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111

Much of this has been covered by previous answers, but to try to summarize: Adding a speaker was cheap and easy. The additional parts were standard, reliable, and inexpensive. It provided rich, immediate, understandable feedback on a variety of call-progress milestones. Click -- modem is responding enough to grab the line. (This click was usually from a ...


96

Up to 9,600 baud it's just iterative application of fairly straightforward analogue-domain ideas as and when standards emerge. Then there's a significant improvement on the digital side that bumps to 14,400 baud. Incremental phone line improvements lead from there to 33,600 baud. Finally, a digital back end for the phone network provides 56k as a downward ...


63

Not all modems from back in the day had speakers, for example an early popular modem was the Hayes Micromodem II (available for Apple ][ and S-100 machines) and it did not have a speaker. But the speaker served a few purposes that I can think of: Early modems were not very good at detecting various states, e.g. busy line, voice pickup, disconnected number ...


30

The first standard specifying modern TCP is RFC793 from 1981 (with predecessors dating back to 1974), which says about initial sequence number selection: To avoid confusion we must prevent segments from one incarnation of a connection from being used while the same sequence numbers may still be present in the network from an earlier incarnation. ...


30

So why were modem speakers such a persistent feature, and "fixture" of the time? Three basic reasons: Adding a simple amplifier and a speaker is the most easy way to handle unexpected situations In many countries/networks having a speaker active while establishing a connection was mandatory to make it legal/get a validation Adding it was as well the least ...


26

People have actually tried this. The answer is "No". In particular, you may notice, if you scroll all the way to the bottom, an old-timey "Best viewed in Netscape 3.0" bug. It does not in fact work at all under old installs of Netscape 3.0. As near as I can tell, the main hang-up seems to be SSL compatibility, but likely if that issue were solved there ...


24

I have not tried any of these, not having a Windows 98 system, but a bit of research reveals: Internet Explorer 6 SP1 was the last IE, in 2001. Firefox 2 was the last Firefox in 2006. Netscape 8 (2005) or Netscape 9 (2007) are available here. Opera 10 (2009) seems to be the last available, here. Safari and Chrome never supported Windows 98. Browsers ...


23

That latest web browser I am able to find is K-Meleon 74 Windows 9x Edition. It was created in 2014, when the Pale Moon engine (Goanna) was backported for Windows 2000. It requires KernelEx (and the latest updates) and a rather beefy old machine to run. You could also experiment with other later browser versions on top of KernelEx, as it adds NT support to ...


16

In the UK, CompuServe, CIX, and Demon Internet were the most influential early ISPs, but there were plenty more, such as Dircon, Pipex and Freeserve. Freeserve built by far the largest customer base, and may be the nearest UK equivalent to AOL in the US. However, it was rather different in that it gave you access to the Internet in general, with no "walled ...


15

Given the uniquely American roots of AOL, Why should AOL be anymore unique American than a C64 - selling quite well in all of Europe and some other parts. my assumption is that it was not so dominant or important in Europe and Asia as it was here in the U.S. It was. As by the amount of xxx-hours-free-internet-CDs attached to magazines and dropped in ...


13

It very much depends on what you're trying to do - Lynx's latest release is from 2018, runs on Win95, and is very lightweight, but, you know, lacks graphics. I also use Dillo on old machines when I just need Wikipedia. (Yeah, it does not have nice prebuilt Win binaries as far as I can tell.) // would've like to comment, but I lack the reputation!


13

It is not actually required that the TCP initial sequence number be random. It would be more correct to say that it is chosen arbitrarily, or to put it another way, that there is no rule specifying how the starting value must be chosen. This means that it can start at 0 for every connection, or at any other number. That same starting value can be used for ...


13

There are two well-documented computing devices that can lay claim to being the earliest examples of purpose-built Internet routers - The Stanford "Blue Box" router and the "Fuzzball" router. The "Blue Box" is associated with Cisco Systems because the two founders of Cisco were Stanford employees, and used it as the basis for their first commercial product. ...


13

The Internet was (and is) an evolving medium. It predated the web, with the first commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) beginning around 1989. Early features included e-mail, FTP (File Transfer Protocol for making files available to others), gopher (a hierarchal index of FTP sites and their contents), and newsgroups (open predecessor to commercial ...


