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Do You Have a Landline Anymore?

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Posted 4th April 2015 at 10:04 AM by javrsmith

For those born after 2000, a "Landline" was a telephone device that was attached to the wall at all times. It may have had two parts, a base unit and a wireless handset that could be used like a mobile device. With early landlines, you used the phone within a couple of feet of the base station. You could not go outside unless you had a long connecting wire.
Landlines had pros and cons. As mentioned, you had to use them on their terms. If you got a call, you went to the phone to answer, and you stayed there during your conversation. You also didn't know who was calling as they lacked caller ID for many years.
There were no distinctive ring tones of any kind. On the plus side, they usually rang with such volume that you always knew when someone was calling.
Early landlines were installed in houses with the "Party Line" feature. This was like an online cloud chat service, except that you didn't use it as such. Anyone could pick up their phone and join into the current chat session. There was no login necessary, and relative anonymity was automatically granted.
The landlines did offer several benefits, compared to modern mobile phones. Calls were rarely dropped when underway. In fact, if a call did happen to drop, there was likely a major cause, like a hurricane or tornado.
Landlines usually provided excellent call clarity to both parties. This was less true if the callers were separated by vast distances.
The early landline devices were built incredibly solidly. In fact, they were usually immune to damage if dropped. They did not have screens to break. They could survive momentary, (and maybe prolonged), exposure to moisture.
Many early users of landlines knew the characteristic crash as their device was dropped to the floor. In mid-conversation, the person could pick up the device and calmly say "sorry, I just dropped the phone". No problem, and the call was usually unaffected.
There was one problem that did bother early users of landlines. If a unit was dropped, it was fairly likely to contact the user's foot. This would result in tremendous pain, and possibly damage, to the foot, rarely to the phone. These devices were heavy as they used substantial amounts of metal. Later versions were much lighter but for decades, dropping a phone onto a foot was a very real danger, one that many landline users were quite familiar.

Do you still have a landline? If you had one, do you miss it?
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  1. New Comment
    Dave sh's Avatar
    Hi Jav,

    Nice blog and they seem a little dated the but yet i still have one upstairs and one down stairs in our house.


    Posted 4th April 2015 at 10:22 AM by Dave sh Dave sh is offline

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