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The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

Displaying poll results.
Right this minute!
  415 votes / 1%
Within the past month
  636 votes / 2%
Within the past year
  719 votes / 2%
1 to 5 years ago
  2348 votes / 7%
5 to 10 years ago
  9357 votes / 29%
10 to 20 years ago
  16184 votes / 51%
more than 20 years ago
  858 votes / 2%
I'd say it was abouY!@#*ZNO CARRIER
  1104 votes / 3%
31621 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

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  • first vote (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I looked at the results and said "holy shit...EVERYONE voted 10-20 years ago?"...then I realized it was just me.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:33AM (#44871813)

      I looked at the results and said "holy shit...EVERYONE voted 10-20 years ago?"...then I realized it was just me.

      I don't know about you, but I voted just a minute ago. Indeed, I'm surprised that you could vote on this poll 10-20 years ago. I thought it only appeared today.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @05:49PM (#44878169)

        I don't know about you, but I voted just a minute ago. Indeed, I'm surprised that you could vote on this poll 10-20 years ago. I thought it only appeared today.

        That's because you're on dial-up...

    • Missing Option. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:30AM (#44872909)

      I normally don't complain about missing options, but we missed a big one.
      I have never used a dial-up modem.
      I wouldn't vote for it, but Being 10-20 years is popular. I could see some kids in their pre-20's who wouldn't ever use a Dialup.

      A 20 year old today, would be born in 1993, wouldn't be interesting or ever connect to the internet until they are 5 (1998) by then their parents were a bit ahead of the curve and got one of the early cable modem internet.

      • by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @06:13PM (#44878425) Homepage

        My son (age 9) wrote a story about machines that talked with each other via sound that was too rapid for humans to understand.
        He'd never heard of a modem before. So I explained it to him and found a youtube clip of one connecting. He was amazed.

        • by bitt3n (941736) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @02:36PM (#44886203)

          My son (age 9) wrote a story about machines that talked with each other via sound that was too rapid for humans to understand. He'd never heard of a modem before. So I explained it to him and found a youtube clip of one connecting. He was amazed.

          so he changed his story to machines that communicated via sound too aggravating to stand

    • Its a flawed poll. Its not setup to discern the amount of first modem users, because the question is when everyone moved off modems. So there's no need for the >20 years users; remove it. "Right this minute" can be merged with dropped carrier. Then they can set better start dates for when broadband rolled out, or change 10-20 years to "more than 10 years".

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "because the question is when everyone moved off modems."
        No it isn't. ItT's the last time you used one. For example I sue one to dial into some commercial industrial systems.

        " So there's no need for the >20 years users; remove it. "
        so no one could have stopped using a modem prior to 1993?

        " "Right this minute" can be merged with dropped carrier."
        nope. I could have logged off 45 seconds ago and be right this minute.

        " Then they can set better start dates for when broadband rolled out, "
        your assumption is th

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          " So there's no need for the >20 years users; remove it. "
          so no one could have stopped using a modem prior to 1993?

          They could have, but given the granularity, >10 would be the essentially same as 10-20 and >20. The "interesting" polls, answer-wise, are always the ones with better distributions. 1 yr, 5 yr, 10yr, 15yr, 20yr, 20+ yr would have likely had a better (more even) distribution. Though the answers are still interesting. At this moment, over half are 10-20. So that's where a new option would have given the best visibility.

  • 4 years ago (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rataerix (2814199) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:16AM (#44871687)
    It's seems so crazy that only 4 years ago I had dial-up, and now my 5 Mbps is considered slow by many.
    • Re:4 years ago (Score:4, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:48AM (#44873045)

      As the average speed goes up, us crazy developers find new ways to fill up your pipe.

      1980s 300bps was expected. So Command Line Systems were popular, it just needs to work as fast as you can type, read.
      Early 1990s 1200bps was expected. Fast enough to replace Command Line with menus and Color ANSI text (when it went up to 2400bps)
      Late 1990's 14.4k was common. We could now use graphics, and download small images.
      Early 2000's 56.6k was common. larger Graphics, and Sound. We used more graphical elements.
      Mid 2000's 1mbs was common, Sound, and video was being added.
      Late 2000's 5mbs was common, Larger - Full screen video and multi-channel audio.
      Early 2010's 10mbs is common, We expect multible systems using the Full-Screen video, as well as sharing large files back and forth.

      If we took our 10mbs connection today, and only Telneted into a Command Line pomp, it would run very fast, faster then you will need it to be. However if you tried to say watch netflix on your 300bps modem (assuming it worked) you will be better off walking to your nearest red-box and getting a CD.

