Telecom in the 20'
Here are a few words about the first telephone users, from a famous french writer. We are at the beginning of the 20th century, and as you can see, things have not changed that much ! ...
« Le téléphone n'était pas encore à cette époque d'un usage aussi courant qu'aujourd'hui. Et pourtant l'habitude met si peu de temps à dépouiller de leur mystère les forces sacrées avec lesquelles nous sommes en contact que, n'ayant pas eu ma communication immédiatement, la seule pensée que j'eus, ce fut que c'était bien long, bien incommode, et presque l'intention d'adresser une plainte: comme nous tous maintenant, je ne trouvais pas assez rapide à mon gré, dans ses brusques changements, l'admirable féérie à laquelle quelques instants suffisent pour qu'apparaisse près de nous, invisible mais présent, l'être à qui nous voulions parler et qui, restant à sa table, dans la ville qu'il habite (pour ma grand-mère c'était Paris), sous un ciel différent du nôtre, par un temps qui n'est pas forcément le même, au milieu de circonstances et de préoccupations que nous ignorons et que cet être va nous dire, se trouve tout à coup transporté à des centaines de lieues (lui et toute l'ambiance où il reste plongé) près de notre oreille, au moment où notre caprice l'a ordonné. »
Marcel Proust - "Le coté de Guermantes", Extracts.
Here is now an excerp from a short novel published in 1953 and written by a Ray Bradbury. It is a dialogue between a patient and a psychologist...
“Suppose you tell me when you first began to hate the telephone.”
“It frightened me as a child. Uncle of mine called it the Ghost machine. Voices without bodies. Scared the living hell out of me. Later in life I was never comfortable. Seemed to me a phone was an impersonal instrument. If it felt like it, it let your personality go through its wires. If it didn’t want to, it just drained your personality away until what slipped through at the other end was some cold fish of voice all steel, copper, plastic, no warmth, no reality. I’s easy to say the wrong thing on telephones; the telephone changes your meaning on you. First thing you know, you’ve made an enemy. Then, of course, the telephone changes a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn’t want to be called. Friends were always calling, calling calling me. Hell, I hadn’t any time of my own. When it wasn’t the telephone, it was the television, the radio, the phonograph. When it wasn’t the television or radio or the phonograph it was motion pictures at the corner theater, motion pictures projected, with commercials on low-lying cumulus clouds. It doesn’t rain rain anymore, it rains soapsuds. When it wasn’t High-Fly Cloud advertisements, it was music by Mozzek in every restaurant; music and commercials on the busses I rode to work. When it wasn’t music, it was inter-office communications, and my horror chamber of a radio wrist watch on which my friends and my wife phoned every five minutes. What is there about such ‘conveniences’ that makes the so temptingly convenient? The average men thinks, Here I am, time on my hands, and there on my wrist is a wrist telephone, so why not just buzz old Joe up, eh? ‘Hello, Hello!’ I love my friends, my wife, humanity, very much, but when one minute my wife calls to say, ‘Where are you now, dear’ and a friend calls and says, ‘Got the best off-color joke to tell you. Seems there was a guy ―’ And a stranger calls and cries out, ‘This is the Find-Fax Poll. What gum are you chewing at this very instant!’ Well!”
“How did you fell during the week?”
“The fuse lit. On the edge of the cliff. That same afternoon I did what I did at the office.”
“I pourred a paper cup of water into the intercommunications system.”
Ray Bradbury - Extracts from "The Murderer", "The Golden Apples of the Sun", 1953.
Frédéric Guilloud was born in Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, France, in 1975. He received the Engineering degree in Electronics from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Electronique et de ses Applications (ENSEA), France, in 1998, and is a former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS Cachan). He received the Ph.D. degree in 2004 from Telecom ParisTech in Signal and Communications, entitled "Generic Architecture for LDPC Codes Decoding" and the “Habilitation a Diriger des Recherches” (French Habilitation - HDR) degree from the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale in 2016. Frederic Guilloud has been "Professeur Agrégé" in electronics and power electronics since 1999, and Associate Professor at IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire (formerly Telecom Bretagne) in the Signal and Communications department since 2004. He was a visiting researcher at the Institute for Communications Engineering of the Technical University of Munich from January to June 2017, for which he was awarded both a PRESTIGE / Marie Curie fellowship and a DAAD fellowship. His research and teaching activities are focused on error correcting codes and digital communications including constant amplitude phase modulations, with a special emphasis on short frame communications.