Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

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Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?
I'm talking about the one with the external Microcoupler (little black box with red LED) .. Seeing as how this was one of the very first modems ever for the 2 series I'm surprised at how forgotten it has become.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Not sure I understand the question. My first modem was a Hayes Micromodem, 300 baud if I remember correctly. I had a lot of fun dialing up local BBSs. I first used it to connect to a local user group ApplesBC.At the time having only used a computer for a few weeks, it seemed amazing and complicated and high tech. It was great sending messages and files to people who were miles away. There are a few BBSs left locally but nothing like the hundreds there used to be. The last dialup modem I used was a US Robotics 56k modem. For a while I was the unwilling tech support person for our user group BBS running Fist Class. At that time members were switching to high speed internet and donating their modems. I had a box full of 56k, 33k and 28k modems. Finally I had to move the box one too many times and recycled them. I kept a couple 56k and I still have a few Apple II modems on cards as well as 2 or apple brand modems. Not sure why as I haven't used a dialup modem in over 10 years

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Keatah wrote:

Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Errr... it did. It became wildly popular. So popular, in fact, that the Hayes "AT" command set became a defacto industry standard. The reason Hayes went away (long before dialup communications itself became irrelevant) was price. Everyone had cheaper modems than Hayes; Hayes offered no value above anyone else, and they got priced into oblivion.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Actually, the Hayes Micromodem II did not have the AT command set. That was the Smartmodem.

So, back to the question on-hand... The reason the MMII disappeared after its initial popularity was the fact that the Smartmodem practically killed it because of the fact that the Smartmodem can be controlled totally via ASCII characters. The MMII had to be controlled using CTRL characters, which wasn't exactly the best type of interface for a modem. It worked well with Apple II's IN#x interface. But beyond that, consumers wanted something that was more universally compatible across platforms. And that's what the Smartmodem provided.

For years (late 1970s to early 1980s,) the MMII was the most popular modem on the Apple II line. So popular that when Novation came out with its Apple-Cat II, it had to create firmware that emulated the MMII's CTRL command set. I believe Novation was the only company to clone the MMII in this respect. Other modem manufacturers resorted to its own proprietary means. But nevertheless, the eventual invention of the Hayes AT command set was the final nail in the coffin for not only the MMII, but any modem out there at the time.

Someone may point out the fact that the MMII never put out a 1200-baud or faster product, which also caused the MMII line to cease to exist. Although that's also a good point, I don't think this was the major reason because Hayes could very well have made a 1200-baud product. But, I really believe it just wanted to do away with the MMII line and place all of its energies on the Smartmodem line. It just makes sense! Why make a product that only works on one platform? Now that the IBM PC is out there, as well as the Macintosh and many others, you want something that can be used on any of these.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Considering the early role these MicroModems played, I wonder why collectors don't go after them. They're always selling on eBay for around $20-$30. The ones that are priced higher sit there for years.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

Only certain kinds of hardware have collector appeal, such as sound cards, memory cards, video cards, among others. And this is because they're actually usable. Internal modems are not popular because most people don't even have land lines to use them. And even if they had the phone line, there are virtually no BBS' to call. Internal modem cards are just as useful as parallel printer cards.

The reason why I even found this thread is because I'm planning on dumping several MMII sets on eBay, and was doing some research. I found one guy selling just the microcoupler and no host card. He's asking for $30 for something that is unusable, despite me being able to, as you pointed out, buy a full set for about the same price. So, I offered him $15 and in just a few minutes he denied the offer. I hope he continues to trip over it.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

But..!! Collectors!

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

groinksan wrote:

I found one guy selling just the microcoupler and no host card. He's asking for $30 for something that is unusable, despite me being able to, as you pointed out, buy a full set for about the same price. So, I offered him $15 and in just a few minutes he denied the offer. I hope he continues to trip over it.

So now you can undersell him and have the last laugh.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

A friend of mine borrowed my Hayes Micromodem II back in the day and ended up writing a BBS in about a two week period. During the loan he let me use his Apple Cat and I in turn created a BBS as well. Mine required re-writing the Apple Cat's firmware to act more like the Micromodem's did. Either way, we both ended up with something cool. Loved the Micromodem.

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Re: Why hasn't the Hayes Micromodem II become more popular?

The Novation Apple Cat Modem is still selling for a bit. Average seems to be 100+ depending on included accessories.

And in my view if you want a good internal modem for the Apple at an affordable price buy the AE 2400 modem.