Modems: 60 years of hooking up

A visual guide to the history of the modem, from the 1950s to today.

By Benj Edwards, PC World |  Networking, slideshow

The First Smartmodem 

In 1981, D.C. Hayes Associates introduced its seminal Hayes Stack Smartmodem. The 300-baud modem was the first to integrate its own command set--one that became an industry standard. Using a series of ASCII strings sent to the modem through its RS-232 serial port, users could initialize, autodial, answer, hang up, and more. Prior to this, most users had to dial a phone number manually then hook up the modem once they heard an answer on the other end.

Photos: Hayes Microcomputer Products, Dale Heatherington

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