Why did modems make a noise?

Yesterday the kid asked me why the old dial up modems used to make a ‘funny noise’ so I spent ten minutes explaining how the old analogue modems used to convert the digital signals of the computer to audible sound so that it could be sent over the voice phone lines.

It wasn’t that long ago that 56k modems were state of the art. Seems strange to think that we’ve moved on so far in such a short time that he’s never had to experience the joy of AT command strings.  Kids these days don’t know what they are missing!

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