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(NPR)   An ode to the unsung hero of Hurricane Sandy, the lowly pay telephone   (npr.org) divider line 90
    More: PSA, pay-phones  
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5885 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Nov 2012 at 11:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-01 09:30:46 PM
Too bad they fired all the public telephone handset sanitizers a few years back..

THE HORROR!
 
2012-11-01 09:56:13 PM
Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?
 
2012-11-01 09:59:49 PM

markie_farkie: Too bad they fired all the public telephone handset sanitizers a few years back..

THE HORROR!


They're hanging out with the hairdressers and advertising account executives
 
2012-11-01 10:00:13 PM
Huh. Weird. I thought those were public toilets for exhibitionists.
 
2012-11-01 10:09:04 PM

jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?


I've memorized about a couple dozen important numbers, just for emergency purposes.

Why I memorized a taxidermist's, and an asian midget tranny hookers's number is another story.
 
2012-11-01 10:27:09 PM

markie_farkie: I've memorized about a couple dozen important numbers, just for emergency purposes.


When I first got a cell phone I refused to rely on the phone book. I'd type everybody's numbers in.

I finally got over it, but I still remember the numbers of those people that still have the same number since then. I remember my GF's number, but not my best friend since he's changed his number a bunch of times.

My second best friend gave his phone and number to his girlfriend 7-8 years ago, and I have both their numbers memorized still even though I talk to them on the phone maybe half a dozen times a year.
 
2012-11-01 10:34:06 PM

markie_farkie: hookers's


FTFM.... 3 hours of sleep and a bottle of wine aren't helping..
 
2012-11-01 10:35:39 PM

markie_farkie: 3 hours of sleep and a bottle of wine aren't helping..


Depends on what you're trying to help.
 
2012-11-01 10:37:20 PM

Dead for Tax Reasons: markie_farkie: Too bad they fired all the public telephone handset sanitizers a few years back..

THE HORROR!

They're hanging out with the hairdressers and advertising account executives


Sad part is, they were the lucky ones, to get off the planet.
 
2012-11-01 11:04:28 PM

jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?


Keep a paper copy if you can extract it. Or just write down the numbers if your battery is getting low.
 
2012-11-01 11:11:48 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: Keep a paper copy if you can extract it. Or just write down the numbers if your battery is getting low.


A little late to think of that now. Power has been out for some of these places for almost a week. And usually for the first week nobody thinks it is possible the blackout will last more than a few hours, or even a day more than it already has. By then the phone is dead.
 
2012-11-01 11:46:02 PM
People need to get with the times and invest in some survival gear.

coolpile.com
 
2012-11-01 11:55:28 PM
Meanwhile, the preppers(tm) are laughing...
 
2012-11-01 11:56:53 PM
1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.
 
2012-11-01 11:58:18 PM

crazytrain: 1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.


Ah, I see we're going with the "fark you, I got mine" approach to things, along with a healthy dose of "It'll never happen to me", then?
 
2012-11-01 11:58:34 PM
Call me weird but I miss the gravity of using dedicated equipment. Sitting in a phonebooth or using a public phone had a kind of gravity; the tech essentially silently said 'You're going to make a call. Serious business.' Combined with having to remember the number, the heft of the phone and the singular purpose, (no texting, videos or other crap), it forced you to think before opening your mouth.

Even when getting calls from girlfriends, etc., you were limited by the length of the cord - desperately trying to get the handset cable from the kitchen to extend just enough so you were out of earshot of siblings. Or staring at the phone in hopes they'd call.

It's gotten so easy today and seemingly effortless that communication isn't valued as much, IMHO.
 
2012-11-01 11:58:37 PM

jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?


You don't memorize numbers? I thought everyone did that. You don't get your contacts in the county joint either :-(
 
2012-11-02 12:01:42 AM

crazytrain: 1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.


Except they pay more in taxes then they receive
 
2012-11-02 12:02:30 AM

markie_farkie: Too bad they fired all the public telephone handset sanitizers a few years back..

