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Jargon Buster - terms and acronyms explained

Discussion in 'Welcome & Introductions' started by Top Cat, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Forum Volunteer

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Englishman in Wales!
    Work in progress. Last updated: 26/07/2015

    The following is a glossary of terms used in forum posts. The first section relates to trueCall-specific terms, the second section relates to terms and abbreviations used on Internet forums in general.

    To minimise confusion and miscommunication, it is necessary to agree on standardised terms for trueCall features and usage. In general, where there are specific terms coined in trueCall's own documentation, these are adopted as the standard for this forum. Sometimes the forum coins a term which trueCall then adopts. Either way, we will be obliged if posters also use this standardised lexicon, and the administrators will edit posts where we believe understanding will be improved by use of the approved terms.

    This topic is not open to replies. Comments, corrections, and additions are welcome by Private Conversation message to me (click my avatar, then "Start a Conversation").

    trueCall Terminology & Abbreviations

    Call Blocker (AKA "Blocker")
    The trueCall version that superseded the Classic. See trueCall.

    The trueCall version tailored for protecting sufferers of dementia. See trueCall.

    CBL, Community Block List
    This is the answer to those pestilential callers who nobody wants to hear from (even if they are "only doing their job"). The CBL is compiled from numbers that frequently appear in users' zap lists (as uploaded by weblink). Subscribers to the ICP can opt to download the CBL as an addition to their zap list (not available to trueCall Classic users). Star and zap list entries take priority over CBL entries, so if you really want to hear from that call centre - you can star them! CBL entries do not eat into zap and star list memory limits.

    The original trueCall unit. See trueCall.

    Caller Line Identification is the telephone system technology that trueCall relies on (and would not be possible without). When the telephone network sets up an incoming call to the user's phone line, a data packet is sent along with the ringing signal that a suitably-equipped telephone can decode and display - traditionally the user can look at the incoming number and decide to ignore it, or be ready knowing who is calling before answering. The mobile phone network does this as standard, but it is an innovation on the landline phone network and only supplied on request (for a fee or as a benefit of an inclusive-calls contract). The trueCall unit uses the CLI to classify the incoming call and handle it appropriately on the user's behalf, although it can be used in a limited fashion without CLI by assuming all calls are potentially unwanted and passing them on to further screening (eg Whisper). See Star, Zap.

    Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency is the scheme used by tone-dialling land-line telephones to replace the old pulse-dialling technique. Before subscriber dialling, the user (ie the subscriber) had to alert an operator at the exchange and tell the operator what phone to connect to (eg "Whitehall 1212 please"). In the really early days that meant cranking a handle before taking the phone off-hook, which made a generator send a voltage down the line and ring a bell in the exchange, but later it was enough just to pick up the receiver (if you see a period movie/TV programme where the subscriber picks up the receiver and then crank the handle, they've got it wrong).

    When subscriber dialling came along, the required number was sent from the subscriber's phone to the exchange in a series of "line break" or "loop disconnect" pulses, created mechanically with the finger dial - the user turned it so far in one direction, then the phone circuit was interrupted the desired number of times with the required timing on the sprung return of the dial to the rest position (the original "hackers" could do this by carefully pulsing the phone hook, and bypass the payment system on a public phone in the process). This line-break mechanism was later made electronic, with button presses converted into a timed series of pulses - and this is what the "pulse" setting on a telephone still does (if it has one).

    The trouble with pulse dialling is that it takes quite a long time to send each digit as a string of pulses - the ten pulses representing a zero (for example) take one second, which may not sound very long, but using a keypad the user can input a complete STD number in a couple of seconds and then be waiting 15 seconds for the phone to send that number to the exchange, let alone the time for the connection to be made, which is frustrating in a fast-paced world. There is also a significant risk that pulses get lost, and wrong numbers were not uncommon.

    The solution is DTMF, also known as "touch tone", which sends a digit to the exchange at the moment the user presses a key by encoding the digit as an audio tone comprising a pair of frequencies chosen from one of three and one of four - twelve combinations in total covering the ten digits, and two spare which became used for the hash and star keys.

    An upgrade package available for the Classic. See trueCall.

    The Internet Control Panel provides management and monitoring of the user's trueCall unit via the Internet, using any web browser (computer, tablet, smart phone...) from anywhere. The trueCall unit periodically (or on demand) syncs with the ICP by weblink. The ICP is a subscription service (free for the first year of trueCall ownership), offers more detailed control than is available using the telephone handset menus, and provides access to the call logs. For further information see Frequently Asked Questions (click). See also Weblink.

    IP (1)
    Intellectual Property - the product of a creative process with no physical form. For example: computer software, definitions for creating electronic chips... even e-books. IP has value and takes effort to create, so the means to control its circulation and obtain payment from those authorised to use it is of key interest.

    IP (2)
    Internet Protocol - one of the fundamental building blocks of computer networking and the Internet. Commonly encountered as "IP Address", which refers to a 32-bit binary number (128-bit in IPv6) used to identify locations on a network.

    Plain Old Telephone System describes the conventional system of telephone communication where information is conveyed by voltages and currents on the telephone line, only requiring one connection (and a return path which could be an earth connection). Broadly speaking, it is unchanged since the telephone was invented, and even a very old phone would work on the phone network. As facilities were added, they were added in a way which did not compromise the existing system - for example, subscriber dialling was originally a series of line disconnections which could be detected at the exchange, and then when a faster system was wanted dialling tones were generated, but the pulse dialling system still works. Exchanges went digital years ago and now only the link between the subscriber and their local exchange is POTS (being converted to/from digital at the exchange's line interface), and eventually even the link to the subscriber may become digital (see VOIP).

