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You've Dropped Your Landline — Now What?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the copper-makes-great-bullet-jackets dept.

Communications 635

smurphmeister writes "My wife and I recently moved up to the world of cell phones, after taking our sweet time to make sure this whole newfangled technology was going to stick around. We moved the old landline phone number to her phone, so we're disconnected from the pole. Now the question is, what to do with the copper already in our house? My first thought was an intercom system, but that just seems so old school! So what ideas do you all have for what to do with the 4 little wires running to every room of my house?"

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Sir, step away from the wall jack ... (5, Insightful)

hedronist (233240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202233)

  • The copper is not worth that much.
  • The jacks are probably daisy-chained together. A PBX (what we have in our house) normally requires home-runs from each jack, so that isn't going to work for you.
  • There are charging cradles that will allow you to use your cell phone to supply dialtone to your TwenCen phones. That way you don't have to run all over the house looking for the cellphone.
  • If you ever sell your house, the new owner may say WTF?

Re:Sir, step away from the wall jack ... (5, Funny)

Jake73 (306340) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202725)

Just leave it alone.

If you're really itching, hook it up to some broadband interference generator. That'll really mess with the feds.

While we're at it, stop installing crap into walls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202767)

Everything is proprietary. The walls that compose rooms to a house should be nothing more than insulation, except for a hinge here and there to conduct the function of a biway door. People that have in-door plumbing are reaping the benefits of a broken pipe and its costs to dig it out. At the most, the floor should have a covy where the wall meets the floor or ceiling; and this only to cary such utility or service. Proprietary things of these transient causes should not be embedded. They will not work out in the long run. Maybe soon, we'll find a reasonable response to all this crap in our houses called a "wall." Should be able to grow a nice shrubbery to subdivide area for one's araingments of domicile. Without a roof, we then could get it watered for free from the precipitation from up in the sky. I like to swing from trees too, by the way. A hammock is my kind of bed.

None answered my question the last time I asked. I know this is a discussion forum on Vintage Games, but I think my behaviours are vintage as far as man has been alive and playing with women.

I've always wanted to ejaculate on a woman's period in a petri dish, wait 3 days, then install the fertilized egg into a chicken egg to keep it under a lamp for 4 months. Will it grow? Inquiring minds would like to know. Also of note, when I get realy randy I would dig a hole in the ground out beyond a line of trees and drop a couple cumwads and burry it: anyone ever see any of those walking tree men, or dendrites as they call them? I can almost swear that these new saplings have ears, maybe from me, and they can't be trusted to keep secrets (as I swore I wouldn't write any of this on slashdot, yet I did!)!

Re:Sir, step away from the wall jack ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202801)

  • There are charging cradles that will allow you to use your cell phone to supply dialtone to your TwenCen phones. That way you don't have to run all over the house looking for the cellphone.

If I ever hear anybody use the term "TwenCen" to refer to the twentieth century, I will have to go medieval on your ass (yes, yours, as I highly doubt anyone sane would use such a term on their own, so if anyone else does, I declare it your fault and your fault alone).

Or maybe Napoleonic on your ass. At a stretch, Victorian or Elizabethan. At any rate, it certainly wouldn't be some sissy TwenCen on your ass. Those people were pansies.

voip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202245)

put voip on it, duh

What do you do with extra copper? (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202247)

Re:What do you do with extra copper? (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202299)

Errmmm... have you ever seen telephone wire? I can't imagine there would be more than few ounces of it in his entire house. The effort of stripping off the insulation wouldn't be worth it.

Re:What do you do with extra copper? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202423)

There's probably enough to hang himself with. What a stupid question....!

Use the line to pull other lines into your outlets (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202259)

Use it as a guide line for ethernet.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (2, Informative)

AZScotsman (962881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202365)

Most likely the phone line is already Twisted Pair, so assuming it's CAT5, it's easy to change over to Ethernet. One idea I had was to install cameras at central points (doors, windows, etc) and set up tablet PC's with a simple web interface to pull up images from the cams.

