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(Boing Boing)   Back in the day we used to use "modems" to get "on-line". It used to take all night to download a single pixelated picture of your mom. Here is an illustrated explanation of the funny sounds these modems made   (boingboing.net) divider line 154
    More: Interesting, online, modems  
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7690 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Feb 2013 at 5:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-01 06:41:17 PM

Veritas333: I use five modems every day at work to communicate with traffic signals. Stupid DOS program hangs up with AT H instead of ATH, took me a while to find a modem that would understand it... Still works than the windows 95 program...


Heh, while we don't use it every day, we still have a modem and a 486 machine with only DOS on it to remotely access a couple of our customers internal paging system so we can update it and make major changes if need be.

Still don't understand why the hell Zetron (company that makes a lot of paging equipment) forces you to use DOS based programs to control their systems. I mean their equipment is freaking everywhere and they still requires the use of plain old serial ports, dial up modems, and DOS based software.
 
2013-02-01 06:42:48 PM
If I wanted to hear that annoying noise I would turn on the speaker on my fax machine, but I don't so I won't.
 
2013-02-01 06:43:48 PM

unyon: Rising Ape: RexTalionis: I'm sorry, but do you not use a modem now to go online?

Indeed you do, unless you're lucky enough to have fibre to the home or in a bizarre enough situation to be still using ISDN.

Can't tell how fast your ADSL modem has connected by listening to the handshake, though.

Actually, If you're on DSL or cable, you don't use a modem.  That term refers to devices that  MOdulate and DEModulate tones over a PSTN.

We just keep calling that device that connects to the outside world a modem, because it's a generally understood term.  But unless you're on dialup, they no longer do what the name implies.


Thank you for saving me keystrokes.

/first modem was 300 baud, and no that's not the same as 300 bps
 
2013-02-01 06:45:05 PM

12349876: I remember when the iPhone 5 was a huge upgrade from the iPhone4.


I remember when going from Polaroid B&W to Polaroid color was a big deal.  The color film packs even had a radical new battery called "lithium ion".
 
2013-02-01 06:45:10 PM

xenomorpheus: MrEricSir: Mikey1969: 300baud: Uncle Pooky: I remember when getting a 14,400 baud modem was a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember days when hard drives were a "new" copncept, modems were somethign only the programming teacher had, and color CRT monitors were a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember days when wheels were a "new" copncept, fire was somethign only the cooking teacher had, and colored fabric was a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember the day saw a large  black rectangular object and started killing other chimps with bones and stuff.


Noob.

I remember God mumbling something about creating something new called "dirt".
 
2013-02-01 06:45:36 PM
i remember paying $600 for my hst courier 16.8k modem and the amiga 500 it went to was $400 in 1992.
 
2013-02-01 06:49:29 PM

Uncle Pooky: I remember when getting a 14,400 baud modem was a significant upgrade.


And several hundred dollars.
 
2013-02-01 06:52:16 PM

Lord Dimwit: Marcus Aurelius: xenomorpheus: very nice graphic, I need to see about making one of these for my company's dial-up network service and our bearer services.  I think my 286 was the first computer I had that I added a modem to so I could scour BBS systems

for you kids out there, BBS was , aw hell go wiki it already

Positive luxury.  I had to solder a pair of Motorola serial I/O chips onto the motherboard of a Commodore 8032 and write my own comm routines in 8 bit assembler to get onto the local BBS.

And we were glad.

I can't remember who said it but I always liked the quote (paraphrased here): "the problem with modern programmers isn't that they can't stuff a device driver into a spare 24 bytes they found in unused scratch memory, but that they won't even try."


There were times when I agonized over less memory than that.  And you're right, a computer geek today has no concept of some of the underlying technologies that are still there, but under so many layers of microcode and OS software that they're invisible.
 
2013-02-01 06:53:19 PM
Trumpet Winsock was the bane of my existence.
 
2013-02-01 06:55:55 PM

Rapmaster2000: [tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com image 548x264]

Allow me to open my browser.  I'm going to Webcrawler to search for some Pamela Anderson pics.


