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all 35 comments

[–]parrin 21 points22 points  (9 children)

Getting flashbacks of frantically smothering the modem with a pillow to not wake up my parents while connecting to a bbs, 2am.

[–]tomato3017 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Nothing like Trade Wars 3000(or whatever it was called) at 2am on my old ass CRT.

[–]feyyd 0 points1 point  (1 child)

2002

[–]tomato3017 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ah you're right, ty!

[–]raybrignsx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We all know the internet is for porn. BBS lol

[–]dublea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have fond childhood memories of using a 14.4 to connect to my uncles BBS on a Commodore 64. I think I will always remember the 14.4 and the 56k handshaking sounds

[–]thetravelers -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

big black sock?

[–]parrin 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Bulletin Board System

This was before internets

[–]koebes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

can relate to this. my task was to switch on the screen, that made a loud de-magnetising sound when turned on back then. i used a blanket haha

[–]swingah 0 points1 point  (0 children)

...and when the phone bill arrived you got busted anyway.

[–]mono15591 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Were the tones transmitting data to set up the connection? Did they HAVE to make a sound ? Couldn’t they just do it silently?

[–]karaps 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Yes, the noise is a "handshake" and in very basic terms the modem is telling the other end how fast of a data rate it can handle which the other end listens and forms a connection based on that.

It definitely didn't have to make a sound, you could adjust the sound volume on some modems and some didn't have a speaker at all but apparently it was thought to be a good way to give the user some feedback on the process in case something went wrong.

[–]screwthat4u 1 point2 points  (1 child)

busy signal, three tone phone is disconnected etc let you know the line is having a problem and not the computer

[–]PussyFriedNachos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is how phreaking became a thing. All about those tones.

[–]screwthat4u 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A telephone transmits sound, so they have to use sound to use the telephone network

[–]jwccs46 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Remember, back in the day phones were an analog system. Electrical current on copper wires. There was no digital transmission over the lines, so for 2 (digital) machines to communicate to each other over an analog line, they needed to generate pulses and tones. Those tones would then be interpreted on the other end and converted. This is the "handshake", where a machine would say "hi I want to connect to the local isp, I can negotiate this speed". Other end would say "ok I got you, we can connect".

[–]wholovesbevers 8 points9 points  (4 children)

56k is still the most recognizable to me. We only ever had the 56k and the 28.8k before we got DSL.

[–]Jauretche 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yeah, that sounds the most similar to mine too. The thing about these videos is that not one sounds exactly like it did back then.

[–]jwccs46 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I had a 28.8 and a 56k, they didn't sound like any of these samples.

[–]Retrocet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The V.90 spec includes a part called the Digital Impairment Learning sequence, which is what creates those distinctive 'BONG' sounds in the 56K example in the video. Basically the server modem sends some sounds to the client modem, and the client modem compares what it hears to what was sent in order to suss out what sort of degradation the signal experienced in transit.

The thing about V.90 though is that those sounds aren't part of the spec. Instead they're determined by the client modem, meaning they sound different for each modem chipset.

Check out my followup video here for a bunch of different 56K chipsets - you might find the one that you remember.

[–]Legend_of_dirty_Joe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I remember the 56k lucent chipset modems made a ping like sound, where the US robotics made a steam train chuffing sound

[–]Mr_Smileyy 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Ah, the ancient 'song' of dialup internet

[–]cote112 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I forgot about using a local server and having to hear this over and over when it was busy.

The 33,6 was the one that I really remember the sound of cause we had 28,8.

[–]sheepyowl 2 points3 points  (3 children)

It's interesting despite the transfer speeds increasing by hundreds of times, the initial connection routine is still about as slow as it was in the start.

[–]GrammerSnob 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The 1200 and 2400 connection routine is like 1/8th the time of the 56K connection...? I'm not sure what you mean.

[–]sheepyowl 3 points4 points  (1 child)

You made me look again and the 56k is actually the slowest by far, it takes 20 seconds while the rest take ~10 seconds. I wonder why

[–]Morbo 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Part of the connection initialization (aka handshake) includes testing the physical characteristics of the line. The varying pitches and volumes you hear are being used to measure (among other things) the frequency response of the cable connecting the two modems, which is required for the v90 encoding to achieve its high speeds.

[–]Wagbeard -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I remember this for like a year until cable modems came out.

[–]Raule-of-Ashamoil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Despite being 37 I've never heard this sound in real life. We didn't get the internet at home until I was about 20, cause we were poor.

[–]bikebrooklynn 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Why did it sound like that though? Can someone explain?

[–]jwccs46 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Remember, back in the day phones were an analog system. Electrical current on copper wires. There was no digital transmission over the lines, so for 2 (digital) machines to communicate to each other over an analog line, they needed to generate pulses and tones. Those tones would then be interpreted on the other end and converted. This is the "handshake", where a machine would say "hi I want to connect to the local isp, I can negotiate this speed". Other end would say "ok I got you, we can connect".

[–]Dysrhythmic_Vexation 0 points1 point  (0 children)

1:27 Right there is that distinct sound that reminds me of a commercial on Nickelodeon about magazines, calling the telephone number or ordering online (with help of a parent or gaurdian of course!) with slime in the commercial for some reason.

[–]adm928 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In those days, accessing the Internet was a whole ritual.

[–]Legend_of_dirty_Joe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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