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Are dial-up modems useful for anything?

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    Are dial-up modems useful for anything?

    So I have a whole stash of PCI dial-up modems, along with one 8-bit ISA one (forget what I pulled it out of).

    Is there anything useful I can do with them without having an ISP for dial-up?

    Otherwise I think I'm just going to recycle them. Probably a null-modem would be the best way to go if I need to network something older. And it's not like I'm going to be using dial-up to connect to the internet.

    #2
    Some of the better FAX modems used EEPROMs for their firmware. You might hang onto those before you toss the PCBs.

    Of course, you can use them as caller ID boxes if you have POTS--and if they're voice modems, you can use them as answering machines.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Comment


      #3
      I've used them just as dialers. If you keep a telephone number directory on your computer it's handy to just dial right out of there. It is extremely rare that I send faxes any more, but SSFAXER is a single file 80K DOS program that lets you do that on old kit. I have a batch file so I can fire off a fax without even leaving the command line. Cool, but fax machines are rare now.

      Of course there's always bulletin boards, if that sort of thing interests you.

      And then you can always put one on answer mode as a practical joke. Old computer folk will immediately hang up and call back with a modem. Others, who don't recognize the sound will think you've got a fax machine (fooled them eh?) and younger people will go WTF?

      Let's see, there's got to be some more... I know ... put them on eBay at $200 each! That's what other people do.
      WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

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        #4
        Yikes! Some of those prices on ebay are quite scary. There's a PCI dual fax card for $1000. I almost want to tell the seller they are insane.

        Maybe I can do some phone experiments with them later, that actually sounds like fun --> in "answer mode". I love experiments

        Guess I'll hold onto the rest and throw them in a drawer out of sight.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by EverythingIBM View Post
          So I have a whole stash of PCI dial-up modems, along with one 8-bit ISA one (forget what I pulled it out of).

          Is there anything useful I can do with them without having an ISP for dial-up?

          Otherwise I think I'm just going to recycle them. Probably a null-modem would be the best way to go if I need to network something older. And it's not like I'm going to be using dial-up to connect to the internet.
          Dialing out from a computer that monitors a network. Easy to do a front-end to go to a paging terminal or many of the cell phone carriers to send a text. Even greater that you don't have to use that fast of modem (300 to 1200bps, 14400bps at the highest rate that is optional).
          Disclaimer: The username IBMMuseum and domain IBMMuseum.com are not affiliated with IBM in any manner

          Comment


            #6
            Fax modems are good in the event of broadband failure and can be used to send faxes over telephone lines or VOIP. Oh, they make good telephone answering devices with the right software.
            Rick Ethridge

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              #7
              the other day I had two male phone cable ends I needed patched together and was out of the normal gender benders, so I grabbed an old 14.4 modem out of my junk box to bridge the gap.

              That's about as useful as I've found them.
              From time to time the accessibility of a website must be refreshed with the blood of owners and designers. It is its natural manure.
              CUTCODEDOWN.COM

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                #8
                Originally posted by EverythingIBM View Post
                Yikes! Some of those prices on ebay are quite scary. There's a PCI dual fax card for $1000. I almost want to tell the seller they are insane. . . .
                That's what I meant about the eBay joke. I've been searching for certain modems to get information. The net is full of catalogues on sites that purport to be working businesses and list modems at prices that would make you think they came with a computer, keyboard, printer, and screen. It's a weird and wacky world out there.

                Another practical use is to connect two computers over the phone system. Put one in host mode and you can grab software from it remotely. This is actually handy considering that the phone system in some areas is generally operating more hours than the internet. It's a backup in any case.

                Another reason for keeping modems is their historical significance which is right at the top when you consider computer communications. I know communications is generally not a vintage subject, but how knows, the world may wake up to it some day. hehe And then you really will get $200 for them.
                WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I still use one to send/receive faxes. Believe it or not.
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Caluser2000
                    I use one to post on this forum. Believe it or not..............
                    Same here; a LOT cheaper !

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MikeS View Post
                      Same here; a LOT cheaper !
                      Sure is. Personally I don't feel at all hindered by using it either.
                      Last edited by Caluser2000; December 22, 2011, 10:36 PM.
                      Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
                        Another reason for keeping modems is their historical significance which is right at the top when you consider computer communications. I know communications is generally not a vintage subject, but how knows, the world may wake up to it some day. hehe And then you really will get $200 for them.
                        I used to work in a computer store. We had storage bins for stripped/spare cards organized by type (sound, video, etc.). The biggest/overflowing box by far was..... analog modems. There are TONS of them out there, I don't see them becoming rare anytime soon.

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                          #13
                          I used a circuit described here once to transfer files between a couple of computers via their modems without the use of a 'real' phone line. It's rather slow when compared to anything like serial or parallel transfer options, but still worked. In fact, I think the only reason I tried this method was from working with a laptop that didn't have easy access to serial/parallel, plus just for the sake of doing it...

                          That link also mentions obscure and obsolete ideas like using a fax machine as an ad-hoc printer or scanner, though I'm not entirely sure if that's completely possible or not...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by njroadfan View Post
                            I used to work in a computer store. We had storage bins for stripped/spare cards organized by type (sound, video, etc.). The biggest/overflowing box by far was..... analog modems. There are TONS of them out there, I don't see them becoming rare anytime soon.
                            I'm sure there are tons of them out there. That barrel was probably full of Rockwell win modems and other junk. Seriously, I don't think that the world will actually start to appreciate the value of communications technology, which is exactly why I think collectible modems will likely become rare in a short time - even just 10 or 20 years from now it might be hard to get hold of even the lowly win modem. People throw stuff out that they don't value. At any rate, the historical value of something is not really tied to the quantity produced, nor available. If that was the case the Commodore 64, for example, would be considered undesirable for collectors.

                            BTW: I've been keeping an eye out for modems on eBay and many are really hard to find or way too expensive for me.
                            WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
                              BTW: I've been keeping an eye out for modems on eBay and many are really hard to find or way too expensive for me.
                              I've got a few boxes full; looking for anything in particular?

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