Bits & Bytes
WHAT? YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT A WOO-WOO TONE IS?
Having a hard time communicating with the techies who run your company's phone system? Mystified by such terms as pink noise, pure aloha, Gorizont, and woo-woo tone? Wondering if you're a null character? Perhaps Harry Newton can help. The New York-based writer says phone terminology has become an "obsession" of his--one that has led him to publish four editions of Newton's Telecom Dictionary in five years. The latest edition mushroomed to 704 pages and sells for $19.95 from Telecom Library Inc. in New York.
For the record, pink noise, containing an equal amount of power in each octave, sounds like the "shhhhhhh" of rainfall and is used for testing phone circuits. Pure aloha is a networking technique perfected in Hawaii. It lets many parties share a single communications channel without interfering with each other. Gorizont is a Russian satellite system. And woo-woo tone is what you hear on a phone line when the number you have called is unavailable. You already knew all that? Maybe you're not such a null character (page 432) after all.EDITED BY SUNITA WADEKAR BHARGAVA