Does anyone use the 56kbps dialup modems anymore?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by poiihy, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #1
    Many/most PPC Macs have built-in modems. Does anyone here still use these anymore?
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #2
    I went looking for a free dial-up service a little while back just for the nostalgia of hearing a dial-up modem connect. A trip to Youtube cured me quickly :)

    I sometimes put in Stealth Serial Ports when I find them. Those are vastly more useful to me than a modem, as I actually do have some serial port printers that I use.
     
  3. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #3
    Free dial-up service? Does that mean free internet or is it through telephone service? Then you'd need telephone serivce for it?
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #4
    For a while-around the mid-2000s-there were a lot of companies that would give you at least some limited connectivity(generally something like 10-20 hours a month) for free. From my finding, they aren't around anymore.

    I know it's hard to believe, but I actually still have a landline :) . For those who don't, there are cell phone bluetooth gateways that will replicate one.
     
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #5
    So the Americans mainly get their internet via cable providers?

    I've still got a landline, need one for ADSL internet, will still require one when we eventually get a VDSL fibre upgrade. I keep a phone plugged in to it, but no-one ever calls as I don't hand out the number.
     
  6. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #6
    So you use the modems in your PowerPC Macs?
     
  7. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #7

    It depends on your ISP. If you get it with Optimum, Comcast, or other cable company, it will be a cable modem that has the Internet going through your TV wires. If you have Verizon FiOS/DSL, AT&T UVerse, or similar service from a Phone company, it will come through the phone wires into a telephone modem. I'm not too sure how it works when you have satellite, since I've never had a satellite ISP/TVSP. More the less it depends on availability in your area. For example, in my area, it's Verizon Phone and DSL, satellite, or Optimum. However, a town over has Verizon FiOS, Comcast/Xfinity, Optimum, and satellite.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    In my experience, I'd say cable is overwhelmingly popular. DSL(which works over the landline) tends to lag a bit behind cable in speed.

    At least around here, many of the cable companies have even branched out to providing for the(dwindling) landline market thanks to VOIP technology.

    My parents have good old Ma Bell copper coming into the back of the house(including a South Central Bell marked subscriber box), but it's been out of use for probably close to 10 years now. The local cable company(which is truly locally owned) got broadband to their subdivision a few months before BellSouth got DSL there. Plus, the cable company did it at lower cost and with better speeds. A few years later, when VOIP technology got cheap and reliable, the local cable company went into competition with BellSouth-of course at lower rates.

    My parents get high-def TV, a landline telephone, and broadband all from the same provider and all through the same box on the back of the house.

    For my place in Louisville, I stick to broadband through the cable provider, have no land line, over-the-air broadcasts for my TV, and my cell phone is provided by good old Ma Bell(AT&T). I actually started out with Cingular Wireless, which was associated with BellSouth, but became AT&T when BellSouth and AT&T re-merged a number of years back. Interestingly enough, Ma Bell has invested pretty heavily in the area in new infrastructure to support a service called "UVerse", and are now offering bundled landline, internet(at better speeds than the cable company), and high-def cable TV for very attractive prices-close to what I'm paying now for just internet. I'm probably going to be switching over soon.
     
  9. MagicBoy, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #9
    Ethernet/Airport. ADSL sends broadband over the phone line. Router has an ADSL modem in it which filters the broadband signal out.

    I'm fighting the temptation to try AOL for the hell of it! I'm old enough to remember the early days of the internet over a 28.8k modem... Broadband was revolutionary when we got in in 2000.
     
  10. bunnspecial, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    Dial up could be really finicky as far as connection speed...

    I can remember 56K being advertised as a big deal, but at a good 10+ miles from the CO, it just wasn't going to happen at my house. I also don't think that AOL was ever able to get their in-town servers very close to the CO. On a good day we might get 36K, but 28.8K and even 14.4K were pretty typical. That's the downside to living on the outskirts of town.

    I had a friend who lived about a block from the CO, and used a local ISP(not AOL) whose servers were next door to the CO. My friend would get 56K nearly every time, and only rarely get as low as 36K. I thought his internet was insanely fast :)

    By the way, we got broadband in 2001. I started using the internet in 1995.