      • 2400 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @12:24PM (#44874055) Homepage Journal
        Ah yes, 2400. The virtual striptease as the "graphical element" slowly and erratically revealed itself from top to (hopefully) bottom...
        • Oh, Captain Janeway. Lace: The Final Brassiere.

        • by dunng808 (448849)

          I recall downloading multiple uuencoded files from USENET News and reassembling them to get a playing card size gif. Plenty of time to pop open a fresh beer. So often disappointed, but every now and them ...

      • Re:4 years ago (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @01:17PM (#44874833) Homepage

        if you tried to say watch netflix on your 300bps modem (assuming it worked) you will be better off walking to your nearest red-box and getting a CD.

        I think you might still beat 300 bps if you walked to your furthest red-box.

        Hmm, let's see. Assuming we're talking continental United States, furthest average walk would be maybe 2000 miles (since coastal population is higher than central). Average person walks 2 MPH, so 1000 hours each way, call it 1500 hours with sleep, or 3000 hours round trip. DVD contains 2 GB of video. 2 GB / 300 bps = 16 billion / 300 per second = 53 megaseconds = 14,814 hours. Yup, better off walking -- even coast to coast and back, with a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. :)

      • At least for CRT terminals and Unix-capable computers (PDP-11s, Vaxen, and most of the Motorola-based machines), 1200 baud took over from 300 baud pretty quickly. We still had 300 baud paper terminals like the TI Silent 700, and people with Commodore 64s or TRS-80s might be using 300 baud, but otherwise 300 was mostly gone by the mid-80s. I last used a Silent 700 around 1991, dug out from the storage closet at the lab because I was working on a project with a company that wouldn't let us connect to the ou

  • by beh (4759) * on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:19AM (#44871697)

    Hmm - last time I used a dial-up _modem_ was around 1999...
    Last time I used a dial-up _connection_ was late 1996... ...after that I used two dial-up modems in leased-line mode on an analog leased line... (yes, the standard AT command set does have an option to assume leased-line mode and just try and connect instead of dialling)

    Anyhow - both neatly fall into the 10-20 year category - so, not a biggie in terms of which choice to go for... ;-)

    • I remember having an internet outage a few years back, and digging up an old dial-up modem out of a drawer and using it... can't remember how many years ago that was, though. 2005? 2007? somewhere thereabouts.

      Bet I still have that modem. Wonder if I could dig up the dial-up numbers without having to look them up on the web (which would rather defeat the point...)

      • by icebike (68054)

        Internet outage is seldom solved by dial-up modems these days, because most people connect with cable or fios, and those companies don't even support dial-up. So when you most need it, you have to run out and sign up someplace.
        I haven't had a dialup capable ISP for 10 years.

        Tethering to your cell phone, on the other hand is the new backup when your internet connection goes down. The carriers make it ridiculously expensive, but if you buy your smartphone unlocked and not from your carrier they can't even t

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @04:14PM (#44877131)

      Ah yeah, leased lines. Reminds me of a cool bit of forgotten disruptive tech that I once used at work.

      You used to be be able to order something called an "alarm circut" or "dry pair" from a phone company. (Maybe you still can?) It's a pair of copper wires electrically connected from one place to another, through a local phone network. It's basically a phone line with no service on it. No voltage, no dialtone, no phone number. It was used for linking alarm and emergency systems together. Low data rate stuff because the line quality was literally the same as your average phone network. I think the range was limited too, with endpoints prety much limited to within the same exchange.

      With the advent of DSL you were suddenly able to put much higher data rates over plain phone copper. Phone companies pretty much had monopoly over this due to owning the phone networks (And later bribery of elected officials).. Until a small company figured out you could push the same signals over one of these dry pair circuits. You could buy these boxes that would let you do 1.5 megabits, the same speed of a T1, and would hook up to your router via a high speed serial interface just like your T1 TSU.

      Naturally the phone companies would have none of this seeing as a dry pair cost about 10 bucks a month and a point to point T1 was closer to 1000. Pretty soon the started clamping attenuators on the dry pairs, limiting communications impossible for anything faster than a 9600bps modem, which is the most alarm systems ever used.

  • Mother-In-Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by invid (163714) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:31AM (#44871797) Homepage
    My mother-in-law was using a modem to sign in to "American Online" up to a little over a year ago. When I went to her house to trouble-shoot anything I would get nostalgic at the sound of the modem.
  • by eric31415927 (861917) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:38AM (#44871857)

    At university, we used to use two modems on two phone lines to double our connection speed on a single computer.

