dial-up experiences (was Re: question aaout ISP's)

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Thu Aug 7 23:20:37 CDT 2008

On 7 Aug 2008 at 21:01, Richard wrote:

> My first home modem experience was using a Silent 700 TI terminal (thermal
> print head) with a built-in acoustic coupler.  It was manually dial the
> number and then plug the phone into the cups.  This was before we had
> a modular phone jack in our house, so the terminal had to be physically
> close to the phone in the kitchen.

When I had just gotten my Altair 8800, I picked up the modem unit 
(with acoustic coupler) from one of the surplus places advertising in 
PE.  I remounted the thing in one of those gray hammertone aluminum 
Bud boxes.  The power supply was pretty easy--and I added a jack that 
bypassed the acoustic coupler so I could plug my GE cassette recorder 
into the modem.

Flip the front-panel switches for a bit to load a terminal program (I 
had a TV Typewriter modified for 64 characters/line connected to a 
hot-chassis Zenith tube-type portable TV (yeah, it was dumb, but it 
worked).  Woo-hoo!  I could dial into work at 300 baud and even save 
my work on cassette.  I wrote an 8080 assembler that ran on the CDC 
mainframe so I could edit, assemble and download and run code.  When 
I finally attached a speaker to "interrupt enable" LED on the front 
panel, I couild even make music using EI and DI instructions to 
toggle the line.  It was really cool, crashes and all.  


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