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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

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We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


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If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
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Back to dial-up in 2021!

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    #31
    Originally posted by Alsilisk View Post
    I am using DSL right now.... I went to a friends once who had fibre. Had no idea such speeds were possible. To be frank people are happy with DSL, only the very wealthy can afford fibre not to mention how much it depends on location. At least the phones stay awake when the power goes out. I live at the end of the electricity pole. The local electricity supplier got booked recently (I reported it) when I discovered it was changing voltage by +-10V every 2 seconds, not ideal :/.
    Well BT has said they will phase out the normal phone service by 2025 and have also dropped the Fibre to Voice service which came with a Battery Backup Unit so whilst you may be sitting pretty now, it isn't going to last forever. For many folks in the UK FTTC is not that much more expensive than ADSL.
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

    Comment


      #32
      Originally posted by Alsilisk View Post
      I am using DSL right now.... I went to a friends once who had fibre. Had no idea such speeds were possible. To be frank people are happy with DSL, only the very wealthy can afford fibre not to mention how much it depends on location. At least the phones stay awake when the power goes out. I live at the end of the electricity pole. The local electricity supplier got booked recently (I reported it) when I discovered it was changing voltage by +-10V every 2 seconds, not ideal :/.
      You had your electricity supply company 'booked' because the voltage was changing +/- 10V every few seconds...Umm what? How did this 'booking' work exactly? Putting aside that the company you buy from as an end user is only a reseller and does not directly operate or control any infrastructure, the average UK voltage will constantly vary from roughly 220V-250V based on supply & demand and equipment must be designed to work within those tolerances. You don't get to have an exactly fixed voltage from a mains supply!

      Originally posted by g4ugm View Post
      Well BT has said they will phase out the normal phone service by 2025 and have also dropped the Fibre to Voice service which came with a Battery Backup Unit so whilst you may be sitting pretty now, it isn't going to last forever. For many folks in the UK FTTC is not that much more expensive than ADSL.
      I don't think this story is fully understood. Openreach will phase out the copper PSTN network and ISDN in 2025. The associated products they sell wholesale to service providers based on these technologies will cease. BT as a service provider (as opposed to Openreach) will stop supplying any form of traditional phone line to businesses (but not home users) at the same time. Other providers will probably follow suit, but don't have to.

      That's not quite the same as phasing out normal phones entirely. The last bit of copper going into buildings will remain and any domestic services currently used (including a landline service) will continue, it will just be data based behind the scenes with equipment in the cabinet to convert. It does mean the default will likely be to sell 'naked' DSL/FTTC products which don't include a phone number and line and consequently there will probably be a drastic reduction in the number of landlines in use, but it will still be something you can specify if you want. Openreach will also offer a 500Kbps 'Virtual Analogue' wholesale product specifically so service providers can continue to provide a traditional style phone line compatible with analogue PSTN equipment to people who just want a landline with no internet. Customers on those products will continue to just plug in a phone and it will just work.
      Last edited by cwathen; February 24, 2021, 08:27 AM.

      Comment


        #33
        Originally posted by cwathen View Post
        I don't think this story is fully understood. Openreach will phase out the copper PSTN network and ISDN in 2025. The associated products they sell wholesale to service providers based on these technologies will cease. BT as a service provider (as opposed to Openreach) will stop supplying any form of traditional phone line to businesses (but not home users) at the same time. Other providers will probably follow suit, but don't have to.

        That's not quite the same as phasing out normal phones entirely. The last bit of copper going into buildings will remain and any domestic services currently used (including a landline service) will continue, it will just be data based behind the scenes with equipment in the cabinet to convert. It does mean the default will likely be to sell 'naked' DSL/FTTC products which don't include a phone number and line and consequently there will probably be a drastic reduction in the number of landlines in use, but it will still be something you can specify if you want. Openreach will also offer a 500Kbps 'Virtual Analogue' wholesale product specifically so service providers can continue to provide a traditional style phone line compatible with analogue PSTN equipment to people who just want a landline with no internet. Customers on those products will continue to just plug in a phone and it will just work.
        That is not how I read the OFCOM document.

        https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/asse...e-services.pdf

        as far as I can see it makes no difference if you are home or business user. The BT announcement which is reported here says:-

        https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.ph...s-go-fttp.html

        Under this plan Openreach said that, in June 2020, they intend to give 12-months’ notice that “we’ll no longer be selling copper-based products” in those exchanges areas, which will start the clock on their migration process toward the retirement of legacy phone services and, ultimately, copper withdrawal too (see illustration above). It’s expected that more than 75% of homes in these locations will be covered with FTTP come June 2021.

