[ntp:questions] .1 Microsecond Synchronization

Scott Haneda talklists at newgeo.com
Fri Jun 5 23:34:33 UTC 2009

On Jun 5, 2009, at 3:58 PM, Rick Jones <rick.jones2 at hp.com> wrote:

>>> No it requires the network to send the time when requested. Eg,
>>> Rogers in Canada (GSM) does deliver the time but I have no idea
>>> what its accuracy is.
>> How dumb...  something like time-of-day should be broadcast just
>> like cell broadcast and everyone would be able to receive it without
>> any requesting.
> For some reason, that one used to be able to dial a number to hear "At
> the tone, the time will be ..." springs to mind.  And makes me wonder
> if that service still exists today.

Great thread.

My father used to own a telco before Pacific Bell got a little frisky  
and edged him out.

I don't remember the technical name for the call in time service, but  
we all called it POP-CORN. Those being the letters you dialed on the  
phone to get the time service to answer.

A few lesser know bits about popcorn... Every area code supported it,  
so you just dialed 767-corn to get the time. The last 4 digits in all  
cases I remembered were allowed to be arbitrary, 0000 to 9999.  Corn  
caught on for some reason. I used 1111 since rotary phone were  
mechanically slow.

 From what I remember the service was discontinued due to abuse. You  
could prefix any area code that was long distance and the time would  
repeat. These calls not being cheap, it bacame a way to run up ones  
bill by leaving the call open.

It was also localized so you could perform the same service to  
overseas country codes.

There also was reverse 411, which was super helpful when in a 1000  
line wiring closet/drop. You could put a test phone on any pair, dial  
114 and a recorded system would tell you what number was on that line.

This was also discontinued due to privacy abuse as most phone wiring  
was easily acceded outside the home. An old phone with stripped wires  
on the correct pair was all you needed to get ones phone number.

The service still exists but is a private number and you need a  
security code or to talk to am operator to get reverse 411.

At least, ~15 years ago, that was the case.

More information about the questions mailing list