THE HORROR!


We do have several lemon-soaked napkins for you...
 
2012-11-02 12:04:12 AM
The poll on the article asked when the last time you used a pay phone was. I'm 28 years old and I don't think I've ever used a payphone.
 
2012-11-02 12:07:07 AM

BronyMedic: crazytrain: 1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.

Ah, I see we're going with the "fark you, I got mine" approach to things, along with a healthy dose of "It'll never happen to me", then?


No, just the smug f**** you of northern dumbasses to crises around the country - preaching on the idiocy of others and how our tax dollars must not reward such idiocy. Idiocy such as building near the ocean, etc.

`
 
2012-11-02 12:07:49 AM

WildManBand: jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?

You don't memorize numbers? I thought everyone did that. You don't get your contacts in the county joint either :-(


Ya dial 'Information'. with a $330/mo cell bill, a dollar for a phone number ain't squat.

/Kids nowadays
//sheesh
 
2012-11-02 12:08:21 AM
lh5.googleusercontent.com 

Got one of these portable power packs a while ago. If it charges through a USB cable, you're covered.
 
2012-11-02 12:09:44 AM

jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?


Under about 25th St there are huge parts of the city without any cell service -- such as the entire West Village -- so having a fully charged cell phone won't do you much good.
 
2012-11-02 12:11:05 AM
Operator? Get me New York City. The listing is Garry. No, Garry, with a G. Yes, yes, I'll accept the charges.
 
2012-11-02 12:12:14 AM
Payphones, man... that takes me back. Remember fumbling around with long distance calling cards and dialing codes, etc...
 
2012-11-02 12:13:37 AM
I was down in the Chelsea, the West Village and NYU today, and I was shocked that there was zero cell service. I would have thought that for the sake of public safety they would have setup emergency cell towers.
 
2012-11-02 12:16:21 AM

thornhill: I was down in the Chelsea, the West Village and NYU today, and I was shocked that there was zero cell service. I would have thought that for the sake of public safety they would have setup emergency cell towers.


Yes, and for the sake of public safety, they probably thought they should restore a) water, b) power, and c) sewer first.
 
2012-11-02 12:20:06 AM

markie_farkie: jaylectricity: Oh sure, you can get to a pay phone, but how are you supposed to look through your phone's contacts to get the number you need if the battery is dead?

I've memorized about a couple dozen important numbers, just for emergency purposes.

Why I memorized a taxidermist's, and an asian midget tranny hookers's number is another story.


So sad, but so true. I used to know 20-30 numbers, and I still remember many that I used to dial 20 years ago. But now I know precisely two phone numbers that I actually call regularly. I honestly don't even know my own cell number. I keep it in my wallet...
 
2012-11-02 12:21:20 AM

BronyMedic: crazytrain: 1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.

Ah, I see we're going with the "fark you, I got mine" approach to things, along with a healthy dose of "It'll never happen to me", then?


I live in an earthquake and tidal wave zone. If a 12.8 quake ever destroys my sleepy little beach town, causing a 50 foot wave to wash away the remnants, I'll take it like a man.
 
2012-11-02 12:21:48 AM

crazytrain: thornhill: I was down in the Chelsea, the West Village and NYU today, and I was shocked that there was zero cell service. I would have thought that for the sake of public safety they would have setup emergency cell towers.

Yes, and for the sake of public safety, they probably thought they should restore a) water, b) power, and c) sewer first.


AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint should restore water, power and sewer service?
 
2012-11-02 12:22:38 AM
www.byrnerobotics.com
 
2012-11-02 12:25:58 AM

Znuh: Call me weird but I miss the gravity of using dedicated equipment. Sitting in a phonebooth or using a public phone had a kind of gravity; the tech essentially silently said 'You're going to make a call. Serious business.' Combined with having to remember the number, the heft of the phone and the singular purpose, (no texting, videos or other crap), it forced you to think before opening your mouth.

