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The Bell System Technical Journal (archive.org)
148 points by walrus01 on Aug 13, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

Some selected numbers:

https://archive.org/details/bstj27-4-623 : "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", Shannon, C. E.

https://archive.org/details/bstj57-6-1991 : "UNIX Time-Sharing System: The C Programming Language.", Ritchie, D.M.; Johnson, S.C.; Lesk, M.E.; Kernighan, B.W.

https://archive.org/details/bstj39-6-1381 : "Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching.", Breen, C.; Dahlbom, C.A. (The famous/infamous issue which leaked the 2600 Hz tone to the world, forming the foundation of blue boxing and phreaking as a whole.)

More about the history of blue boxing: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-history/cyberspace/phreaking-...

The Esquire article, Secrets of the Little Blue Box by Ron Rosenbaum, (October 1971) which introduced the theory and phreaking to the world: http://www.lospadres.info/thorg/lbb.html

Wow, funny to see this here. I'm halfway through Exploding the Phone by Phil Lapsley, a history of phone phreaking, and the Bell System Technical Journal plays an important role, as you said!

Fun read, BTW.

The Unix Shell by S. R. Bourne: https://archive.org/details/bstj57-6-1971

I have the Unix ones in my dwindling collection of books. Sadly, every time I move they come closer and closer to not making the cut.

I highly recommend reading The Idea Factory. It's a fascinating historical account of Bell Labs and how they performed research.

Very good book. It’s astounding that the heritage of Bell Labs is so great that Unix only gets a mention in passing. It starts out with an overview of the American telecom monopoly in order to put Bell Labs into context, explains how they perfected the vacuum tube and where able to construct the type of amplifiers required for coast to coast communication, dwelves into Claude Shannon’s work and the role played by Bell Labs during the war years before dwelving into detail about how the transistor was invented.

All this work was first published in the Bell System Technical Journal.

There was also a Western Union technical review, but no one reads that.[1]

[1] http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/archives/technical/western-union-t...

Reading this from inside the old Bell Labs facility (now Bell Works) in Holmdel, NJ. Very cool to see

Wonder how the old 'Horn Antenna' on nearby Telegraph Hill is doing? Years ago, got a retired Bell Labs physicist named Dieter Marcuse to give me a walk-around tour of the thing. Now it's a National Monument but then it was viewed by engineers as a relic.

Modern wireless ISP equipment vendors have revived the horn antenna, in much smaller versions, for point to point and point-to-multipoint 5.x GHz applications:


Much better sidelobe rejection and front/back ratio performance than traditional parabolics. What's old is new again.

I know you're talking about the Holmdel Horn (steerable) used for earlier transatlantic satellite relay experiments. But there are still a great many sites across the USA with 6 GHz horns in place on towers, mostly doing nothing.

I have seen tower crews with cutting torches cutting up KS-15676 horn antennas because they're too big and bulky to economically get off a tower any other way.


Thanks for the links. It's sort of sad when, knowing how much precision work went into assembling and installing one of those old KS15667s, you then watch them being unceremoniously demolished with blow torches.

Wonder if a some point it may be possible to synthesize a compact, ultra wide-band, minimal side loops ultrahorn for HF. Focused 24dBd signals on 20 meters without the need for a yagi antenna farm would be nice.

I've seen some of the press materials about commercial real estate agencies repurposing the facility. How much of the space is still empty?

Oh crap. If there isn't already a hackerspace in part of it, I might need to move to New Jersey...

I've been to the region, but not to the specific site. It's really out in the suburbs, so hope you like driving a lot and everything being very spread out.

Surprisingly there are not the best choices and prices/competition for serious ISP connectivity in the building, for dedicated 1/10GbE business class IP transit with carriers that I would consider in the "top ten" list for transit providers. At least not compared to some places in/near Seattle, somewhere close to Infomart Dallas, or the suburban sprawl around Ashburn, VA.

I don't think there is, but there could be one hiding somewhere haha. Just recently started here and it's 2 million sqft :D

I don't know the official numbers, but just from looking around I'd say space is about 50% filled. They do have a lot of construction going on so lease numbers might be higher. It is a very cool office space

This little beauty https://archive.org/details/bstj39-5-1125 is, I believe, the first description of computer-generated random dot stereograms by Bela Julesz. Note that the original paper came with a free pair of Fresnel lenses stuck in an envelope at the end to help you fuse the images. Those were the days...

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