Heard a noise at night? just go to the tablet on the wall, scan the cameras, and alert the authorities if necessary.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (2, Informative)

corky842 (728932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202621)

AFAIK, phones only use CAT3.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (2, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202793)

It's only required to be Cat3, but it's possible (unlikely though) that he has Cat5 or higher run through his house, with only four of the eight wires terminated. Were I to build my own house, I'd go this route, myself, and this is what they did at a networking lab I used to work at instead of buying phone extension cables.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (1)

CanadaIsCold (1079483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202893)

I just had a new house built and they ran cat 6 to all the phone jacks. I thought it was neat and if I ever cancel vonage I can use it as a lan. Then I thought about the fact that wireless is easier and doesn't require a network cable.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203047)

no, it's not possible.
Clearly he didn't do that becasue THEY WERE JUST USED FOR THE PHONE.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (2, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202943)

Indeed, usually only 2x single pairs, hardly enough to be usable at all for any sort of Ethernet network.

Anyone who's stupid enough to start fucking with the copper in their house should be aware that they actually don't own the copper. I know here in Australia, if you touch that copper, even though it's inside your house, you are liable for quite hefty fines from ACMA (Australian Communication & Media Authority). There's also the issue that if you have destroyed the line to the telco's joint out the front you will have to drop between $5 000 and $20 000 from your house price (depending on the distance & local contractor rates) to have a new lead-in installed. Although I doubt you are actually not connected to the joint out the front, telcos usually won't do that unless they need the pair you're sitting on, they like to keep in-place services for future customers. So now you've got a set of 50v live wires that you want to play with? Not exactly dangerous, but I wouldn't be plugging anything into it that's not approved for telecoms use in your country. If you do disconnect this, it goes back to vandalism of telecommunications equipment, hefty fines, etc.

All in all this is one of the most monumentally stupid things I've heard of someone wanting to do. Leave well enough alone and install some Cat-V/Cat-VI cabling (I'd recommend Cat-VI so you can run a gbps network). It will improve, rather than degrade, your house price and you don't end up with huge fines.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203003)

In my state in the U.S., there is a box on the outside wall of the house. The copper on the house side of that box belongs to the customer. I don't know what the laws are in other states, but I think they are similar.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202995)

Only require CAT3. I see people using CAT5/5e as phone line all the time, including new construction (building in ethernet to every room seems to be increasingly popular), and just ignoring the extra wires. Saves them from needing 2 different spools of line and the price difference is pretty minimal. CAT5e only costs $20/1000ft more than CAT3 phone line.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202759)

I'd be very surprised if you found CAT5 being used for phone lines in a normal house. CAT3 maybe, if it's relatively new, but even that's on the high end for residential phone wiring. You'd be disappointed with the performance of any ethernet network you setup using the existing phone wires in a typical house.

Re:Use the line to pull other lines into your outl (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202963)

No That is a large and most likely incorrect assumption. The wire used for phone runs in most homes, especially older homes, is unsuitable for ethernet. The runs are also daisy chained and terminate at your outside MPOE. The amount of work required to convert would be greater than making brand new appropriate runs.

Hmmmm (5, Funny)

Tanman (90298) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202271)

I know! You'll need to make a weapon. Look around; can you construct some sort of rudimentary lathe?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202749)

Get off the line, Guy!

Re:Hmmmm (1)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202993)

Thanks for that!
As usual, my wife asked why I was laughing; always ends up with a puzzled/disgusted look on her face after I provide an explanation.

A few thoughts (4, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202275)

1) If you got the budget, rip it out, replace with Cat6, if Fiber to the home comes to yours, you'll thank me later :-)

2) The intercom idea isn't bad, depends on the size of your house (what happened to "just yelling" sheesh)

3) Just yank out all the copper and sell it, few bucks anyways

At any rate I'd make sure you're real sure you like being away from your landline. Give that decision a 6 month wait period before you decide to recycle your wires one way or another.

Re:A few thoughts (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202437)

I'm in the same situation as the poster. I have phone jacks everywhere I don't need, and I wish they were all Cat5.

Is there any way to run ethernet over phone lines?

Re:A few thoughts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202521)

No, but you can run token ring over it. Unfortunately, linux doesn't support have token ring support, but if you stick with microsoft (like most of us do) it will work just fine.