    While we're at it, does anyone remember the Internet Answering Machine? If you had call waiting on your phone line, there used to be a program that would allow a person calling while you were on the internet to leave a message. Of course, you also ran the risk that if your connection quality was poor, the beeps from call waiting could disrupt your connection enough that it would kick you off. Someone else in the house picking up the phone and dialing a number would generally do the same. For a while, we had a second phone line dedicated to internet use(actually a really popular option that BellSouth gave us a great price break on) because my mom got tired of my dad and I keeping the phone line tied up all evening.
     
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #11
    OK, so you do get (A)DSL. We've got universal coverage of phone lines from British Telecom who were a state monopoly until they were privatised in the early 80s. They belatedly started rolling out DSL in the early 2000s after a couple of the cable companies started offering broadband. Legislation then unbundled the local loop to allow competitors to install their own equipment in their exchanges a few years later. More recently BT have replaced the network with IP at the backend and are now offering Fibre to the cabinet, again unbundled. Being a shareholder owned company they're dragging their heels on the lower populated cabinets that won't make lots of profit. My local telephone exchange was fibre-ready 5 years ago, but we're still waiting on the cabinet getting updated, looks like it may come in a few months as the government have allocated funds to sort out the not-spots in towns where it will help stimulate small businesses.

    Cable arrived in the early 90s for most large towns and cities as American companies like NYNEX took advantage of a change in the law to setup UK companies and buy licences, dig up the roads and lay infrastructure. Ten years later most of them had merged into a single company via a multitude of acquisitions. I can't get cable as they didn't do our street back in 1990 as it wasn't residential.

    So it's a toss up between BT, Sky (Satellite TV, LLU Internet) and Virgin Cable for triple play as the big players.

    I started out on a 28.8k modem. Seemed a bit slow, as we had full ethernet speed on the 386 PCs at Uni back in 1995. Limiting factor was copying the data to floppy then zip drives to get it back home! Grabbed a 56k modem at some point, used to get a 44-46k connection over the cable company phone line. We got cable internet (512K) in early 2000 at home, and it was blazingly fast. No longer did you have to pray the phone line would stay connected for an hour while it downloaded 20MB of the latest version of Netscape!

    I'm lucky in that I live very close to the telephone exchange, so I get 22Meg over ADSL. A number of my online gaming mates are still stuck on less than 4Mb due to living in the sticks (rural areas).
     
  12. A.Goldberg, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #12
    Yes, but not recently and not for internet access.

    My Mac Pro has the Apple USB external modem. In the past when I had it set up at my parents house (they have land lines!) I would occasionally send faxes using OS X's built in software. It's so convenient. Take the document you want. File, Print, hit the PDF drop down menu, press fax, and type in the number, and off it goes.

    I just read Apple's modem is not supported in OS X Yosemite. I don't see a fax option in the print menu either but then again I don't have a modem installed on my MacBook Pro.

    Now that I don't live with my parents and don't have a land line, I just subscribe an efaxing service which works well. I use cable internet.
     
  13. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    United Kingdom
    #13
    I used to have a dial-up account for using with my old iBook when the power occasionally went out. Haven't used it since around 2012, but I believe the account is still active. It's a free service that costs only as much as a 0844 number here in the UK.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    The story of things in the US is a bit similar, although without as much government involvement.

    In the beginning was The Bell System, AKA Ma Bell(AT&T), which brought telephone service to pretty much everywhere. Occasionally, you would have an independent pop up in smaller towns, although a lot of those eventually got bought out and integrated into Ma Bell. In those times, everything-from the central office to the telephone in your home(and the wiring inbetween) was owned by Ma Bell. It was developed by Bell Labs, manufactured by Western Electric, and installed in your home by AT&T linemen. You were absolutely forbidden to connect anything to the phone line yourself, although it was pretty common to "bootleg" additional extension phones by disconnecting the ringer(old mechanical bell ringers had a consistent, known inductance that could be tested very easily). A typical telephone line at the time was three wires-"Tip"(green), "Ring"(red), and "Ground"(yellow)(the tip and ring designations go back to the plugs on corded switchboards). The voice signal was traditionally wired tip to ring, while the ringer was wired tip to ground. Just disconnect the yellow wire, and you have a phone that won't ring but is also "invisible" to the phone company. BTW, ringing is now almost universally tip-to-ring. The early modems were "acoustic couplers"-basically a microphone and speaker pair that would attach to a telephone handset.