Nuts to your new-fangled graphical interface.  80 columns is all I will ever need ...

www.compmiscellanea.com
 
2013-02-01 06:56:13 PM
My first experience with digitally transmitted porn was through Amateur Radio SSTV at the Heathkit store where I worked. Lots of weird Star Trek stuff that still haunts my dreams.
 
2013-02-01 06:57:36 PM

styckx: Trumpet Winsock was the bane of my existence.


I HATED that program.  Whatchamacallit TCP/IP came out and kicked their asses in about 1991 if I recall.
 
2013-02-01 07:01:38 PM
PROCOMM+ FTW
 
2013-02-01 07:02:00 PM

unyon: Actually, If you're on DSL or cable, you don't use a modem. That term refers to devices that MOdulate and DEModulate tones over a PSTN.

We just keep calling that device that connects to the outside world a modem, because it's a generally understood term. But unless you're on dialup, they no longer do what the name implies.


Sorry, they do exactly what the name implies. That's why we call them that. Just like I call you a dumbass, not because it's implied, but because you are. Aren't you a pretty feverish Space Nutter too? That would explain your limited grasp on high school level fundamentals.
 
2013-02-01 07:03:41 PM

23FPB23: PROCOMM+ FTW


Don't you mean +++?
 
2013-02-01 07:04:24 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Lord Dimwit: Marcus Aurelius: xenomorpheus: very nice graphic, I need to see about making one of these for my company's dial-up network service and our bearer services.  I think my 286 was the first computer I had that I added a modem to so I could scour BBS systems

for you kids out there, BBS was , aw hell go wiki it already

Positive luxury.  I had to solder a pair of Motorola serial I/O chips onto the motherboard of a Commodore 8032 and write my own comm routines in 8 bit assembler to get onto the local BBS.

And we were glad.

I can't remember who said it but I always liked the quote (paraphrased here): "the problem with modern programmers isn't that they can't stuff a device driver into a spare 24 bytes they found in unused scratch memory, but that they won't even try."

There were times when I agonized over less memory than that.  And you're right, a computer geek today has no concept of some of the underlying technologies that are still there, but under so many layers of microcode and OS software that they're invisible.


It still freaks me out that there are people who have degrees in software engineering and have never manually managed memory. At the other end of the spectrum, I've met people who can't see the forest for the trees and get so hung up on minute details that they forget that computer science has very little to do with computers themselves...(another favorite quote: "computer science is to computers as astronomy is to telescopes").

Basically what I'm saying is that in my day it was better and young people don't know anything and are good for nothing.
 
2013-02-01 07:04:44 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: unyon: Actually, If you're on DSL or cable, you don't use a modem. That term refers to devices that MOdulate and DEModulate tones over a PSTN.

We just keep calling that device that connects to the outside world a modem, because it's a generally understood term. But unless you're on dialup, they no longer do what the name implies.

Sorry, they do exactly what the name implies. That's why we call them that. Just like I call you a dumbass, not because it's implied, but because you are. Aren't you a pretty feverish Space Nutter too? That would explain your limited grasp on high school level fundamentals.


I'd like to step in and modulate this exchange at this point.
 
2013-02-01 07:09:25 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Lord Dimwit: Marcus Aurelius: xenomorpheus: very nice graphic, I need to see about making one of these for my company's dial-up network service and our bearer services.  I think my 286 was the first computer I had that I added a modem to so I could scour BBS systems

for you kids out there, BBS was , aw hell go wiki it already

Positive luxury.  I had to solder a pair of Motorola serial I/O chips onto the motherboard of a Commodore 8032 and write my own comm routines in 8 bit assembler to get onto the local BBS.

And we were glad.

I can't remember who said it but I always liked the quote (paraphrased here): "the problem with modern programmers isn't that they can't stuff a device driver into a spare 24 bytes they found in unused scratch memory, but that they won't even try."

There were times when I agonized over less memory than that.  And you're right, a computer geek today has no concept of some of the underlying technologies that are still there, but under so many layers of microcode and OS software that they're invisible.