Re:A few thoughts (2, Funny)

jjrockman (802957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202639)

but if you stick with microsoft (like most of us do)

Did you forget where you are posting?

Re:A few thoughts (4, Informative)

DeadBeef (15) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202813)

Does this mean that the token ring drivers that have been in the Linux kernel for seems like forever dont exist, or does this mean you are a troll?

From the modules in ubuntu 9.04: ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring/3c359.ko ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring/abyss.ko ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring/olympic.ko ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring/tms380tr.ko ./kernel/drivers/net/tokenring/tmspci.ko

Re:A few thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202571)

There use to be HomePNA (similar to HomePlug) products that allowed ~10Mb ethernet to be run over your internal phone wires, but it's much harder to find any HomePNA hardware now.

Re:A few thoughts (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202647)

DSL run on copper pairs, you just need a few DLS modems and 1 DSLAM.

hum ...

HPNA (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202807)

Apparently [homenethelp.com] there are Home Phoneline Network Adapters that use your existing phone lines to connect your computers. It can run up to 320Mbps, and can co-exist with existing phones.

Re:A few thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202833)

If it's 4 pairs, twisted or not and not daisy chained, you've got a reasonable chance of running 10/100 over it. When I moved into a condo a couple of years ago, the phone company had wired it home run 4 pair cat 3 with 2 jacks in every room - over kill for 1200 square feet of space. I retasked half of the runs for 100mbit ethernet and it worked fine. Probably not "up to spec", but I was getting 10-11 mBytes/s transfers between linux boxes and everything else connected (mac, replay tv, switches) was happy with it.

Re:A few thoughts (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202663)

At any rate I'd make sure you're real sure you like being away from your landline. Give that decision a 6 month wait period before you decide to recycle your wires one way or another.

For about 5 years I haven't had a landline and have only used a cellphone. "More people ditching landline for cell phone". For some a cellphone cost less than a landline, it does for me. Others want or need a cellphone and it's cheaper to have just a cellphone than both that and a landline. Now the only reason I'd want landline is for DSL however if I had fiber to the home I wouldn't even want that.

Falcon

Re:A few thoughts (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202733)

At any rate I'd make sure you're real sure you like being away from your landline. Give that decision a 6 month wait period before you decide to recycle your wires one way or another.

I dropped my land line a few years ago, and haven't missed it at all.

However now that I own my own house* I'm considering trying to get the cheapest land line service possible. The reason is simply that in the past there have been times when a storm would kill cell phone service, even knock out the power, but phone-over-copper was still up. So something like a $5/mo plan with no built-in long distance just as an emergency backup makes has some appeal. Not a ton of appeal, but some.

Either way, I wouldn't pull my copper just because I was sure I personally didn't want a land line. I wouldn't pull it unless either 1) I knew I was going to be living in that house until I died or 2) I knew that everyone else had dumped their landlines too and thus wouldn't balk** at buying a house with no phone lines.

* Of course there's a bank right now laughing its ass of at that statement, but hey.

** I love this word so much. To me it evokes the image of a skeptical chicken.

ethernet (1)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202287)

FastEthernet should be able to run over 2 pairs. :-)

Re:ethernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202393)

FastEthernet should be able to run over 2 pairs. :-)

Ooh, retro!

Re:ethernet (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202543)

What is this "net"? Just use the first line as a telegraph line. Hook it up to a lightbulb or something.

Forget them and get on with your life (5, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202307)

There's more important things to worry about.

Move on.

Re:Forget them and get on with your life (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202367)

"Most sigs are like fine wines -- best appreciated when drunk." I totally agree :P

Re:Forget them and get on with your life (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203081)

Some people just like doing stuff. I know people like you find doing stuff tiring and mentally fatiguing, but there are people who like creating and stimulating there brains.

So you go ion back to your Friends reruns, or whatever. When people who do things are talking, you don't need to be heard.

.

Xlink (5, Informative)

hidden72 (229930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202337)

Get one of these:

http://www.myxlink.com/index.aspx

And keep the legacy landline handsets in the house. This way, no matter where you are in the house, whether or not the cellphone is with you, you can still make/receive calls - leveraging your cell minutes.