    In any case, in 1984, the courts ruled that Ma Bell was a monopoly. The result was breaking the Bell System up into 9 regional "Baby Bells", AT&T for long distance service, and then Bell Labs and Western Electric as separate entities. All of a sudden, you could now do things like connect a modem directly to the phone line and have it work.

    Interestingly enough, many of the "Baby Bells" recombined, and the major phone companies in the US today are typically the result of Baby Bell mergers. The last to fall was Bell South(itself a combination of South Central Bell and Southern Bell) in 2007, when they merged back in with AT&T.

    The result of all of this, though, is that most of the copper Telco lines in the country ultimately are still owned by some remnant of the Bell System, and invariably DSL comes through them. The preponderance of choice in cable companies is what I think has made cable so much more popular here.
     
  15. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #15
    So how do these free dialup services work? Do you need to have an existing telephone service? Or will it work right through the telephone wires even if you don't have telephone service?
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    You need a dial tone

    Or, in other words, you need to have telephone service.
     
  17. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #17
    Damn... too bad :(
     
  18. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #18
    I saw a SSP on the bay not too long ago and not that i have use for it at all, would one work in a MDD?
     
  19. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #19
    You need telephone service with a dial tone.

    I'd expect (but can't prove) that a good half of all homes owned by the under 40s in the UK will only keep a landline to get broadband service. They see it as £15 a month for a phone number you don't use, rather than a connection to the BT/LLU data network ... that also comes with a phone line.

    Somewhat obscurely I get much faster internet via my iPhone using 4G (or LTE for the colonials) which speedtests at around 35Mb up and downstream. Perversely I only get a couple of gigabytes tethering allowance on the contract, but unlimited use via the handset. A bit annoying when the phone insists I use WiFi to download big apps/updates as it's slower!

    Lazy iPhone owners. I really should buy a separate 2G data card for PocketPC and go old school. ;)
     
  20. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #20
    As long as you get the correct one for an MDD.

    They are somewhat model specific.
     
  21. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #21
    not sure where you are from but i know that around here that you cannot simply "plug" a phone into the landline when you have DSL service, You ALSO have to have phone service because it simpley will not work if you have no phone service (or so my phone company told me when I talked to them about their Lifeline DSL Internet service.)

    ----------

    they have one for a MDD? I never seen one all the ones i have seen have been shown to either be IN or come out of a B&W G3 to a Sawtooth
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #22
    The B&W ones will definitely NOT work in an MDD. Without looking(I'm too lazy to get up and dig it out) a Sawtooth might work but the ribbon cable might not be long enough. I think the internal modem connector on the Sawtooth-MDD is the same.

    They made them for virtually all desktop Macs with an internal modem. I think the company that made them still has some in stock for G5s.
     
  23. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #23
    Look to your left. ;)
    <------

    Then read the previous posts in the thread.
     
  24. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #24
    I assume Satellite Internet would simualar to Dish TV service. You have a dish mounted outside that provides the internet as far as what the modem looks like im not sure i assume it would be like a Cable modem (since dishes use TV Coax cables) but I have never seen nor had Satellite Internet either to know (too damn expensive!)

    ----------

    I am jealous. Charter dont offer things cheap at all. over $50 for internet service and over $70 just for basic and expanded basic cable (although we have the premium cable package) We don't have Xfinity or UVerse or FiOS or anything like that. We have:

    Charter for TV/Internet/Phone
    CenturyLink for Landline/DSL/DirecTV service
    Dish Network
    DirecTV
    (a few local small landline providers i never bothered to look into)
    and I THINK we can even get AT&Ts and Verizon's DSL service though I am not positive off the top of my head.

    I have a Virgin Mobile Kyrocera New Jax phone though Virgin's Lifeline phone program (called Assurance Wireless) although there is atleast half a dozen providers of Cell phone Lifeline service they ALL use sprint (I'd like it better to have SafeLink provided by Tracfone as sprint's service surely is not to my liking (though not as bad as they were 10 years ago)

    My mom has a NET10 Motorola W377G so our bills consist of her phone and TV
     
  25. gooser macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2013
    #25
    i used a dial up modem up until 2011 when my business closed. not for internet but for computer to computer "talking" between home and work. only slightly more modern than the system used in "wargames".
     

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