On Thu, Mar 29, 2001 at 12:26:46PM +0200, Philip Newton wrote:
> Chris Benson wrote:
> > (XXXX) YYYY-ZZZZ
> Wouldn't that be rather wasteful? After all, population is distributed
What are you wasting? Numbers? What is the cost of extra numbers?
Some people in small places have to type 8 digits instead of 3.
People in more populous places dial 8 instead of 7 AND DON'T HAVE TO
GET NEW SIGNS, STATIONERY, INFORM ALL CONTACTS EVERY YEAR OR TWO.
> unevenly. You have some cities with lots of inhabitants, and then you have
> rural areas with a much smaller population density. Does that mean that in
> rural areas, you (a) have an area code covering a *huge* area, or (b) waste
> lots of phone numbers? As I see, it's one or the other.
But you end up with the situation we've current got - everything is a
* London (after 10? 12? years) back with 1 code (01 -> 01 -> 011
-> 020) .
* Variable length area codes means a lookup table containing every code
because the system doesn't know what's area and what's number ... and
that table being consulted at every digit.
> Having short prefixes with many digits for big places and longer prefixes
> with fewer digits for small places seems to make sense to me. It's how
But it doesn't make for simple/fast/scalable computer programs :-(
* And when more numbers are needed because of the new business park/housing
estate/... ?? Have you never heard messages like: "You have called an
invalid number, 4 digit numbers starting with 5 now have a 62 on the front,
4 digit number starting with 4 now have 52 on the front, 5 digit numbers
starting with 2 now have a 7 on the front ...". Stamford Lincs. has
had several such changes, when I worked there the local printers loved
it: an extra Christmas every other April.
> However, USA and France seem to be doing all right with fixed-length numbers
The US numbering plan worked well for ~50 years, but is now showing signs
of stress: number exhaustion, overlapping area codes, and others. They are
looking at alternatives: 4/3/4, 3/4/4, ... but also appear to be mired
in UK-like short-termism.
Think ahead, think big: Vint Cerf was thinking big in the late '60s
with 32 bit IP addresses and got it way too small. He backed 128 bit
IP addresses in the early '90s.
> And all this has what to do with Buffy?
Keep awake at the back there!
Try dialing "Northumbria Police" on a number pad, it seems a lot
like the 8uffy code mentioned in another thread :-) (Using capitalisation
to denote 0/1 bits: oNe BiT eAcH lEtTeR = 010 101 0101 010101 = 01010101,
01010101 = "UU").