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The AT&T Archives Post-SBC Merger?

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the technological-history dept.

Science 159

mrfantasy writes "An article in the Newark, NJ Star-Ledge discusses the possible fate of the AT&T Archives, which is a huge, irreplaceable historical repository of most of the advancements of late 19th and 20th century communications. Corporate archives are often casualties of companies when they are subsumed by a parent organization. The archives include such things as long-distance telephone directories from the mid-1890s, containing every long distance subscriber in the country, including Alexander Graham Bell himself; and a microphone from Warren Harding's 1921 inauguration, the first heard by the crowd thanks to AT&T amplification equipment."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

code (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664571)

221 120 210 200 012 000 120 112 000
202 022 012 000 200 100 021 022 202
000 202 200 001 010 102 000 101 210
201 202 000 011 012 010 120 011 012
000 202 022 012 000 111 012 201 201
001 021 012 000 002 012 110 120 212
000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
120 202 222 112 120 212 012 112 202
200 212 120 202 222 012 112 120 112
222 120 112 012 200 120 212 222 112
120 202 012 112 212 200 222 120 012
222 112 202 120 012 222 112 120 012
120 222 012 112 120 212 222 202 112
200 012 222 120 112 120 212 012 112
120 200 112 202 222 120 112 212 012
120 202 200 222 212 012 112 120 222
112 202 012 120 212 222 202 012 222
200 112 120 202 112 212 012 200 120
112 222 120 012 222 012 202 112 222
212 202 212 012 202 200 212 222 120
012 222 112 202 120 112 012 120 212
200 222 202 012 212 222 012 112 202
222 120 112 120 200 012 222 112 200
212 012 120 112 222 012 120 112 202
222 212 120 112 120 012 222 112 202
200 012 120 112 120 212 222 112 202
012 212 222 012 200 202 222 212 012
202 212 222 120 202 200 012 112 212
120 112 222 012 120 112 222 120 202
212 012 112 202 222 212 200 202 120
112 012 120 212 202 222 112 212 012
120 222 112 202 120 112 222 200 120
212 012 222 202 012 200 212 222 202
012 212 202 222 112 212 200 012 202
212 120 202 222 212 012 222 012 112
120 222 112 202 200 212 012 202 222
212 202 120 012 222 212 012 112 200
120 222 012 202 222 112 200 212 120
202 012 212 202 222 112 212 202 012
222 012 120 212 200 202 222 112 120
012 222 212 012 222 200 012 222 112
120 112 202 012 120 112 212 222 012
222 120 202 212 112 202 212 012 120
200 202 222 112 212 012 202 120 212
222 202 012 222 012 112 212 222 120
112

It's trinary to (0-26=A-Z) (but that's only part of it)

Re:code (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664697)

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lameness filter is lame lame lame filter lame filter# Please try to keep posts on topic.
# Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
# Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
# Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)# Please try to keep posts on topic.
# Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
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# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

My Turn!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664724)

Lameness Filter doesn't like me T_T

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664574)

pwned

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664576)

im the best

Dumpster? (4, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664582)

It's the 21st century.
We have eBay now.

Telemarketers? (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664636)

I'd love for those fsckers to go try sell health insurance to a bunch of dead people.

Re:Dumpster? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664894)

I really don't see the point. Who the hell cares about this crap? Oooh an old telephone! Oooh, an old telephone book! WOW! NATIONAL FUCKING TREASURES!... Jesus dudes, not everything on the sun has to be preserved. We have phones. We know when they were invented. We know how important they are. That's all that matters.

People who get pissy every time something old is threatened piss me off.

...touch me..!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664590)

.....please..!!! ..don't make me beg!!!!

Re:...touch me..!! (0, Troll)

screwedcork (801471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664668)

.......please!!!!!!

From an 1890 (5, Funny)

racecarj (703239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664592)

Alexander Graham Bell's Phone Number: 1

Re:From an 1890 (3, Informative)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664635)

Speaking of him, didn't the Italians bitch that one of their citizens invented the telephone first, but didn't have money for a patent, while Bell had?

