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   We have recently acquired a cordless telephone... (August 27, 1993)

We have recently acquired a cordless telephone and I am still getting used to it.

Unlike the regular telephone, which is just one compact instrument, the cordless has two instruments. One is a receiving set with several red lights that come on and off and an aerial that extends half way to the ceiling and comes in everybody's way. This instrument has a cord and the wire (cord) has to be extended to a plug and kept inserted in a socket like for any other telephone.

However, since the cordless telephone's cord has a plug that does not fit into our Indian sockets, we have fitted a new socket on the existing socket. The new socket also has a red light, so there are several red lights in the houses.

The cordless instruments itself is very small, like a pocket calculator, so small that most of the time you forget it is a telephone. This also has an aerial, but the aerial is inserted inside the instrument. When you dial, or receive a call, the aerial is inserted inside the instrument. When you dial, or receive a call, the aerial is pulled out, like a telescope, in three separate stages.

The cordless telephone itself folds into two and closes with a click, like a cigarette case, or one of those compact cases that ladies used one upon a time.

You have to press a lever for the instrument to open. Inside, besides the normal digits (1,2,3,4, etc) to call friends on, there are several other push-buttons, some with instructions such as some with instructions such as redial, automatic, manual, extension, others with just plus and minus signs. There are two lights, a green light that comes on most of the time, and a red light that comes on sometimes. Occasionally, the red light flickers.

Since the instructions are in Japanese, I have yet to figure out what to do with all the push-buttons and lights.

One more thing: the big instrument, the one that is plugged in, also functions as a telephone, thought you cannot dial from it. However, when a call comes, when you press a button, three more lights come on and the opposite party's voice comes out, like on a particularly high-volumed microphone, and fills the room. You can then sit at a distance and converse, everybody in the house listening in on your conversation.

And, one more point: the small instrument is to be kept in a socket of the large instrument for 15 hours a day in order to change the batteries. Since most of the time we forget to do so, the telephone does not function.

The actual use, however, is quite simple. When the phone rings, you rush to it and pull out the small instrument. One red light on the large instrument goes off and one red light on the small instrument comes on. Next, you push a lever on the small instrument from off to on, pull the aerial out of its telescopic socket and extend it to its limit, push another lever, on the same side on the instruments as the off-on lever, from p' to t' (Or is it from t' to p'?). Then you push a third lever and the telephone opens into two, like a cigarette case. Inside, you press a button and a green light comes on You adjust a dial from 1 (for low) to h (for high), this is the volume control, very important.

The trouble is, by the time you have gone through this entire process, you caller thinks there is nobody at home and disconnects.

 
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