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Las Vegas, NV
reply to bryant313

Re: [ALL] Cox Annual Speed Upgrade

I think I've got you all beat...

I started being "online" around 1977 or so using what was the Dow Jones News and Information Retrieval Service (what a mouthful that was) at a lowly pithy "oh god I can type 10x faster than this" 50 baud - it was so slow that more often than not my typing would cause a buffer overflow since the machine I was on just couldn't handle more than about 16 characters a second.

I finally did get a 300 baud modem in either late 1978 or early 1979, damned thing cost me like $1300 (a whole summer of grass cutting/yardwork savings) and my Dad thought I was freakin' insane for doing it but, as an electrical engineer himself, he understood (even in the 1970s) where technology was headed and he never put the brakes on my learning, thankfully.

Around the time the Commodore 64 appeared (I never owned a VIC-20, actually) I got one and the original C64 300 baud modem for it and was using VIDTEX and was delighted to make a pretty wicked discovery in early 1983: there were some PEEK and POKE commands you could use (mainly POKE to change registers) that one could issue that "overclocked" the 300 baud modem - I'm not joking, I'm totally serious here - to a whopping 450 baud which was a full 50% increase in speed in both directions, and it actually worked surprisingly well.

And the biggest benefit? In those days you paid by the minute to be connected: 300 baud connections were $.10 a minute ($6 an hour) and if you were extremely wealthy and had a 1200 baud modem (I thought my 300 baud from 1979 was expensive, geez, the 1200's were selling for nearly $2500 from USRobotics and Hayes), so it was rather awesome to discover that CompuServe's modems that I was dialing into were picking me up at the faster 450 baud speed but they were recognizing me as 300 baud...

And as tough as it might be to believe, that 50% "speed boost" actually was incredibly noticeable: instead of a line of text appearing onscreen as the cursor moved across letter by letter, the entire line would just sort of "blink" into view, full lines at a time. I was the only person in the US - for some period of time - accessing CompuServe at 450 baud, I even verified my connection speed with one of their original SysOps that I was friends with and he was amazed that the "overclocking" thing actually worked.

Oh those were the fun times, most "kids" nowadays have no idea just how far we've come and they take all this for granted, sadly. Had a Tandy Model 100 and the acoustic coupler modem for a long time as well, I kinda miss that thing... Did the Amiga thing as well, best personal computers ever made even to this day (and still the only true hardware-based multitasking PCs). Never got into Apple hardware, however, and I still don't.

My original CompuServe ID was 70010,410 - I was one of the original first 500 members when the service went live so long ago.

Anyway... sorry about the trip down Memory Lane but all the talk of baud rates just got me all nostalgic.

I'm using Preferred nowadays here in Vegas so a speed bump would be nice but, I'm not holding out for miracles, especially since they're going to bump the prices again. Was just reading this:

»www.techdirt.com/articles/201301 ··· on.shtml

and wondering just how much the prices will continue to rise...

Falls Church, VA
I fondly remember the time spent on Compuserv using my TI Silent 700 portable terminal (300 baud acoustic couplers) with yards of thermal-roll paper streaming across the floor behind my desk. It was so much better than the days of punching Hollerith cards.

gees I'm old.
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."- Albert Einstein