  • Dial-up EFB (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LeeRyman (1942792) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:08AM (#44872105)

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology still uses a dial-up modem for its Electronic Field Book (EFB) to supply the daily observations. I think it uses something like Kermit or XMODEM to transfer a series of data files containing observation results generated by a program running in DOS on a laptop. Its antiquated, but it works. I've asked some of their software guys if they would consider a web-based submission tool, but there isn't a perceived need nor resources to implement it. We use it twice a day at the marine rescue base I volunteer at.

  • I set up a couple dial up modems for a backup connection in case of the failure of a much faster wireless link in an industrial application. Dial-up can still be better than nothing.
  • Early cable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Emetophobe (878584) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:50AM (#44872517)

    When I first "signed on" around 1995 dialup prices were around $30-40/month for a 28.8 connection. Within a few years there were so many competiting dialup providers that you could get a 56K connection for $5/month and it came with a personal website, several emails, usenet access, etc... You could literally find a hundred competiting ISPs in the yellow pages in the Toronto area.

    I was one of the first to get cable internet in my area. I can't remember the price, but it was fairly decent, and the service quality was amazing. I remember being blown away by the speeds. I'd usually get 600KBytes/sec down from sites like A few years later my isp (Shaw) and another isp (Rogers) decided to swap customers for some odd reason (without any say from the customers of course). So I ended up getting stuck with Rogers, and service quality quickly degraded over the next several years. The dialup ISPs slowly died off and competition died with it.

    Fast forward 10-15 years and I'm still with Rogers. The service quality is much better than it was 5 years ago, mostly due to the CTRC finally getting off their asses and slapping Rogers over their throttling practices. The speeds are good, I get 6.5MB/sec on average and I almost never have any service outages (maybe once or twice a year for a few hours). The price and caps are unacceptable though. I pay $80/month for 50Mbit down with a 150GB monthly cap. What I wouldn't do for a little competition again. I had it with dialup, why can't I have it with cable? I should still have access to dozens of competiting providers like I did ~20 years ago. /rant

    • I kind of wish they would bring back the "dial-up" concept. Something like you pay $20/month for an ADSL WAN connection that will only route to other connections in the local calling area. You then have to go out and purchase Internet/TV/VOIP from a company or companies on top of that.

      The better option would be if municipalities were to create open access networks (dark fiber to the home to whoever wants it). But seeing as how that's unlikely to happen in most places a government regulated high-speed "dial-

  • . . . but I've had to setup dialup modems on a number of AT&T supplied routers for installation & maintenance. Or more precisely, dig up a POTS line for their tech to plug their dialup modem into.
    • I do managed security services, and we use modems to manage routers, firewalls, intrusion detection, and similar devices. It's not the primary management mechanism, but you need to be able to talk to the console when the Internet connection's not working, or when your box wasn't staged correctly so it doesn't have the right IP address, or when the box has gotten too hosed to do anything other than power-cycle it. At more permanent locations we'll install networks of terminal servers so we can get serial c

  • Well, we have a bank at work to accept telephone number data from the smaller phone companies and have to test them occasionally but it's been a while since there's been a problem.

    The last time I personally had a modem for access to sites like BBS's was in the late 80's. For a while, Comcast had a dial-up upload, cable download cable modem which was mid 90's but I didn't actually have to input a number to call (well, I don't remember having to do that anyway).


  • My folks' house is in a neighborhood that was Cox Communications' pilot program for Cablemodem, we had one in 1996. Then I moved out and into an apartment where neither Cablemodem nor DSL were available, and I was poor.

    But I was in college! I used a 14400 dialup shell to the university, where I used SLIRP to emulate a slip connection on the Solaris box, and suffered through that fun.

    Ah, the nineties...
  • by dmatos (232892) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:25AM (#44872861)

    Right this very minute: I live in a rural location, and I'm at home.
    Within the past month: I live in a rural location, but I'm posting this from work.
    Within the past year: My parents live in a rural location, and I wanted to check my email while I was visiting them.
    1 to 5 years ago: There was that one time my cable modem went down, and I had to use the free dial-up that came with my account to get on the internet and look up the phone number for my service provider.
    5 to 10 years ago: I moved into a city and never looked back.
    10 to 20 years ago: I moved into a city a while ago.
    More than 20 years ago: Does anyone else remember those AOL CD's?
      I'd say it was abouY!@#*ZNO CARRIER: Shit. I guess I just hit my bandwidth cap, and now Comcast is injecting RST's into my stream.