12

It's called a #-literal. It's basically an Internet host number (IP address) written as a decimal number and it's been obsolete for almost as long as the Internet has existed. The current version of the SMTP protocol - RFC5321 (appendix F.4) - states it as being deprecated and it must not be used. RFC 821 provided for specifying an Internet address as a ...


12

RFC565 identifies NIC 8208 as: Computer Corporation of America, Datacomputer Project Working Paper No. 3, Datalanguage, 29 Oct '71, 78 pp. A copy of this document is available in the online repository of the US DoD's Defense Technical Information Center in a pdf document titled "Semi-Annual Technical Report, March 1972". Working Paper No. 3 is bundled with ...


9

The WebTV service launched over 20 years ago, so it's probably "retro" enough. :-) WebTV had contracts with a network of IAPs (Internet Access Providers), such as Concentric Networks, UUNET Technologies, and PSINet. While the big carriers provided plenty of capacity for urban areas, dozens smaller IAPs were also used to get coverage in less populated zones....


9

I suspect it could be a holdover from the days when a modem was a box that connected between your terminal and your phone. The phone handset was used to dial the remote number; when you heard the whistle from the far modem, you'd press the 'online' button on the modem, and then replace the phone handset. And, of course, if it wasn't a modem whistle you ...


9

All the answers above have concentrated on outgoing calls but modems also took incoming calls and, because phone lines were expensive, it was unusual to have multiple lines for fax, data, and voice. Therefore the modem was usually installed in-line with the phone (i.e. the circuit came into the modem, and then continued onward to the handset). Usually a ...


7

I would say the big breakthrough is when V.90 was introduced. ISPs no longer had traditional modems installed to receive calls as the analog phone lines were replaced with 64kbit digital lines or multiplexed over T1 and similar. This removed the digital to analog conversion that was done on the ISP side, allowing up to 56kbps from the ISP to the customer. ...


7

I think the primary driver was the new availability of the Internet in the home. At that time modems were the primary method of getting online so it was worthwhile for companies to pursue ways to make modems faster. They implemented compression and better ways to encode the data so more bits could be transferred per second. They also focused more on ...


6

In Australia we had AOL and their CD (and floppies) was everywhere, in your snail mail, shop counters, on covers of magazines, in newspapers, etc. Prior to Win 95 being released Microsoft and Telstra owned the Bigpond network (ISP) and Microsoft and Channel 9 owned Ninemsn (content). Telstra also had their own useless network in 1989 called the Discovery ...


6

Can only speak for myself: I never wanted the limited, cut-down internet access provided by AOL or my national telco. IBM offered the first "real", non-proprietary internet access as a package with OS/2 Warp that got me into the internet. You could use the IAK (Internet Access Kit) that was the killer app of Warp and buy a monthly service through IBM ...


5

The answer might be too simple and not as desired: Nothing revolutionary or new in particular. The underlaying physics/mathematics and the technology neccessary was know since quite some time. Speed up was mainly driven thru general availability of faster chips and classic market forces: Fast enough DSP and lowered prices within an emerging mass market. ...


5

Dialup Internet connections are point-to-point connections; every client system connecting using a modem requires a server-side modem to accept the call. If you want to skip the modems and just use direct RS-232 links that is possible but you will still need a bank of RS-232 ports on the server instead of a bank of modems. You can use a bunch of individual ...


5

You could run Web Rendering Proxy (screenshots) on a server, the browser would just be displaying pre-rendered images with imagemaps.


4

IE6 was the last Internet Explorer on Windows98 SE and IE5.5 with high encryption pack for Windows95. These were important for Citrix, and quite a bit of software leveraged IE6 dll's, notably Ultra-Edit. Seamonkey 1.1.19 - March 2010, a bit Retro. Not as recent as a better answer.


4

The "32-bit ARPA Internet Address" seems to be just what we call "IP address" today (IPv4, of course). I would interpret the "# followed by decimal form" as just a variant representation of the same kind of address: Instead of treating each byte as a a decimal number in the 0-255 range, treat the whole 4-byte word as a decimal number. That's the sort of ...


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