Speaking of, you should read The Story of Mel, if you haven't. I actually have met the guy who wrote it. It's enlightening, hilarious, and bittersweet.
 
2013-02-01 07:10:00 PM

Lord Dimwit: Marcus Aurelius: Lord Dimwit: Marcus Aurelius: xenomorpheus: very nice graphic, I need to see about making one of these for my company's dial-up network service and our bearer services.  I think my 286 was the first computer I had that I added a modem to so I could scour BBS systems

for you kids out there, BBS was , aw hell go wiki it already

Positive luxury.  I had to solder a pair of Motorola serial I/O chips onto the motherboard of a Commodore 8032 and write my own comm routines in 8 bit assembler to get onto the local BBS.

And we were glad.

I can't remember who said it but I always liked the quote (paraphrased here): "the problem with modern programmers isn't that they can't stuff a device driver into a spare 24 bytes they found in unused scratch memory, but that they won't even try."

There were times when I agonized over less memory than that.  And you're right, a computer geek today has no concept of some of the underlying technologies that are still there, but under so many layers of microcode and OS software that they're invisible.

It still freaks me out that there are people who have degrees in software engineering and have never manually managed memory. At the other end of the spectrum, I've met people who can't see the forest for the trees and get so hung up on minute details that they forget that computer science has very little to do with computers themselves...(another favorite quote: "computer science is to computers as astronomy is to telescopes").

Basically what I'm saying is that in my day it was better and young people don't know anything and are good for nothing.


In my experience, very few people are mentally capable of grasping all the necessary concepts and details while simultaneously caring about it enough to even try to understand it.  You almost need to be the kind of person that looks at a neat new toy and instead of playing with it, immediately reaches for a screwdriver and a wrench so you can take it apart and see how it works.  You have to NEED to know.
 
2013-02-01 07:11:43 PM

sammyk: What's a modemn acoustic coupler?


i still have a couple hanging out in my basement office
 
2013-02-01 07:12:49 PM
10 RUN

****CAN'T DO THAT****
 
2013-02-01 07:13:23 PM

Lord Dimwit: The Story of Mel


There are not nearly enough Mels out there.

Here's an uncertified link for anyone that cares:

http://www.cs.utah.edu/~elb/folklore/mel.html
 
2013-02-01 07:13:28 PM
Used to play star trek on my dads mainframe using a phone coupler and a printer so I'm getting a kick.

/entire forests were destroyed taking out a single klongon ship
//get off my lawn
 
2013-02-01 07:28:38 PM
HOMIE! we're actually having a conversation!!
www.simpsoncrazy.com
 
2013-02-01 07:40:02 PM
Why didn't they post a link to the .wav file of the sound?

Or at least the sound as a ringtone.
 
2013-02-01 07:49:23 PM

Uncle Pooky: I remember when getting a 14,400 2400 baud modem was a significant upgrade.


/.alt.fark
 
2013-02-01 07:49:27 PM
 
2013-02-01 07:54:33 PM

gingerjet: Used to play star trek on my dads mainframe using a phone coupler and a printer so I'm getting a kick.

/entire forests were destroyed taking out a single klongon ship
//get off my lawn


We used to re-write the code to give us unlimited shields and torpedos.

Remember Colossal Cave/Adventure 550?  "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike"
 
2013-02-01 07:57:04 PM

sswo: Why didn't they post a link to the .wav file of the sound?

Or at least the sound as a ringtone.


It would make an awesomely annoying ringtone.

/yep
 
2013-02-01 07:59:44 PM
Not to be pedantic, well OK some will think this is nit-picking.  BAUD and bps are not interchangeable.  No one had a 9600 or 14400 BAUD modem, they were 9600 and 14400 bps (not Bps).  BAUD is the signal rate - which Bell Labs stated was limited to 2400 BAUD using Ma Bell switching systems.  After 2400 bps was reached, the signal had to be modulated to carry more than one bit per signal.
 
2013-02-01 08:00:44 PM

Fish in a Barrel: jtown: It didn't take all night.  More like 5-10 minutes for a high res (640x480) GIF.  And that was back in the 2400bps days.

