Blast from the past....dial up

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jul 17, 2005
18,055
1,183
5045 feet above sea level
I heard the oh so famous shrieking of a dial up connection today and wow....its been like a good amt of years since I had heard that. To think that dial up was how we once connceted to the internet is truly amazing

I can live without cable and feel that its slow lol

If a page doesnt load instantaneoulsy, I will navigate away from it whereas I used to wait a good min or so in the dial up days lol

Have you encountered this or something similar recently?
 

pknz

macrumors 68020
Mar 22, 2005
2,480
1
NZ
I heard an MP3 of the dial up connection, it may have been someones ringtone.
 

dreary

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2009
140
0
i remember my friend had dial-up and waiting an hour for a 8 minute video from youtube to load.
 

Ttownbeast

macrumors 65816
May 10, 2009
1,135
0
ahhh the good ole days when AOL and NetZero were kings. LOL

now if you know what you're doing the internet is free to access using WIFI at ten times the speed of dialup--and some of it is perfectly legal
 

Ttownbeast

macrumors 65816
May 10, 2009
1,135
0
back when dialup was the thing the funny thing about it was it reminded me of my old ti99/4a I owned and the cassette tape drive I used to listen to while TI basic loaded Zaxxon so I could play it on my old 8 bit PC.
 

leomac08

macrumors 68020
Jul 12, 2009
2,092
0
Los Angeles, CA
i think my download speed was 5kbps


pretty slow when I had dial up


now google wants to introduce super blazing high speed internet at


1gbps:D
 

Decrepit

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2007
1,147
0
Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
There was a time where my city didn't have broadband. Every town surrounding us did.

My friends made sure to tell me every time that a more remote place got high speed access.

The South Pole story hurt my feelings.

But when the Mars Rovers had a 256k connection, I was really upset. How could Mars have 4x the speed that I did?

I played MMOs on dialup, and clocked everything down to allow it to be somewhat playable.

To completely cement my nerd cred, I received an external 2400 baud modem as my high school graduation present. That, and lunch at McDonalds. Man high school sucked. I went to a wealthy school, and wasn't wealthy. The other kids got cars, and had lunch at exclusive restaurants. I didn't want any of that. But try fitting in with other kids when you ride the bus to school and everybody else has a BMW/Mercedes/Porsche. But I digress.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
It wasn't that long ago (it was after I bought my first PowerBook, so 2003? 2004?) that I was staying at a conference center somewhere in California that emphasized its rustic nature and thus did not provide internet access (or, for that matter, even telephones in the rooms). I did, however, have cell phone coverage, and my phone and my PowerBook both supported Bluetooth. So I set up my Mac to use my cell phone as a modem, and made a long distance call from California to Canada to my dial-up ISP at home. The signal was good enough to get a 9600 baud connection! I was able to download my emails and even do a little tiny bit of web surfing. Wouldn't you know it, someone had sent me an email with a large file attachment... ! Blast my luck...

This was also back in the day when my cell carrier (Fido, here in Canada) hadn't yet been bought up by Rogers and the rates jacked up to ridiculousness. The rate was about 20 cents per minute and so my bill for all those long-distance modem charges over one weekend wasn't more than about $10. Today that rate would be $1.50 a minute.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
We were using dial up until 2003. Our village was one of the last to get it in the area and it hasn't improved much since. Started off at 512kbps, now its 1.5mbps. We're getting 40-50mbps under some new BT thing but they're taking their sweet time with it.

The days of Freeserve. Of waiting till after 6pm. Of only being online for 2 hours and it costing a penny a minute (or was that another service?).
I had never even heard of Youtube back then.
 

toolbox

macrumors 68020
Oct 6, 2007
2,304
0
Australia (WA)
Ah the good old days. Man we used to connect at 28000kBPS or someting like that and get like 3 or 4KB downloaded. Mind you this was back like in the late nineties. Then when we got are new machine in 2000 we connected at 56K and got like 5 KB. I had that till 2004. When i decided to pay for ADSL my self. Had it ever since.

I went from like 512/512K to 1.5MBP/256 then up to 8MBps
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Many times when I've used a gas station ATM.


The price for nostalgia ... $3.00 per transaction. :)
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
We use modems to do remote router administration. You can still hear those suckers dialing over the roar of the servers in the server room.

When I was in college, long before campus wireless or even wired dorm rooms, they had a modem pool for on-campus students to use. The problem was that there were only something like 100 lines available, and a couple of thousand students living on campus. I would set my PC to war dial the modem pool until it got an answer. Sometimes this might be 1AM or so. It was tough being a MUD/BBS addict. :)
 

dreary

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2009
140
0
We use modems to do remote router administration. You can still hear those suckers dialing over the roar of the servers in the server room.

When I was in college, long before campus wireless or even wired dorm rooms, they had a modem pool for on-campus students to use. The problem was that there were only something like 100 lines available, and a couple of thousand students living on campus. I would set my PC to war dial the modem pool until it got an answer. Sometimes this might be 1AM or so. It was tough being a MUD/BBS addict. :)
what is that?

oh, and when was the first public/commercial broadband connection, and how fast was it?
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
When I was in college, long before campus wireless or even wired dorm rooms, they had a modem pool for on-campus students to use. The problem was that there were only something like 100 lines available, and a couple of thousand students living on campus. I would set my PC to war dial the modem pool until it got an answer. Sometimes this might be 1AM or so. It was tough being a MUD/BBS addict. :)
Yes! I remember doing that too. My university modem pool topped out at 14400 kbps, and was frequently busy, but was free, while my paid-as-you-go ISP could do 56K, so I remember being strategic about which ISP to use and when.

