My first modem was an external Hayes 300 baud modem for the Apple ][. If I remember correctly, I picked it up in 1983 for about $300 — a dollar a baud. I used it extensively to connect to BBS’s in Kansas City and Boston until I got an Amiga in 1987. The Hayes was Apple ][ only, since it had its own special controller card.
The next modem I got was a 9600 baud no-name brand I bought in 1991, which I used with my first Mac — a Mac512, which had been upgraded to 4MB with SCSI. I used that one primarily for conencting to the VAX at the college, to read email and download shareware. Remember xmodem and zmodem? What fun. (Not!)
DSL has changed my universe. Having a relatively inexpensive always-on broadband connection to the Internet is something I couldn’t have imagined having at home, even as recently as 1996. ISDN was available, but it was pretty expensive and I was on a shoestring budget. Now I’ve got a fast link and 5 static IP addresses for about the same cost as cable TV with a couple of premium channels.
What kind of connectivity will be available 10 years from now?…