Those "high resolution" JPEGs were a killer, though.  It took long enough that I could finish fapping to the Persian Kitty purrfect pose of the week before anything actually interesting showed up on the screen.


Persian Kitty is still around, but boy, that takes me back.
 
2013-02-01 08:10:51 PM

Glancing Blow: Not to be pedantic, well OK some will think this is nit-picking.  BAUD and bps are not interchangeable.  No one had a 9600 or 14400 BAUD modem, they were 9600 and 14400 bps (not Bps).  BAUD is the signal rate - which Bell Labs stated was limited to 2400 BAUD using Ma Bell switching systems.  After 2400 bps was reached, the signal had to be modulated to carry more than one bit per signal.


I remember having a bawdy time ripping my Commodore 8032 into a 300 baud DEC teletype.  You have no idea how many forests that boded weller.
 
2013-02-01 08:15:30 PM
Mikey1969:

When I was a kid, we went on a tour of the Sheriff's station, and they took us in a room and showed us their new computer, all punchcard activated and huge... The guy loaded in a punchcard, and the printer went to town, eventually printing up what was probably a 20x30 picture of the Mona Lisa, Not quite ASCII art, but that's the closest I can come to something I've seen since, it printed regular characters, anything on the keyboard, and overstriking to create shade and texture. Crude by today's standards, but absofarkinglutely amazing in 1980-ish.

When the pic was done, the guy doing the tour took it off the printer and asked who wanted it. Crickets commenced to fiddling... I was in shock, I held up my hand and went home with this absolutely cool piece of art. It was the coolest part of the tour, the only other things I remember is the lockers where they have to put their guns before walking into any area with prisoners(Something I call BS on to this day in the movies), and their story of how they had to change their lock system because some guy jammed the place where the striker for the lock is supposed to sit full of gum wrappers, and since it was spring-loaded, the door never latched. Guy walked out the door, easy-peasy, I guess.

The picture may exist, but sadly I am dependent on my aunt and uncle who used to be my adop ...


Heh, what a coincidence.  I actually have a big "Mona By The Numbers" hanging on the wall 10 feet away.  It's dated October 24, 1965 by "H.P. Peterson"  It was my late father's and I'm afraid I don't know its story, but he kept it hanging for over forty years!
 
2013-02-01 08:17:25 PM

WordsnCollision: sswo: Why didn't they post a link to the .wav file of the sound?

Or at least the sound as a ringtone.

It would make an awesomely annoying ringtone.

/yep


SLOW DOWN THERE
 
2013-02-01 08:38:15 PM

300baud: Mikey1969:

When I was a kid, we went on a tour of the Sheriff's station, and they took us in a room and showed us their new computer, all punchcard activated and huge... The guy loaded in a punchcard, and the printer went to town, eventually printing up what was probably a 20x30 picture of the Mona Lisa, Not quite ASCII art, but that's the closest I can come to something I've seen since, it printed regular characters, anything on the keyboard, and overstriking to create shade and texture. Crude by today's standards, but absofarkinglutely amazing in 1980-ish.

When the pic was done, the guy doing the tour took it off the printer and asked who wanted it. Crickets commenced to fiddling... I was in shock, I held up my hand and went home with this absolutely cool piece of art. It was the coolest part of the tour, the only other things I remember is the lockers where they have to put their guns before walking into any area with prisoners(Something I call BS on to this day in the movies), and their story of how they had to change their lock system because some guy jammed the place where the striker for the lock is supposed to sit full of gum wrappers, and since it was spring-loaded, the door never latched. Guy walked out the door, easy-peasy, I guess.

The picture may exist, but sadly I am dependent on my aunt and uncle who used to be my adop ...

Heh, what a coincidence.  I actually have a big "Mona By The Numbers" hanging on the wall 10 feet away.  It's dated October 24, 1965 by "H.P. Peterson"  It was my late father's and I'm afraid I don't know its story, but he kept it hanging for over forty years!


