The Modem Dictionary

... one of the earliest eBooks, dating back to 1989


The Modem Dictionary began in 1989, defining about a hundred words related to modems, beginning with the letters "A" through "K". Yeah, that's an odd way to go about things, but as one of the first eBooks in existence, it made sense. It was free, so nobody had a problem with that. And the rest was added quickly, and it was updated a lot over about 5 years. It became quite popular, spreading from bulletin board to bulletin board.

View It!

Go ahead, take a look at the often-imitated, one-and-only The Modem Dictionary v2.10.

Also, you can take a look at The Modem Dictionary v2.30, which was not released until January 14, 2009!

Why it is here now

Well, while individuals and many organizations loved it, somehow a few people who get paid to write enjoyed getting paid to do almost nothing. One day in the mid-1990s, I was at a bookstore and found a book about modems, and sure enough inside it was a glossary with about 50 definitions taken from The Modem Dictionary. After I contacted the publisher, they explained that the author got the definitions from "an Internet user named Dwelf." I chuckled at the cute story while I desposited the nice check they sent!

Fast forward to 2009, and I do an Internet search, and find my material on a webpage -- along with "Compiled by [someone else's name]. Reprinted from [a computer magazine]." Again, someone getting paid to cut-and-paste my work. The author copied my work for a magazine that paid her, and then took credit for it.

And, amazingly there are lots of telecommunications-related websites out there that have a glossary, that sure enough include a lot of my work.

Not suprisingly, there are also lots of 'AdSense Abusers' that happily cut-and-paste copyrighted works knowing that they won't ever get punished. These people create a domain name, copy other people's work, and then add 'Google AdSense' (that lets that get paid when visitors click on ads) to make money off of it. Fortunately, they get their money from Google, who frowns upon such behavior.

So, this site is here to pay tribute to The Modem Dictionary, immortalize it, whatever. But at the very least, it is here to help get rid of the copyright infringement that is rampant on the Internet.