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      Ish. Voted 5-10, but not for the reason you gave.

      At home, I haven't had dialup even since I got my own place, which was not recently. My last job however involved retrieving data from some POS (either of the two most common uses of that acronym apply) systems. Some of those systems were in areas that didn't have anything other than dialup. Some of the store owners didn't see the point in paying for anything other than dialup. And some of the systems were so damn old they only supported dialup.

    • by bengoerz (581218)
      Satellite brings broadband everywhere.

      Many prividers: [] [] []
      • Satellite brings broadband everywhere.

        I barely consider satellite to be broadband. It's ping times are so ridiculously horrid. Have you ever tried an SSH session through satellite? It's literally less painful through dialup.

        • ugh... s/less/more
          • It's literally less painful through dialup.

            ugh... s/less/more

            Only if s/through/than

  • For example does paying by credit card and seeing the message "connecting via dial" on the chip and pin terminal count?

    • by SkimTony (245337)

      Yeah, they're really not clear. I used a modem to prop open a door a few months ago - does that count?

    • I thought the same thing about the CoinStar box I use to turn spare change into gift cards.
      • In case anyone else is confused about this, those ripoff boxes give full value for gift cards or various other non-cash items. Whenever I see someone using one I think they're retarded, but just now I looked it up and there are no cost options.

        My credit union offers free coin counting and you don't have to be a member. Or you could just carry a few coins and use them to fend off new coins as much as possible. Any that make it through your defenses are added to your arsenal making you more coin resistant to
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      This is why I said "within the last month." Many ATMs I use around town have a dial-up connection. Some you can hear the modem dial and screech, some just take a long time.

      Dial-up for general Internet access though? That'd be somewhere around twelve years ago.
  • by SkimTony (245337) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:49AM (#44873057)

    We used to connect to the internet over our phone lines.

    Now, we connect our phones over the internet.

  • I had to fax my timesheets to an agency not so long ago .. got the old dial-up modem out, found a power supply for it, plugged it in, installed software, found a phone cable that actually worked .. all because my printer had run out of paper for me to walk to the fax machine with ..
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Last time that happened to me, I emailed them in PDF to someone in the company, who then faxed them to herself. They can't accept emails because that's insecure, but they can accept faxes from anyone for anything.
  • We still use modems to connect Out of Band to routers for troubleshooting when the main WAN T1/DS3/MetroE connection is down.

    I haven't used one at home since the 90s. Back then, the first broadband connection I had was downstream only, you still had to use a modem for upstream.
  • Great nostalgia topic. I can remember needing to do business travel with not only power cables, plug adapters for various countries, but phone jack adapters also. I had a little sack of adapters that I kept in my briefcase just for those - back when you had to do your homework to be able to check work email on the road.
    • by xaxa (988988)

      I found several of those when I helped my mum clean out some old cupboards. Laptops sold in Europe tended to come with all the adapters (and manuals) for every country, it's probably easier than having 10+ versions of the boxed computer. Especially if the same little bag is sold in the US as an international kit.

      But, I never used them. Did you dial-up internationally -- was the signal quality sufficient? Or did you find a local ISP?

      (EU rules on roaming mean my modern equivalent -- I have SIMs for four f

  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @11:06AM (#44873209) Homepage Journal

    It was down for many hours due a wide spread outage. I had to use dial-up to contact support since I cannot use the phone due to my disabilities. :(

  • At home I've had ADSL since 2002. My first modem (circa 1985) was a "high speed" 1200 baud unit. My last modem was the ubiquitous 33k6/56k.

    At work we have many legacy systems that we still access with modems.


  • I've written (and use) programs to automatically poll sensor data from modems at a few dozen remote sites, on a more-or-less continual basis.

    I haven't, however, used a dialup connection to the internet in over a decade.

    So which do I answer?
    • This whole poll is bogus. Anyone that has used about 50% of credit card machines has used a modem recently. Anyone who has sent or received a fax. I'd guess that the average person uses modems several times a day.

      Polling sensor data via modem is cool, I've had to do that myself. If I have to drive hours to fix something I'd pick a modem over anything else I've used for low bandwidth applications.
  • One of my customers uses good old PSTN (or circuit-switched GSM data) to contact their automation devices around the world. They dial in once a day and report status (or in emergencies), and software updates and such are pushed by dialing out towards them. And yes, that platform is *still* being actively developed...(The installed base is huge).

