telephone dial tones

Is there a purpose for the pulse dial tone you can select on telephones? What difference does it make, and why? Does anyone actually have a preference for pulse over dial?

Not everyone HAS Tone telephone service- At my parents home in Rural Pennsylvania, they just finally got touch tone service last year- for a few years previously, it was an extra charge per month, and prior to that it wasn’t even available- in some places it still isn’t.

Tone diallinig is much quicker, as you probably know;I would imagine people only use pulse when they have no choice.

Pulse dialing was used on phones with a rotary dial. You turn the dial to a number and let it go, and it made a certain number of clicks as it rotated back. This was a great mechanical solution for dialing before electronic tones became so easy. Many tone phones let you select pulse dialing in order to compatible with the old-style switches.

I’m surprised to hear that anywhere in the US still hasn’t converted to tone, but I don’t doubt it.

i recall that at some point tone service was an optional extra (im in new york city). what i wonder (too lazy to check) is if it is still a chargeable item on my bill, and whether, if i asked them (verizon) to take it off would i have it anyway.

There are some rural areas that still don’t have Tone phone systems, believe it or not. There are some around where I live.

The neat thing about pulse dial and rotary dial phone comapnies (and, I heard you can still do this with tone, backward compatibility being an issue) is that, if you count the clicks, it corresponds to the number. You can dial out by tapping the hookswitch in correspondence to the number you are dialing, pausing between each digit. My parents had an old rotary phone that they put a dial lock in (to keep me off the phone) and I could still dial by tapping the hookswitch.

Hehe. That’s how we dialed out on our military telephones from the tents when we were connected to the base’s public telephone system! Eventually I got smart and bought a Radio Shack tone dialer, since tapping the switch hook wasn’t all that dependable, especially dialing the big numbers.

Oh yeah, I meant to add that as far as “backwards compatibility,” if you use an old, hand-generator-cranked phone on a modern system, it’s supposed to be able to get you an operator.

In NYC touch tone is standard there should be no charge on your bill - if you are still paying you can get your money back + intrest