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Remember 14.4k modems?

If so, you'd probably be amazed to learn this company is still around.

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Comments

I used to work for Zoom, my first tech-writing job in fact. The fellow who hired me to replace him apologized for offering me the job. There are tales.

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When I worked at Wang Laboratories, our PCs came with Hayes modems. I still have a Hayes baseball cap with their logo on it. It greatly resembled Polaroid Corporation's logo from the early days: two circles that partly intersected, sort of like a Venn diagram.

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Looked in the basement, my zoom modem is still plugged into the router, as a backup route in case comcast sucks. Wasn't turned on, however.

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. . . to a company I worked for in my mid 20's in the mid 90's. Zoom was big back then - but even then a 14.4 modem was the bottom rung for modems. 56.6 modems were the big thing then. The company I used to work for - one of their main businesses was renting computers to corporations. This was back when a 486-66 PC still cost 2500 bucks. They would rent these out to corps for 400 bucks a months and they would end up staying there for years- paying for them 2 or 3 times over and justify the cost as a business write off. They had 386 computers out on rental still when I started there and they were charging every month like a green grocer hundreds of dollars for each. Total money maker back when the hardware still mattered.

Remember modem cards with PCI slots for laptops? Remember when laptops weighed 10 pounds?

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Yes, a Trash-80 Model 100 with the 300-baud acoustic coupler with the tiny cheap little wires that would break after a month or so and if you were unlucky and had to file a story on deadline, you'd sit there, jiggling the cable in the hopes you'd get a connection long enough to send.

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. . . when I was about 12 my pop bought one of the first "portable computers"- it was an Osborne 1 Computer. It had a modem- but since it was 1982 about- there was no internet really. So it became the family computer for about 3 years or so. Used it to write papers for school (though it almost was as much of a hassle as a typewriter)- and to play a text scrolling game called simply "Adventure". No graphics- just text- and you would type commands like "turn right"- "forward" or "open chest". Real basic- but it was fun for back then.

And by the way- at 25 pounds and the size of a suitcase- it was hardly "portable". I guess what made it "portable" was the handle on it.

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I've heard these called "luggable".

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- that was the term for it alright. Luggable. I bet if I search my family storage stall I could still find some of the old "floppy" disks it used. I remember learning "BASIC" on that thing.

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... it was a DG-1 (Data General/One), and i believe it had a 300 baud modem. it looked like a typewriter on steroid. it was super impressive at the time... but then again it wasn't hard to impress people with a laptop in 1984 ;)

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I also worked for Zoom and got laid off in 2002. I didn't think it would survive back then because I got it in the 6th round of lay offs.

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It's what Galaxy Internet Services sent me when I signed up for DSL a few years ago. Works fine. So the company has definitely moved forward with the times.

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to go to AOL.

(Every time I get an e-mail from @AOL, I'm kind of shocked that it exists.)

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