“Give me back my 1996 – part 1”: programming a pager in 2021Кристиан Георгиев
In order to broaden my horizons and just for fun, I decided to study in detail the technology of their work and try to implement message delivery on my own.
Not everyone will understand, few will remember – the phrase is most accurately applicable to pagers. The last paging operators in the CIS ceased to exist at least 10-15 years ago, meanwhile a whole generation of people has grown up who have not seen pagers even in the movies and have no idea what it is. However, they never gained much popularity, because they appeared too late, when SMS-enabled mobile phones began to rule the ball. In fact, such devices appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, however, as a means of personal communication, they became most widespread only by the end of the 80s (in the west), and in the CIS – by the middle of the 90s. A typical representative is Motorola Bravo: Paging operators had special telephone numbers and call https://jiji.ug/hair-beauty/straight centers where they could call to send a message to someone. In the first part, I propose to “remember everything” and look under the hood of the pager to set it up and prepare it for receiving messages, because almost 30 years of lying on the electronics shelf do not pass without a trace. As the name implies, these pagers allow you to display not only numbers, but also letters, i.e. full text messages. A pager is a passive digital receiver that can only receive and display messages.
This type of pager received the greatest variety of brands, models and
distribution among the people due to its relative cheapness (thanks to the progress of electronics at the end of the century). These gadgets were produced with a variety of features for any wallet, so they were often a reason for show-off. For those who have forgotten or did not know at all, pagers are small portable gadgets for receiving any information at a distance using radio waves.
Alphanumeric (alphanumeric) pagers – this is actually what pops up in the memory of most people familiar with those times at the word "pager", and This is exactly what my post is about. Personally, I have never seen these twagers live, but they looked something like this: Depending on the size of the display, the most basic and cheap versions could display 1-2 lines of text, 4-line models were considered cooler and more status, and 8-line models were considered something incredibly spacey. This is how the NEC 21A-Maxima, which was quite popular at the time, looked like this: This made it possible to slightly expand the options for interacting with the recipient, for example, sending him a pre-negotiated code or a phone number where you need to call back. The principle of operation of pagers is extremely simple: each pager was assigned a special subscriber number (a number of 4-5-6 digits), and the pager, in turn, was assigned to some paging operator, to which the owner of the pager had to pay the established monthly subscription fee (subscription in modern language) for the ability to receive messages. Even at the end of the paging era, twagers appeared, which allowed not only to receive, but also to send messages. This is a one-way type of communication, in which the recipient can only receive messages and cannot respond to them, i.e. Historically, early mass pagers were tone, they were also called beepers and were a primitive battery-powered clothespin that began to beep when a "message" was sent to its owner. In general terms, for this it was necessary to do the following steps:
"Give me back my 1996 – part 1": programming a pager in 2021
The next stage of development was numeric (numeric) pagers, which could not only squeak and vibrate, but also display some numbers on a small display. It was assumed that the recipient, upon receipt of this, already knows in advance what they want from him and what he should do (for example, a doctor – to return to his post, a policeman / firefighter – to his unit, etc.). In addition to just beeping, some models of such pagers could play voice messages (they worked like an addressable walkie-talkie). A typical example of such a device is Motorola Pageboy II: The material for my next crazy experiments turned out to be impressive in size, so I had to break it into pieces.