You can probably integrate that with an Asterisk VoIP system and get additional things like intercom, room-to-room dialing, etc.

Re: Wow, thanks for that (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202831)

About a year ago I had been searching aggressively for this exact device. They aren't easy to turn up on Google without a lot of trash to wade through. There were a couple manufacturers then (can't remember the names right now), but they were all in the $150-$250 range. This is cheap enough and seems to have good ratings that I will probably buy one in the next month.

Re:Xlink (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202841)

Almost interesting, but only supports bluetooth. Feh.

Re:Xlink (1)

barbaricpenguin (1550977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202857)

I'm doing the same thing with my landline phones once my cell line is activated this week. I already have the xlink device, too. I gave it a try with my already existing cellphone first, and it works just as advertised.

Why not continue to use it for phones? (1)

laing (303349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202357)

Get something like this [wirelesspro.com] and you can be wired and wireless at the same time.

VLF sender (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202359)

I suggest using them for a transmitter for Very Low Frequencies (VLF), so you can chat with u-boats and scuba diving friends.

sell for crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202363)

pull the copper out of the wall and sell it for crack money!

Umh? (0, Troll)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202369)

Landlines? Cables? Telephones? WTF! Something from stoneage?

Cat-6 (0, Redundant)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202385)

Use the old wiring as a pull-rope to run Cat-6.

Other than that, it's not much good for anything. It's too small to carry any amount of power, whether supply or audio, it's unshielded and may not even be twisted pair.

It's as useless as iron telegraph wire in this day and age, or close to it.

Re:Cat-6 (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202473)

Use the old wiring as a pull-rope to run Cat-6.

That probably won't work. The old wiring would be stapled in place.

Re:Cat-6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202649)

That probably won't work. The old wiring would be stapled in place.

He'll probably have to pull pretty hard then. If he does it right then he can use all the old staples to hold the Cat-N (where N is 5 or 6) in place.

Re:Cat-6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202827)

And, as others have said, is probably daisy-chained in a godawful way.

Alien Communication (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202403)

Wire all of them to a tin foil hat. Perfect for broadcasting your thoughts to the mothership.

No logical possibilities! (1)

whitefang1121 (1432411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202421)

There is nothing really you can do, you can rip it out, but the problem with that is the hole in the wall and the twenty bucks you will get, not really worth it. Now if you are looking to spend a little money you can rip out all the cable and hire someone to come in your house and run cat5 cable, you can always buy a cisco telelpresence and pay for them to install it then you won't need a phone you will have a hi-def video phone, but i doubt you have that kind of money so just leave it be and go on with your life.

A few ideas (5, Interesting)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202435)

Morse code communication system.
Connect it to your computer for music everywhere.

Now a real thought. Do you have, or are you going to have kids. At some point you will have to let the communicate, and a cell phone may not be a good option. If this is the case you may wish in just a few years that you had left the phone lines alone.

What To Do With Copper: +1, Helpful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202463)

Dear Stupid:

When you lose your job to someone in China or Mexico, you can sell the copper wire to help pay for your next McMeal.

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

Yeah... (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202469)

I'm going to have to say "leave it." If you want to run an intercomm, it'll be useful for the wires as guides, but due to the set up, you're never going to find something useful to send over the wires themselves. Find something you DO want in every room, and just run alongside, since all the holes in the studs should be pre-drilled for you.

AM radio! (5, Funny)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202479)

They might make good AM radio antennas. You know, the kind of radio where you can listen to ideas too far off in the ideological fringes to make it onto the Internet.

Re:AM radio! (2, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202709)

the kind of radio where you can listen to ideas too far off in the ideological fringes to make it onto the Internet

Alas, it looks like the fringes have [moveon.org] already [motherjones.org] arrived [chomsky.info] .

Re:AM radio! (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202731)

Correction: Too far off the ideological fringes to make it to FM radio.

