Thursday, May 29, 2008

Phoning for Dummies?

The next time you're feeling overwhelmed by the proliferation of technical tools and how to use them, remember that there was once a time when people depended on the following technical instructions:

  1. Never take the telephone off the hook unless you wish to use it
  2. Loosen your lower lip and jaw
  3. Should you wish to speak to another subscriber you should commence the conversation by saying, "Hulloa!"
  4. When you are done talking say, "That is all," and the person spoken to should say, "O.K."
  5. Never use the wire more than three minutes at a time, or more than twice an hour without first obtaining permission from the main office.
This is not Chapter One from Phoning for Dummies. It is an excerpt of the instructions provided in the only known edition of the world's first telephone book.

Today's technical tools may be more sophisticated, but the simple telephone was just as foreign in its time and place as tools like Twitter, Utterz, Twine, and the other tools we demonstrated at DigitalNow seem to us today.

History indicates that through application and experience, all useful tools become simpler to understand, we become more comfortable with them, and we grow to appreciate how they can make our lives and businesses easier and more productive.

Read more about the world's first phone book at Discovery News.

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