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(in the same way that Hoover refers to any brand of vacuum cleaner)

What is a Hoover? Crusadeonilliteracy 12:59, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)
A brand of vacuum cleaner, of course. I changed it to Xerox, which I've seen elsewhere as the traditional example. --Geoffrey 01:42, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Umm... could someone please find a better example? From my perspective (being from England) Hoover was really good example for English people. However, we don't associate Xerox with photocopiers in quite the same way as (I assume american? Correct me if I'm wrong...) American people do. Maybe using both analogies? Undecided 19:34, 10 March 2006 (GMT)

How about kleenex? 04:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

PCMCIA modems[edit]

The first PCMCIA modems were certainly 'hard'modems (softmodems not being in use at the time), and probably the vast majority still are. Mirror Vax 19:55, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


Recently, external USB softmodems have appeared, using the same chipsets as internal ones plus a PCI-to-USB bridging interface. They can be easily told apart from USB "hardware" modems from their reduced size and their lack of an external power supply (a USB connector alone would not be able to power up a "real" hardware modem due to current limitations).
Note: most manufacturers do not state clearly whether their USB modems are software or hardware based, however the majority of USB modems uses drivers designed for known software-based chipsets such as those by Agere or Conexant, and the size, power consumption and weight of at least the most compact USB modems makes their being hardware based improbable, and in fact there are very few USB "hardware" based modems. USB hardware modems known to exist are nothing more than serial-based hardware modems with a USB-to-serial conversion chipset on the board, and usually require external power as would be expected of a standard external modem.

This is totally unsourced. The bit about power and size indicating "soft" modems and "real" modems needing more power than USB can provide is totally bogus. SchmuckyTheCat 00:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

It shouldn't be too hard to find the power requirements for ISA, PCI or RS232-based "real" modems, and then comparing it with the 2.5 W max (500 mA @ 5V) that an unassisted USB port can provide, and so at least correlate power consumption and hardware capabilities, to some extent. EpiVictor 11:24, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Visual complexity[edit]

For the File:WinmodemAndRegularModem.jpg caption, I'm removing the phrase "Notice the less complex circuitry of the modem on the left". That isn't a valid comparison; it's apples-to-oranges. One cannot just complexity of different generations of integrated circuit designs visually. That ISA card is a much older piece of hardware. Integration scale increases drastically with time. Hardware modems contemporary with that PCI card would show similar integration scale; everything could be done in one or two chips. Softmodems did include less capabilities in hardware than hardware modems, but you couldn't tell that by looking at it. (Perhaps that was part of the problem; to the uninformed user, the products all looked the same.) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 18:47, 15 May 2011 (UTC)