Last week Apple announced it would no longer support Dial up. I happen to know none of you currently have dial up, but I thought it would be fun to revisit this process a bit.

The first modem was manufactured in 1962. The first PC modem came in 1977. I recall still being on a modem in 1980.

Remember the sound of dial up? The digital handshake? Well turns out each one of those sounds had a purpose.

When two computers connect, they handshake, they introduce themselves. Not until that happens can they communicate. This includes the hello part, negotiation of ‘language’, sound check, modulation, and more. I was particularly intrigued by the portion that told your phone line to turn off echo suppression and allow for full-duplex communications. Without the former, your phone line would deliver your voice back through the listener’s handset and to your ears in a continuous echo loop. So each one of those sounds actually did something important in dial up days.

Once upon a time the government paid to put phone lines in less populated areas (the the reduced bundle package with Spectrum and phones). Now they are extending broadband to those same under served areas as before. I think they are still paying to put phones in while we all remove them because we have cell phones now. But hey, that’s government for ya.

Dial up memories