"The frequencies of the modem's sounds represent parameters for further communication. In the early going, for example, the modem that's been dialed up will play a note that says, "I can go this fast." As a wonderful old 1997 website explained, "Depending on the speed the modem is trying to talk at, this tone will have a different pitch."Not that I would want to go back to dial-up speeds. I haven't the patience now to wait twenty minutes to download a mp3 track.
Audio One of the sounds I've missed, really missed, since moving to broadband is the sound of a dial-up modem. The clicks, burrs and burps whilst not conventionally pleasant sounding, were an important part of the ritual of connecting to the web, a kind of audio gatekeeper for this other reality. The simple click-connect of mobile broadband doesn't quite have the same mystique. Now The Atlantic have de-mystified the process even further by explaining to us lay-people what all of the clicks, burrs and burps actually were:
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012