Remember the old days?
With those phone-based dial-up modems, which made a lot of noise and worked at annoyingly low speeds. I have extracted the sound for the listening pleasure of the few who sit around pretending to miss the good ol' days, when things were simpler and the stars were brighter.
The sound of the internet -
(Audio file ripped from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtqz0bdq30Q)
Modem speeds were at 28.8 kbps. Files took many hours to download, often interrupted annoyingly at the higher percentage levels. Download managers were sought after, along with tools and hacks which pretended to improve speeds (Many of them, were nothing but placebos.)
So anyway there used to be a software called Getsmart. It was the first download manager I found which could split a file into as many parts as you wished (I had tried up to 100, while attempting to download a 300+ mb file. WinLinux, it was).
But it had more. It supported skins. It had a built-in FTP client. And it had a "act as proxy" feature. This feature gave me a innovative way to use some annoying softwares which supported HTTP proxy servers but did not support authentication. It allowed faster loading of websites as Getsmart could split the large files (like images and videos) on the site and parallelly download them.
The website still exists, and it is a sign that I really need to get a life, when I can type the url out of memory.
It used to be http://members.xoom.com/m507 and http://getsmart.hypermart.net, both of which are now down for a long while (No google cache entries for them). However a mirror still exists. The site reminds me of those ghost villages, empty, devoid of life but a heaviness in the air and a damp nostalgic melancholy of the good times gone by -
Getsmart - The smartest download manager around!.
Its been a decade now. And they've been long gone. Like so many of their time.
I will take the liberty of mirroring the link of the software soon, just in case it vanishes from the internet completely.
Monkey Dust - The internet is expanding!
56K Modem Emulator
Forum post discussing stuff to do with old modems - Transformers from old modems
How-To Build a Telephone Recording Circuit from an Old Modem
Internet Connections : How Does Dial-Up Work?