January 29, 2001
1:31 PM   Subscribe

See? Y'all sent me off to TVTechnology, and I found something interesting... Remember a couple years ago -- The Day The Pagers Died? They died because Galaxy 4 fell over, which in turn was because its Satellite Control Processors broke.

Both of them. 4 other birds are down one processor; a total of 25 are in danger -- all built on the Hughes HM-601 satellite 'bus'. What is it we always say about genetic diversity being good? Wouldn't you hate to be the engineer on the hook for *this* 12 billion dollars?
posted by baylink (7 comments total)
maybe you are talking about a different kind of 'Pagers', but I always thought pagers died because cell phones became affordable and continued to shrink in size (making them easier to carry around).
posted by howa2396 at 2:15 PM on January 29, 2001

He means the day half of the pagers stopped working due to a broken satellite.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:41 PM on January 29, 2001

If all the pagers died, maybe we could stop wasting phone numbers on them.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:11 PM on January 29, 2001

Yeah, there's no reason for pagers to have a dedicated phone number. Just make it an 800 number with an extension.
posted by CrayDrygu at 3:53 PM on January 29, 2001

Baylink.... G4's spin out of control brings back REAL nasty flashbacks... I was working Satellite support when that happened. mandatory 12 hour shifts, no lunch, no break.. big fun.

What happened was that the primary trajectory control had been gone for awhile, and due to the cheap metal used a 'hair' had grown and actually shorted out the control. We were told that our backup G3R was in similar shape too... needless to say, I got a new job right quick.
posted by tj at 4:22 PM on January 29, 2001

Sounds like a good plan. *I*, for my part, was *shocked* to learn that *all* of PageNet's towers were downlinked from a ground station at Corporate in Houston. The local towers no longer have *any* direct way to talk to the local switch.

I had to hear that from the chief engineer (whom I knew) in detail, before I believed it.

What rocket scientist came up... oh. Yeah. Right.
posted by baylink at 7:47 PM on January 29, 2001

maybe we could stop wasting phone numbers on them.

The real reason all the numbers are gone is that the Bells divvy up numbers in increments of 10,000 (to organizations with local PBXes, cell phone companies, pager companies, etc, etc), even to organizations that only need a hundred or fewer. They're considering changing this policy to use increments of 1000 instead (they may have started this in some locations).
posted by daveadams at 11:27 AM on January 30, 2001

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