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Useless Information

April 28th, 2009 at 10:19am

Back in the days when John Laws was still on the air, he would start his show with a piece of useless information. I quite looked forward to hearing this bit of information at 9:05 each morning, even if I usually forgot it by lunch time. I would also be disappointed when Lawsie was absent as his fill-ins never provided useless information…this, oddly enough, left me filling in for Lawsie and emailing useless information to certain friends.

Last week whilst reading a forum, I was reminded of this (not that what I was reading was even remotely related to John Laws or his useless information) and I decided that I would start providing a weekly (and possibly more regular) piece of useless information here. I was going to start doing this yesterday, but with the public holiday and the amount of people visiting this information about Mike Jeffreys, I decided to leave the Jeffreys story at the top of page, and hold this rather trivial piece of fun nonsense until today. In future I won’t ramble on like this before the useless information, but I thought it would help to put the weekly feature in context if I did so on this occasion.

Anyway, without further rambling and delays, this week’s useless information is…

Dr. Phil has an ISDN phone line in his office.


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  • 1. davky  |  April 28th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    So I HAD heard of ISDN but had no understanding…
    So I go to the Holy of Holies: Wikipedia
    and come away still with very little understanding (an off-topic whinge: too many wikipedia pages are becoming ubertechnical – can’t they require a two sentence layman’s precis at the beginning of each page)

    Which brings me to my question… Could somebody kindly give a simple definition of ISDN and why Dr Phil would want it?

    Many thanks

  • 2. Samuel  |  May 1st, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Ooh, my memory of ISDN is a bit rusty, but I’ll try.

    Basically it’s a digital phone line, providing up to 128kbps data throughput in both directions in its most common form.

    Back in the days of dial-up Internet access, this was a noticeable improvement on the 56kbps theoretical maximum download speed (with slower uploads) of the standard dial-up service, so for some people it became quite popular for this use.

    Technically ISDN is provided in “channels” of 64kbps each, so your traditional 128kbps line is made up of two channels, and it is possible to use one for standard voice services and the other for data.

    For Dr. Phil’s purposes, the ISDN line would be entirely dedicated to voice services, which makes it capable of producing near-studio quality sound. ISDN has been popular for interviews for this reason.

    Incidentally I just had a look at that Wikipedia article and you’re right Davky, it’s far too technical to be of any use for most people.


April 2009

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