I found Google Cache Link [64.233.187.104] that says that Congress gave Antonio Meucci credit for inventing the telephone.

Amazing story if true... (2, Informative)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665109)

I'm often amazed by how much history is so much BS, especially the stuff you could supposedly hang your hat on. I mean, every grade school kid KNOWS Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone just like every kid KNOWS Thomas Edison invented the light bulb [coolquiz.com] . I consider myself fairly cynical about things in general, but stuff like this makes me feel like a doe-eyed innocent setting eyes on the world for the first time. ;)

Re:Amazing story if true... (4, Interesting)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665217)

Interesting. But your link has (at least) a factual error of its own -- Edison's electric chair didn't use DC. His own systems used DC, and he wanted to show that Tesla's AC was horribly dangerous -- so, basically, he made the thing run on AC as a marketting ploy [economist.com] .

Re:From an 1890 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664690)

It wasn't till 909 more people signed up that the police got involved.

That's the speed of Law Enforcement, eh?

Re:From an 1890 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664733)

Ha ha, that's right, stick it to the man. Except, if your point is that law enforcement moves slowly, why are you making a joke about a number specifically chosen so that it could be quickly dialed on a rotary phone? Doesn't that kind of go against the whole point of your joke?

Re:From an 1890 (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665069)

910? Those two numbers aren't that hard to add - even if they are in base 10.

Re:From an 1890 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665238)

1 + 909 more people THEN the police. So after 910 came the police with 911. Was that so hard?

Re:From an 1890 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664797)

Alexander Graham Bell's Phone Number: 1

In reality the first telephones didn't have numbers till 1879. Operators, or Telephone/Hello Girls, memorized the names and physicaly connected two points to make a connection. It was kinda pointless to know a number till the rotory phone which was in use earlier but not on Bell's system till roughly 1919.

Re:From an 1890 (4, Informative)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665045)

I heard dialing was an invention by a funeral home operator, who was wondering why his business seemed to be getting worse for some reason, and his upstart competitor was doing so well. As it turned out, the wife of his competitor just happened to be the town's telephone switchboard operator.

Re:From an 1890 (1)

MSDos-486 (779223) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664830)

Peter: this is your ansestor so and so he had one of the first dozen telephones So and So: hello Person on the line: hey John So and So: No sorry what number did you want Person: 11 So and So: no sorry this is 3

NoNoNo (2, Funny)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664920)

You misunderstand. Reread the summary. They actually have a catalog containing the corpses of all the long distance subscribers. As such, all the rules involving cemeteries should apply here. Who needs TFA when I have Slashdot to boil it down to the basic ideas?

Re:From an 1890 (1)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664971)

Reminds me of an old Family Guy scene (roughly copied here):

Peter: Why, my great, great grandfather was one of the first people to own a phone!

----flashback showing black and white version of peter with a beard in 18th century----

(phone rings)

Old Peter: Hello?

Voice on phone: Hi! Is this Steve?

Peter: No, this is Peter, what number did you dial?

Voice: 3

Peter: ahh, this is 7

Voice: My mistake!

Useless fact for the day: (1)

Rangataua (820853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665230)

The first phone produced by Alexander Graham Bell was supposedly given to James Murray who is most famous as an early editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

James Murray was also the man who first introduced and interested Alexander Graham Bell in electricity.

Re:From an 1890 (2, Funny)

TurtleTower (859187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665310)

Wow, Bell's phone number? That's like having Al Gore's IP!

I'm back!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664600)

Hey guys, I've been away from slashdot for over ten months. But I'm back now!!

Corrections (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664602)

Firstly, it's the "Star Ledger", not the "Star Ledge"; secondly, it's AT&T, not AT&aT. What's with the editors these days?

Re:Corrections (1)

priestx (822223) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664869)

You're mistaken, AT&aT is a baby Ay of the giant AT&T company. AT&aT is being sold.

Re:Corrections (5, Funny)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665280)

not AT&aT

Their armor is too strong for blasters. Use your harpoons and tow cables!

Thanks Michael. That's Great. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665318)

Now run along...you were fired from Slashdot because you suck and we all hate you.

