I started my career in telecom, back when phone systems were a big
thing, e-commerce wasn't a thing, and mail order retail was big
Imagine a time when every desk had a phone on it, fax machines were the
primary source of getting information in printed form from place to
place, and your retail company made most of its money via phone orders.
One of my early gigs was at a building that used to be a switching
office for Pacific Bell in the 1960s. The upper floor was an open plan,
with a bathroom that had 8 stalls, no stand-up urinals, and a
waist-to-ceiling mirror that covered one wall and wrapped around another
wall. There was a 60's looking poster cautioning women against using
hair spray while smoking a cigarette in the bathroom. This was the
bathroom the female operators used.
Downstairs was a maze of 2-post racks tied together with ladder racking
above. There was one bathroom with a cracked sink, single toilet, and
vintage hand soap - this was the bathroom the techs used.
As we moved into the bottom floor Bell took out some of their cable infrastructure, but left a portion of it running. It was a cabling work
of art. 2-post racks containing binding posts for circuit terminations,
large surge isolators meant to protect from lightning strikes, and the
neatest dressed 66 blocks with cross-connect wire I'd ever seen - each
one with an almost identical service loop/bend in it.
It was so well wired that I could order a new phone line, and my tech
would call me the next day and say she'd left the line on rack X,
binding post Y - did I need her to come over and wire it up to my panel?
What struck me was the lack of velcro or zip ties anywhere. The entire
cable plant was dressed neatly with waxed string, lacing the cables
together. It turned out that Bellcore had a publication documenting a
rigid standard for cable lacing that all the Bells followed.
For those interested, check out:
... Imagine the music as a set of disconnected events
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