  • I think it was in 1999. No ADSL or cable deals where I lived back then, but the dial-up was 100 hours of online-time per month at a cheap fixed cost, no traffic limit.
  • Scary as it is, Fax machines are still pretty common in the business world. It's hard to buy a house without having at least one person request that you fax them something for instance. The sad thing is that they're still as crappy as they were in the 80s, so you can rest assured that when they fax you something back it will be diagonally skewed and pixellated to the point of being barely readable, with lots of random noise on the page too for good measure.
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I've seen some exceptions to this. Windows 95 had something that bolted onto the usual fax protocol that allowd for public key encryption of faxes, as well as sending files. Too bad, the other site had to be Windows 95 or NT, or else this couldn't be done.

      With this in mind, last time I've used a fax... well, this morning. Sending a faxed signature can be quicker than printing out a PDF, signing it, scanning it, converting the scan to PDF, then sending the PDF out via the E-mail program of choice.

      • by jandrese (485)
        Yeah, there's this weird perception in the business community that Faxes are secure and that signatures sent through a fax machine should be considered secure in a way that emails are not. This does seem to be slowly changing as online alternatives become easier to use, but only very slowly. When I bought my first house (back in 2003 or so) absolutely everything had to be faxed, nobody could do anything electronically. When I moved in 2008 there were some people who had finally figured out email and allo
        • by mlts (1038732) *

          The ironic thing is oftentimes, a fax server just is a service that takes the incoming stuff and makes a PDF from it, so the perceived "security" may be bogus.

          What I'm curious about is (in general) what is better as evidence in court, a PDF that is signed by a timestamping CA, or a piece of paper. It is a lot easier to store a bunch of PDFs than it is to file away a bunch of dead trees for seven years (50+ if one is doing with anything aviation related.)

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        By the way, this is actually a great use case for tablets (the kind that support active-digitizer styluses, not those crappy capacitive styluses). Somebody sends me a PDF or Word document to sign? Use the tablet to load the document, sign it, save the signed file, and send it back to them. Works either for built-in digitizers (clamshell/convertible tablets, things like the Surface Pro, etc.) or detached ones (you can get a cheap external drawing tablet for like $40).

        I don't care what they do with the file t

    • I bought a house last month and made it a game with my lender and realtor to avoid using faxes. We did everything electronically with an e-signing application and made it all the way to the closing without using a single fax. Of course everything there is paper but we accepted that. One of the darn sellers forgot his ID and had to have it faxed to the closing.

      Oh well, I'll try again next time.
  • I think the last time I used a modem was about 3 years ago. Our legacy WAN provider used modems to provide managed services and troubleshooting.

    My first modem was a 1200 baud external modem, borrowed from a guy my Dad knew, hooked up at a XT system. I ordered a 2400 baud internal modem shortly after. Over the years I upgraded to a 19K, and finally 33.6K. It was shortly after the 33.6K modems came out (1996) that my area was chosen as a trial for Vibe, a fiber optic internet service offered by NBTel (fib

  • by twocows (1216842) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @12:29PM (#44874123)
    I actually end up using dial-up every now and then. It's free in west Michigan and one of the free lines is in my area code, so it's really and truly free for me. I used a dial-up connection several times when I got kicked off my university's connection for... alleged copyright infringement. I also used dial-up for about six months or so, starting from about the time I stopped living on campus (last semester at uni) and lasting through when I graduated until I got a job (graduated in December, got a job in April).

    A few things made it a lot more bearable. I kind of use the internet socially these days, so the fact that IRC wasn't affected was really great. However, browsing the web these days on dial-up is almost unbearable. Fifteen years ago, websites were designed for low bandwidth, so there weren't a lot of image-heavy and JavaScript-heavy websites. That is definitely not the case anymore and even sites like Wikipedia take a while to load; Facebook is out of the question, it just fails after a certain point. To remedy this, I used Opera, which has (had? I heard they changed their layout engine recently, not sure if it still exists) an option to only load cached images and lets you load unloaded images from a context menu entry (which, obviously, caches them), allowing you to load important images or images that are necessary for getting things to function correctly. This made things a lot more bearable; I could even get on Facebook (though it still took like five minutes and it looked really awful).

    The other big thing was the wide availability of free WiFi cafes and such. I could go to McDonalds, download a single player game on my backlog or a movie or something, and bring it back home. No one ever said I had to strictly use dial-up. It was kind of a pain bringing my (crappy) laptop to McDonalds, downloading a game, bringing it back, and then transferring it to my desktop so I could actually play it, but c'est la vie, it wasn't that big of a deal. Still more convenient than just sitting in one of those places all day, which I've seen people do.