    The trueCall version tailored for recording calls. See trueCall.

    Robocall / Robocaller
    A type of telepest where the call comprises an automated announcement. See Telepest.

    The trueCall version tailored for night workers. See trueCall.

    Star, Star List
    There are subtleties, but broadly speaking the trueCall unit classifies incoming calls as "friend", "foe", or "unclassified" and then handles them according to rules set up by the user (typically "friend" will be allowed through, "foe" will go unanswered, and "unclassified" allowed to leave a message or asked to identify themselves). The Star List is the register of phone numbers to be regarded as "friend" (AKA "white list"), and "Star" is the action of adding a caller to the star list by pressing the telephone star key (*) during the call. See also Zap, CLI.

    Subscriber Trunk Dialling, usually used to describe the area code that prefixes a local telephone number - eg 0117 for Bristol, or 01242 for Cheltenham. "Subscriber" because this dates from when dialling took over from asking the operator to place the call, and "trunk" refers to the connections between telephone exchanges rather than local calls handled connecting one local phone line to another within the one exchange.

    The collective term for nuisance callers - call centres, telesales, market research, whatever.

    trueCall is the generic name for the devices (there are various editions - see below) and the name of the company that makes them. Note that the lower-case t and the upper-case C are intrinsic to the registered name, and no other representation is acceptable. This forum is set up to automatically display the word "trueCall" in that way (whatever case the poster used when typing).

    The trueCall editions are:
    • Classic - the original unit available up to Autumn 2012;
    • Call Blocker (AKA "Blocker") - the modern equivalent (and updated) Classic;
    • Care - a version tailored for protecting sufferers of dementia;
    • Slumber - a version tailored for night workers;
    • Recorder - a version tailored for recording calls.
    The Classic has an upgrade package available in the form of the Extra add-on, and all editions (except Recorder!) can be upgraded with a Recorder package. The identifying difference between the Classic and subsequent editions is the lack of a physical volume control on the Classic. Late Classic units were shipped with the Extra package included. Call Blocker (etc) already has the Extra functionality (and more). For further information see Frequently Asked Questions (click).

    Voice Over Internet Protocol is a system for transmitting telephone signals using Internet technology, for which there needs to be a conversion process at each end of the line. Telephone exchanges have communicated between each other digitally for many years, and have to perform the conversion to POTS at the line interface where each subscriber line is handled. VOIP brings the digital connection to the subscriber, where an adapter to a normal telephone or a digital telephone with the adapter built in would be required. Skype is a form of VOIP. See also POTS.

    This is the operation where the trueCall unit interacts with the computer servers at trueCall via a phone call. By default these are only triggered manually, but can be set to occur automatically in the middle of the night monthly, weekly, daily etc (if the user has an inclusive calls phone contract the weblink calls are free, so they might as well be daily), and/or in response to specific events such as an unanswered call or a message being left.

    Manual weblinks are triggered by:
    • Press and hold the main button on the trueCall unit until the voice announcement "weblink started";
    • From a phone handset start to access messages then press "*" and hang up;
    • From an outside phone ring home, start to access messages then press "*" and hang up.
    During the weblink: the unit sends the call logs to the servers, sends updates to the zap and star lists that were made locally, sends changes to the configuration made locally via the telephone handset menus; then downloads updates to the zap and star lists and configuration settings that were made on the ICP. Thus call logs available on the ICP are only as up-to-date as the last weblink, and a weblink is required before zap/star and configuration changes made on the ICP become active on the trueCall unit. See also ICP.

    A trueCall call screening method which acts like a receptionist and asks a caller to announce themselves before the phone extension is rung. The householder is then played the name that the caller gave before the call is connected through, and has a chance to reject the call if desired.

    Subscribers to the ICP can define star and zap entries that catch (for example) all numbers starting "020" (Greater London) using the wildcard entry "020*". Non-wildcard entries take priority over wildcard, so the user can (for example) wildcard star their local STD code and still zap specific telepests from the local area. This feature is not available to trueCall Classic users, unless the Extra package is installed.

    Zap, Zap List
    There are subtleties, but broadly speaking the trueCall unit classifies incoming calls as "friend", "foe", or "unclassified" and then handles them according to rules set up by the user (typically "friend" will be allowed through, "foe" will go unanswered, and "unclassified" allowed to leave a message or asked to identify themselves). The Zap List is the register of phone numbers to be regarded as "foe" (AKA "black list"), and "Zap" is the action of adding a caller to the zap list by pressing the telephone hash key (#) during the call. See also Star, CLI.

    Internet Forum Terminology & Abbreviations

    As Far As I Know

    Also Known As

    Crowd Sourced
    A method of deriving consensus information by pooling contributions from a large population of contributors. By only accepting information on which a significant proportion agree, it is possible to eliminate erroneous data.

    If I Remember Correctly

    In My (Humble) Opinion

    Orginal Post / Poster - referring to the first post in the topic (or a specific subject within the topic), or the person who posted it.
  2. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Forum Volunteer

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Englishman in Wales!
    This topic is closed
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