We'll look at the different telephone technologies that enable us to easily communicate. Learn about Skype and Vonage, caller ID, fiber optics and more.
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The phone number you dial to call somebody is basically an address, similar to the street address of your home. Have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean?
It's one of those seemingly-unexplainable lapses in logic -- Why do these two digit-based devices order their number keys in exactly opposite ways?
How does caller ID work on a telephone? It turns out that the process of making the caller ID display possible is remarkably simple at your end of the line.
Over the last 20 years or so, fiber optic lines have taken over and transformed the long distance telephone industry. Optical fibers are also a huge part of making the Internet available around the world.
If you have underground phone wiring in your neighborhood, rather than pole wiring, you will frequently see these little boxes all over your neighborhood -- one for every two or three houses or so.
When you make a long-distance call, there is an amazing amount of technology working to make your call happen. To understand the computerized systems used today, it's helpful to go back in time and look at how long-distance calls were first routed.
One of the relative miracles of modern times is the reliability of the phone system. The power goes out fairly often for most people, but your telephone is always working (as long as you pay the bill). Why is that?