Dial-up Internet Sound

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
I had no idea where to post it, so I figured I'd post it here.

As I am too young to remember hearing the dial-up Internet sound (I was living and using the computer during dial-up days, but when Ethernet was starting to come into play. About 1998-2001) I don't have any idea where the sound comes from. I know what it sounds like and I have an idea as to what the sound is. But, I don't know where the sound actually comes from, like what device produces the sound.

I'm thinking that it is the modem that you'd hang on the wall (in the way we have our Internet router screwed sideways to the wall) but I think it may also be the actual modem inside your computer, or both. Or maybe it's the phone? I also have this odd idea (odd to me, might be true) that the sound comes from the actual cable connecting your computer to the big modem.

Anyone know what device or devices actually produced the iconic dial-up sound? Is there a speaker in said device that makes the sound, or some kind of electronic inside the device? And, is there a way that I could actually get these old devices to make the noise?
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,203
1,136
I had no idea where to post it, so I figured I'd post it here.

As I am too young to remember hearing the dial-up Internet sound (I was living and using the computer during dial-up days, but when Ethernet was starting to come into play. About 1998-2001) I don't have any idea where the sound comes from. I know what it sounds like and I have an idea as to what the sound is. But, I don't know where the sound actually comes from, like what device produces the sound.

I'm thinking that it is the modem that you'd hang on the wall (in the way we have our Internet router screwed sideways to the wall) but I think it may also be the actual modem inside your computer, or both. Or maybe it's the phone? I also have this odd idea (odd to me, might be true) that the sound comes from the actual cable connecting your computer to the big modem.

Anyone know what device or devices actually produced the iconic dial-up sound? Is there a speaker in said device that makes the sound, or some kind of electronic inside the device? And, is there a way that I could actually get these old devices to make the noise?
It comes from a speaker on the modem.

You'd need a landline, computer with a PCI card modem, and access to a dialup internet or message board.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,400
33,032
Boston
Anyone know what device or devices actually produced the iconic dial-up sound? Is there a speaker in said device that makes the sound, or some kind of electronic inside the device? And, is there a way that I could actually get these old devices to make the noise?
The only device that made sound was a modem, a MOdulator/DEModulator, a device that converted digital signals to analog signals. The sounds were used to negotiate the speed and protocol. I'm sure there are MP3s and WAV sounds of this. Just get that instead of trying to duplicate old technology in a modern age.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,203
1,136
That brings me back to the days of BBSs', As great as technology is, and how much its improved. There was something special during those days. Ahhhh the good ole days :D
Good days... they were not
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,075
9,265
Detroit
That brings me back to the days of BBSs', As great as technology is, and how much its improved. There was something special during those days. Ahhhh the good ole days :D
Those were the days. I was alway's trying to get the best modem so I could get the fastest connection, as close to 56k as I could.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,203
1,136
I disagree, sometimes it was frustratingly slow to be sure, but I had a lot of fun with the BBs back then.

It was the dark ages of information sharing and information access other than super nerds.

Still have one of these in a wire basket on a shelf in my laboratory

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1403610639.494553.jpg
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
I disagree, sometimes it was frustratingly slow to be sure, but I had a lot of fun with the BBs back then.
Definitely! I loved my BBS days. I was also among the first batch of subscribers to Quantum Link (the Commodore based predecessor to AOL.) In many ways that's why I like this place, it's the closest thing to that feeling of community we had back then.

B
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,075
9,265
Detroit
Geez that's a flood of nostalgia. :p My family had dial-up until about 2005, I remember browsing eBay and clicking on an auction listing, going downstairs to get a glass of water, and returning to the computer to find the page about halfway loaded. :D
Yep. Those were the days when it took longer for Windows (that's what I was on at the time) Updates to download than it did to install them. Now, it takes longer to install GB's than it does to download them.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2010
636
1
Shepherdsturd, WV
God I feel ancient.

Someone somewhere in someplace asked a bunch of kids what the diskette icon in the menus of programs meant and most all of them replied that it was the save button. They didn't realized that it was a representation of a 3.5" floppy...or what a 3.5" floppy was even for. It could store one and a half megabytes! :D
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,447
1,733
America's Third World
God I feel ancient.

Someone somewhere in someplace asked a bunch of kids what the diskette icon in the menus of programs meant and most all of them replied that it was the save button. They didn't realized that it was a representation of a 3.5" floppy...or what a 3.5" floppy was even for. It could store one and a half megabytes! :D
Despite the floppy's shortcomings, it was much more reliable/simplier than storing programs/data on a cassette tape. :eek:
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,842
34,346
The Far Horizon
Yep. Those were the days when it took longer for Windows (that's what I was on at the time) Updates to download than it did to install them. Now, it takes longer to install GB's than it does to download them.
Oh, yes. This I do remember……..and plugging in the computer to the landline and being awfully grateful if the speed showed anything over 35k, (49 to 56 was a rare and much desired occurrence)..

And the eternal Windows updates taking forever to download…..


God I feel ancient.

Someone somewhere in someplace asked a bunch of kids what the diskette icon in the menus of programs meant and most all of them replied that it was the save button. They didn't realized that it was a representation of a 3.5" floppy...or what a 3.5" floppy was even for. It could store one and a half megabytes! :D
Yes. At times such as this you feel your age….
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,075
9,265
Detroit
Oh, yes. This I do remember……..and plugging in the computer to the landline and being awfully grateful if the speed showed anything over 35k, (49 to 56 was a rare and much desired occurrence)..

And the eternal Windows updates taking forever to download…..




Yes. At times such as this you feel your age….
And if we didn't get our desired minimum speed, we'd disconnect and attempt to reconnect over and over again!
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,842
34,346
The Far Horizon
And if we didn't get our desired minimum speed, we'd disconnect and attempt to reconnect over and over again!
Exactly! Anything below 25 k (especially the dreaded 17 or 19 k reading) meant an immediate disconnection, and attempting to reconnect - yes, sometimes, over and over and over again……

And any image took forever and forever to download - which is why I developed a strong preference for reading text online, and loathed images.

Sigh. Those were the days….
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,258
766
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Someone gifted us a year of internet access in 1997/8. The modem is still in the other room.

I remember getting on our Windows 95 machine and logging onto it everyday. Internet Explorer 4, haha. Amazing how fast Safari has moved to the next version compared to it.

I was more excited when they got T1 speeds at school though. Those were fun. :D
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,570
1,056
Oh, yes. This I do remember……..and plugging in the computer to the landline and being awfully grateful if the speed showed anything over 35k, (49 to 56 was a rare and much desired occurrence)..

And the eternal Windows updates taking forever to download…..




Yes. At times such as this you feel your age….
Ha! I remember well the days of acoustic couplers, where you'd take the telephone receiver and insert both ends into cups on the modem. In those days, 300 baud (not technically the same as 300 bps, but close) was pretty good. I started off with Teletypes and progressed to CRTs, which we called VDUs (Video Display Units).

When the speed of dial up improved in the 1990s, it was a revelation to me, though downloading was glacial by today's standards. I once downloaded a beta of Mac OS 8 that lasted overnight and actually completed without an error. But I had a dedicated phone line for the modem so people couldn't sever the connection by picking up another handset.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,039
8,379
CT
Don't pick up the phone don't pick up the phone!!! Ah crap.

heh I remember buying an "upgraded" modem of 33.6 for faster speeds.

45 mins just to connect to AOL only to lose the connection 30 seconds later.
 
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