Hubba hubba (NSFW in any decade)
 
2013-02-01 08:41:34 PM

gingerjet: Used to play star trek on my dads mainframe using a phone coupler and a printer so I'm getting a kick.
/entire forests were destroyed taking out a single klongon ship
//get off my lawn


I hacked into the computer of another high school in my district to play this by guessing the password. 
"STARTREK"
Goddamn, did that game eat paper.
 
2013-02-01 08:46:57 PM

styckx: Trumpet Winsock was the bane of my existence.


You just got me with that...
 
2013-02-01 08:47:21 PM

300baud: Mikey1969:

When I was a kid, we went on a tour of the Sheriff's station, and they took us in a room and showed us their new computer, all punchcard activated and huge... The guy loaded in a punchcard, and the printer went to town, eventually printing up what was probably a 20x30 picture of the Mona Lisa, Not quite ASCII art, but that's the closest I can come to something I've seen since, it printed regular characters, anything on the keyboard, and overstriking to create shade and texture. Crude by today's standards, but absofarkinglutely amazing in 1980-ish.

When the pic was done, the guy doing the tour took it off the printer and asked who wanted it. Crickets commenced to fiddling... I was in shock, I held up my hand and went home with this absolutely cool piece of art. It was the coolest part of the tour, the only other things I remember is the lockers where they have to put their guns before walking into any area with prisoners(Something I call BS on to this day in the movies), and their story of how they had to change their lock system because some guy jammed the place where the striker for the lock is supposed to sit full of gum wrappers, and since it was spring-loaded, the door never latched. Guy walked out the door, easy-peasy, I guess.

The picture may exist, but sadly I am dependent on my aunt and uncle who used to be my adop ...

Heh, what a coincidence.  I actually have a big "Mona By The Numbers" hanging on the wall 10 feet away.  It's dated October 24, 1965 by "H.P. Peterson"  It was my late father's and I'm afraid I don't know its story, but he kept it hanging for over forty years!


That's totally cool that you have one... With the exception of my 1st gen X-Wing and TIE fighters and my Evel Kenevil Stuntcycle, it's the thing I feel the worst about losing.
 
2013-02-01 08:51:35 PM
You know, to a horticulturist, that was damn near gibberish.
 
2013-02-01 08:53:31 PM

gingerjet: Used to play star trek on my dads mainframe using a phone coupler and a printer so I'm getting a kick.

/entire forests were destroyed taking out a single klongon ship
//get off my lawn


Silent 700?
 
2013-02-01 08:57:17 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: You know, to a horticulturist, that was damn near gibberish.


If you mean the frequencies and amplitudes that the modems used to communicate, it helps to listen to it slowed down to human speed.

The two machines basically say "hello" and then test the quality of the connection by saturating the analog bandwidth.

It's actually quite beautiful.
 
2013-02-01 09:00:39 PM

highendmighty: Is there an illustrated explanation about the noises old Apple II drives made when booting?

AH-OOOOOO-Gah - Chnk Chnk Chnk.


I don't know of an illustration, but I can walk you through it at a very abstract level:

1. what you call "AH-OOO-Gah" is the stepper motor for the disk read head banging against the stop. Back then, disk drives didn't have a "park" position for the read head to go to upon shutdown, nor any way of keeping track of where the head was when the drive last lost power. So, to make sure that the drive logic knew where the head was, it would instruct the head motor to step down about 30 positions. Since there were only 29 tracks on a disk, that ensured that the head would finish at track 0, and the drive logic could then move it around knowing its starting point. But if the drive had been on, say, track 6 when it powered down, it would step from track 6 to track 0, and then bang against the stop 24 more times (since it can't go past 0). (Imagine that you want to make sure your car is all the way into the garage when you pull in, but you don't know how far you should pull in, so you slam on the accelerator for 10 full seconds and squash the car against the front wall of the garage for a while, just to be sure the back end gets in.)

