Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Lost Art of Pager Texting

Picture it. Mid/late 90's, and teenagers have yet to enter the age of the cellphone. (gasp) So what did we have? How did we survive? Well, we had something called a "Pager." It was quite in interesting gadget for those of us that remembered it. A caller would call your pager number, and leave his number. Your pager would then go off with that person's number. Cool huh? Ya, it got cooler. You see, now-a-days, cellphones or even other electronical gizmos allow text messeging with no issue, for a small price ofcourse. Our pagers did not have a text option... or did it?

It was either some genius, or some really bored teen, developed a way for each number to be read as a letter. So instead of putting in your phone number when calling, you would quickly dial a series of numbers (and IIRC the # sign for spaces) into short sentences. Here is the conversion:
A=2
B=8
C=6
D=0
E=3
F=3
G=6
H=4
I=1
J=6
K=15
L=7
M=177
N=17
0=0
P=9
Q=2
R=12
S=5
T=7
U=11
V=11
W=111
X=?
Y=4
Z=2


Some of these might seem weird, but you need to remember, that digital numbers on the pager looked like a calculater, and the number 4, looked like an H missing the left leg. The A is 2 because a 2 looks like a Times New Roman lower case a. You will also notice that many of the numbers obviously repeat itself. Well, there was no real way to avoid this and the reader would have to try different ways of reading the messege till they got it. Eventually, you would get used to a certain number sequences, and have no problems reading it. Here is an example:

111133 is WIFE.

The reader would probably need a bit to see wheather thats a W, a U, V, I's or L's. Most of the time, it isn't a problem since you read the word in the context of a sentence, and you can pretty much figure it out. I remember, my wife, then my girlfriend, and I would page one another during the day with silly little messeges:

1 177155 11= I MISS U
434 611713 = HEY CUTIE
143= The Universal "I love you"
6211 1773 1114317 11 637 401773 = CALL ME WHEN YOU GET HOME

or sometimes, when we had a fight and I would not apologize, I would get a:

1 4273 11= I HATE U

Those were fun days. I miss paging my wife. There was something special getting a pager messege, much more then receiving a call today. I guess it has something to do with the person actually taking some time to figure out something cute, creative and short to say. Also, with the cellphones, you sometimes don't have the patience to talk to anyone. With the pager, that wasn't an issue. This system is also handy if you want to write something to someone without anyone reading it later. You can pretend to be some secret agent. I know Ezzie likes to pretend he's one.

So there you have it. Thats what we used to do back in my high school days. I'm really not sure how many people actually did this. I know my group of thugs did it, and they got it from somewhere else, but I also know there were quite alot of others that had no idea about it. Anyways, it was fun. And that's all that is important.

30 Bonus Ezzie points to whoever can decipher this:

41112124 119 2170 1190273 401112 8706 62177337

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