrote:


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I understand the use of the term "senderized" but I'm trying to remember
if 5XB actually used the term "sender," or if their equivalent were called
"registers."

The 1XB Subscriber Sender (possibly Panel as well) was called an
"Originating Register" in 5XB I believe. Perhaps the Terminating Sender
equivalent in 5XB was a Terminating Register, or Incoming Register?

Some might wonder why a "terminating" sender would be sending anything.
That probably was due to Revertive Pulsing, when the Terminating Sender
would "send" the command to stop pulsing to the originating office,
commonly Panel, by opening (or reversing) the trunk for an instant.

But it has been many years, and I didn't work in the 5XB office as a
full-time job assignment. At night I used my ears, and would listen for
the 5XB Trouble Recorder to grind continuously, following one Major Alarm
"bong" after another. Then I'd chase down crosses in the Translator from
broken-off wirewrap "springs" (XET?), and refilled the Trouble Recorder.


--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]

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The following link is to a series of Bell Labs Record articles on No.
5 crossbar.

http://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=132&Itemid=2


The terms do get confusing; it appears different common control
switches have different levels of sophistication with the "sender".


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On Fri, 24 Feb 2012 07:41:19 -0800 Wes Leatherock wrote:


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Maybe I should have used the term "add-on" instead of "conversion."

They were equipment added onto the mounting bars of a regular 1XB
Subscriber Sender. They had a couple dozen wires that were connected to
various places on the original SS, the rear relay terminals, and the
unit's terminal block.

My thinking is this was a "conversion" from the original dial-pulse SS.
Sorry for the confusion.

We had 180 Subscriber Senders, with maybe about 60 of them being "New
Senders" which had TouchTone receivers, designed into them by WECo. You
might get lucky and be assigned one of those every few requests for
dialtone, depending on your Line Link priority to a District Junctor and
Subscriber Sender Link Frame.

What the add-on kits did I don't remember, other than making the work of
Framemen and Dial Assignment much easier, since TTR and TTB could be sold
without changing a subscriber to a 5XB number.

These add-ons could have received TouchTone signals, then output dial
pulses. Or maybe they operated the digit registration relays, or simply
paralleled their contacts.

This was back around 1975, so my memory is not clear. My wife actually
wired many of them for me on my evening shift. She knew how to follow
schematics, solder, and wire-wrap. She was actually a TSPS operator in a
different building, and went with AT&T at Divestiture.

I do remember they were in cheap plastic housings, and were affixed to the
mounting bars with plastic cable ties (Ty-Rap). Someone must have known
this 1XB (and the 5XB) would be cut to the new 1ESS in a few short years.

Actually it was a year or so after I left in 1979, when the 1ESS had been
upgraded to a 1A-ESS, and I had bid outside as a Teletypeman, later
renamed to Systems Technician.


--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?


Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone [telecom]
On 2/21/2012 11:21 PM, tlvp wrote:

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Actually, where I am Qwest introduced a change that "will save money
for the vast majority of our customers".  They went to a single rate
that included DTMF and was less than what DTMF customers were paying,
but more than what pulse customers were paying.  From _my_ POV, that
meant that the "extra monthly charge" was no longer optional.

Given that most phones of the day had "pulse/tone" switches, and that
there was a Hayes-compatible command to have modems dial pulse, I
never saw any reason to pay extra for tone.. if I needed tones for
interaction, I flipped the switch on the side of the phone after
dialing.  My computer BBS worked with pulse just fine.

Dave


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