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How this works

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What is this on-line tool good for?

The DialABC phone number key pad finger movement diagram drawer doo-hickey thingy (we are still looking for a good name) takes a phone number and draws a picture showing the sequence of keys that would be pressed on a phone key pad by somebody dialing that number.

The picture shows what keys are pressed and in which order. It shows this information in a graphical way rather than just showing a sequence of numbers. In doing so, it illustrates the geometrical relationships of the keys pressed when dialing the phone number.

Who would use something like this and why?

Some numbers are easier to dial than others because of the geometric relationships between the numbers on the phone key pad. It is these relationships that make a phone number easier or harder to dial or to remember.

Depending on what you are using the phone number for, you may care a great deal about how easy it is to dial a phone number.

Sometimes, it is important that a phone number should be easy to dial. For instance, when a business advertises its phone number, it is usually in the business' best interest to make this phone number easy to remember AND easy to dial, the general idea being that if you want to receive orders from customers, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact you, especially in a competitive environment.

At other times, a phone number is intentionally chosen so that it is hard to dial (by accident). "911", for instance, is such a number: easy and quick to dial if you intend to dial it, and almost impossible to dial by accident since the "9" and "1" are on opposite corners of the key pad. Even if you were to moosh the key pad randomly with your fingers or some other object and managed to hit the "9" and "1", you would then have to release the "1" and press it again in order to dial "911".

Finally, you may be looking for a mnemonic for a phone number -- something to help you, your friends or customers to remember that number.

As you can imagine, much thought, effort, and money has gone into this seemingly trivial yet obscure problem. If you need to deal with this, DialABC can help.

How does it work?

This is essentially how it works:

  • Using your web browser, you enter a phone number into a form on our web site.
  • Our software cleans up the number you entered by throwing out any characters that are not decimal digits.
  • A diagram is generated by painting the sequence of keys onto a picture of a phone key pad. A certain amount of magic goes into placing the the dots representing the phone number in such a way that the resulting diagram looks half way decent. (This is "fun part" for us).
  • The diagram is stored in a image data file on our web server.
  • Our web site software then sends a web page containing that picture back to your web browser.

As usual, there are many different ways in which the same information can be presented. This is one of them. In future, we may offer some other formats as well.

We are also thinking about adding a way to automatically score a phone number by how easy it is to dial and we would love to hear your suggestions on this topic.

By the way, we are also looking for a name for this tool.

More Questions?

If you have a question about this tool not answered here, have a look at the frequently asked questions.

Last updated Tuesday December 11 2012
For more info contact Zeebar Technology Services, Inc..
(C) Copyright 1996-2006 by Helmut Hissen and Zeebar Technology Services, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Zeebar Technology Services, Inc