Tale from the Medieval times of telecommunications

Once upon a time there was an endeavour that some uniquely skilled citizens from the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia set out to undertake with some uniquely skilled citizens of a country across the Mediterranean Sea and far south the Dark Continent.

Ambassadors of the citizens were called for negotiations to the capital in Broeksel. However for the citizens from far south the Dark Continent the journey would be too long and costly, so the officers in Broeksel agreed to use some new technology called “video conference” via a bridge. That sounded great: They built a viaduct that can carry your image and voice from Europe to South Africa: wow!

But the technology was tricky and required some special practitioners to make it work. The practitioners asked for lots of knowledge about bizarre matters, like a number to call, service identification, an internet protocol number, and other funny stuff. They were taking VC, SIP, H.323, IP, Conference ID, *, #. No variations were crossing that bridge. Only video? Only voice? Maby call this number? What is your IP? Nothing. All the engineers and scientists were speechless and thousands of Eurotallers worth of equipment were no good for getting the video conference to work.

Suddenly a voice broke that silence and it was like the medicine man’s voice saying the words of blasphemy: “Why don’t we use Skype?” …

And they all lived happily ever after.

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3 Responses to Tale from the Medieval times of telecommunications

  1. KP Vlieg says:

    Why we don’t use Skype? Well, everybody knows by now you can’t expect privacy from public communication services and they get more limited as time passes. Building your own bridge may be the better option,but unfortunately also has some limitations …

  2. Peter Stollenmayer says:

    The tale does not let us know whether the blasphemy was crowned with success and if yes, we will never know what the chief controllers in the New World will do with the content of the conversation, which will probably sit in their archives forever.
    Is it a miracle that the old world systems not work? Were they bewitched? Is it a “Tower of Babel” problem, i.e. do we use too many “languages/codes”, which are not clearly enough defined? Is it a “Mirror, mirror on the wall” problem, i.e. are the two end-systems not compatible? Or is it a “Hänsel and Gretel” problem, where the path from one to the other place is distorted and the signals cannot properly reach the other side? We cannot even say that Europe caused the problem, since one side was “far South in the Dark Continent”.
    Why can we not simply do it as the Prince in Cinderella, who tested shoe and feet until they fitted. This means we define a “King” who makes sure that all technology used in his realm works together happily…

  3. Anastasius Gavras says:

    Several years later… another popular service provided by an OTT, and with the promise, “we can do everything better, richer (media) and cheaper (? is a paying service)” just proved to have the very same problems. This time the bridge tried to cover the distance to Brazil. Again all attempts to enjoy a proper and usable service failed. This time the keywords were different; can you see my screen?, mute your microphone, choose the right device, can you hear us?, send him a chat message.
    Bottom line… we lost again another hour (times 16 meeting participants) trying to make the system work. No luck.

    This time someone else broke the silence. “We will wait for 5G to fix that …”

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