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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Nostalgia? Time and Temperature phone number (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chessmann
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For at 3+ decades I called 214-844 and then any combination of numbers to get time and temperature. It was always the same lady's voice: a brief ad for BofA, then the time and temperature. A few years ago it started only giving the time, then quit working at all.

I missed it! "Bank of American time, ten - forty. Downtown temperature, 46 degrees".

I know there are a million and one ways to get time and temperature, but still...it was nice.

Fortunately, there is a bank that has taken this over not too long ago. Same lady's voice! Ad is a bit longer though, and the number is not so easy to remember (not a big deal).

I'm going to check to see if someone has done an app with that same lady's voice for time and temp. That would be nice.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Chessmann
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ITunes store doesn't have anything like that. As it is still being used by banks, I imagine that there might be an infringement issue of someone made an app out of it.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
nrgsan
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I also called 214-844-XXXX many times in the past and was sad when they removed that system with the familiar voice. One thing that was very unique about this time and temperature line is that the entire 844 prefix was devoted to it. You could dial 844 and then any four numbers and reach it. Other cities usually just had a single number. I once happened to be reading a document from AT&T, written in 1980 and titled “Notes on the Network”. Section 3.01 of it states that the prefix 844 has been reserved nationwide for the special use of time. I’ve never heard of another area code that had an 844 prefix for time. I wonder if all of those 844 prefixes that had been reserved have now been allocated for regular use. What also makes this time and temperature number special is that it was the voice of Pat Fleet (http://patfleet.com). She is one that does the sound logo for AT&T (“Thank you for using AT&T”). She is also the voice of many telephone company recordings such as “We’re sorry, the number you have reached…” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2cN2CMMnVw for a talk show appearance. Pat Fleet was employed by a company called Electronic Tele-Communications Inc (ETC) (http://www.etcia.com) which manufactures systems for announcing time and temperature. When I first started calling 214-844-XXXX it played ads for Nations Bank and it was the male voice of John Doyle (who was also a voice talent employed by ETC). It must have switched to Pat’s voice and Bank of America branding when Nations Bank acquired Bank of America in 1998. I can only guess that Bank of America decided to stop sponsoring the service and the local phone company decided to remove the ETC device. I can tell by its new voice and style of reading the time that it’s an asterisk open source PBX. I have a lot of experience with asterisk and as it turns out, Pat Fleet has recorded a set of prompts and released it free for use with asterisk. I have re-created the sound of the time and temperature number with Pat Fleet’s voice and it sounds almost identical to the way is once sounded when calling 214-844-XXXX. I setup this asterisk script to give the time and temperature at 619-567-1500 (San Diego time and temp). I would really like to get in touch with the person responsible for the current system and give them the asterisk script and prompt files to recreate the old sound of it. The current system doesn’t even give the temperature. It is also a little rude, it just speaks the time and then hangs up. I suspect it may be someone at the telephone company responsible for the system. I’ve thought of trying to call. I can imagine getting through AT&T to the right person may be very difficult. If anyone would like the script, send a PM to me. Maybe in my free time I will try to find the person responsible and try to convince them to “restore” it.
landmark
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In NYC, IIRC, weather was WE 6-1212 and Time was ME(ridian) 7-1212. I remember staying up late as a kid one year and calling up the Time lady a few moments before the change to EST, thinking I would have her outsmarted...
nrgsan
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That time lady you called was very likely the late Jane Barbe and the system that played her voice was likely one from Audichron. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqkGUyFB7xA Audichron was purchased by ETC.
Marlin1894
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As I recall here it 84(TI)4-1414 for time and 93(WE)6 and any four for temp. Used to use it a lot especially for the time. I remember as a kid geting my first red LED watch (cutting edge technology at the time) and trying to get it to match up exactly with the recorded time message.
Woland
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Thanks, Chessmann, for bringing up this interesting topic.

Hi landmark,

I remember those phone numbers well.

When I lived in Paris, some years later, I discovered that the phone company offered a "wake up call" service. I think they charged just less than a dollar for it. I used it once, when I was worried about catching an early morning flight. I wonder if that was ever offered by a phone company over here?
Bob1Dog
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Quote:
On 2013-07-08 16:15, landmark wrote:
In NYC, IIRC, weather was WE 6-1212 and Time was ME(ridian) 7-1212. I remember staying up late as a kid one year and calling up the Time lady a few moments before the change to EST, thinking I would have her outsmarted...


I remember that too landmark. Didn't the time go something like this: At the tone the time will be 10:19 and ten seconds....." repeated every ten seconds?
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
landmark
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Yes, that's what I recall. And when it hit the minute, she'd go, "At the tone, the time will be, 10:20...exactly."
Bob1Dog
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Yup. Seems like times were much simpler then. Democrat and republican politicians were even civil to each other. Smile
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
foreva.infiniti
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Im not gonna lie when I first saw this title I thought it was some type of mathemagic to get a phone number from date and temp or something lol
Colors are Foreva. Numbers are Infinite. 4 every number there's a color. HEY! Eternity! Lets smoke a beer and drink some loud. But wait! I heard you was a six a plus a 6 ahhhh.
Payne
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Growing up we had a cable channel that only showed the date time and temperature 24\7. This was back in the late sixties so all the information was analog. It was a clock and temperature gage that slowly rotated in front of a fixed camera. I think there was wind speed and direction in there too.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
MobilityBundle
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The phone system is one of my favorite nostalgic topics. Smile

In Vegas, the number was 118. Interestingly, you didn't have to dial any additional digits... the system recognized those three digits as a complete number.

There was also very little-known code, 662. That powered down the phone line for 20 minutes. Presumably, it was for maintenance purposes. My teenage friends and I managed to find one or two other purposes. Smile

When the Vegas phone company first started offering this new idea called "voice mail," it was laughably insecure. They set up a dedicated exchange for voice mailboxes... 594-XXXX (and later, 593-XXXX). Any as-yet-unpurchased mailbox had a default password of XXXX (the last four digits of its number). Moreover, some voice mailboxes were "deluxe," in the sense that you can configure it to forward to another phone number. So, if one were so inclined, one could get free long distance calls by taking over such a mailbox.

Better end my reminiscing with that, before I get into *real* trouble. Smile
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