Re: AT&aT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665537)

It's an obvious phishing attempt.

You can't save everything (0, Troll)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664606)

Save the whale, save Jane Fonda from irate whales, save coupons, save lives at the beach, save old phone books....nah.....

You can't save everything-unimportant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664657)

Save humanity!

Typo (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664609)

It's actually the Star-Ledger.

Love,
A New Jerseyan

Auction it off (0, Redundant)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664621)

You can be sure some Private Collectors would probably buy up alot of this stuff if they auctioned it off.

Re:Auction it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665093)

You bet. When someone asks who invented the transistor, various claims can be made. Without original proof, anyone can patent the idea. With the documents split (ripped) amoung several people all wanting a bit, and people having to collect pages 2, 26 and 429 and assemble the document from a group of 10,000 private collectors, the whole history can be right royally savaged, buried, and in 20 years we can say that aliens invented the transistor (or maybe the French). Better yet, if there are 2 or 3 copies of documents that are 150 years old, buy them all up, burn the duplicates. Then you can get a lot more for the 'one remaining document'. And hey, if it happens to get burned/crumpled/lost, we can blame AT&T. Kewel! Any more bright ideas sunshine?

Re:Auction it off (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665156)

You're right. I was all for ebaying it. But you've made me realise, putting it in the dumpster is much better.

SBC is still a Bell (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664642)

Although possible, I find it unlikely that SBC would not value AT&T's heritage as much as, and as part of, its own. It is a Bell operating company after all, with many veteran execs from the Bell system of yore. It may even use the AT&T name after the merger.

Re:SBC is still a Bell (1)

Fortyseven (240736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664794)

They didn't seem to give too much of a shit about preserving SNET's history when they bought them up back when I used to work there. Wasn't too bad when they were calling us "SBC/SNET"; that I could live with. But then they dropped it completely...bleh.

Re:SBC is still a Bell (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664893)

They didn't seem to give too much of a shit about preserving SNET's history when they bought them up back when I used to work there. Wasn't too bad when they were calling us "SBC/SNET"; that I could live with. But then they dropped it completely...bleh.

What history? They dropped the name. BFD. Southern New England Telephone co. was basically the first RBOC, but so what?
Oh yeah, being "first" is a rich and voluminous history; and all that history was destroyed when SBC dropped the SNET from its name locally. [/sarcasm] In the case of AT&T here, were talking physical history (e.g. original antique phone books). Company names are (at best) just tradition.

Re:SBC is still a Bell (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664968)

In a capitalist society, saving evidence of the companies you have taken over just doesn't make sense.

There is no trace of mediaone, which is now comcast.

There is no trace of bank of boston, which became fleet.

There will be no trace of fleet once it becomes boa.

There will be no trace of AT&T once the merger is complete.

Re: THE DESTRUCTION OF HISTORY ITSELF. *KABOOM!* (1)

Fortyseven (240736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665140)

What history? They dropped the name. BFD. Southern New England Telephone co. was basically the first RBOC, but so what?
Oh yeah, being "first" is a rich and voluminous history; and all that history was destroyed when SBC dropped the SNET from its name locally. [/sarcasm]


I have an uncontrollable urge to rub my genitals across your left cheek.

In the case of AT&T here, were talking physical history (e.g. original antique phone books). Company names are (at best) just tradition.

I'm trying desperately to find where in my post where I said "When SBC bought SNET it destroyed history forever and is far larger a loss than what little will be lost in this trivial AT&T merger."

Funny, I can't seem to find it.

Gosh, perhaps it's possible that I was just saying that I doubted SBC would care based on similar (but not equal -- that was your interpretation) happenings.

And I can assure you it was more than just a simple name change when they bought SNET.

Great Case for a Museum (4, Insightful)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664653)

This archive by itself would be a great museum based upon the things in it that the article mentioned. Of course, someone would have to organize the collection and hire staff to maintain the buildings, but it's a shame to see our history not being put to use. Some of the stories and innovations here could serve as inspiration to our kids and current researchers much the same way that the moon landing and Hubble telescope did for some of our generation. If they setup a building with the highlights and charged a modest price for admission, it would be far better than letting these memories go to waste.

