Dial-up Internet

Sometimes I miss the beautiful singing of dial-up modems communicating with each other and negotiating the terms of their courtship.

A brief thread in Slack at work had us joking about old technology, even though some of it isn’t all that old, but it had me try to be poetic about the days of dial-up internet. The sound really does hold some nostalgia for me. I remember the first time I heard a modem dial-up and connect with another computer on the other end. At that point, I didn’t understand what was going on and how it was working, but listening and then seeing information slowly appear on the screen from out on the Internet was special.

My career in support and technology started by providing support over the phone for an Internet Service Provider. People would call us up when they were having problems dialing up and connecting. Init strings, disabling call waiting, removing those splitters and dollar store phone cord, and uninstall and reinstall dial-up networking, were all familiar things we’d do so people could hear that sound.

The Internet has changed so much since then but people are still using it to connect, and I’m still earning my living by helping them to do it. It’s just a little less noisy.

3 thoughts on “Dial-up Internet

  1. I will never forget the scene in the first Matrix movie where that oh so familiar sound got stretched out and distorted transporting the audience from the limitless possibility of the internet to the dark sci-fi world of the Matrix. Sometimes I wish that whenever I booted up my router and wi-fi it’d make the sound, just for old times sake. And on behalf of all those who came of age in the 90’s and who relied on you to help their parents troubleshoot dial-up, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That sound really takes me back! In the early 90s we had a 1200 baud, which was soooo ridiculously slow – so we got a 2400 as soon as possible. We thought that was miraculous! But in a couple of years the next speed we got was 9600 and I remember my son – who was the biggest Internet user in our house up til then – yell from downstairs, “Ma! I’m flyin’ at 9600 baud!” Lol! I also remember him yelling upstairs, “Ma, don’t pick up the phone! I’m downloading!!!!” Ah, those days…

    Liked by 2 people

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