2. Then there were a couple of swishes, followed by a quick "swish-swish" sound. Those were the sound of the read head locating and reading in the operating system on the disk. Back then, computers didn't have a place to store operating system instructions when the power was off. Instead, the operating system would be written onto a couple of tracks on the disk and would be read into memory each time the computer powered on. (That's why you had "boot disks" and "data disks." The former had the operating system included, so you could boot from them. The latter didn't. God help you if your only boot disk got erased...) If the disk in the drive didn't have the operating system on it, the drive would just spin forever, unable to do anything else. The OS wasn't very large, so most commercial programs would include it on their disk, so you could just stick in the disk and power on (rather than locating your own boot disk, booting up, swapping out your boot disk for the commercial program, and manually loading that.)

3. The "swish-swish" sound was the end of the operating system being read in. Many commercial games and programs included, at the end of the operating system, instructions to load and run certain programs, so the computer would boot and then run the program automatically. So anything after the "swish-swish" sound was the read head going to find the first file it was directed to load and run.
 
2013-02-01 09:05:14 PM
I remember when I got a modem that would go 1200 baud at half duplex as an upgrade from the 300 baud.

The teletypes were at 110 baud, iirc...

And the days of wardialing MCI, AllTell and Sprint for codez. Those were the days...

/Off my lawn
//Leave the Rogaine
 
2013-02-01 09:06:18 PM

300baud: Mikey1969: 300baud: Uncle Pooky: I remember when getting a 14,400 baud modem was a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember days when hard drives were a "new" copncept, modems were somethign only the programming teacher had, and color CRT monitors were a significant upgrade.

Noob.  I remember moving up from punch cards and saving programs on magnetic tape three or more times, because it was very likely you wouldn't be able to restore.  All upper case character sets.  Memory measured in bytes.  My first modem was an acoustic coupler; I think it was 150 baud though it may have been 110, I'm ashamed I can't remember.


Back in MYYYYY DAYYYY we didn't have no fancy MOOOO-DEMMMS and we had to make all the noises over the phone ourselves.
 
2013-02-01 09:07:29 PM

Marcus Aurelius: it helps to listen to it slowed down to human speed.


Dude, that's the background effects to a horror movie.  Not the slasher kind, the suspenseful kind.
 
2013-02-01 09:33:41 PM

Mikey1969: 300baud: Heh, what a coincidence.  I actually have a big "Mona By The Numbers" hanging on the wall 10 feet away.  It's dated October 24, 1965 by "H.P. Peterson"  It was my late father's and I'm afraid I don't know its story, but he kept it hanging for over forty years!

That's totally cool that you have one... With the exception of my 1st gen X-Wing and TIE fighters and my Evel Kenevil Stuntcycle, it's the thing I feel the worst about losing.


If anybody's curious, mine is the same as this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cshym74/3565277523/.

It's quite impressive looking even remotely considering its date.  I wouldn't doubt that my dad probably knew the CDC folks who made them, as he was an early pioneer.
 
2013-02-01 09:36:35 PM

Zombalupagus: xenomorpheus: MrEricSir: Mikey1969: 300baud: Uncle Pooky: I remember when getting a 14,400 baud modem was a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember days when hard drives were a "new" copncept, modems were somethign only the programming teacher had, and color CRT monitors were a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember days when wheels were a "new" copncept, fire was somethign only the cooking teacher had, and colored fabric was a significant upgrade.

Noob.

I remember the day saw a large  black rectangular object and started killing other chimps with bones and stuff.

Noob.

I remember God mumbling something about creating something new called "dirt".


Noob.

I remember when all of the matter in the universe was condensed into a single, infinitesimally small point of infinite mass.
 
2013-02-01 09:38:36 PM
My time with 56k was blessedly short. By 1996 I had 3Mbps DSL. In 2000 I had twice that because I signed up for a beta-test of a digital TV service. It sucked to move down to 1.5 Mbps ADSL when I moved to Ontario. So I tend to associate the sound of a modem with the end of a Stargate SG-1 rerun than I do with memories of getting onto the 'Net.
 
2013-02-01 09:44:51 PM
Remembers acsii porn...still wonders why there was ascii porn...and disco.
 
2013-02-01 09:52:46 PM
Stop, modulate and listen.
 
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