Re:Great Case for a Museum (5, Funny)

ahbi (796025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664712)

Hey, here is an idea.

Why don't we create a national museum or series of museums to house and display things relating to our national history or just cool things in general.

You know we could put the museum(s) in a central location. Like the nation's capit[a|o]l.

Maybe we could get some really wealthy person to donate money for the museum(s). We could be nice and name the museum(s) after that person.
Hell, I beat the guy could even be a British scientist. Congress could be a big help here.

And since it is a government sponsored museum, entry could be free, or a nominal charge.

Someday the museum(s) could grow to be the largest museum complex in the world. They could function as "an establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge."

Yeah, that would be great.

Great Case for a [presidential] Museum (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664776)

"Someday the museum(s) could grow to be the largest museum complex in the world. They could function as "an establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge.""

So why do all the presidents have their own museum?

Re:Great Case for a Museum (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665247)

It would be rad if one of them was just devoted to the Space Program and like, aviation. They could sell "astronaut ice cream" in the gift shop. I would totally go to such a museum if it existed. They could get a U2 in there... a Harrier... Maybe like an Apollo capsule...

Re:Great Case for a Museum (1)

ahbi (796025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665313)

They could get a U2 in there

Speaking of Bono ...
I suggest, if he doesn't stop coming over here and telling us how to fix things and giving sunglasses to the Pope, that we send Bob Seger over to Ireland to get them straightened out.

If that doesn't work, I think we'll be forced to send over Ted Nugent.

Re:Great Case for a Museum (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665381)

And said museums could also keep 90+ percent of their collections in the back rooms where most people will never see them...

Re:Great Case for a Museum (2, Informative)

eyeball (17206) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664935)

This archive by itself would be a great museum based upon the things in it that the article mentioned. Of course, someone would have to organize the collection and hire staff to maintain the buildings, but it's a shame to see our history not being put to use. Some of the stories and innovations here could serve as inspiration to our kids and current researchers much the same way that the moon landing and Hubble telescope did for some of our generation. If they setup a building with the highlights and charged a modest price for admission, it would be far better than letting these memories go to waste.

There are a few. BellSouth's Telephone Museum [bellsouthgapioneers.org] . I could swear there's another telco museum in San Francisco.

Re:Great Case for a Museum (4, Interesting)

whizistic (33541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665015)

Having been at the San Francisco SBC museum a few weeks ago, (located in the Bell building at 140 New Montgomery, open 10AM-2PM Mon-Thurs) I can candidly say it sucked elephant nuts through nanopore straws. The volunteer mentioned that most of the good stuff went to the archives when a consultant curator came through and turned it into a museum rather than the collection of interactive exhibits it was before. It used to be cool, now it's basically a couple phone books from 1919, a princess phone, and half a frame from 1936. So, yes, SBC == Slash and Burn Corporation.

Re:Great Case for a Museum (2, Interesting)

bigt_littleodd (594513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665168)

That's what the Smithsonian is for. If Congress approves, and they are allowed to get their hands on the goodies, and they deem the items preservation-worthy, they will.

The life and times of AT&T is an integral part of 20th century US history. If SBC is stupid enough to send that history to the garbage pile, then SBC must be destroyed as well because they would have done a great disservice to posterity.

Mission statement from the SI website [si.edu] :

Secretary Small's Vision

"The Smithsonian is committed to enlarging our shared understanding of the mosaic that is our national identity by providing authoritative experiences that connect us to our history and our heritage as Americans and to promoting innovation, research and discovery in science. These commitments have been central to the Smithsonian since its founding more than 155 years ago."

Lawrence M. Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian

If you are ever in the Washington DC area, try to visit the Smithsonian Instution if you can. Know that you can spend an entire day in just one or two buildings devoted to just a few subjects.

The National Air and Space Museum is the most popular of all the Smithsonian buildings. Plan on a full day there. If you can't make it downtown but fly into Washington Dulles, the Udvar-Hazy Annex of the A&S is on Dulles' property. Plan on at least 4 hours there if you want see most of it.

