It's what college is all about.
RECORD TIME: 20 days, 2 hours, 53
minutes, and 18 seconds without
If you don't care about the two-hour hiatus (see UPDATE UPDATE below)
or the second hang-up (see UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE below),
then you can follow this:
clock should be one hour more, but it is incorrect because of the
"Fall-back" time warp. Actually, since there was the two hour break, it
should only be one hour more. This is why I don't like math.
Final Count: 10*
8 Female, 2 Male
UPDATE!-- While preparing to test iChat A/V on Sunday
October 23, 2003 at about 7:23 PM, I accidently let the FireWire cable
touch the phone, only for a second. I soon heard the dreaded dial tone.
The connection was terminated. It's been fun, and I think we all
learned something about others and even ourselves. Until next time,
this is Wysz, hanging up.
UPDATE UPDATE!-- Brendan couldn't handle the ending of
this, so the phone is back online as of 9:20:03 PM on Sunday, October
26, 2003, after a hiatus of less than two hours.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!-- I went to test a DVD on Omar's
player, and I found that the phone was no longer in the hallway. It was
just sitting on the desk. I hung it up at 12:30 AM on Tuesday, November
Hanging out in Bill, John,
and Zach's suite one night, I called one of the rooms from the other,
and spoke with the answering machine. I then told the residents that
they could just leave the phones off the hook, and use it as an
intercom system. When one party would lift the phone, someone in the
other room could assume an English accent and say, "Room service,"
or—with a French accent—say, "Concierge." They decided not to implement
At 6:29:37 PM EST on October 6, 2003, I called Bill and John's
extension from my dorm phone, and told him not to hang up. This was the
beginning of an ongoing technological and social experiment. So far, we
have not been disconnected.
At first, the phone stayed on Bill's desk, and was basically used as an
intercom between the two rooms as well as an alternative to AIM chats.
None of the suite's residents are interesting, so I told them that they
should encourage any visitors to the room to pick up the phone.
Unfortunately, their only visitors were people that I already know. To
have fun with this experiment, I needed to talk to new people. I asked
Bill to put me in the hall.
At first, the phone sat on the floor or hung from the doorknob. Nobody
knew what to make of it, and I didn't hear from any strangers. I
concluded that the residents of McCoy were boring, and demanded that
Bill put me in the street. He was unable to comply with my request. In
an attempt to attract visitors to the phone, Zach decided to advertise.
He made a small sign and placed it next to the phone. After hearing
about the sign, I sent him this picture to place near the sign:
Brendan, a frequent visitor to the suite, saw the picture and was
inspired to make an improved poster to advertise me, "the talent." He
also figured out a way to hang the phone from the ceiling using a wire.
is the poster he created:
The poster, along with the messages Zach left on other people's
whiteboards, worked. Several curious passers-by have now spoken with
me. It's been fun, but it is shocking how many people
cannot understand the technical setup. It really is only a telephone.
This is what the current setup looks like, thanks to students of
the enginnering program at Johns Hopkins:
One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Doesn't it cost
anything?" I made the call from my campus extension to Bill's campus
extension. Neither of us even have a phone account here, which means
that we cannot call outside numbers. We can, however, use voicemail and
call other extensions on the same campus for free.
Another common question is, "Do you just sit there and wait for someone
to pick up the phone?" The answer is, "Yes, sort of." I leave the phone
on my desk, with the volume switch at the maximum setting. It is not a
speakerphone, but if someone speaks directly into Bill's phone, I can
hear it from anywhere in my room. When I hear a voice, I simply pick up
the phone and say, "Hello."
Since my phone is always off
the hook, I cannot check my voicemail from my room. One night, I
figured I should check it, so I used one of the phones on the outside
of my building to call the voicemail extension. These outdoor phones
are speakerphones, and they are LOUD. I think the entire upper quad
heard me checking, but it was about 4 A.M. on a weekday, so I was the
only person outside. I had no messages.
Want to know more? I have posted some conversation highlights in my blog.
Special thanks to Brendan Houle for adding some "secret sauce" to the
*The count indicates
the number of strangers
(people I haven't met previously) that I have spoken to during this
Wysz's Blog (and links to his other