Saturday, February 1, 2014

1970...back to the future!

1970...back to the future...with a phone installer!

Back in 1970 when I finished my fun times in Vietnam and Cambodia...our new house out at the farms was finished (you’ll recall I burned down the old accident that had nothing to do with losing that Congressional race!)  Now we had to deal with the phone company.
The company at the time was called General Telephone (now GTE) and they primarily served rural areas like ours in the midwest....and they were crap.
MY dealings with this company in the past were not good so I was concerned about what the installer was up to.
He and I got into a discussion about the various colored wires he was placing in each box on the wall.  There was a red, a green, a yellow and I guess maybe a few others...and I wondered what they were all for.
Now remember this was 1970...and there was just over-the -air cable as least not where we lived in the Illinois boonies.
He said “come over here and I’ll explain the future in this box of wires.”
And he “knocked my socks off” with what he told me.
        “This black wire, he said “is for your telephone.”  
  "The blue wire is for an additional line you might want sometime in the future."  
        "The red line well...that is for’s called cable and is capable of bringing in multi channels of televison...maybe up to a hundred!”  
Wow.  I was stunned!  And here I’ve been in the broadcasting business all my life.
But then he really slam dunked me with the next wire.
        “That green one there is for your computer.”
“My what.”
“Your computer.  Everyone will have a computer or maybe a couple of them in their home in the future.”
Now this was just too much.
You have to understand we all considered General Telephone to be the worst phone company in the world and this guy is laying all this far, far reaching into the future stuff on me from a phone company which was so antiquated they couldn’t even give us a private line yet!
       But look at it today.  That box with all those wires and all of them are being used for the things he just calmly mentioned back in 1970.
It’s like a miracle come true in communications and somebody somewhere invented that stuff at that crummy company and officials of that same company were farsighted enough to ok the huge expense of preparing for the future we all enjoy.
One wonders who the guy was who conceived this in the 60’s yet...and the top officials he had to convince to roll the dice on installing something  that probably would not show a profit for decades to come.
Wow, again.  
        I took back everything I’d ever said about that phone company.

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