Even when getting calls from girlfriends, etc., you were limited by the length of the cord - desperately trying to get the handset cable from the kitchen to extend just enough so you were out of earshot of siblings. Or staring at the phone in hopes they'd call.

It's gotten so easy today and seemingly effortless that communication isn't valued as much, IMHO.


The weight of the handset stands out for me as well. That and the sense of dread that whoever you were trying to reach (using a pay phone usually meant something was wrong) wasnt going to pick up.

Also, the absolute sense of vulnerability (in the pre-cell days) felt when driving a $400.00 ride at night, in the middle of nowhere and in the depths of winter, with no way other than walking/hitching to reach help.

Those trips really strummed some primal nerve that I recall well, but no longer experience.
 
2012-11-02 12:29:49 AM
I don't know how it works now, its been awhile. PlayStation 1 had just made it's debut, payphones went from a quarter to thirtyfive cents, I had studs in my belt- it was the style at the time, we could call anyone with a landline for free using a trick we'd learned from watching the television or T.V. as we called it. You could dial 10-10-321-then the number, connected.

/stay off my grass
 
2012-11-02 12:33:09 AM

TomD9938: Those trips really strummed some primal nerve that I recall well, but no longer experience.


I got to experience that recently - same deal, Sub-$1000 car, long road trip, and me being so broke I couldn't pay the monthly bill on my cell. So, Cell was sold, and I simply went without; if people wanted to call me, they could leave a message on skype.

It felt creepy and blissful at the same time. I was truly alone, nobody would call and/or demand an answer through text. It was a throwback to pre-1998, and it was truly great. Until family pressured me into buying a cheap disposo-phone.

Secondly, it was interesting again to see how fast we all lost cell service with this last storm. Whereas the old land-line stuff was literally designed to withstand a nuclear bomb going off. Different set of design criteria results in different kinds of failures.

And yeah, Picking up the handset of an old phone felt like something of consequence.
 
2012-11-02 12:35:43 AM

Znuh: It felt creepy and blissful


That's it.
 
2012-11-02 12:36:16 AM

theguyyousaw: I don't know how it works now, its been awhile. PlayStation 1 had just made it's debut, payphones went from a quarter to thirtyfive cents, I had studs in my belt- it was the style at the time, we could call anyone with a landline for free using a trick we'd learned from watching the television or T.V. as we called it. You could dial 10-10-321-then the number, connected.

/stay off my grass


omg i just remembered 10-10-321. Jesus, I hadn't thought of that in... more than half my lifetime.
 
2012-11-02 12:37:54 AM

jaylectricity: PC LOAD LETTER: Keep a paper copy if you can extract it. Or just write down the numbers if your battery is getting low.

A little late to think of that now. Power has been out for some of these places for almost a week. And usually for the first week nobody thinks it is possible the blackout will last more than a few hours, or even a day more than it already has. By then the phone is dead.


There is a lot to be said about being somewhat prepared. Its why I own a gun, a small generator, and some misc other supplies. And actually know how to use them.
 
2012-11-02 12:39:10 AM
pay phones aren't shiat without pagers
 
2012-11-02 12:45:20 AM

crazytrain: BronyMedic: crazytrain: 1) They built their city below sea level, f**** them (New Orleans)

2) They built trailers in a tornado zone, f**** them (Midwest)

New York / New Jersey can f**** right off - the money leeching scumbags - not a dime.

Ah, I see we're going with the "fark you, I got mine" approach to things, along with a healthy dose of "It'll never happen to me", then?

No, just the smug f**** you of northern dumbasses to crises around the country - preaching on the idiocy of others and how our tax dollars must not reward such idiocy. Idiocy such as building near the ocean, etc.

`


Do you know a single thing about trade? How goods get here? Why the most prosperous cities are built near the ocean and not on a mountain somewhere? (Las Vegas does not count)
 
2012-11-02 12:45:21 AM

100 Watt Walrus: crazytrain: thornhill: I was down in the Chelsea, the West Village and NYU today, and I was shocked that there was zero cell service. I would have thought that for the sake of public safety they would have setup emergency cell towers.

