The Acoustic Coupled Data Modem from Livermore Data Systems, circa 1968. Before 1971, you couldn't hook computers directly to phone lines. So researchers would call the computer's phone, pictured here. To cut down on interference, the lid closed.
Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com
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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.