Legacy Tech

As I was walking to the hardware store this morning I passed this telephone wiring interface box. It dawned on me that there must be thousands of miles of mostly unused copper wires buried in sidewalks and hanging on utility poles in this country. It’s a pretty safe bet that most people are engaged in the transition from wired land-line phones to mobile technology. The last time we had an actual landline phone was about 15 years ago, and even then our phone came in as VOIP technology via our coaxial cable internet service.

Our local cable company discontinued traditional cable television service as of the first of the year. Ashland owns a municipal fiber network and the company that operates the network has announced that they will be transitioning from a fiber/cable hybrid system to a fiber-to-the-home service over the next couple of years. (It may be too little too late if the latest 5G and faster wireless technology continues to advance to sufficient bandwidth levels to support home internet.)

It’s pretty amazing to look back over my life and recognize the advancement in technology since the days when I was in high school. My first introduction to a computer was when students in my typing class were given a few minutes to load punch cards we had manually punched into a terminal in the closet of our classroom that connected with a computer at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory by a 300 baud modem (we dialed a telephone number of the remote computer and then dropped the handset into a special cradle in the modem). The punch cards ran a program that returned codes that printed a bunch of Xs on a tractor feed printer, producing a poster sized image of Snoopy.

Posted 5 January 2024 by Mark ·