Re:AM radio! (2, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203083)

I prefer PM radio.

easy (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202483)

in-home telegraph system

imagine the envy and awe of your friends and neighbors as you show off a morse telegraph key in every room

Anonymous Coward (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202509)

Rig up a some doorbell switches, D cell batteries and bulbs to use as a signalling device that you need another bottle of beer

Nerdkits (5, Interesting)

delta419 (1227406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202515)

DO NOT remove the wire. In this economy, it's hard enough selling your house as it is... If your nerd level is high enough, I recommend interfacing it all with a nerdkit... alarm clock in every room, irritating beeper that goes off every 15 minutes, lights that flash when you get a new email, maybe even "backup lighting" (preferably red) for when your main power goes down...

Re:Nerdkits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202665)

And depending on where you live, you may be obligated to provide the wiring if you sell or rent your house. So leave it in place, it will be a major pain of you need to re-install it when you sell or rent it out.

Been cell-only so long that I forgot... (1)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202523)

...my house has a land line connection. LOL! The memories. I think I destroyed part of the line along the side of my house about 4 years ago with a weed-eater. My advice? Do what I did - forget the line is there (except don't completely forget and ruin it on accident like I did :)

What to do with the unused telephone wiring? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202539)

If you live close enough to a phone switch you can get DSL. I don't know what else it can be used for right now.

Falcon

LAN over phonelines - HomePNA (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202559)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HomePNA [wikipedia.org]

While technically possible...it's not really financially viable.

Convertor for VoIP (2, Informative)

Ponder Stibions (962426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202567)

Get a stand alone adaptor for Skype/ other VoIP system (SIP?) and hook in your old landline phones to that. Cheaper internet calls out, emergency and incoming calls to your mobiles. Best of everything. And fairly easy to convert back to being wired into the normal telephone network!

Re:Convertor for VoIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202803)

if you are going down the VOIP path have a look at http://www.trixbox.org/ this is full blown PBX based on asterix.org.

for lots of mobiles you get SIP clients, so when you are home on the wireless network you can use you mobile SIP client to make Voip calls. (well you don't need tel phone wire for that)

but you can hook conventional phone into the system as will with devices like the linksys SPA

racker79

Emulate your landline with Cell Phone Dock (3, Informative)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202607)

Get a cell phone docking station and plug your house wiring into the cell phone. There are several available: Dock-N-Talk, Cell Socket. Example: Cell Docking Station [hellodirect.com] . Simply google "cell socket" to get more results.

Don't throw away the phones (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202627)

I like the idea of ditching the Vonage line we have (we already ditched the POTS service for our primary voice line) and going cell phone only. But when I'm home, I'd prefer to use the cordless phone system with the handsets strewn around the house, and leave my cell phone plugged into the computer to charge.

To that end, I bought an XLink bluetooth gateway box. The idea behind this box is that it provides dialtone and ringing to your POTS phones and then places the calls over between 1 and 3 bluetooth-paired phones. An excellent concept, but alas, it was plagued with reliability issues, at least for us. Maybe in a year or so either there will be a competitor or they'll have updated their firmware or something.

So at least for now, we still have the Vonage line.

Landlines are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202633)

In case of major blackouts no cell phone will work, while the old wired phone does, especially if you have a phone set which does not require any external power supply.

Re:Landlines are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202713)

Except that the dialtone was disconnected.

Re:Landlines are great (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202879)

The cell network won't go down, it's all on the same DC power source as the land line equipment. These days DSLAMs don't even go down when there's a power failure.

One wire network (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202675)

You can run a one wire network which uses 2 wires. There is a range of devices you can read information from, http://owfs.org/.

For example you could run a temperature sensors in each room.

Combined with a tool like http://www.cacti.net/ you can log an ongoing temperature graph.

Combined with X10 http://www.linuxha.com/ you now could act on the information you receive. for example if the room reaches a certain temperature you switch on the fan.

racker79

Loop Antenna (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202681)

How about connecting it up in a big loop and making an antenna. I've got no idea what you might pick up but hook up a recording device and work it into your next techno track.

Free Electricity? (4, Interesting)

ffejie (779512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202727)

Can you grab the few volts of electricity off of the line that the phone company is sending you for free?

Re:Free Electricity? (2, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203023)

The power gained from doing that would be about enough to charge 1 AA rechargable battery in a day.

Not worth it.

