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Encyclopedia > Winmodem

A Winmodem is a software modem designed to work with the Microsoft Windows operating system. A traditional modem uses hardware to perform its tasks, but Winmodems perform their key tasks with software. This makes them smaller and cheaper to produce, but it also means they cannot be easily used on other operating systems because the driver support requires far more effort to produce. In addition, they consume some of the CPU cycles on the computer to which they are attached, which can slow down application software on older computers. (They are sometimes referred to as a "port-on-a-stick.") Because they do so little by themselves, a computer program could use a Winmodem as something other than a modem; for example, it could emulate an answering machine. A modem (a portmanteau word constructed from modulator and demodulator) is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal (sound), to encode digital information, and that also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. ... Microsoft Windows is a range of closed source proprietary commercial operating environments for personal computers and servers. ... In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... A modem (a portmanteau word constructed from modulator and demodulator) is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal (sound), to encode digital information, and that also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. ... Hardware is equipment such as fasteners, keys, locks, hinges, wire, chains, plumbing supplies, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts, especially when they are made of metal. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... A device driver, often called a driver for short, is a computer program that enables another program (typically, an operating system) to interact with a hardware device. ... The central processing unit (CPU) is the part of a computer that interprets and carries out the instructions contained in the software. ... The tower of a personal computer (specifically a Power Mac G5). ... Application has the following meanings: In general, an application is using something abstract for a more concrete use. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... An answering machine, also known as an answer machine (especially in UK and British commonwealth countries), ansafone (tradename [1]), ansaphone (tradename [2]), answerphone or telephone answering device (TAD), is a device for automatically answering telephone calls and recording messages left by callers. ...


Having most of the modulational functions delegated to software does serve to provide the advantage of easier upgradability to newer modem standards. although this is hardly an advantage as of 2005, with the latest V.92 56K protocol practically bearing the maximum achievable performance for a normal PSTN modem and telephone line and no significant plans future improvements/advancements seeming possible. In computing, an upgrade is the process of replacing an older system with more recent hardware or software in order to bring the system up to date. ... The word standard has several meanings: Classically, standard referred to a flag or banner; especially, a national or other ensign carried into battle; thus standard bearer indicates the one who bears, or carries, the standard. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the concatenation of the worlds public circuit-switched telephone networks, in much the same way that the Internet is the concatenation of the worlds public IP-based packet-switched networks. ...


More commonly, winmodem drivers are usually enhanced in regards to their performance and to eliminate possible software bugs.


Winmodems have earned a certain notoriety for slowing down their computer systems and for having buggy drivers, although this reputation was largely garnered during the period of their introduction to the mass-market, whereupon they were oft to use substandard drivers, and be found in entry-level computers with slow CPUs. Any such reputation has not, however, halted their market popularity, and it is typical for any internal 56k-modem produced today to be a software-based modem. A computer bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from working correctly or produces an incorrect result. ...


Winmodems can be separated into two clear classes: controllerless modems and pure software modems. Controllerless modems, such as those made by Lucent and Motorola perform much of the modem work on the card, and require only small amounts of CPU power to complete. Pure software modems perform the entire emulation of a hardware modem on the main CPU, with Conexant's HCF and HSF standards being the most common. In 1996, AT&T spun off its Systems and Technology units, along with the famous Bell Laboratories, to form a new company named Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU). ... Motorola (NYSE: MOT) (TYO: 6686) started as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928. ... Conexant is a publically listed ( NASDAQ CXNT) semiconductor company, which was formerly the semiconductor division of Rockwell. ...