Yes, and for the sake of public safety, they probably thought they should restore a) water, b) power, and c) sewer first.

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint should restore water, power and sewer service?


You don't actually believe those companies give two shats about their customers do you?

They'll fix the existing towers...eventually, and in the interim they will still be charging their regular rates, while supplying no service.
 
2012-11-02 12:47:40 AM

gingerjet: And actually know how to use them.


I don't mean to disrespect, but it seems that you believe you're part of an elite group of people that know how to pull a trigger or rip-cord.
 
2012-11-02 12:50:00 AM

Chinchillazilla: theguyyousaw: I don't know how it works now, its been awhile. PlayStation 1 had just made it's debut, payphones went from a quarter to thirtyfive cents, I had studs in my belt- it was the style at the time, we could call anyone with a landline for free using a trick we'd learned from watching the television or T.V. as we called it. You could dial 10-10-321-then the number, connected.

/stay off my grass

omg i just remembered 10-10-321. Jesus, I hadn't thought of that in... more than half my lifetime.


If you were using a Bell payphone, some 10-10-*** would grant free usage.
But this was in the age of that awesome Nokia brick that I couldn't afford.
 
2012-11-02 12:51:55 AM

Indypendy: 100 Watt Walrus: crazytrain: thornhill: I was down in the Chelsea, the West Village and NYU today, and I was shocked that there was zero cell service. I would have thought that for the sake of public safety they would have setup emergency cell towers.

Yes, and for the sake of public safety, they probably thought they should restore a) water, b) power, and c) sewer first.

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint should restore water, power and sewer service?

You don't actually believe those companies give two shats about their customers do you?

They'll fix the existing towers...eventually, and in the interim they will still be charging their regular rates, while supplying no service.


It could be a great way to get future business. If I'm a Verizon customer and my phone doesn't work, but my friends who have AT&T are suddenly able to make and receive calls again, and I see vans parked around the neighborhood with AT&T logos and big antennas sticking out of the top, I'd know who'd I'd be switching my servIce to as soon as my contract came up.
 
2012-11-02 12:52:02 AM
Huh. Just found an old Rotary phone converted into a cell:

http://blog.makezine.com/2008/02/29/portable-rotary-phone-pre/
 
2012-11-02 12:56:28 AM

NutWrench: [lh5.googleusercontent.com image 350x298] 

Got one of these portable power packs a while ago. If it charges through a USB cable, you're covered.


Those things are good to have, but if the cell towers don't have electricity, you still won't be able to make calls.
 
2012-11-02 01:00:53 AM
They're lucky they found working phones. All the ones in our area have disappeared. Two years ago there were two payphones at the Post Office up the block, but no longer. There used to be several on campus (e.g., near the library), but they're gone now, too.

I can't recall a single working payphone within a 5 mile radius of our apartment.
 
2012-11-02 01:00:54 AM

TheSwizz: The poll on the article asked when the last time you used a pay phone was. I'm 28 years old and I don't think I've ever used a payphone.


I remember it was a dime..Then it became a quarter.But if you put a dime in,you could still
get a call out.
 
2012-11-02 01:06:06 AM

jaylectricity: PC LOAD LETTER: Keep a paper copy if you can extract it. Or just write down the numbers if your battery is getting low.

A little late to think of that now. Power has been out for some of these places for almost a week. And usually for the first week nobody thinks it is possible the blackout will last more than a few hours, or even a day more than it already has. By then the phone is dead.



In the back of my analog (paper) day planner/calendar thingy is a list of important phone numbers and addresses. I update it every year when I get a new calendar and I carry it around with me everywhere I go.

Yes, I keep a digital calendar, too. Mu Gmail calendar syncs with my phone, and I have that little widget that tells me the next five events coming up. But I still keep a hand-written calendar. I like the redundancy.
 
2012-11-02 01:08:55 AM
Make sure someone near you still have POTS
 
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