[registrars] Telephones and earthquakes.
For those of you who have heard of our recent volcanic and earthquake
activities, you may want to visit son William's http://www.geology.com
site. For earthquakes, click on the left margin under "earthquakes" and
select University of Edinburgh.
Scroll down to today's date and "18:57 NEAR S. COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN 5.7
Mb 10.0 (Good)". Click on the hypertext and you'll be taken to Xerox
PARC in Palo Alto, CA. Click on the map several times and zoom into the
larger scale maps. You might even be able to pull down the following directly.
This quake affected the offshore island Kozushima. It is near Miwakejima,
where there was concern about a possible volcanic eruption last week.
This morning the 07:00 NHK news was showing it as magnitude 6.4. However,
they is probably on the empirical Japanese scale (1=imperceptible,
2=rattles the shoji screen, etc.) The one on the Edinburgh list was
What does this all mean to you who are contemplating coming to Japan? Who
am I to say, a native Californian who has lived in Tokyo for 29 years? I
am rather blase about quakes. The modern hotels in Yokohama were built
after the most recent upgrade in the building codes. In the dreadful Kobe
quake of about ten years ago, single family residences built in the prior
ten years had little serious damage, no collapsed floors, no collapsed
roofs (lighter roofing materials than the traditional heavy tiles). The
worst damage was broken water pipes.
My suggestion, don't consider staying away from these important meetings,
I'd rather be here any time than in Cairo;-}
Oh, there's so much to say about the differences. Let me try.
1. The Japanese pay phones use 10 yen and 100 yen coins. The 500 yen
feature has been closed up because people were able to alter the Korean 500
Won coin enough to fool NTT. (It's worth about one-fifth of the Japanese
100 yen coin.) The phone also uses phone cards, available in denominations
of 500 yen up. (They, too, have been altered so that there are none over
1,000 yen any more.)
1a. The ten yen coin is copper red, a bit larger than a U.S. penny, [value
US 9 cents]. The 100 yen coin is silver, a bit smaller than a US quarter
[value US 90 cents]. Neither have a hole in the middle. The brass coin
with a hole is 5 yen, the aluminum one is 1 yen, the silver coin with the
hole is 50 yen. The NTT phone does not make change, use 10 yen coins to
minimize your loss;-}
1b. Vending machines are found in many places where you can obtain a phone
card. You'll also find them at major tourist spots like the Great Buddha
in Kamakura -- with photos of important places.
2. The Tokyo and Osaka exchanges use eight digits local dialing, as do the
cell phones. The area code for Yokohama is 045. From abroad, dial
+81-45-+++. The area code for the 23 wards of Central Tokyo is 03, Osaka
is 06 for its central city.
3. You can use the area code even when you are in the area. That is, in
Tokyo you can put 03 in front of the number and it will work just as
well. In the days of packet switching and local bulletin boards (1983 to
1995), conventional wisdom said you got a more reliable connection if we
put 03 in front of the dialup number.
4. There are two kinds of personal phones, PHS and Keitai (cell
phones). In either case, the *caller* not the recipient, pays the
surcharge for personal phone calls. The prefixes are 090 for cell phones
and 070 for PHS. If you call one from a pay phone, you'll see your money
count down quickly if you use your phone card. You may be cut off abruptly
if you use coins -- keep a 10 yen coin handy and insert it quickly when you
hear a tone.
4a. The Personal Hand Sets (PHS) are line of sight from an
antenna. Antennae are installed on coke machines, coffee machines and pay
phone booths. You can see 1 to 3 antennae on a pay phone as you walk down
the street. Each antenna can accommodate up to ten calls. You must stay
relatively stationary when using a PHS.
4b. The Keitai (pronounced "Kay Tie") use cellular antenna arrays. These
are the ones which are moving quickly to receive and send Email, surf the web.
5. Most pay phones have dataports! You'll find an analog and ISDN dataport
on most green and gunmetal pay phones (not the pink phones in restaurants.)
6. In a separate posting, I've told about the 0990 number where you can
dialup and pay a surcharge of 20 yen per minute for Internet Access. Here
it is again:
The access number is 0990-611-000. DNS is 188.8.131.52 with username
"guest" and password "guest". If you have any questions the Chrisscross
office number is (03)3237-3626.
All for now.
BobC, a Caltech grad who takes his earthquakes (Ji Shin) in stride.