The History Of The Modem

The History Of The Modem

Length: 1208 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The modem, which is an acronym for modulator/demodulator, was invented in the 1950's for military use. Manufactured by the now popular computer company, IBM, modems were used as part of an air-defense system; their purpose was to connect various airbases and control centers. Modems are devices that mix (modulate) and separate (demodulate) signals, allowing one computer to connect to another. They transfer the data over telephone lines by using analog waves and the modem then converts the waves back and forth. The first modems were designed to hold a telephone's receiver in a cradle and had wire connections that went from the cradles to the computer. Today, most modems are either internal or external hardware devices.
Before the computer modem, there was the com-port. When an internal modem card is placed inside of a computer, it behaves as a COM2 or COM3 port. It is also possible connect serial mice into one of these ports (Gilbert, 1996). Asynchronous communication is used in the PC COM port. Each byte of data is a separate unit and the computer that is sending the data can pause between any two bytes of the message. However, the receiver of the message may have to catch the data as quickly as it arrives. This is done by the "a synch" data requiring one extra bit worth of time to announce the new byte's beginning and once extra bit worth of time at the end. This is what is known as the "start" and "stop" bits. This means that a 2400 baud modem could transfer only 240 bytes of data per second. Each byte would require a minimum of 10-bit times. This was once called "start-stop" communication, but asynchronous (a sync, for short) is the name (Gilbert, 1995).
The modem does not start and stop the bits. They are actually put out as part of the general data compression. The start and stop bits continue to be generated on the wire that connects a COM port to an external modem. The modem COM port is generally configured to use a higher speed between the modem and the COM port than what the actual transmission will support. A modem may operate at 14,400-kbps with the COM port configured for 38,400-kbps. This is an example of older technology being adapted to meet new requirements (Gilbert, 1995).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The History Of The Modem." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Oct 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=159636>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Marxism And Its Effect On Modem Man Essay

- In the minds of people, the term “humanism” has certain magic, electric charm – like the "Aladdin’s lantern”. It bemuses many with its so-called rational, liberating gimmicks. Many Muslims, therefore, have developed false opinions without questioning the origin of western humanism and its effect on modem man. I shall attempt to clarify this subject by borrowing from the writings of a noted Islamic scholar, a sociologist, the late Dr. Ali Shariati. The pundits of all schools of thought cannot agree upon a precise definition of the term “humanism”....   [tags: God, Religion, Islam, Atheism]

Research Papers
1743 words (5 pages)

A Modem Song Can Impact Youth Essay examples

- Lyrics in a modem song can impact youth Songs has been important to humanity. Listening to a song and singing along with a song play a central role in adolescence and youth lives, helping to sort through emotions, and identify with certain peer groups and develop a sense of self. Besides a song delivers sounds, it also delivers the lyrics, which speak what cannot be expressed in a mind, give rest to a heart, and heal a soul. However, music can, and often does, affect emotions negatively as well as positively, such as some modern day music glorifies the detrimental messages of violence, promiscuity, and drug sell, which can be a huge influence and impact to our vulnerable youth....   [tags: Illegal drug trade, Drug, Heroin, Gang]

Research Papers
1134 words (3.2 pages)

A Brief History and Explanation of Modems Essay

- A modem (modulate demodulate) is a network device that both modulates and demodulates analog carrier signals (called sine waves) for encoding and decoding digital information for processing (Janssen C 2014). The most common use of modems is both for sending and receiving digital information between personal computers and for connecting to the internet. Modem is considered as an important hardware of computer and most computers in the past came with a built in modem, but now many manufacturers are not including it because of the increased popularity of broadband connections....   [tags: network device decoding digital information]

Research Papers
1338 words (3.8 pages)

What Does A Modem Do? Essay

- One way cable TV and telephone companies increase your bill is by having you rent their equipment. If you 've cut the cable cord but still use your former pay TV provider for internet access, you may want to check your bill and see if you are being charged a rental fee for a modem and/or router that they supply. If they are, you could be losing over $100 a year in charges you don 't need to pay. The cost to replace the modem can typically be recouped in less than a year. In this article I 'll explain which modem you need based on your provider....   [tags: Cable modem, Cable television, Coaxial cable]

Research Papers
1061 words (3 pages)

Essay on A Brief History of Brickwork

- Introduction & Brief History of Brickwork. A brick is essentially a modular unit of fired or dried clay which has evolved as a building material throughout the centuries. The earliest bricks were simply cut from a thin slab of clay with straw reinforcement and then sun-dried. Subsequently, the Romans used wooden frames as moulds to make their bricks and fired them afterwards. Later again, circa the 1100’s bricks were produced using ‘pallet moulding’ and ‘slop moulding methods’. This was a method whereby timber moulds held the clay and any surplus clay was cut off....   [tags: building elements, modular units of clay]

Research Papers
1761 words (5 pages)

History Of The Internet : Modern Media Essay example

- History of the Internet: Modern Media Definition The internet is defined by dictionary.com as the global communication network that allows almost all computers worldwide to connect and exchange information. When two computers are connected over the Internet, they can send and receive all kinds of information such as text, graphics, voice, video, and computer programs.1 Background The Internet has changed the entire complexity of the computer and communications world like nothing before. The inventions of different forms of technology like the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this revolutionary advancement....   [tags: Internet, World Wide Web, Streaming media]

Research Papers
1394 words (4 pages)

Essay on The History Of The Internet

- The History of The Internet Imagine talking about the latest elections with someone three thousand miles away without receiving a tremendous phone bill. Or sending a letter to a friend or relative and having it arrive one second later. How would it feel to know that any source of information is at your fingertips at the press of a button. All of these are possible and more with a system of networks all connected and sending information at light speed from place to place known as the Internet....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
2370 words (6.8 pages)

