The Ugliest Products in Tech History

Acoustic Coupler Modems
The 1970s aren't exactly known for great design (shag rugs, The Osmonds' hairstyles), but one egregiously tacky piece of tech from that era was also one of the most vital for the pioneers of our modern, always-connected world: the acoustic-coupler modem. Back when Ma Bell ruled the telephony landscape and phones were hard-wired into walls, the only way to connect your computer to the outside world was to make the call manually, listen for the carrier tone, and then push the handset into the twin suction cups mounted on top of the modem. A triumph of function over form, these devices were how the first generation of Netizens got their online fix. Too bad it looked like you were sticking your phone into two miniature plungers.

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