POTD: Tick Tock Diner, Midtown Manhattan, NY

If you ever visit the West Side of Manhattan, and you like an awesome breakfast, go to the Tick Tock Diner, underneath the New Yorker on Eighth Ave between West 34th and 35th streets. Or should I say the iconic Art-Deco, classic mid 20th Century style of the Wyndham owned hotel? Anyways, I had a Smore French Toast.  Something along those lines…

Enough with food porn on The Museum, but you wanted to see their phones right?

Left looks like the one for the diner, a NEC set for their Electra line, and a Mitel 5330E VOIP set with a backlit display and perhaps a Gigabit Ethernet connection! This is probably used for the hotel communications, and for the use of room service. I can say Mitel is used at these clusters of hotels, because I stayed in TRYP, and I saw my phones on the front desk…



Verizon Fiber Optic Truck – New York, NY

DSC_0574 DSC_0578

This is a Verizon Fiber Optic maintenance truck with weekend warriors underneath the city streets in New York taken on Saturday the 18th. Around my neck of the woods, these trucks used to be labeled as the “Fiber Optic Field Lab” (New England Telephone side of NYNEX/Bell Atlantic later Verizon.) Not sure of New York Tel had the same decals.

Technology and services changed, and it’s not a surprise-surprise that they are trying to plug their FiOS service for the locals.

[FOLLOW UP] Central Offices – The World Trade Center – New York, NY

AT&T’s YouTube channel for the vintage film from the Bell System issued an update on September 11th and the person that spoke in the beginning had described what the technological aftermath of the horrific day 11 years ago. “The Twins” was posted on YouTube a while back, but the information they put in the beginning is interesting to note.

Here is the video:

Private Systems – The New York State Government – Albany, NY

This post focuses on Private Branch Exchanges and one of the largest PBX network using Avaya’s PBX solution.

I thought the larger governments would had been Nortel users, and many of the New York State buildings and agencies do use Nortel, but a few years ago, I didn’t realize that their buildings in the city of Albany and the other communities were in fact users of Avaya systems (or the largest single site users from the best of my own knowdlege…)

The story begins back in the late 80s, the government agencies for the State of New York started a large project known as Empire Net. The project included all telecommunications improvement, one was for the services from the Bell company, second was a large scaled microwave network, and third their private phone systems. AT&T’s Information Systems unit was picked through a bid and installed the NYS Government – a hugge, huuuggee PBX network consisting with multiple System 85 switches with 13 unique PBX systems in the Capital Region of New York! This humble network would replace the existing Centrex service that the NYS government was using prior to.

Connecting these switches, were ether using TIE trunks and/or later with the magic of the Distributed Communications System (DCS), these systems can talk to one another as if they were one big happy voice family. At the time in the late 80s, there were other multivendor systems used statewide. DCS was or is a proprietary protocol that is kinda like the “cloud” of the modern days for the System 85/Definity systems. Some of the buildings had talked via microwave links and now its virtually all fiber.

If you guessed about 20,000 terminals* that was installed here, you sir guessed too conservatively – you were off about 60,000! Yes, 80,000 lines and/or terminals through this almost exclusive single vendor private phone system! I was quite surprised to see such number because no individual traditional Definity PBX could handle no less than 20,000 ports to begin with! This information is courtesy in part of the IT agency of New York as they mention this on their website. I don’t think any other company or even another corporation could brag about such  port count! Granted AT&T never made their own carrier class PBX like Nortel did with their amped up SL-100 (now Communications Server 2100) PBX so to see such customer and the creativity of the old AT&T is pretty awesome to see.

*the average for most enterprises.

While being commissioned originally as a System 85, and various names such as the Definity, etc. the folks in the NYS Government had called their system collectively the CAPNET (for the Capital Region Network) however they do have a Centrex type service with the same name.  Its highly believable this network or system went though the respective upgrades over the years from the original systems into the Generic 3 RISC (G3r formerly the System 75) Definity platform, and may have changed the cabinets to rack mount media gateways and servers with the respective software upgrades and might had gone to IP Telephony or IP trunking, not sure. I don’t know much other than the References listed at the end of this post. The legendary voice messaging system known as AUDIX is withheld from mention, and its known as the CAPNET voice mail service.

I went to Albany in April of 2011, and I grabbed a few pictures. I was not going to blog about this beast without placing images of various phones.

unused desk with ether a 7405 or 7434 terminal

This unused desk shows a pair of ether a 7405 or 7434 terminal that is probably as old as me.

Security Guard Officer near Governors Hall with a 6424 terminal and a XM24 sidecar

The next one shows a security guard at the Governors Hall with a newer 6424 terminal with a lone sidecar adding 24 more buttons.

This one was rather interesting, just because they have a big PBX, doesn’t mean that smaller offices could be using a different system. This Aastra terminal was spotted in the Assembly Chambers. These should not to be confused with the first generation IP phones made by Cisco (or Celius.)  They appear to not be an IP Phone

The Senate Chambers has 8400 types, including the power user 8434 which can handle up to 50 something programmed lines or features with an additional sidecar.

And a random 50 pair ampthenol cable I spotted inside that NYS Capital

Sources: Network World: October 17th, 1988 (Pgs.1& 55) Google Book link New York State Office For Technology, Telephony bureau (cio.ny.gov)