Hayes Modem (Apr, 1978)

My first modem was an external 300 baud Hayes connected to an Apple IIc (there was no place inside to stick one). Man, even in 1987 300 buad was slow. It was easy to out type the display. Later, in high school I ran my own BBS, on a Supra 14.4, one of the fancy ones with the vacuum fluorescent display. I still cringe when I think about all of the hours I spent tweaking the Hayes initialization string to get everything working right.

modem / ‘mo โ€ข dam / [modulator + demodulator] n – s : a device for transmission of digital information via an analog channel such as a telephone circuit.

Those of us who live on the North American continent are blessed with an incredible non-natural resource consisting of a gigantic web of tiny copper wires linking virtually all of our homes and businesses together into the greatest telecommunications network in history. The Bell System and over 1600 independent telephone companies have been stringing wires and microwaves nearly everywhere for up to 100 years. Now, the 80-103A Data Communications Adapter brings this amazing network to S-100 Micro Computers.

The 80-103A Data Communications Adapter is more than just a modem. It is a complete data communications sub-system combining on a single S-100 board functions which formerly required a modem, an automatic calling unit, and serial and parallel interfaces. This fully programmable unit gives you flexibility never before available at such a low cost. Fully assembled, tested, and burned in with full documentation and our standard 90 day warranty, the 80-103A is available at retail computer stores across the country for only 279.95.

D.C. Hayes Associates Inc.

P.O. BOX 9884 โ€ข ATLANTA, GA. 30319 โ€ข (404) 231-0574
Distributed in Canada by TRINTRONICS LIMITED, Toronto

  1. Hirudinea says: August 16, 20111:46 pm

    Ah, Hayes (compatible) modems … Memories….. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mike says: August 16, 20115:11 pm

    So what was the name of your BBS and what software did you use?

  3. Charlie says: August 16, 20116:28 pm

    Mike ยป It was called Ultima BBS and I used HERMES on a Mac LC. The name is kind of funny because I was originally going to call it Ultimate BBS but I ran out of space when I was making the ASCII art for the intro page ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. G. L. Tyrebyter says: August 17, 201112:42 am

    I had a Hayes 300 baud card in my Apple IIe in 1983. While I don’t know if I could type faster, it was slow. It took about 3 seconds to print a line of text. Everything was text based at that time. Charlie mentions that his artwork for his intro page was ASCII based. Some of the artwork done in ASCII characters was quite remarkable.

    ( ___ ___ XXXXXX
    o/ o XXXXX
    ( / XXXXX
    /___) XXXXX
    ( XXXX
    ( ____ ) XXX
    ( XX
    ( ) X
    ( ) *
    ( ) ***

  5. Mike says: August 17, 20116:55 am

    Charlie. Interesting, I think I remember that name in the NY state BBS lists, although I didn’t call it was long distance. I was happy to see several Citadel BBSes are around (http://www.citadel.org/) and you can still use a text based client on linux for the authentic feel.
    I miss how simple it was back then.

  6. GeekStick says: August 17, 20117:46 am


  7. DrewE says: August 17, 20118:22 am

    Tyrebyter — I highly doubt you (or most anyone else) could outtype a 300 baud modem. 300 baud works out to about 30 cps, or 360 wpm. If you could actually outtype it, you should contact the Guiness Book of World Records people (the record is 216 wpm, it seems).

    It’s trivially easy to outpace menus and the like, of course, and entirely possible to read text faster than it can produce it. 300 baud does definitely feel slow in use.

  8. Charlie says: August 17, 20119:20 am

    DrewE: Don’t forget that you didn’t see your characters until they got echoed back by the remote host, so it’s at most half that speed.

    Mike: I had it for a few years so I probably was on a few lists. It was a lot of fun. Plust there was something weirdly voyeuristic about watching people use the site on your terminal. And of course you could always break in and chat. If you’ve never seen it Jason Scott’s BBS documentary is really great: http://www.bbsdocumenta…

  9. DrewE says: August 17, 20112:10 pm

    Charlie — The delay for an echo-back does indeed add to the latency in seeing the results of your typing, but shouldn’t slow down the system’s ability to send data faster than you can type. You can be sending the next character at the same time as receiving the previous one echoed back; 300 baud modems were full-duplex, not half-duplex.

    Having a lag between typing and seeing what you typed is definitely annoying, in any case. I remember having similar annoyances on various word processors on my Mac SE, particularly with TrueType fonts. Microsoft Works would tend to redraw a word at a time when typing rapidly. WriteNow, on the other hand, was quite clever: it would always advance the insertion point when a character was typed, even if it didn’t have time to repaint everything else that needed updating, and would catch up the rest whenever there was a momentary pause. The latter felt much faster and more responsive in use.

  10. Phil says: September 21, 20111:47 pm

    The interesting thing is the modem in the ad is the original S-100 version of the DC Hayes Micromodem. They also had an Apple II version which had two boxes – the internal card which you would plug into a slot and the external phone line interface with the modular phone jack.

    The external DC Hayes stand-alone modems, “Smartmodems” were RS-232 modems with the capabilities to send commands to and from the modems using the “AT” command set which Hayes pioneered and practically every other modem manufacturer copied. That’s the one which had to be used with an Apple IIc.

    Ironically the original S-100 and Apple II internal DC Hayes modems were _NOT_ “Hayes modem compatible” because they didn’t have the “AT” command set!

    It was possible to put seven (or even eight) internal Hayes modems into an Apple II to run a multi-line chat system, they were popular in the 1983 timeframe.

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