April 16, 2005
A race to the wire as old hand at Morse code beats txt msgrs
By Mark Henderson
DOTTY and old-fashioned means of communication can still be the best:
Morse code has seen off the challenge of the text message in a contest
pitting the best in 19th-century technology against its 21st-century
The race to transmit a simple message, staged by an Australian museum,
was won — at a dash — by a 93-year-old telegraph operator who tapped it
out using the simple system which was devised by Samuel Morse in 1832
and was the mainstay of maritime communication up until 1997.
Gordon Hill, who learnt to use the technique in 1927 when he joined the
Australian Post Office, easily defeated his 13-year-old rival, Brittany
Devlin, who was armed with a mobile phone and a rich vocabulary of text
message shorthand. Mr Hill, whose messages were transcribed by another
telegraph veteran, Jack Gibson, 82, then repeated the feat against three
other children and teenagers with mobile phones.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics
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