I can’t even remember the last time I saw a dialup modem, much less used one. When was the last time you used one? Still use one?

Laugh all you want, but as of the end of September, AOL still had 3.5 million subscribers to its dialup Internet access service — a lot more than the number of people who pay for, say, Spotify. And the decline from last year — about 630,000 subs — was AOL’s smallest Q3 shrinkage yet. (AOL credits a “price rationalization program” last quarter that helped them convert 200,000 people to an AOL access subscription.) This time in 2006 and 2007, AOL was losing 5 million customers a year.

For you young’uns who have never experienced a modem, click pic to see and hear what dialing with a modem is like.

  1. NewFormatSux says:

    The surcharge on phone bills wasn’t to pay for broadband service. It was to pay for the Spanish American War. I am not kidding.

  2. John E. Quantum says:

    I had the chance to walk around in the AOL Headquarters building in Northern VA after it had been vacated. It brought back memories of how I used to not have to buy 1.44 M floppy disks since I got them free in the mail and elsewhere constantly.

    I still have a Hayes 300 Baud modem in the carrying case with my Bondwell 286. I still remember the thrill of my first 28.8 modem and how blazing fast it seemed at the time. Way faster than the 9600 unit it replaced.

  3. jpfitz says:

    Good old Compuserve and early netscape. I know a few AOL die hards also. I can’t get them to realize the internet is not AOL.

  4. The Watcher says:

    I use dialup (pcAnywhere) as a backup to GoToMyPC over the web, because the current versions of the latter don’t much like my client’s Win98 box…. The “universal viewer” does work, but I need file transfers…. Guess I should sort ‘Net access out in pcAnywhere, but it always was a little flaky.

    I still use AOL, too – the kid still uses it for her e-mail [grin]. It’s also useful when I need large file transfers from that same Win98 box. I can sign on to AOL at the remote end (using a web connection to AOL) and transfer the files to my AOL account while connected to the client’s machine via pcAnywhere.

    Guess it’s time to sell ‘em DropBox [grin], but the kid is using AOL and….

  5. Peppeddu says:

    For those of you who wonder, the “open in a new window” feature of Windows came out with Windows 95 right when AOL was rocking the world, and guess what? AOL had everything opening up in a new window.

    Old specs do live forever.

  6. LBalsam says:

    When I used dial up modems my birds used to imitate the noises they made. It was something they heard often and they got so good at imitating it you could not tell it from the real thing.

  7. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    Uncle Dave –
    I gave my V.90 56k U.S. Robotics external modem with serial port to a friend’s mother about 5 years ago since she still uses dial-up. Those modems were still expensive in 2005 – about the cost of a 6-month introductory DSL offer; so I switched.

    My last modem story: Her computer’s internal modem couldn’t go off hook to get a dial tone. I connected a touch-tone phone to the jack on the internal modem card marked “Phone”; the other jack being connected to the “Wall”. (Also, my last time in that setup.) I lifted up the handset, waited for the dial tone then dialed her ISP’s phone number. It worked. I could hear both modems on the phone, and the computer was on the internet. The only problem was that I couldn’t hang up the phone and had to cover the phone’s mouthpiece.

  8. denacron says:

    My worst memory of them was in a doctors waiting room. Whomever it was that set them up must have had a grudge over a bill. You could change the volume or turn off the annoying squawk, but that office had them at max volume. The personnel were constantly connecting then reconnecting. Five machines if I recall correctly. Why they felt the need to log off for 20 seconds then spend dead time reconnecting was and is beyond me. Good riddance last millennium!

  9. Bob Maelo says:

    Hey guyzz!!! i came across with an amazing accelerated dial up internet service at affordable rate. Along with free monthly charges.. Have a look at it!!!