Phone of the Day: ROLM phone at the Local Bob’s Stores

a picture of a ROLM telephone on a post at a local Bob's Stores in Nashua, New Hampshire

This was taken at a local Bob’s Stores when the day after the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl. (Roger That! Heh, heh, heh.) For this chain, ROLM is alive and well, to use the cliche. Because ROLM predates the Internet and modern day documentation, I have no idea what type of PBX or KSU it lives on. The set themselves is the 1990s generation, before they became German looking (possibly mid 1990s.) When ROLM was fully sold to Siemens, a few years later, they stopped selling their systems to America and incorporated ROLM features and their modernest designs. I’m not the expert in ROLM so forgive me.

Video: Avaya 302C “Attendant Console” (or just a Switchboard) Unboxing

Good Morning!

Courtesy of a somebody in the 406 area code who sent me their decommissioned console that is worth almost a $1,000 on the thirdhand market. Remember, this used to cost about $2,100 back in 1988, with an inflation adjustment of over $3,000 today (for sure!) The video is hosted by my social media platform, The Clickford Zone

Enjoy!

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Central Offices: FairPoint- Derry, New Hampshire

Today is my thirtieth birthday (technically I am still twenty nine till 11:10 PM Eastern Time, however the year I was born was with the old DST rules, so technically I won’t be turning 30 till 12:10 tomorrow morning the 13th.)

Regardless I was happening to visit my former stomping ground, where I used to live in the nearby town. I was born in said town thirty years ago, so for kicks we drove the route my grandmother brought my mother to the hospital. And seeing what changed.

Since my last visit in the area, the central office for the Derry area had changed it’s exterior.  It looks like a house to comply with possibly some Planning policies set by the town. It’s nice looking since this central office looked no different than any other generic switching location.

The Derry, NH Central Office has a facelift – it looks like a house in the front. This is home to the 432 and 437 local code from childhood

A post shared by The Museum of Telephony (@themuseumoftelephony) on

This central office supplies many numbers within the towns of Derry, Windham, Londonderry, East Derry, possibly Hampstead. I had Ma Bell service for most of my first couple of decades before I relocated to my current town, of which has their own central office. Because I lived on the fringe of Derry, we were tied to their central office. Prior to 2010, we did not use long distance, since the cell phones would take care of that. It wasn’t discriminatory, so if you dialed a number in towns like Merrimack, Goffstown, Concord, we would get charged ridiculously via FairPoint/Verizon. This is often why so many PBX systems require dialplans to prevent toll calls ether inadvertent or ignorance.

This is obviously outdated as me and my family both have cell phones and broadband services that eliminates the concerns of toll calls.

As described, for most of my life, we had a local code starting with 437, beginning in 1992 when my mother and I moved out from my grandmothers. Surprisingly we moved back the following year and lived for a couple of months before moving out. So the number was disconnected. When she ordered dial tone (NYNEX/New England Tel) that following summer, the number was available and was activated without much heavy lifting.

From 1970 to 1996, my grandparents had obviously a Derry number with 432, it was common in the neighboring town. When she surrendered her leased wall beige 564 telephone; she also dropped the number to let go of some baggage that went along with the number (similar to how I upgraded my iPhone – however my AT&T number had to be ported to Verizon to even begin to drop the number in the first place. This was part of switching carriers at the same time.) On topic, the 437 number was then transferred to my grandmother’s house as we moved back from 96 to the end of 2010.

According to Mike Sandman’s website, the central office is a 5ESS facility, however Verizon bit our behinds and sold it to FairPoint and bankrupted the Northern New England operation and really provides weaker services unlike what Comcast or a broadband provider can.

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International Women’s Day – Tribute to Lorriane Nelson (aka “Audrey Audix”)

I know this is a day old, but earlier today, I was thinking of an empowering woman related to my site. I am not a big believer of social trends via a hashtag; but I thought in a world of people becoming more and more “bossier”, more and more emotional, and always have a grudge against some “bossy” figure; especially in technology; I thought of all the women in the world, should be the voice of AUDIX. Below is a snopysis of a previously posted article of the email interview of what Avaya sometimes described her voice as “Audrey Audix” in the Modular Messaging platforms.   I guess I could also classify this post as a belated/redefined “Woman Crush Wednesday” even though I am a MUCH younger guy.

(BTW: that static page of AUDIX within the Tribute to System 75 has been finally taken down since we have new stuff since.)

With the decline of voicemail boxes and Avaya’s questionable future, I have to interject some editorials; I’ve used and heard other voicemail systems, and let me say some of the prompts are often rude, crude or just plain condensing. Women sounding like men, ordering you to hang up at gunpoint, etc. Lorriane is far from the competition.  Remember, she always recorded the prompts err, fragments with a smile.


This investigative project is mostly the background to the voice behind the legendary voice mail system, that has been branded AUDIX (the acronym known as Audio Information Exchange), Intuity, Modular Messaging and smaller systems like Partner and Merlin Messaging. Technical information or specific dates or years is not part of the narrative because she doesn’t have that information. Regardless, the early days of the enterprise voicemail system has some interesting history in itself.

 Despite her claim to fame, she was not the first voice of Audix.  According to her, a woman with a Texan drawl (the person’s name is unknown) had done the prompts for at least Release 1. The Bell Labs team wanted the voice to sound more New York, however they didn’t know where to go. Hey I wouldn’t blame them too. In the world of business, if you had a Texan (or heck someone from the West Coast) giving you prompts, would you go asleep or a loose a prospective customer? Especially when a product of AT&T was about to evolve into the competitive marketplace during the time Divestiture?

A man who had once worked on a Bell Labs project of a system with an A/V interface that could bridge such equipment in various rooms or classrooms through a telephony system; was tasked to find the voice. The said project is believed to never gone to market. This manager called a film producer in the Yellow Pages and asked he knew any voice over talent. The film producer had recommended a radio talent to the Bell Labs manager. They spotted a radio news reporter in the Denver market who worked at KADE in Boulder, then KADX going by the name “Lauren Hendricks.”

You can read more by clicking here.