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Author Topic: Does your "Time Number" still work?  (Read 1222 times)
Melooon
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« on: January 03, 2023 @27.38 »

Many countries, states and phone operators have a special phone number you can call to get the correct time and date - In past days someone used to actually pick up and tell you the time!

I know my local time number shut down years ago, but if you're in the UK they still have a working one (dial 123 apparently)! Many parts of the US do too! (You may need to check an old phone book to find it)

Isn't it TIME you called your local time number? :ha: (What time is it help!!?!?)
Also are there any other interesting numbers you remember calling? - I used to call the directory service number when I was about 6 because it was free and I enjoyed talking to the operator :tongue:

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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2023 @131.55 »

we had something called JAMJAM1, you could get the temperature, the time, and the weather. it's still up with the 901 area code!
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2023 @511.89 »

Still works in the Netherlands! They threw like 50 cents on top of my usual call charge though, but I guess that's the price of curiosity :ozwomp:
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2023 @841.20 »

It was called "Miss Time", but it doesn't work anymore at least in my region.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2023 @737.57 »

It still works for me! Or at least did about a year or so ago; I haven't checked it in a bit since it's in Fahrenheit and I prefer Celsius.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2023 @260.29 »

The old General Post Office in the UK also had the 160 number which gave the cricket scores, and Dial-a-Disc in the evenings. I used to record the best songs on a tape recorder but they were always horrible recordings.

A couple of good reasons for that. I was using a cheap recorder, I simple held the mic to the speaker and the telpehone system simply didn't have the bandwidth to do things like this.
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2023 @456.96 »

Germany here. I tried some of the ones listed on Wikipedia!

The Telekom one, which has been The Time Number for the longest time, now costs 20 ct. per call. You get greeted by the Telekom audio logo (a melody of five notes), then it greets you and slowly reads out the date. If you stay in line, it keeps saying "The next sound marks:", then the time, like, "10:54 and 10 seconds", and then it beeps when that time is, looping  in ten second intervals for up to two minutes, at which time it says goodbye and disconnects the call. 

There's also a free one apparently operated by the German city state of Hamburg, which is largely the same, and some operated by retro enthusiasts who use really old machines to do it the analog way.
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2023 @75.91 »

in northern california we had 767-2627! which was very clever as it spelled out POPCORN. although I think only the prefix mattered so you could call 767-1111 if you were lazy (or had a rotary phone like my grandmother had well into the 21st century) it was the first number i ever dialed, and i called her often, i'm not sure why. i must have done it a lot because i can still recite her (well yknow, the robovoice's) exact intonation. "at the tone, pacific daylight time will be, one, fifty six, and sixty-one seconds  :eyes: , BEEEEP"

i was sad when the service was discontinued in 2007, even though i probably hadn't called since the 90s and had no use for it. like i can't think of a reasonable use case right now, i just like redundancy. and nostalgia. supposedly it was discontinued to free up phone numbers, but i just called (for science) and nobody's using it.  :sad:

HOWEVER here in the u.s. of a., the national institute of standards & technology still has a time service! they're radio broadcasts, but there are numbers you can call - it's mostly tones and clicks but the current time (UTC) is announced each minute. literally only remembered this because i had it saved in my phone as "the time". do i need it? no. but i like that it exists
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023 @78.36 by lulu » Logged
Melooon
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2023 @93.00 »

I just tried calling some of these numbers via Skype and I can confirm they work; I now know the jamjam weather and I heard some very scientific information about boops that will be broadcast somewhere for metrological purposes  :happy:

Also, my computer's clock turns out to be correct! I will rest easy  :dog:
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