Some sounds are dying out (the Windows 95 startup chime, that Nokia ringtone, television static, to name a few). Perhaps one of the greatest / most nostalgic sounds is that of the dial-up modem sound, which you can listen to in all it’s grimy glory above.
But what does the sound actually mean? Alex Madrigal over at The Atlantic does a decent job of explaining just what is happening in all those beeps, clicks, and pshhhkkkes. The answer? Data.
“…the sounds weren’t a sign that data was being transferred: they were the data being transferred.“
It’s something I wondered back when we had dial-up, and it’s good to finally have an answer! Sound data. Onwards!