News Flash: Man figures out how to use a dial-up modem

Via Hack-a-Day:

[phreakmonkey] got his hands on a great piece of old tech. It’s a 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem. He recieved it in 1989 and recently decided to see if it would actually work. It took some digging to find a proper D25 adapter and even then the original serial adapter wasn’t working because the oscillator depends on the serial voltage. He dials in and connects at 300baud. Then logs into a remote system and fires up lynx to load Wikipedia.
The HiR team loves Old School tech, but where do I even begin with this? The guy found a serial modem (and had to SCROUNGE for an industry-standard serial cable?) and used it exactly as it was designed to be used without any modifications. Where's the hackery here? Why is this even newsworthy?

In the 1980s, I cut my teeth on a similar modem albeit quite a bit newer than 1964. When dial-up Internet became accessible here in Kansas City, I would fire up a GRAPHICAL DOS-Based web-browser (Minuet, if you care) and connect via SLIP or PPP.

I suppose since I'm getting older, it's only going to get worse from here. I'll recall old tech with a certain fondness, and I'll get curmudgeonly whenever it becomes 'news' that someone found out how to use the old hardware as it was designed. Stored properly, well-built electronics don't rot or rust. These relics should simply "just work" and the fact that some standards from the 1960s still exist today should surprise no one. The world has built a vast technology canon of these standards. Some of the very standards we take for granted now are a result of engineering that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Now get off my lawn, you darn kids!
/me shakes his fist at whippersnappers!

blog comments powered by Disqus