Okay, getting a little OT there. So sue me.

Cause to worry (3, Insightful)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664658)

Doesn't SBC stand for "Slash and Burn Corporation?"

Seriously, why would anyone think this stuff is in danger? As if SBC wouldn't see it as an asset, part of their "goodwill" portfolio.

Re:Cause to worry (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665096)

Seriously, why would anyone think this stuff is in danger? As if SBC wouldn't see it as an asset, part of their "goodwill" portfolio.

Don't trust a company that lists "goodwill" as an asset on its balance sheet. [nwfusion.com]

Re:Cause to worry (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665421)

Most F500 companies list goodwill on their balance sheet. It's an accounting fiction.

They've Gutted Everything Else... What's Left? (4, Interesting)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664669)

When I worked for AT&T, one could go to Murray Hill and it would be an educational experience. No "business requirement" needed. It was like a university setting where one went to learn from the masters.

Now... the masters are gone. The company as it was is gone. Who cares?

Start singing "Memories". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664742)

"Now... the masters are gone. The company as it was is gone. Who cares?"

Nothing is forever.

Re:Start singing "Memories". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665030)

>>"Now... the masters are gone. The company as it >>was is gone. Who cares?"

>Nothing is forever.

If we had computers capible of simulating the universe we could keep a copies of how the world was at that time period ;p.

Ask your governments to put more into AI and computer research.

Re:Start singing "Memories". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665166)

...and the meaning to it all was found out to be the number 42. Where's that manic-depessed robot of yours?

Are they online? (2, Interesting)

BossMC (696762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664675)

*fires up wget -r*

Re:Are they online? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664783)

I second that, kind of: Donate to Archive.org or the Stanford computer archives (Stanford has some technology archives of which I do not know the exact name of). Put it in good hands.

Re:Are they online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665317)

Regarding your .sig; the guys from FGTH were at one point asked "don't do what?", to which their response, was, of course, "Don't relax!"

Listen to the lyrics if you can't remember why it was banned on many TV and radio stations, as well.

Re:Are they online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665339)

Hahaha. As I type this, I'm listening to the New York remix. Relax has to be one of the greatest songs to come out of the 80s. I've been listening to all of the music my dad used to torture me with as a child. Figures, I love it now, but I didn't just tell you that.

Smithsonian? (3, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664681)

Sounds like the perfect archive of "stuff" you might expect to see in the smithsonian? /shrug

SBC-AT&T merger? (4, Insightful)

goon america (536413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664683)

Why should AT&T lose its archives because it's merging with SBC? Before "SBC" became a referent-less corporate initialism, it used to stand for "Southwestern Bell Corporation", a company formed by carving it out of AT&T due to anti-trust litigation. They had always been the same company, just taking a 22-year trial separation.

(Oh, and how much public time and money was spent splitting up AT&T only to let the pieces gradually merge back together, like the re-heated T1000?)

Re:SBC-AT&T merger? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664788)

Not to mention before the break-up, GTE was the only other phone company other than Bell. Since GTE was swallowed up by a baby bell, all it would take is for the SBC or Veizon to buy up all of the cell phone companies and the remaining Land-Line providers and wala, back to a bell monopoly, but worse.

Getting back on topic, since SBC now owns AT&T, they unfortunately have every right to trash the archives if they want since they now own them. IMO, SBC should sell it to the higest bidder instead of just throwing it away.

Re:SBC-AT&T merger? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665099)

But with Bush hell-bent on destroying anything of historical significance and his tax credits to encourage that, all of it will probably be destroyed.

I work for Hardee's corporate, and our execs recently went on a history killing spree. I was there about a year ago the day we closed our first franchisee's restaurant so we could write-off the property and sell the equipment as scrap. I saw the first neon sign the company used in 1960 smashed to write-off the value of the sign as a loss. I saw hundreds of pounds of historical pictures, menus, etc., including many from our first one in Greenville, NC,thrown in the trash.

I've worked here for 35 years, and I'm glad I'm retiring soon. There's just too many repukians working here that follow Bush's lead. Never underestimate the hatred that the Bush crime family has for you.

