Parlez-vous modem?

5th January 1996 at 00:00

Motorola modem, leads and software for PCs and trial subscriptions for CompuServe and the IBM network, around Pounds 179 including VAT Motorola runs an answerphone service on 01293 401628, through which you can be informed of yourlocal distributor

My dream is to get a modem that can be taken out of the box and configured with ease, with an instruction book written for normal, literate human beings, and which will lead you quickly by the hand out into the wonders of the Internet. The Motorola package presents itself as such. But is it?

The handbook is written in modem gibberish, remarkably similar to every other modem book that I have read. Has it not occurred to producers that a manual written in sentences, with easy-to-follow diagrams, would be a boon and a boost to sales?

The speed of this Motorola modem is 28,800 bits per second. It means that you should spend less time on-line and, when you are on, you should receive the graphic pages with much less delay. But most computers produced before 1995 have older communication ports which slow down the reception of data.

The Internet Phone software, providing you have a microphone and sound card in your machine, means you can contact, by voice, people all over the world. It does work, but it feels like CB radio.

If your priority is education then you would be better off using one of the recognised educational providers such as RM's Internet for Learning, CampusWorld or Edex. But that defeats one of the attractions of the all-inclusive box.

So does this package match my dream? The installation software did not work well, and the pack as a whole does not make educational links, but the modem, once it was set up, performed beautifully - the best that I have used. In looks and speed it beats the opposition, and the price is good.

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