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EXT 505 - Overview of the Telephone
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EXT 505 - Overview of the Telephone

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EXT 505 was our tech-heavy course, I guess. Honestly, this course left me sort of wondering what I was doing in this program (but other courses more than made up for that worry). Although the prof was …

EXT 505 was our tech-heavy course, I guess. Honestly, this course left me sort of wondering what I was doing in this program (but other courses more than made up for that worry). Although the prof was good, I just didn't understand the point of most of our assignments. I mean, presentations on the history of the radio, the telegraph, and the telephone (see attached for that one, which another group was kind enough to lend me). What are we supposed to do with this? It's all the stuff we could learn on wikipedia, so I'm not sure what the point is... especially at a graduate level.

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  • 1. The Telephone McLuhan says: Reach out and touch someone.
  • 2. An outline
    • A brief social history of the telephone
    • From a technological perspective
    • Factors influencing the adoption of the telephone
    • The evolution of the telephone in North America: A timeline
    • Sustaining technology? The new telephone as mini-computer & txting technology
    • The medium is the message: My cell phone is my life
  • 3. A brief social history
    • The “invention” of the telephone
    • Key people and patents
    • Alexander Graham Bell
    • If you build it, they will use it?
    • Only for businesses & the rich?
    • The reluctant consumer
    Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor
  • 4. A brief social history
    • The rise of the market system
    • Legends & lawsuits
    • How the telephone was used
    • The reluctant consumer
    • Businesses
    • The wealthy
    • What was then is also now
    • Switching
    • Directories
  • 5. Technological perspective
    • What technology influenced the development of the telephone?
    • What technology made it easier to produce telephones for the masses?
  • 6. Evolution of the telephone
    • 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
    • 1900 - Telephone transmission extends across and between major cities.
    • 1915 - A. G. Bell makes the first transcontinental telephone call to Thomas Watson (New York to San Francisco).
    • 1919 - Rotary–dial telephones are available making it easier for people to make calls without an operator.
    • 1920 - Frequency multiplexing concept allows multiple telephone calls to occur at the same time.
    • 1962 – TelStar, first telephone satellite, launched by Bell and NASA. Satellites could be used for long distance calls without the need for laying cable.
  • 7.
    • 1963 - Touch-tone telephone is introduced.
    • 1973 - First portable cell phone call is made between Martin Cooper of Motorola to Joel Engel of Bell Labs.
    • 1977 – Fibre optic cables are used allowing high volume of calls.
    • Mid 1990s - Voice Over Internet Protocols becomes available.
    • 2000 - 100 million cellular telephone subscribers in US.
    • 2005 – Over 2 billion cell phone usagers worldwide.
    • 2007 – 94.9% telephone subscribership penetration rate in the US.
  • 8. The medium is the message
    • The txt message isn’t the message
    • Cell phones & the technology of revolt (Obama’s VP announcement)
    • Graff: Cell phones are the most intimate form of communications today
    • What is the social effect of the cellular telephone as a medium?
    • Extending one’s presence at a distance
    • Housing memories, extending mobility & organizing information
  • 9. The medium is the message
    • Obsolescing media
    • Cell phones make point-to-point communication possible - death of the letter, the fax, the car?
    • Reversing the original message
    • Accessibility… or interrupting communication/conversation?
    • Freedom from desk… or tying our desks to us 24/7?
    • Connecting people… or enabling the remote & distant?
  • 10.  
  • 11. Works to reference
    • Herbert Newton, C (1910) The history of the telephone. Chicago: A.C. McClurg & C0.
    • Marco. A. (producer & Presenter). (2007, September 27). 505 Telephone, market, bureaucracy. [Podcast radio programme]. Edmonton: University of Alberta. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from http://madria.podcastspot.com/episodes/CC2A95