Leave it for 911 service (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202745)

Depending on which state you live in, the phone company may be required to provide a "soft dial tone" so that you can continue to make free 911 calls with a land line phone. In this case, it would be extremely foolish to remove or mess around with the phone lines. In an emergency, you may not be able to 100% rely on your cell phone to have a charged battery, get signal, etc. If your wife starts having a heart attack, you may not have time to run across the house and grab a charger if the battery is dead or reset the phone if it freezes.

Emergencies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202761)

I'm seriously surprised nobody has brought this up. I'm not sure if its state law, but at least in my state, the law requires telephone companies to allow 9-1-1 calls to be placed even on "disconnected" phone lines. Do you have kids? You may want to keep those lines connected to the telephone company. Imagine your child chokes on a marble, and you go to dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone, only to realize you forgot to charge it and it has no battery, or the service isn't good. Imagine you're having a heart attack, you do manage to call 9-1-1 with your cell phone, but are unable to speak. Hopefully your cell phone company has properly transmitted the billing address to the emergency center..

This is why I always have at least one standard, non-cordless, non-battery operated phone connected to my standard copper phone system.. just in case. I realize even POTS has a chance of faillure, I just think cell phones are exponentially higher.

Re:Emergencies? (1)

Spaseboy (185521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202859)

Cell phones for at least the last five years have been required to have GPS in them for the purpose of 911. You're actually more likely to be found with a cell phone than a house phone because they'll know where in the house you are from your GPS location.

Save it for 911 (2, Informative)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202779)

Plug your old corded phone back in, so you can still call 911 in an emergency when the power is out and the cell towers are either down or jammed to capacity. AFAIK, all local phone companies in the US are required to still connect 911 calls, even if you're not paying for service.

Re:Save it for 911 (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202855)


AFAIK, all local phone companies in the US are required to still connect 911 calls, even if you're not paying for service.

I can tell you this is not true. My landline is DSL only, and I don't have dialtone.

Maybe keep the landline? (5, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202787)

Maybe you're doing most of your chatting on the cell but there's still some good reasons for a landline:

1) home fax machine
2) landline more likely to function in an emergency as cell systems usually overload and are unavailable
3) landline call to 911 is more likely to show your address to the dispatcher possibly saving your life with a faster response
4) landline will not be lost or misplaced
5) landline more likely to continue to function during an electrical power failure
6) landline can provide emergency dial-up internet service
7) landline will not expose you to uhf radiation
8) landline will not suffer from battery failure
9) landline will not suffer from poor signal quality
10 landline is legally much more difficult for authorities to eavesdrop on

Ignore it? (0, Flamebait)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202789)

I haven't subscribed to a landline telephone service in at least 7 years. I've never had an irrational desire to make use of those few little wires running through the walls in all that time. Just think, someday when little Tommy asks, "Daddy, what are these strange holes in the wall for?" you can share with him your fond memories of the technology of yesteryear. He will then share with you just how old he thinks you and the house are by saying, "you used to talk with wires?!?!"

Copper futures (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202843)

Someone will be right over to strip all that nasty unused copper right out of your house.

go fuck yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28202845)

you must be the most dimwitted fag i've ever seen on here. do you wonder what to do with your used tv dinner trays too? i bet you voted for bush.

So, i guess you don't have DSL? (5, Insightful)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202887)

And you don't have any doubt about the reliability of the cell system?
And in an emergency where POTS is the only functioning technology.
Mature systems that have been tested in dire situations, old fashioned switched telephones and HAM radios come to mind.
   

What about that "Phone Call" (5, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202895)

Not that any Slashdotter would know anyone that might get arrested.... Still one should be aware that in many places (like Texas) your "Phone Call" has to be a collect phone call through some third party (don't know the name of the third rate company in Texas), and they won't make a collect call to a cell phone.

So.... If the police show up at your daughter's apartment because of a domestic disturbance call, and she isn't entirely interested in letting them search the house (like she is studying for finals barefoot in her night gown after finally kicking out her very loud boyfriend) .... And the police are so worried that she is being held against her will and being beaten up by her boy friend that they throw her on the ground and beat her up and haul her to jail....

THEN when she tries to call you and you have no land line.... You will not be disturbed.