History of the Computer Essay examples

- In this report, you’ll about the components and history regarding the computer. A computer is a devise that processes, organize, and calculate, displays information. It can communicate with other computers all over the world. The most powerful computer can perform 10s of billion of calculations per second. People use computers for business, track inventories, and use bar codes, personal home use and other things. Computers can produce information, numbers, images, sounds and movies. Embedded computers control devices such as remote controls....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

History Of The Internet Essay

- History of the Internet Works Cited Buick, Joanna and Jevtic, Zoran. Introducing Cyberspace. New York, NY: Totem Books, 1995. Crick, Prof. Rex E. E-Mail History. [Online] Available http://www2.uta.edu/geology/compulit/mailhist.html, December 20, 1999. Hafner, Katie and Lyon, Mathew. Where Wizards Stay up Late. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1996. "Internet." Encyclopedia Britannica, 1999 ed. Kristula, Dave. The History of the Internet. [Online] Available http://www.davesite.com/net-history.html, November 19, 1999....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Modern Piracy With A Breif History Essay

- Piracy is usually determined as a seizure of property (ship, airplane or software) that holds no commission from the owner (“Piracy” 1). It is mostly linked to the dirty, bearded men that sailed the seven seas and robed merchant ships or ships that carried a valuable cargo. This however, was not the case in the late eighties and is definitely not the case today in the nineties. Now software pirates copy software without the permission of the company for their own personal benefits. Since piracy interrupts trade between nations it has been considered to be an offense against international law (“Piracy” 1)....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
2015 words (5.8 pages)


Currently, there are several different types of modems that are used in both everyday life and business. In 1994, the standard modem speed was set at 28.8 kbs; it was called the V.34. "At one time just the thought of standardizing a 9.6-kbps modem was amazing. People wondered what the possible applications could be." (Mannes, 1995) Now, speeds are much faster and technology has grown by leaps and bounds.
Ray Wright, director of marketing for Motorola's modem products, says that a V.34 modem can "learn", so to speak, which parts of the spectrum are clearest for the transmission of data. The V.34 standard uses data-compression technology to reach speeds of up to 115.2 kbps between two computers. This, however, may vary if the files being transferred are already zipped (Mannes, 1995).
The cable modem, unlike the original, does not connect through phone lines. Instead, they connect through the same coaxial cable that your television does. In order to connect to the internet using a cable modem, your computer must be equipped with a NIC (Network Interface Card) card, which attaches directly to the motherboard.
"There are only two drawbacks to cable. First, it is a shared connection, meaning you share the "pipeline" with your neighbors. That doesn't mean that your neighbors will know what you are doing on the internet. But it does mean that if all of your neighbors were on the internet downloading large files at the same time, your internet connection would not be as speed as usual…The second drawback to cable is also minor. Because cable modem connections are always, they, like DSL connections, make you more vulnerable to hacking and security breaches. For this reason, many cable companies are now providing their customers firewall software to help protect their security." (Berger, 2005)
DSL which stands for digital subscriber line is another form of broadband connection. Unlike the cable modem, the DSL connection goes through the telephone line. Both of them, however, use an external modem to make the connection. Since DSL connects through the phone it is necessary to use what is called a "micro-filter". This device is placed between your telephone line and the wall-jack and enables the external modem to operate on a different frequency than the telephone itself. That way it's possible to talk on the phone while you're on the internet, making business much easier.
For computers to contact each other, the modems must have similar settings. Those settings include the rate at which the data is sent and received, the parity, and data bits. The rate at which the data is received is referred to as the baud rate. It generally ranges from 300 to 28,800 baud. The parity makes sure that the data is valid and is set at either an even or an odd. The data bits tell the receiving computer the size of each character it should expect to receive. Data transfer using faster modems is less costly, than using slower modems. Like the old saying suggests, "time is money", and the faster the data is transferred the less it costs. Advances in modem technology, as well as higher standards, have caused faster versions of modems to grow in popularity. "You can never have a modem that is too fast" (Mannes, 1995).
Modem speeds have increased every few years. Telephone systems themselves, have an internal speed limitation of 64,000-kbps. Without connecting a computer to the phone company, the best data transfer is only half that speed. "This limit is a mathematical limit. It cannot be broken by advances in chip manufacturing." (Gilbert, 1996)
The modem has greatly changed the way we work and live, making it easier to stay connected with people all over the world. Since its invention it has been through a number of technological advancements, like improvements in the baud rate and it will probably continue to see more as the demand arises. The modem not only enables businesses to connect with their customers and suppliers, but it also allows other organizations, such as the military, to stay in touch with all of its branches. Without the modem it would be much more difficult for military bases to exchange data with one another or with the control center. Overall the modem has greatly increased out ability to communicate with one another and in doing so, has simplified our lives.

Works Cited

Banks, Michael A. The Modem Reference: The Complete Guide to PC
Communications. New Jersey: CyberAge Books, 2000.

Berger, David. "Cable – Broadband Connection." Internet Connections Explained. 22
March 2005. 15 April 2005. http://www.compukiss.com/sandyclassroom/tutorials/article760.htm

Chute, George M. and Robert D. Electronics in Industry. New York, Toronto, London:
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, 1971.

Gilbert, H. "Start-Stop Making Sense." 2 Feb 1995. 15 Apr 2005.
http://pclt.cis.yale.edu/pclt/COMISDN/STRTSOP.HTM

Gilbert, H. "PC Communications Over Modems and ISDN." The Storm Before the COM. 11 Aug 1996. 15 Apr 2005.
http://pclt.cis.yale.edu/pclt/COMISDN/DEFAULT.HTM

Mannes, George. Popular Mechanics. "The Need for Speed". 1 Sept. 1995.
Return to 123HelpMe.com