[vcf-midatlantic] Your First Modem? (was: Help me remember my first modem)

Alexander Jacocks jjacocks at gmail.com
Wed Dec 29 05:41:49 UTC 2021

Mine was a Commodore VICModem 1600 (300 baud), but I didn’t get to use it much. I was able to dial into QuantumLink a couple of times, but that was about it. For significant regular use, my first modem was a 2400 bps modem bought from MacConnection. I _believe_ that it was a knock off Practical Peripherals device. I used it with Z-term.

- Alex

> On Dec 28, 2021, at 11:07 PM, Bill Degnan via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> With my own money a Courier 33.6
>> On Tue, Dec 28, 2021, 10:05 PM Ethan O'Toole via vcf-midatlantic <
>> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>> Multitech Multimodem 224E on Tandy 1000sx.
>> I'm not sure if finding BBS systems helped me in life or hurt me tho :-)
>> Still good friends with people I met on those things 30+ years ago.
>>               - Ethan
>>> On Tue, 28 Dec 2021, W2HX via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>>> What was your first modem? Mine was a kit from Micromint in Long Island.
>> It was around 1980 or so (I was about 13). My dad drove me to Cedarhurst,
>> LI (I lived in Merrick, LI) to the Micromint sales office and bought this
>> kit. It was an acoustic coupler, 300 baud kit, with an enclosure, a PCB and
>> a bag of parts. I had low expectations that it would work when assembled. I
>> spent a few days assembling and soldering everything. I think the time was
>> around Christmas and my new brother-in-law was over. He was a post-grad at
>> university of Texas at Austin and had a computer account (don't recall the
>> computer). It was time to test it. Me, my brother-in-law and my father were
>> all standing around my TRS-80 Model III and this newly built modem, trying
>> to call into the computer system at UT Austin. In those days, long distance
>> calls were expensive. We must have dialed that computer 20 times while
>> attempting to adjust the pots and make it work, unsure if it would ever
>> work. I can't imagine what t
>> he bill was.
>>> I was adjusting one of the pots and then, like a miracle, there it was
>> "WELCOME TO THE UT AUSTIN COMPUTING CENTER" I can't swear that is exactly
>> what it said but you get the idea. We all jumped for joy. The darn thing
>> worked as advertised. Great experience and that modem served me well for
>> several years until I upgraded to a Micromint 1200 baud "direct connect"
>> modem before I went to college.
>>> 73 Eugene W2HX
>>> Subscribe to my Youtube Channel:
>> https://www.youtube.com/c/w2hx-channel/videos
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org> On
>> Behalf Of Neil Cherry via vcf-midatlantic
>>> Sent: Friday, December 24, 2021 10:29 PM
>>> To: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>
>>> Cc: Neil Cherry <ncherry at linuxha.com>
>>> Subject: Re: [vcf-midatlantic] Help me remember my first modem
>>> On 12/24/21 9:22 PM, John Heritage via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>>>> I'm trying to find a picture of my first modem online, and can't seem
>>>> to find one..
>>>> I remember my first modem (I was ~ 7 years old or ~ 1983-1984 when we
>>>> first got it, but had it for years later) being a 300 baud "Bell"
>>>> modem.  I
>>>> *believe* it had an acoustic coupler, but it *might but I do not
>>>> remember needing to use it to initiate connections to BBSes at the
>>>> time.  I'm not sure if there were hybrid modems where they still had
>>>> an acoustic coupler, but also supported auto dial of some kind.
>>>> My memory also tells me it was a black modem, rectangular (metal?)
>>>> exterior.  I think the modem might have said "Bell Labs" rather than
>>>> just Bell on the front.  I'm also 95% sure that the modem ..
>> disappeared ..
>>>> from Bell thanks to a family member who worked there/at AT&T (and also
>>>> was an Atari 800 owner like us).  We attached this modem (and later
>>>> modems) to an Atari 850 interface, so it had a standard serial
>> interface.
>>>> Lastly, I'm certain it was *not* a Bell 103 modem - which would have
>>>> been positively ancient by the early 80s, but some other design from
>>>> Bell.  Or at least not an original appearance one..
>>> I recall the Bell 300 modem (non-acoustic coupled). It had a AT&T Bell
>> logo on the front. So either Commsphere or Dataphone, probably Dataphone. I
>> think it had 103 on the front. Black plastic front, rest of it was metal
>> and an external 48v DC power brick, 2 screws on the brick. I can't recall
>> if the modem had screws or was hard wired. I do recall a DB25, male I think.
>>> --
>>> Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       ncherry at linuxha.com
>>> http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
>>> http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
>>> Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

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