Found my old pager!

Post by Mark

Yesterday while going through some old boxes at my parents place I found my old pager from high school (circa 1994/1995). I didn’t know I still had it so was pretty surprised to find it. I looked around the device to see what kind of charging cable I needed but I couldn’t find a charging port. Then I remembered it used regular batteries so I popped open the battery cover and inserted one AA battery and lo and behold, the pager turned on!

For those of you too young to know what a pager is or how it works, it was basically a device that was used before mobile phones when you wanted to talk to someone. Every pager had a phone number and when you called it, the number you’re calling from would display on the pagers screen. The pager owner would then call back the number when they were near a phone to see who called. When you would call a pager, the automated answering system would also ask you if you wanted to leave an optional 3 digit code. That 3 digit code would show up on the persons paging device when you called. So usually you would assign different codes to different friends, so say my best friend would use “666” that way when I get a page and I see “666” after the phone number, I know it’s my best friend trying to get a hold of me. If you left “010” it basically meant fuck you, “911” meant it was urgent and I’m sure there were other numbers that also had other meanings.

What I also remembered was how when you got a page you’d go looking for a shop that would let you use their phone so you could call back the number from. I mostly ended up using the phones at baqalas but it was also an issue the other way around. Sometimes you would use the phone of a shop or a baqala to page a friend, and then you’d just wait at the place near the phone for your friend to call you back.

The pager model I had I think was the most popular (Panasonic EK-2097), but I think there were only ever two models of pagers available to choose from back then. There were no private telecom companies, the pager I have was from the government operated Mobile Telephone Systems Co. (K.S.C.) which I think later became Mobile Telecommunications Company (M.T.C.) which later became Zain. If I’m wrong, let me know in the comments.

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9 comments, add your own...

  1. MarhabaCFK says:

    Would’ve been interesting had you mentioned if it still worked! (That’s if you remembered its number and called to check)

  2. AJ says:

    The fact that you had to explain how this device worked made me feel seriously old!

    • Arva says:

      I agree. It gave me a feel that I existed in some ancient times.

      BTW, I have my pager too. Sentimental value!

  3. Max says:

    I have mine too. I wish they work it’ll be a great device for when you have a dead battery and you want to check who’s calling xD

  4. Dun says:

    Had the exact same pager too. 420 was my fav code to receive.

  5. Love says:

    143 code
    I love you.

  6. Bu_Jassem says:

    man those were the time, i think service is 10k.d, if not mistaken, back in 90s.

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