    I'd say in the past three years, I've probably spent at least one non-continuous year on a dial-up connection. It's really not so bad, but I sure as heck won't go back to it unless I have to. Hope this helps anyone who may end up in (or is currently in) a similar situation.
  • I can see by some of the other comments that I'm not the only one who has a qualifier, here. I actually switched over from dial-up to DSL back in 2000 -- but the last time I actually used a modem in any capacity was probably 2006 as a vote auto-dialer, before my wife finally lost interest in American Idol altogether. (Thanks for that goes to Taylor Hicks, for sucking so spectacularly and yet winning anyway. In retrospect, I have to confess that I have somewhat mixed feelings on his winning... at least I d

  • by alta (1263)

    If the poll reminded people that a fax machine has a modem built in then we'd be getting much different results.

  • It was sometime in late 2003 (December-ish) I last used a dial-up modem.

    I initially ditched dial-up for ADSL in early 2001 (512k/384k), but in fall 2003 a faster ADSL option (8M/1M) was offered in my area and I signed up for it. And I also cancelled the old service at the same time. (During this time there wasn't a smooth way to switch DSL providers in Sweden. It was shortly thereafter that they worked out a consumer-friendly way of doing it). But there were significant delays in getting the new DSL servic

  • It's the only way to get online at an uncle's house out in the country.

  • My first modems were back in the 1970s, when 300 baud was fast and really expensive.

    I've had them for occasional use up until around 2006, but I added DSL around 1996 and cable modem in 1999.

    But I used to set up modems for various uses in business much later than that.

  • Strictly speaking, there's no dialing involved, but the first thought I had upon viewing this poll was on whether or not using my cell phone as a W-Fi hotspot counts.
  • I'm pretty sure I have used a ghetto botega ATM that used a dial-up in the past 6 months.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @04:10PM (#44877085)

    I "use" my dial-up modem as a backup if my main internet connection goes down. It is good enough to check my e-mail and pull up Slashdot just to make sure the world hasn't ended. Last time I needed it was a few years ago during an extended outage. The backup dial up service is provided by my ISP at no extra charge.

    Kids these days have their cell phones as "backup", but to me that is just not versatile enough to be the same.

    And a nice thing about modems is it is still possible to connect to a remote computer without an ISP in the middle (yea, phone company, but still..)

    Since you got me thinking about it, just to test, I am actually posting this from my dial-up!! (And no "no carrier" message so far, lol)

  • It took that long to load the page at 300/300.
  • It's been ten years since I switched to cable. Not so for my in-laws, who finally switched to broadband this year (but their modem acct lapsed a couple years ago), and I'd been on their modem connection once or twice for some reason.

    By Hastur's tailbone, how slow was my first 2400 bps modem. It took about an hour to download 2 megabytes, IIRC, but it could do for playing Doom with my cousins. The 14.4 that replaced it wasn't much better because of the crappy UART on my serial port - running it at full sp

  • I worked for a company that had a range of Linux/SCO Unix servers (I know) in the wild that had been deployed from the early 90's onward, the older ones at customers who had no internet connection (small, industrial-unit based nut and bolt distributors) still required CLI modem log in and dropped nearly continuously thanks to British Telecom's refusal or slowness in updating steel PTSN cable laid as a cost saving effort in the publicly-owned 70's and 80's dark days. I kind of miss sitting with my fingers cr
  • by rueger (210566) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:07PM (#44879389) Homepage
    Surprised that no-one has mentioned that during the Egyptian uprisings a couple years ago dial-up Internet was the fall back tool when government shut down the cel and Internet services.

    Sure, you had to dial up a number in France, [] but it did demonstrate that there are still times when POTS rules.
  • by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2.anthonymclin@com> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:57PM (#44879741) Homepage

    Intentionally? More than 10 years ago.

    Unintentionally? 2 weeks ago at an ATM. You'd be surprised at how many ATMs still use modems. You wouldn't know it unless they leave the audio on during the connection sequence.

  • by PaisteUser (810863) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @09:11AM (#44882733)

    I just dialed into a 56k USRobotics modem this morning at one of my remote sites. They are still prevalent for remote out-of-band management of network devices (i.e. switches, routers). They have saved my bacon numerous times over the years and I don't see them going away anytime soon in my line of work.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.


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