BBS'ing takes me back. When I grew up in the early 80's my dad didn't have a computer in the house, but he did have a VT100 terminal connected to his workplace through a 1200 baud (!!) modem. Instead of games or videos to entertain me, we would run REXX scripts that played out animations or played games like "guess the number between 1-100". Nostalgia to me is seeing text go by at the 1200 baud rate... I started off dialing BBSes with that thing too, and I remember mail ordering for a 2400 baud fax/modem and being so excited to go to the post office to pick it up when the package arrived.

Those were the days before the internet. Maximus, Fidonet, downloading files using Zmodem... wow.

As for MUDs, I blame one for the huge drop in my GPA between my 2nd and 3rd year. Those were great fun though, the precursor to today's graphical MMORPGs. I remember developing what felt like real friendships with other players as I built my character from a n00b fresh out of "MUD school" to a clan leader. I don't play them anymore because I don't want to be sucked into that pit again... !
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,032
49
Up, up in my studio, studio
My parents are still on dial-up. Then again, they live in "the country" (read: rural western Kentucky); their nearest neighbor is more than 1/4 mile away.

Funny; I didn't hear any banjo music when I lived there during my teen years... :D

I used dial-up myself until about 2002 or 2003. I don't think I could ever switch back.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
what is that?
A BBS was a Bulletin Board System. Basically a computer with a modem and software that would receive calls instead of dialing out. You would call a BBS computer with your modem, and you could then upload or download files, read and post messages, play games, stuff like that. That computer didn't have any connection to the rest of the world other than the modem line, so whatever you posted or uploaded was isolated to that one computer. People got clever and set up their BBSes in networks so that every morning, say at 4:00am, one BBS would dial another and synchronize their messages and files, so over the course of several days the data would slowly propagate across the city until all the participating BBSes had a copy of it.

Anyone with a computer, a modem, and a spare phone line could set one up. It was then a popularity contest to attract users to your system instead of someone else's. Certain BBSes were known for having the best repository of files (be they "demos", porn, warez, or legitimate collections of shareware), some for their games, some for programming, etc.

Think of dial-up like calling a corporation's call center, where you get connected to the first available representative (out of possibly hundreds) and each representative is logged into the same computer system so they can each give you the same information as any other. While calling a BBS was more like phoning up your friend. You could share the latest gossip and then he'd call up his friend and so on. It was far more intimate than what we have now, and not a lot unlike social networking (just much slower!)

Certain BBSes were so fancy that they had multiple phone lines (I was signed onto one that had 12 lines going) and you could actually interact with other users who were dialed in at the same time as you. You could set a message in your "WHO banner" to show everyone (like a Facebook status update) and you could send instant messages to other users (like ICQ and MSN messenger which were still years away from being popular). Everything old is new again!

Remember this was all text-based, so no graphics (but the fancier ones had color!) and file transfer times were very slow -- to download a 1 megabyte file could take 5-10 minutes. But it was all such good fun. Ah, memories.

And MUDs? That stands for Multi User Dungeon and it is basically a text-based RPG. Think World of Warcraft minus the graphics. The system would describe things to you ("You are in a room. There is a table here. A sword lies on the floor. Exits are east and north.") and you would type instructions ("get sword", "north", etc.) You could battle with computer-controlled characters or other users. Crude, by today's standards, but surprisingly immersive and addictive!
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Yes! I remember doing that too. My university modem pool topped out at 14400 kbps, and was frequently busy, but was free, while my paid-as-you-go ISP could do 56K, so I remember being strategic about which ISP to use and when.

BBS'ing takes me back.

Those were the days before the internet. Maximus, Fidonet, downloading files using Zmodem... wow.

As for MUDs, I blame one for the huge drop in my GPA between my 2nd and 3rd year. Those were great fun though, the precursor to today's graphical MMORPGs. I remember developing what felt like real friendships with other players as I built my character from a n00b fresh out of "MUD school" to a clan leader. I don't play them anymore because I don't want to be sucked into that pit again... !
I had done some BBS stuff high school on a Commodore 64. In college, some guys in the computer engineering dept. built a message board/BBS system on an old Sun Sparc workstation. I also played a ton of MUDs and suffered accordingly. To this day, I don't play any MMO games because of that. I remember the first time a friend showed me Everquest. I told him I had been doing the same thing for years, only without all the fancy graphics.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
When I was in college, long before campus wireless or even wired dorm rooms, they had a modem pool for on-campus students to use. The problem was that there were only something like 100 lines available, and a couple of thousand students living on campus. I would set my PC to war dial the modem pool until it got an answer. Sometimes this might be 1AM or so. It was tough being a MUD/BBS addict. :)
Ditto this. Our school used the system for booking your classes each quarter. And each class (freshman, sophomore, etc) was given a time when they could start booking, but you could call in ahead of time and do things until that time came around. Keep in mind this was a school of 23,000 people with maybe 400 phone lines. On these nights, if I couldn't get through, I would set my modem to "war-dial" and it would usually take several hours before I could get through, sometimes until sunrise. Ugh...hated that!