NaBloPoMo – Modems

Well,  the internet could not have started without what is now the curse of those without broadband.  Yep analog modems or if you prefer, modulator – demodulator.  Here is a collection of some of the modems we have used over the years.   I did not include any of the internal modems. I don't believe I have any of those left.  They seemed to be less reliable and compatible than the externals. The speeds go from 300 bps to 56 Kbps not counting compression.  The 300 bps modem is also 300 baud.  Extra credit for those who know the difference between bps and baud rate.  Mr LT and Dewitte excluded as we know you know the answer.  One thing about modems is that cats (Gatita and Jessica) would come running to be petted when they heard the modem tones.  It mean we humans were going to be sitted in front of the computer for a while.

The Radioshack Modem II ran at a lightning 300 bps.  Yep it was easy to read the text as it slow crawled down the screen.  It had to be set to originate or answer.  It had a manual and an automatic mode.  Its command set was NOT Hayes compatible.  It was released around 1982.


Both DB-25 connector and the Radioshack serial DIN connector are present.  Its the same RS-232 port just wired to both.


A real Hayes Smartmodem 1200.  The second model of the Smartmodem.  The first was a 300 baud released in 1981.  The Smartmodem 1200 was released in 1982.  This one however was manufactured in the early 1990s.  It was purchased to be used for a special testbed at a local phone company.  We went from the 300 baud Radioshack to a 2400 bps clone.  2400 was about as fast as you could go and still read the text coming across the screen.

The next modem is a 9600 bps clone.  I think its a V.32 modem with no error correction.  We got it in the early 1990s.    Talk about speed!.  I also used it to connect to the internet for the first time instead of just BBSes.  It fairly much copied the Hayes look but with biege and steel instead of aluminum and black.


The last external modem we had and the last modem we actively used is a US Robotics V.Everything we got in the mid 1990s.  US Robotics developed a highspeed modem before the V.32 standard was released and thus made a name for themselves.  Later they would do that with the X2 modem before the V.90 standard was done.  The V.Everything thing modem well did everything.  Including 56K mode.  actually no modems released in the U.S. actually did 56 Kbps across the phone lines.  The download speed of 56 Kbps was lowered to meet FCC requirements on the phone lines.  I believe at 56 Kbps,  they exceeded the allowable analog encoded content for Part 68.  Anyway,  it had compression and thus actual throughput was significantly higher.


The nifty thing about the US Robotics modem is it has a mini-manual printed on the bottom.

So quick question,  tomorrow,  start with VT terminals or Vaxen?

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