Re:SBC-AT&T merger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665210)

Yes, I'm certain that of all of Bush's many enemies, he counts the original Hardee's in Greenville, NC as #1.

#2. Richard Clarke
[strikethrough]#3. Saddam Hussein[/strikethrough] ...
#11,887 Osama Bin Laden

Re:SBC-AT&T merger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665282)

> the original Hardee's in Greenville, NC as #1.

I said first franchisee.

> #2. Richard Clarke

Clarke is a DINO. I doubt Bushie hates him. Also, Clarke is sworn to kill for Bush. I think he has six year remaining on his oath.

> #11,887 Osama Bin Laden

You have him in the right place considering Bushie hasn't even attempted to capture him. In fact, he isn't allowing Pakistan to touch him. They worked together.

DONATE IT TO THE ARCHIVE (0)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664686)

I'm sure Brewster would love it.

Re:DONATE IT TO THE ARCHIVE (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664884)

I wouldn't trust serious archiving to Brewster. He's a great guy, but you don't want him in charge of crucial data.

Signed,
Former Archive guy

Re:DONATE IT TO THE ARCHIVE (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665340)

I dunno if you've worked with, or if any of us really have, long-term crucial data... Its cause is all but impossible to promote.

family guy quote (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664702)

Scene: 19th century, A Telephone rings

[Voice on phone]: "Hi, is this 7?"

[Guy]: "No, this is 3!"

Re:family guy quote (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664806)

Guy: Who are you?
Phone: The new number 2. You are number 6
Guy: I'm not a number i'm a free man!
Phone: hahahahahahahah

Who gives a shit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664711)



All I care about is:

1. W Is The President! WooHoo!

2. My girlfriend swallows! Aw Yeah bitches!

Re:Who gives a shit? (-1, Offtopic)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664729)

And both those things will end in 3 years, bro.
My money is on number one lasting longer than number two.

Who gives a [long lasting] shit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664756)

"My money is on number one lasting longer than number two."

Funny. My number two's last longer than my number ones.

Re:Who gives a shit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665053)

2. My girlfriend swallows! Aw Yeah bitches!

But you sir blow.

They can't... (4, Insightful)

MSDos-486 (779223) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664769)

because pre-1982 SBC history was AT&T history. Kinda funny how the student became the master

Re:They can't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664821)

Oh, god, the star wars references start in 3...2...1...

Re:They can't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664851)

Alax... I am your father.

Re:They can't... (2, Funny)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664981)

It's kind of like life... changing your parents' diapers when they get old.

Hello.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664888)

who is this? For God's Sake, who is this? Hello?

It'd be a shame (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664990)

My first summer job in high school was at the Warren AT&T [wired.com] archives. I wound up staying on for 4 years

The archive is a treasure trove of hardware for sure, but there are an incredible number of technical papers and photographs as well; Bell and Watson's lab notes while developing the phone, research notes on the development of the transistor and the Lab's UNIX [bell-labs.com] flavor and more. David Korn's [kornshell.com] research notes on Ksh development or Arno Penzias [bell-labs.com] ' reports of his accidential verification [bell-labs.com] of cosmic background radiation might be of interest to some /. collectors should the whole lot end up on the auction block.

The place is crazy. It's not just the History of AT&T, it's the Great Library of information technology. Hopefully SBC will see it that way too. Last I heard, they had completed indexing and uncrating over 9 miles of paper case files (researcher's project notes) from the 1890's to 1980's. The number of talented scientists who spent their lives at the Labs helping create the IT infrastructure you're soaking in is astounding. As a research lab supported by a monopoly utility, they had unprecedented resources to explore all kinds of ideas. It's all there. Neat stuff.

One of my favourite pieces was a 1960's prototype for an operator's uniform. Very Star Trek:TOS. Ohura's uniform in gold lamee. Some Suit thought it might be a good idea to have all the operators (almost entirely female at the time) wear uniforms, and this is what they came up with.

But I'm waxing philosophic. SBC will save the tech documents at least, to protect the intellectual property they're buying with the hard assets. As for the old phone booths, recording equipment and videophone prototypes, maybe they'll end up in private collections or museums. Either way, hopefully more people will get to see and appreciate them.