Several times, the term "Winmodem" or "softmodem" is used in a largely derogatory manner, as opposed to hardware or "real" modems. The argument is that Winmodems and softmodems in general aren't real modems at all, but rather a simple electrical interface between computer and phone line, limiting itself to very basic functions such as voltage/current adaptation and functioning essentially as a DAC/ADC, much like a sound card which handles pure PCM and analog singals from and to the telephone line, while the host's CPU does the actual job of synthesizing or analyzing all necessary waveforms (carrier, dialing tones) and applying all necessary DSP techniques (FSK, QAM, PSK etc.) to a "virtual" signal, in order to encode and decode inbound or outbound data. In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device for converting a digital (usually binary) code to an analogue signal (current, voltage or charges). ... ADC is short for: analog to digital converter American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Apple Developer Connection Apple Display Connector Aide-de-camp Automated Data Collection Americas Dumbest Criminals ADC Aircraft American Deserters Committee This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share... A sound card based on VIA Envy chip A sound card is a computer expansion card that can input and output sound under program control. ... The term DSP, when used by itself, can refer to: The science and engineering discipline of digital signal processing. ... FSK can have alternative meanings; Frequency-shift keying is frequency modulation. ... QAM is a TLA that may stand for: Quadrature amplitude modulation Quality Assurance Management (qam. ... PSK can relate to: phase-shift keying a telecommuncations term, or; Pre-Shared Key as a method to set encryption keys in Wi-Fi Protected Access, a wireless security scheme. ...


This essentially means that -at least the simpler- softmodems are nothing more than special purpose sound cards with mono DAC/ADC's and a telephone line interface, while all actual signal encoding/decoding (as well as compression/decompression, error correction etc.) are done by the host machine, hence the terms HAM (Host Assisted Modulation) or HSP (Host Signal Processing). A sound card based on VIA Envy chip A sound card is a computer expansion card that can input and output sound under program control. ... In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device for converting a digital (usually binary) code to an analogue signal (current, voltage or charges). ... ADC is short for: analog to digital converter American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Apple Developer Connection Apple Display Connector Aide-de-camp Automated Data Collection Americas Dumbest Criminals ADC Aircraft American Deserters Committee This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share... HSP can mean several things: Hereditary spastic paraplegia - a group of inherited disorders that are characterized by progressive weakness and stiffness of the legs Highly sensitive persons - people who are more sensitive than the average human being the High Speed Photometer - a scientific instrument formerly installed on the Hubble Space...


In fact, the first softmodem projects by Motorola and other companies, back in 1997 were announced claiming that only an ordinary sound card and some CPU power would be needed in order to emulate the functionality of an actual modem, although "sound card telephone adapters" and related software was never released or at least never caught on. Some of the latest softmodem chipsets e.g. the Intel Ambient 537 are even built around a standard AC'97 audio codec interface, which is pretty self-explanatory regarding the true nature of most "winmodems". Motorola (NYSE: MOT) (TYO: 6686) started as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928. ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... AC97 (short for Audio Codec 97) is Intel Corporations Audio Codec standard developed by the Intel Architecture Labs in 1997, and used mainly in on-motherboards, modems, and sound cards. ...


Although "Winmodem" is actually a specific brand of U.S. Robotics modem, the term has now come to mean any software-based modem (in the same way that Xerox refers to any brand of copy machine). The term linmodem is often used to denote a winmodem with support for Linux. U.S. Robotics (popularly nicknamed USR), based in Schaumburg, Illinois and founded in 1976, is a company that makes computer modems and related technologies. ... Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is the worlds largest supplier of toner-based (dry ink) photocopier machines and associated supplies. ... A small, much-used Xerox copier in a high school library. ... Tux, a penguin, is the official Linux mascot. ...


See also: Winprinter GDI is short for Graphics Device Interface, and is one of the three core components or subsystems of Microsoft Windows. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Softmodem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1006 words)
Also referred to as a Winmodem because the first commercially available softmodems mostly targeted the Microsoft Windows operating system running on IBM-PC compatibles, although their usage has become more widespread over other operating systems and machines e.g.
Winmodems have earned a certain notoriety for slowing down their computer systems and for having buggy drivers, although this reputation was largely garnered during the period of their introduction to the mass-market, whereupon they were oft to use substandard drivers, and be found in entry-level computers with slow CPUs.
Although "Winmodem" is actually a specific brand of U.S. Robotics modem, the term has now come to mean any software-based modem (in the same way that Xerox refers to any brand of copy machine).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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