I’m on my way to the bright lights and big city today. I haven’t been to Denver under my own steam for a few weeks now and I feel like I’m ready to deal with it for a day.
Today’s activities are most likely going to be phone oriented as Aryntha, Rai and I head over to the old Denver main building called “Zuni” to take some pictures. I’m also going to attempt to social engineer us a tour of the insides as we’ve had reports of the original 50’s and 60’s equipment still being there and in operational condition. That would be something to see. 🙂
“Why phones?” I get asked quite often. Well, it’s fascinating to me because it was all so ‘hush-hush’ back when it was running and it’s still pretty darn high-tech even as the systems we research are over 40 years old… Basically the old AT&T long-lines system is a lot like the SR-71; both are “relics” of the cold war, yet both are the pinnacle of the era and are still, in many ways, more viable than the “new and improved” stuff out there.
That and the Bell System engineers are some of my heroes… See, once upon a time there were these two very large monopolies…
The larger of the two had the following record: the Vietnam War, Watergate, double-digit inflation, fuel and energy shortages, bankrupt airlines, and the 8-cent postcard.
The second was responsible for such things as the transistor, the solar cell, lasers, synthetic crystals, high fidelity stereo recording, sound motion pictures, radio astronomy, negative feedback, magnetic tape, magnetic “bubbles”, electronic switching systems, microwave radio, telephone, and TV relay systems, information theory, the first electrical digital computer, and the first communications satellite.
Guess which one got to tell the other how to run the telephone business?
So I’ll be blasting over the Rockies in the Wag in about an hour. There’s no stereo in the Wag as it’s too loud to hear one anyways and after about an hour you can’t hear much of anything anymore. This’ll also be a $50 trip as it takes a full tank of gas each way… The up side to the gas-guzzling aspects of the Wag is that I can do 90-100 over the passes though four feet of snow if I have to or pull H2’s and small semis out of snow banks easily. Fortunately I shouldn’t have to deal with that today.
I think I'll stop in Frisco for breakfast as there is a fantastic breakfast joint down there. I'll also gas up in Denver where gas is $0.50 a gallon cheaper… So I guess I'll get my shoes on and get rolling.
Have a great day out there in 'net land!