FUD (5, Insightful)

chowbok (467829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665050)

There's no story here. The reporter has no reason to think this will happen. Nobody with either company has said the archives will be thrown out. AT&T's former archivist thinks SBC is good about keeping archives. SBC's spokesman says they keep archives. Some professor somewhere says, with no evidence at all, that they'll throw it all away, and that gives a bored reporter a hook to hang a bullshit story on.

Calm down, they'll keep it or give it to a museum.

It is not FUD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665110)

Bush rewards companies for destroying historical significant items. Remember "it is better to end than mend?" Well, that is the Bush way. Never, and I mean never, forget that.

> Calm down

You're forgetting the intensity of their hatred.

Re:It is not FUD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665204)

come out of your AC, andrew

A little rabble rousing to stir up the proletariat (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665061)

"Corporate archives are often casualties of companies when they are subsumed by a parent organization."

What? Is the submitter suggesting that SBC intends on setting fire to the historical archives of AT&T(presumably before killing the family members of the AT&T CEO lest they challenge SBC for the throne in the future)? Come on! These aren't the Vandals invading the Roman Empire.

Re:A little rabble rousing to stir up the proletar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665330)

Visigoths, Vandals, Saxons, Huns, Tartars, Mongols - meh. Small taters the lot of em.

The worst barbarian sacking was a mild inconvenience when compared to the dreaded looting and pillaging of the Acquisitors of Corporate Cost Accounting.

Re:A little rabble rousing to stir up the proletar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665431)

On a quiet, mid-week, moonlit night, an old pickup truck with a large gas tank in the back, but no headlights, quietly pulls up and stops next to an old building. Two men get out and eagerly operate the gas tanks' fuel pump. Just prior to a hasty departure, a glass bottle filled with an inflammable liquid and fitted with a cloth rag in the top, is set ablaze, and tossed through a window, breaking the window and the bottle when it hits the floor. The entire building is consumed. The insurance company evenutally lists the damages to the building at approximately $1,000,000 and to it's contents --all old and no longer functional-- at just over $10,000. Over at SBC, the office of the CFO is still and dark except for moonlight streaming in from a half shaded window. The light falls on a sheet of paper titled 'assets', and highlights a pencil line that has already been drawn through the address of the building. History is lost forever 'due to unfortunate circumstances'. However, 'the events' according to the president at the next fiscal review meeting, 'are probably for the best'.

Never underestimate people's stupidity (2, Interesting)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665066)

"Why wouldn't SBC value these archives?" Why would anyone burn the Library of Alexandria? Expect the worst, hope for the best.

Isn't it obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665076)

SCO will own them

Somewhere in the pile of paper... (4, Interesting)

bjbest (808259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665094)

... deep, deep, inside, is a copy of the infamous ( mythical ? ) issue of the Bell Technical Journal that described the operator-assited long distance dialing mechanism, and how easily it could be defeated. It gave rise to the "phone phreaks" and "blue box" devices in the 1960's, and rest is hacker history.

Calling all Mormons (5, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665108)


Phone books are one way to supplement geneology. One of my great-great grandfathers had a home phone in the 1890s.

They published their 1890 user directory? (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665235)

Doesn't that violate their privacy policy in some way?

Re:They published their 1890 user directory? (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665256)

it was 1890... hight of the fat cat corporations...what privacy policy.

Re:They published their 1890 user directory? (1)

avarame (578734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665459)

Gee, doesn't that just mean they published a phone book? They do it every year...

SBC a HELLl-hole (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11665245)

I did a contract at SBC, and it was a mess. They would not cover the costs of some basic but necessary office supplies. The place was full of H1B's rented from small fly-by-night shops who they knew they could pressure into long hours because the H1B's couldn't sue without deportation risks, and the management was chaotic and jittery. It was Big Company Hell at its worse. It was a souless place.

SBC? Oh thats easy. (1)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11665255)

The stuff will go into dumpsters and the land fill. A bunch of greedier heartless cooperate bastards has rarely been seen.
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