        Various new products have been created to help ISPs and consumers deal with this process, such as a special low speed 0.5Mbps FTTP tier (here) that can be used to help cater for those homes which just require a voice-only service. However some people will no doubt find such a transition difficult (change is rarely easy) and much will depend upon whether or not customers are hit with any extra costs or hassle, as well as how ISPs handle it all.


        so specifically "homes" & "no copper what so ever"
        Dave
        G4UGM

        Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by g4ugm View Post
          so specifically "homes" & "no copper what so ever"
          Sources seem to vary tremendously and conflate various things. For one thing, 'BT' is still often used as a generic term in articles which may variously be referring to announcements from Openreach, BT Wholesale and BT Consumer which all mean different things and can be conflicting. Some articles out rightly conflict. Eg this article https://www.telcotitans.com/btwatch/...r/1900.article doesn't seem to support no copper at all by 2025.

          Given there appears to be zero mainstream media coverage (I've googled it several different ways and don't get a single return from an MSM site) I don't personally believe there could possibly be enough public awareness to do this within a few years. And for many, it would be difficult to transition away so quickly. It's not so much about potentially putting a router and a VOIP phone into your Gran's house, it's that many business uses rely entirely on PSTN with no immediately obvious replacement products. As well as the obvious things like alarm monitoring, my workplace still specifies a functioning fax machine per site (even if now delivered by an MFP) as an emergency backup to ensure documents can be sent and receive in the even of an IT failure. It's used rarely, but has been used often enough to make TPTB reluctant to drop it and they also specify for every site to have an 'emergency phone' - a basic, no electricity required, corded landline phone to be located in the 'safe haven' (a room in which staff would secure themselves in the event that they were at risk) so that there will always be a functioning phone available in that room irrespective of whether there is mobile signal, or the cordless VOIP phones being left out of the secure space (or the VOIP platform failing), or just a power outage. Again, very rarely have these phones been used in anger, but they have been used on occasion and are still specified.

          Solutions to all these problems will not be deliverable within a 2025 timeframe. And if a service provider can package up a service which obscures the shift to a fibre network from the consumer, a market for it will exist. I know that my workplace would change provider to keep their fax machines and emergency phones (even at increased cost) long before they gave them up.

          Comment


            #35
            This is going to sound ridiculous, but is it possible, lacking a land line, to use a modem over a fiber or cable connection? For example something that a modem of a vintage computer could connect to that enables it to dial a Dialup 4 Less Number and actually transmit/receive or, failing that, bridge directly to the Internet?

            Comment


              #36
              Well, there are serial to TCP/IP devices.

              I've been told that landline service obtained through a telephone company's fiber/DSL bridge should function with Modems and Fax. (although going through the phone company's gadget defeats the point of having an alternate or backup communications method)

              Comment


                #37
                Landlines are getting much more expensive these days even if you don't use long distance. I wonder what percentage of the population uses a landline anymore (mostly old people like my mom).
                What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                Comment


                  #38
                  Or people who want something that works reliably all the time, doesn't require constant recharging, doesn't require replacing and changing around every couple years, isn't hackable, and is actually audible when two people communicate using them.

                  But people who want that are old and should die, right?

                  Comment


                    #39
                    the audio latency of any digital based voice service drives me crazy, I pretty much hate talking on the phone now

                    (never liked it a whole lot to begin with, but it was tolerable with wire speed audio)

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Using my own VoIP box, I don't really notice the delay. I find more delay on mobile phone service.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Originally posted by cwathen View Post
                        Solutions to all these problems will not be deliverable within a 2025 timeframe. And if a service provider can package up a service which obscures the shift to a fibre network from the consumer, a market for it will exist. I know that my workplace would change provider to keep their fax machines and emergency phones (even at increased cost) long before they gave them up.
                        Sorry perhaps I have over trimmed. Perhaps the shortage of mainstream coverage is deliberate. Trying not to panic the public? As for the above BT or perhaps Openreach used to offer a PSTN port with Battery backup Unit that provided emergency dialing but this is no longer available new supply, perhaps because most people that used it, like me, only have DECT phones and the base unit stops working when the mains go.

                        So now you have to have your own VOIP unit and your own battery backup/ups.
                        Dave
                        G4UGM

                        Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
                          the audio latency of any digital based voice service drives me crazy, I pretty much hate talking on the phone now

                          (never liked it a whole lot to begin with, but it was tolerable with wire speed audio)
                          I remember using a Nokia 100 analog cell phone just before they shut down analog and well after most people were using digital cell phones. The sound was crystal clear back then.
                          What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                          Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                          Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                          Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Eh don't romanticize analog cellular too much. Yeah the audio quality was great when you were well in range but coverage was poor and you'd get crushed by static sometimes

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                              Yes. "Baud" is the measure of "symbols" per second. So, a 2400 bps connection (note small 'b') using QAM passes 600 symbols per second. Practically speaking, the limit for a voice grade line is 2400 baud. Higher bitrates are achieved through sophisticated modulation and encoding.

                              That being said, in a wire-connected PC-to-PC setup, baud = bits per second.

                              Question for the OP: May I assume that you're using the mobile version of the VCF forum pages and not the full-blown desktop/graphical ones?
                              Late as hell reply but no I'm using the full desktop version. It really does not take long to load I swear.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
                                Is it even possible to get a true copper loop phone line anymore?
                                Yes thank Heavens

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