THEN she will get tossed barefoot on the streets at 4:30 am in her night gown in downtown Austin Texas and will finally give you a call when she borrows a phone from a construction worker....

AND you will be thankful that you got 45 extra minutes sleep.

I am not entirely clear why so many states like Texas have decided that it is a great idea to only give people the right to a COLLECT phone call to a LAND LINE ONLY in this day and age, but that is the way it is.

TRUE STORY.

Re:What about that "Phone Call" (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202939)

Got so caught up in the story, that I didn't make my point....

Use the copper to provide a land line on the cheapest plan possible. Especially if you have kids. Don't use it, but make sure your kids know the emergency number.

DYI Wormhole (1)

theverylastperson (1208224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202907)

I'm sure there's some way to send an electrical signal through all the wires and create a time vortex of some kind. It'd be tricky, but I think it'll work. Of course, you might wind up trapped in a hostile time or even a violent alternate universe inhabited by giant fish-frogs. I suggest caution if you decide to do this. If I'm not mistaken you have to use 220 instead of the standard 110.

Check with your local hardware store in their time dilation isle, they usually stock converters if you get stuck with the wrong polarity. And remember to keep the humidity down when you turn it on, you don't want to fog anything up.

Just a thought.

Cat 3 (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202937)

Cat 3 wiring is still usable for various LAN applications - home automation being one.

Unless if course your furnace NEEDS 100 Mb/sec connectivity.... 10 Mb/sec will probably do. I find mine gets by with zero actually, but it is controlled by an oh so boring programmable thermostat.

5 things (1)

junglebeast (1497399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202951)

1) LAN for your home 2) Play the "tie me up" game 3) Weave a hammock 4) String it out to your neighbors house and make a cup-phone (for emergencies) 5) Wind a giant electromagnet and use it to steal change out of people's pockets on the street

One Wire Network (1)

racker (532842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202953)

You can run a one wire network which uses 2 wires. There is a range of devices you can read information from, http://owfs.org/ [owfs.org] . For example you could run a temperature sensors in each room. Combined with a tool like http://www.cacti.net/ [cacti.net] you can log an ongoing temperature graph. Combined with X10 http://www.linuxha.com/ [linuxha.com] you now could act on the information you receive. for example if the room reaches a certain temperature you switch on the fan. racker79

Ideas for future Ask Slashdot articles (5, Funny)

daybot (911557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202973)

Ideas for future Ask Slashdot articles:

  1. Just took a bath. What to do with the bathwater?
  2. I've just picked my nose. Suggestions?
  3. Profit!! Now what should I do with all these gold bars?

Use it for telephone service (1)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28202987)

Seriously, use it for telephone service when the wireless companies inevitably try to jack you, either with service cuts, signal loss, price gouging, sneaky tactics to overcharge you, etc.

Music (2, Interesting)

GuestLecturer (1531529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28203009)

Along the lines of an intercom system, I'd try distribution of stereo music throughout the house. Not sure about resistance/quality issues. Have a set of speakers per room with an on/off switch, or carry the speakers with you and plug them in.

Keep your Plain Old Telephone Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28203015)

POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is likely to keep going long after a power outage puts cell phones out of commission. Either the cell towers run out of electricity or your personal cell phone dies from lack of juice.

For the above strategy to work, you need a wired (ie. not cordless) phone that doesn't need to be plugged into the electric supply. It has to work just because it is plugged into the telephone jack.

How often does it happen that the electricity goes out long enough to be a problem? Maybe once in a lifetime.

Remember a few years ago when the power went out all over eastern North America. My family was out of town. They needed to phone me ('cause they ran out of money) and they could because I had POTS. My bank was where there was some power. The Western Union office didn't have power but they had POTS and were able to phone the money down to Miami (where it seems that the power didn't go out).

If I'd needed the cops or a fire truck, I could have called for help.

POTS will have to get really really expensive before I'm willing to dump it.

By the same token, diversity is good. After 9/11, the only thing that could get a message through to Washington was Blackberry. I guess the moral is not to have all your eggs in the same basket.

Epe!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28203035)

munches the most Performing.' Even
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