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The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

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Right this minute!
  415 votes / 1%
Within the past month
  636 votes / 2%
Within the past year
  719 votes / 2%
1 to 5 years ago
  2348 votes / 7%
5 to 10 years ago
  9357 votes / 29%
10 to 20 years ago
  16184 votes / 51%
more than 20 years ago
  858 votes / 2%
I'd say it was abouY!@#*ZNO CARRIER
  1104 votes / 3%
31621 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

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  • Mother-In-Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by invid (163714) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:31AM (#44871797) Homepage
    My mother-in-law was using a modem to sign in to "American Online" up to a little over a year ago. When I went to her house to trouble-shoot anything I would get nostalgic at the sound of the modem.
  • Dial-up EFB (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LeeRyman (1942792) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:08AM (#44872105)

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology still uses a dial-up modem for its Electronic Field Book (EFB) to supply the daily observations. I think it uses something like Kermit or XMODEM to transfer a series of data files containing observation results generated by a program running in DOS on a laptop. Its antiquated, but it works. I've asked some of their software guys if they would consider a web-based submission tool, but there isn't a perceived need nor resources to implement it. We use it twice a day at the marine rescue base I volunteer at.

  • Early cable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Emetophobe (878584) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:50AM (#44872517)

    When I first "signed on" around 1995 dialup prices were around $30-40/month for a 28.8 connection. Within a few years there were so many competiting dialup providers that you could get a 56K connection for $5/month and it came with a personal website, several emails, usenet access, etc... You could literally find a hundred competiting ISPs in the yellow pages in the Toronto area.

    I was one of the first to get cable internet in my area. I can't remember the price, but it was fairly decent, and the service quality was amazing. I remember being blown away by the speeds. I'd usually get 600KBytes/sec down from sites like A few years later my isp (Shaw) and another isp (Rogers) decided to swap customers for some odd reason (without any say from the customers of course). So I ended up getting stuck with Rogers, and service quality quickly degraded over the next several years. The dialup ISPs slowly died off and competition died with it.

    Fast forward 10-15 years and I'm still with Rogers. The service quality is much better than it was 5 years ago, mostly due to the CTRC finally getting off their asses and slapping Rogers over their throttling practices. The speeds are good, I get 6.5MB/sec on average and I almost never have any service outages (maybe once or twice a year for a few hours). The price and caps are unacceptable though. I pay $80/month for 50Mbit down with a 150GB monthly cap. What I wouldn't do for a little competition again. I had it with dialup, why can't I have it with cable? I should still have access to dozens of competiting providers like I did ~20 years ago. /rant

  • Missing Option. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:30AM (#44872909)

    I normally don't complain about missing options, but we missed a big one.
    I have never used a dial-up modem.
    I wouldn't vote for it, but Being 10-20 years is popular. I could see some kids in their pre-20's who wouldn't ever use a Dialup.

    A 20 year old today, would be born in 1993, wouldn't be interesting or ever connect to the internet until they are 5 (1998) by then their parents were a bit ahead of the curve and got one of the early cable modem internet.

  • by SkimTony (245337) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:49AM (#44873057)

    We used to connect to the internet over our phone lines.

    Now, we connect our phones over the internet.

  • by DaphneDiane (72889) <> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @11:19AM (#44873321)

    Yes. As someone that works in telephony industry the amazing thing to me is how many modems are still in use. And the fun of making sure that modems, faxes and the like continue to work even when the device plugged into a VoIP line ( SIP, H.248, or MGCP ) and/or going over IP trunking. There are actually protocols designed to recognize fax data and process it differently so that it still works, see T.38.

  • by twocows (1216842) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @12:29PM (#44874123)
    I actually end up using dial-up every now and then. It's free in west Michigan and one of the free lines is in my area code, so it's really and truly free for me. I used a dial-up connection several times when I got kicked off my university's connection for... alleged copyright infringement. I also used dial-up for about six months or so, starting from about the time I stopped living on campus (last semester at uni) and lasting through when I graduated until I got a job (graduated in December, got a job in April).

    A few things made it a lot more bearable. I kind of use the internet socially these days, so the fact that IRC wasn't affected was really great. However, browsing the web these days on dial-up is almost unbearable. Fifteen years ago, websites were designed for low bandwidth, so there weren't a lot of image-heavy and JavaScript-heavy websites. That is definitely not the case anymore and even sites like Wikipedia take a while to load; Facebook is out of the question, it just fails after a certain point. To remedy this, I used Opera, which has (had? I heard they changed their layout engine recently, not sure if it still exists) an option to only load cached images and lets you load unloaded images from a context menu entry (which, obviously, caches them), allowing you to load important images or images that are necessary for getting things to function correctly. This made things a lot more bearable; I could even get on Facebook (though it still took like five minutes and it looked really awful).

    The other big thing was the wide availability of free WiFi cafes and such. I could go to McDonalds, download a single player game on my backlog or a movie or something, and bring it back home. No one ever said I had to strictly use dial-up. It was kind of a pain bringing my (crappy) laptop to McDonalds, downloading a game, bringing it back, and then transferring it to my desktop so I could actually play it, but c'est la vie, it wasn't that big of a deal. Still more convenient than just sitting in one of those places all day, which I've seen people do.

    I'd say in the past three years, I've probably spent at least one non-continuous year on a dial-up connection. It's really not so bad, but I sure as heck won't go back to it unless I have to. Hope this helps anyone who may end up in (or is currently in) a similar situation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @04:14PM (#44877131)

    Ah yeah, leased lines. Reminds me of a cool bit of forgotten disruptive tech that I once used at work.

    You used to be be able to order something called an "alarm circut" or "dry pair" from a phone company. (Maybe you still can?) It's a pair of copper wires electrically connected from one place to another, through a local phone network. It's basically a phone line with no service on it. No voltage, no dialtone, no phone number. It was used for linking alarm and emergency systems together. Low data rate stuff because the line quality was literally the same as your average phone network. I think the range was limited too, with endpoints prety much limited to within the same exchange.

    With the advent of DSL you were suddenly able to put much higher data rates over plain phone copper. Phone companies pretty much had monopoly over this due to owning the phone networks (And later bribery of elected officials).. Until a small company figured out you could push the same signals over one of these dry pair circuits. You could buy these boxes that would let you do 1.5 megabits, the same speed of a T1, and would hook up to your router via a high speed serial interface just like your T1 TSU.

    Naturally the phone companies would have none of this seeing as a dry pair cost about 10 bucks a month and a point to point T1 was closer to 1000. Pretty soon the started clamping attenuators on the dry pairs, limiting communications impossible for anything faster than a 9600bps modem, which is the most alarm systems ever used.

  • Re:Missing Option. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ImdatS (958642) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:41PM (#44888807) Homepage

    I'm 45 and the first internet access was with a dial-up acoustic coupler with 300 baud (if you don't know what it is, please google or check WikiPedia...)

    Man, I could hear the bytes crawling.

    As background: I actually hacked into a PDP11 of the Technical University in Berlin and into a BS2000-machine at the Free University in Berlin. From there, I could jump from machine to machine and at one point ended up in Australia. Funny thing is, I still can remember the name of one of the key machines (WRB03) in Germany that we used to jump international... *sigh* good ol' times...

    Disclaimer: we were just a bunch of kids playing around and chatting with people around the world - no, we didn't destroy or crack or manipulate anything. We just wanted to talk to people outside of Berlin (West) (this was around 1983/84)

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake


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