Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 30 Aug 2013.
Shutting down its systems on Saturday.
Goodbye, old friend
pain in the nuts!
Ahhh, whilst I am not going to tell you my age, I have pleasant
painful memories of dial-up...
My earliest memory is of 1200 baud connections, then increasing through 3600, 4800, 9600 and 14.4k then (wow) 36k & 56k. Data download tasks were measured in hours...
BBS's were fun but administering them was a time vampire (I did this) although it did teach me a lot.
Then for me came ISDN then bonded ISDN, obviously I was single and earning too much money - it was like you say, per minute charging.
I can't say I will miss it as I haven't used it in years but, also as you say, it is still embedded in a number of devices so I can't see it disappearing in my lifetime.
I used to see so many people tearing their hair out over 'that awful screeching noise' and 'why does it have to make that sound? can't it be turned off?'. I always found it strangely comforting as I had grown up with that very same analogue data stream sound loading games onto my Spectrum 48k (and later my +2).
I met so many people online chatting away over a 56k connection, good people who I am very happy to still remain friends with. Sure it was expensive and not the fastest thing in the world (at least not until 56k v92 came out...) but it got us online and did the job.
Never going back though
Isn't that BT's normal speed?
(He says hiding behind 120meg VirginMedia CableFibre)
I still have a USB 56K modem in my junk box somewhere .......
Analogue modems are a comforting sound to me.
I started with a 4800 on a 386 way back when (I can't date myself that badly, I think I was about 6 at the time), it was my Dad's machine. A couple of years later, I got the hand-me-down 8088 from my Brother running DOS 3.0. That thing could run Sim City classic and Zork like nobodies business stored on its 20MB hard drive...I couldn't imagine filling that thing (it was more than 15 5 1/4" disks!), and I never did. My brother inherited the 386 with its modem. My Dad had moved on, a 486sx 25! Along with it was a 14.4k and AOL (we had Prodigy before that).
Fast forward another couple of years and the 386 died. My father in his graciousness bequethed his 486 to my brother and bought himself a 486dx4 100mhz (with external math coprocessor! WOOT!). That thing had a 56k modem and it was like cruising down the information super highway.
Another couple of years and my brother got himself a Pentium, all 133mhz of it! Wow. I got his 486/25 and the next year my Grandfather gave me his (non-Intel) 486/133 (am5x86, AMD chip). Roughly at the same time (right around '96 or maybe early '97, I was in my last year of middle school right before starting high school), my Dad had gotten himself a Pentium II 233mhz and an ISDN modem...my jaw dropped at the speed on that thing. Then that summer we moved and ditched the analouge modem, we had cable and a cable modem! I think back in those days it was 1.5Mbps down and 256kbps up or something like that, but oh, my, god was it fast!
Right after I got myself a Pentium (I couldn't afford a Pentium II, and actually if memory serves I bought myself an AMD Pentium clone, a k6 166Mhz IIRC at a computer show near me...ahh, computer shows. Those were the days), my brother had a Pentium II, but we managed to score a pair of 10Mbps ethernet cards for cheap (IE, free, he borrowed them from his college computer lab as he ran the lab, they were ISA, oh man that takes me back) and when my brother came home from college on the summers we'd do Quake LAN parties. A couple of times his friends would schlep their desktops over to our place and we'd play 4-player Quake LAN. EPIC!
So, so long ago (I am 30 now), but at the same time, not so long ago (half my life time, but I am not THAT old yet, it was only 15 years ago roughly for some of that).
Can't have been a 486DX4, then: the DX series had internal FPUs; it was only the SX family that lacked an integrated FPU.
So you mean to say that for dial-up, there is... NO CARRIER ?
My earliest memories of dial-up are 2400 baud modems and BBS or ftp servers (long before the masses ever heard of the internet!). Those were fun days, on the edge of the latest technologies
Meh, in my day we used to transmit data by shouting "zero, one, one, zero, one, zero, zero" through one of these bad boys:
I miss the sound of a modem dialing up along with the 56k bong noises. Like others have said already it reminds me of the good old days loading games from cassette tape on the old Spectrum. Beeeeeeee-bip. Beeeee-bipipipipip etc
Goodbye old internet memories. You shan't be missed.
LOL, + rep
I remember the days of the Acoustic Coupler back in the early 80's
And the joys of building a cushion fort around it in an attempt to block out external noise and get a slightly higher connection speed...
For those who don't know, an acoustic coupler was a type of modem onto which you actually sat the receiver of a telephone. It had a microphone where the earpiece was, and a speaker where the mouthpiece was. Obviously, any external noise would quickly overwhelm the one-size-fits-all-honest rubber shielding you sat the handset into, dropping your connection speed - or even the entire connection.
The reason for this somewhat bizarre design choice is that, believe it or not, once upon a time you couldn't actually connect anything to the telephone network. If you wanted a phone, you rented one from the GPO - later BT - and had it installed by an engineer. You had one choice of phone, and if you decided you didn't want your telephone line any more you had to give it back. The very idea that any third-party manufacturer could build something for connection to GPO's precious network was laughable. Why, chaos would reign!
Thankfully, saner heads prevailed and we got the current system of certification for allowing anybody to connect anything to the telephone lines so long as it has been tested - and when that was introduced, manufacturers could ditch the unreliable acoustic coupler for a direct connection. The devices still remained popular in some circles, however - journalists, in particular, loved 'em, because they could use them in the field on any telephone, even a payphone.
Dialup wasn't the worst thing for me. At least in the US, you can get dialup for free as long as you have a land line connected and live close enough to certain locations. The highest speed I recall getting on dialup was a whopping 14KB/s, which was actually pretty good considering. Typically, I got speeds from 7-9KB/s.
Then done day I borrowed a USB wifi adapter from my friend and found out I could mooch off my never-home neighbors who had DSL at the time, and I never looked back at dialup ever since (I pay for my own internet now).
Ugh, my first modem was 2400 bps monstrosity with no hardware error correction. It was about 99% certain that modem would drop the connection due to line noise or mess up Zmodem file transfer just enough in any 30+ minute session ... and at 2400 bps 30 minutes wasn't much when just about any program of interest (such as up-to-date F-prot, McAffee's viruscan, pkzip, ARJ or whatever) came in at 200+ KB per archive (with multiple archive chunks for larger applications).
My next modem, 28800 USR (who misses that company ? I sure do, they used to make great modems before 3COM gobbled them up and turned them into crapware peddler) with al the fancy error correction and compression protocols was such a gigantic improvement, the move to combo Zyxel Elite 2864I (which could do both ISDN and analogue stuff, plus some leased line mumbo jumbo) wasn't all that impressive, bar the absence of analogue connection screeching noises
Fond memories... Using "getright" to avoid loosing a "large" 5Mb download because the connection would drop... Watching pron load bit by bit covering up the screen.... The connection noise... The verifying "username password box"...List goes on....
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