Dialling up in 1982 (was Re: old modems (was Telephony switches))
ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 09:27:00 CDT 2007
On 6/29/07, Curt @ Atari Museum <curt at atarimuseum.com> wrote:
> I started out with an Acoustic coupler (Atari 830) modem when I first
> started calling CIS and BBS' If someone knocked on my door I'd get
> this instant long string of garbage and if I was really lucky and the
> knock wasn't too long or too loud I might stay connected, what a pain in
> the rear!!!
I was lucky to not have to resort to an acoustic coupler in the 300
bps days - the VICmodem, for those that don't know it, attaches to the
user port of a VIC-20 or C-64, is fed 300 bps data through either a
6522 (VIA) or 6526 (CIA) bit-banged TTL-levels, and converts to and
from handset voltages and is attached to a regular phone via the
coiled handset cable. No Hayes Compatibility here - you picked up the
phone, dialed the BBS/CIS, waited for the answer tone, then moved the
cable from the handset to the waiting VICmodem.
Call-waiting, on the other hand, _would_ drop the connection. :-(
You then had to scramble to remigrate the cord to the handset and take
the call, since your session was dead anyway.
> Yeah I remember those first painful CIS bills, nothing
> like $10.95 off-peak and $15.95 peak connection charges!!! ;-)
I never paid that - I *never* dialed peak, and I never had a 1200 bps
modem when I was calling CIS, so I recall the $5.00-$6.00 off-peak
I didn't get a 1200 bps modem until 1984 when my employer loaned me a
Ventel (still have it). It was in a rounded vacu-formed wrinkled
black plastic shell with a row of LEDs across the front. You
double-tapped the RETURN key to wake it up, then interacted with it in
a human-friendly manner, entirely unlike AT commands and a Hayes
Modem. The only thing that was really strange about it that I can
recall was that the phone connection came out a DA15S connector and
you had to not lose the DA15P-to- RJ11 cable or you were hosed.
Solid performing modem, though. Great for sticking on a VT100.
Probably less great for attaching to a computer for dialout because of
the proprietary dialling CLI interface. I think the standard uucp
dialler supported it, though.
I'm thinking back now, and except for a trip to NYC in 2001 when I
could only get connected to work from the hotel over a modem, I don't
think I've used one in nearly 10 years. Out where my Farm is got
cable modem service a while back, but when I first moved in, I was too
far from the CO to even get DSL (plenty close enough as the crow
flies, but thousands of feet too far as the cable goes). Those phone
lines (which haven't been upgraded AFAIK) were so bad, I couldn't get
as good as 19.2K with a 56K modem.
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