[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Supra 28.8 Kbps Modem

July 29th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Supra Modem Ad - 1996Glowing Modem

In my early BBS days, I started using a 2400 bps external modem hooked to the serial port of a PC clone. A few years later, I switched to an external Intel 14,400 bps modem. Then I believe I got a Creative Labs Modem Blaster kit with an internal 28,800 bps modem on an ISA card. After that I moved up to 33,600 with some generic Winmodem, then 56,000 bps.

In 2000, I signed up for my first cable modem service…and the rest is history.

[ From Internet World, February 1996, p.9 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What speed was your first modem?

18 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Supra 28.8 Kbps Modem”

  1. Multimedia Mike Says:

    First modem was 2400 in 1991. I didn’t ditch dial-up for broadband until 2004 (when I had a 56K, which of course only did 33.6K for esoteric technical reasons).

  2. Dave Says:

    My first was a SCREAMING fast 300 baud modem for my C64 in 1989.

  3. Eagles409 Says:

    1200 baud for the apple 2e. It was an external Apple brand modem that plugged directly into the wall socket.

  4. John Says:

    Yeah, 300 baud on the c64 for me too.

  5. Moondog Says:

    Mine was an internal (isa) 2400 baud modem in 1990. I was using Procomm Plus to connect to BBS’s My area hadn’t switched to tone dialing yet, so I had to set the dial string to pulse and adjust to timeout to allow for the long dial time.

  6. Stan Says:

    My first modem was a 1200 baud external Hayes clone attached to my Apple IIe. I used that from 1986 to 1990, and again in 1996 to telnet to the university.

    In 1990 we got a 386 tower with an internal 2400 baud modem.

    In 1994 I bought a 9600 baud internal modem thinking it would quadruple my speed. That piece of junk never worked. That was when I first found out about the internet, and set up a dial-up unix account at the university.

    In 1996 I had a 28.8 modem and a subscription to a dial-up ISP. Browsing via Netscape was so slow that I continued to telnet into the university network, using tin for Usenet and lynx for web browsing. I also set up my old Apple IIe to do the same, at 1200 baud, because two internet-enabled computers is better than one.

    By 1998 I had a broadband cable modem, plus my own Linux server running on that old 386 tower.

    In 2012 I set up an old Apple II machine to print my Twitter feed at 2400 baud. Green-screen 2400 baud is just about right for Twitter.

  7. Chris Says:

    My first was an employer supplied Tandy Model 100 with its built in 300 baud- I never bought a modem for my Apple II+ . I remember watching the test scroll across the screen…

  8. Zoyous Says:

    My first was on my brother’s PC, a 2400 baud modem, in 1991. He introduced me to the world of BBSes. I eventually settled into a few favorites that were based on FredCit. Within a year or two, some pay BBSes arrived on the scene, and I remember wondering why on earth anyone would pay to have access to a BBS? In ’95 I finally encountered the web and never really revisited the world of dial-up local BBSes, although I still keep in touch with a few friends I met through that world.

  9. SirFatty Says:

    I had a Cat 300 baud acoustic coupler style modem.

  10. Raphael Says:

    My first modem was an external 300 baud modem hooked up to a Wyse 50 terminal that I found in a dumpster back in ’91. I used it to connect to BBS’s. It was pretty barebones but it worked. I had to control the modem directly with AT commands sent over the terminal’s serial port. ATDT 555-1234… Etc. Later I got an Amiga with a 2400 baud modem, it was a huge step up and I used it for accessing the internet and for my shell account at the university. I still remember a friend of mine got a 9600bps modem, and I was just blown away, it could fill a screen of text faster than you could see…

  11. Ghazban Says:

    300baud on a Tandy Color Computer – and my dad wasn’t very happy with the $400 phone bill!

  12. Moondog Says:

    One of the BBS’s I used to frequent played an April Fool’s joke by dropping down to 300 baud for the day. I re-connected 4 times, thinking it was the connection, then almost tore my computer apart before another friend told me about the joke.

  13. Cozfer Says:

    I was lucky enough to have the 300 baud sidecar modem for my IBM PCjr. Good times!

  14. MEY2 Says:

    56K in the early 2000s. We didn’t get broadband until around 2008. It was like a whole new internet.

  15. Fred Says:

    My high school had 300 baud modems from our DECwriters to the one computer in town (at another high school). Played “trek” on them more than doing my assignments. *** KLINGON ALERT! *** [BEEP] [BEEP]


    State of the art in 1981.

  16. Matt Says:

    I had a 14.4 in college in 94 or so, that was my first.

  17. Ant Says:

    I bought an used external Supra 28.8k dial-up modem from my college roommate during my sophomore year. 😉

  18. Bill S. Says:

    First I had a 300 baud modem for my c64, then later used it on the C128, then a flaky 1200 baud for my Amiga, later upgrading it to a 2400, then replacing that with a 9600 (all external). My first PC used the 9600 for the longest time before I got a 33.6 free at work.

    I upgraded to a horrible 56k softmodem that actually gave me worse pings on online games (Quake-II mostly) – from the 170s down to the 250s – and after that it was all broadband. DSL for a few years, then we moved to where it was unavailable and went to cable. I’ve had it as fast as 40mbit, but currently use 10 and have no problems. There was a brief time a few years ago when I tried “desktop 4g” from sprint which was awful and I never got more than 5-6mbit, and they throttled me for using too much bandwidth.

Leave a Reply