Talk:USRobotics

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Untitled[edit]

I believe 3Com spun USR back off again and it's once again an independent company, so technically it wouldn't be a defunct company. Can anyone else confirm this? -- Dave Farquhar 22:22, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You're right - it seems 3Com gave the name to a new independent company in June 2000 [1] [2]. There's no press release reversing that situation, so we should change the article to say that the company was acquired and then recreated. - IMSoP 22:40, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hmm, only some of this is relevant, but if I put it here, I (and maybe others) will be able to find it again and check that we cover this information. It's always hard work keeping track of who owns and has owned who, and I found this at the bottom of a press release:

1995 - U.S. Robotics purchases Palm, Inc.
1997 - 3Com purchases U.S. Robotics
1998 - Hawkins, Dubinsky and Colligan leave Palm to create Handspring
2000 - Palm executes an Initial Public Offering, separating from 3Com
2001 - Palm OS subsidiary acquires assets and talent from Be, Inc. (Aug. 16)
2002 - [Palm] OS subsidiary named PalmSource
2003 - Palm announces plans to acquire Handspring 

(Note that it was 3Com, not USR, who Palm split from. One of those confusing things of the company having the name but not necessarily its old assets, I guess.) - IMSoP 22:55, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Advertisement?[edit]

This article reads like an advertisement for U.S. Robotics in places. Is this intentionsal?--Silverhand 14:26, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Can you point out areas of the article that you feel are the worst offenders? I can see a few adjectives that might be debatable, but overall it seems pretty factual to me. Mrand 12:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Clever marketing or a superior product?[edit]

The author seems to attribute USR's early modem success to clever marketing, but I lived through that period. When the consumerized internet was in it's infancy in the mid 90s, a good modem was a key factor in successfully getting connected to the "net." Many of the modems available at that time within the typical consumer price-range were known to drop the connection at the slightest hint of line noise or compatibility problems. This resulted in a frustrating experience for many users.

Before this time, a modem was most often designed to be used as a dedicated link between two computers over a dedicated line. Adaptability to a variety of lines and modems wasn't generally a high-ranking design priority. If you had line problems, you were expected to reduce the baud rate or get a better line.

While there's something to be said for the prevalence of USR modems among internet providers having to do with USR modem owners having better success connecting to them, the key difference was the superior ability of USR modems to hang on to a connection. They didn't drop the connection nearly so often, by adjusting to changing line conditions on-the-fly. This set of innovations made these modems far more reliable and extremely popular with the fledgling internet market.--Landroo 16:59, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Somewhat flowery perhaps, but fixed now anyway. Maury 22:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I concur with the comments from Landroo. I was the VP/Network Ops at CompuServe during this period, and made the decision to shift from UDS Motorola modems to USR modems when we did our V.32 upgrade. We had a bake-off with about a dozen manufacturers, and the USR products were a clear winner in terms of compatibility (and price). We used to say that every model of modem on the planet eventually called our network, and I'm sure that was true. Ironically, the subsequent model of their rack-mount modem had a serious bug that caused huge headaches for us, and may have played a part in the failure of our WOW! service. In high call volume situations, where another user connected virtually instantly after another disconnected, the modem would not reset appropriately and would just hang. The result was a Ring-No-Answer situation that justifiably annoyed our customers. It took many weeks to diagnose and correct the bug, and more weeks and many dollars to replace all the bad modems. It was a tough final chapter to what had been a great partnership. Boomer 15:13, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with what Boomer said, but I would like to add:

Before the internet was popular and people used BBS boards to trade files and messages, being disconnected meant a lot more than when AOL had dial-up services. Many BBS's had a very limited number of phone lines, and to get online people would have their modem dial repeatedly until they got connected. This was typical of the times of BBS', so being disconnected meant you could not get online again for hours or maybe the rest of the day.

So, a modem that would hold its connection, back in this time period when it was essential, proved to be more important than throughput.

Just my add, I remember those days, and some BBS' I would intentionally set my 14.4 USR modem down to 9.6k just to not get bumped off, but usually I could maintain 14.4k on all local phone call boards indefinitely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Howarddavidp (talkcontribs) 23:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Winmodem vs. Softmodem[edit]

There are several references to Winmodems in this article. Winmodem was a USR trademark and was a sub-brand of the Sportster designating a controllerless modem (a device that possessed a DSP, but whose controller functions resided in a Windows device driver). Conversely, a Softmodem has both its controller and DSP functions resident in a driver, with the digital-to-analog conversion taking place in a codec on the motherboard or on the add-in card and the hybrid that interfaces with the PSTN the remaining core component of the modem. Winmodems were a necessary intermediate due to the processing constraints in place during the mid 1990s. Few (if any) controllerless modems are produced at present, given the cost reduction from removing the DSP. Useless aside: there was also a short-lived modem model that supported the Rockwell Protocol Iterface (RPI) called the Sportser Si, which offloaded only the error control and data compression functions of the controller to the host system in the form of a Windows 3.x driver.

I would recommend that later references to Winmodems be corrected to reference Softmodems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.57.249.43 (talk) 08:54, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I, robot and peak[edit]

No reference to film.

It says 125 now, it seems to have been a dotcom/dialup-based company, so any details of its peak? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.164.46.253 (talk) 20:23, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Courier ISDN[edit]

USRobotics also made an ISDN version of their Courier modem. I know, because I participated in the beta test program of this product. I still have it, but it's been in storage for 15 years. I don't remember details such as the timing or (really) anything else. What was great about it is that it supported both native ISDN protocols (i.e. 64kbit/s transmission directly in the B channel) and modulations such as V.90, V.34, HST and all the rest of it. JanCeuleers (talk) 17:45, 10 January 2015 (UTC)