The sound of a dial-up modem like you’ve never heard it before

Back in 1996, you were hot stuff if you logged on to the Internet using 56K dial-up modem. It was, for a time, the fastest “onramp” to the World Wide Interwebs. We’re all familiar with the quaint, old-fashioned sound of a dial-up modem.
Hearing that old familiar electronic melody again now, in the era of Broadband, may trigger in some of you a Pavlovian drool response that coincides with a subconscious expectation of hearing “You’ve got mail!” bleated at the end of it.

Anyway, you might find this audio clip interesting. It’s a recording of the sounds produced by a dial-up modem, sounds you’ve heard countless times before in your life, though never like this. It’s been slowed wayyyyy down and sounds both dreamily futuristic, fascinating, and darkly ominous as it progresses. You know, kind of like the Internet.


  1. Lorraine

    I remember when I had to phone a person that I wanted to send an email to in order to coordinate it. They had to receive the email at the other end when I sent it or it wouldn’t go through – just like a regular phone call, except through the computer.

  2. Geoff

    very nice. a comment on youtube accurately described the current music situation:

    “Let’s face it, we’ve heard a lot of deliberate music of any sort that didn’t sound this good.”

  3. Martha

    Nostalgia? Dude, don’t forget about us poor people out in rural America. I’m psyched that I DON’T hear it anymore- just got a higher connection 2 years ago- whoooo! Now I’m happy with 1/2 a meg vs. my old 26k. Which is still quite sad, I hear.

    Lorraine- I hear you. My brother who is deep in EE was on the net in the 80’s when it was just a few geeks hangin’ out with C prompts.

  4. Jim

    Well, for what it’s worth, I remember when my dad was using telegraph on the railroad, back in the 60’s. They were also using the old underwood typewriters. as well. When they switch to the “high tech” teletype machine’s, he was reluctant to learn it, and his supervisor pretty much told him he WAS going to learn it. Ah yes… the good old slow days……

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