IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by John Bro » Tue, 07 Mar 1995 06:25:23



I am planing on buying an IBM PC 300 system from IBM PC Direct (I get a
discount), and I am trying to decide what to do about a modem.  I'm
going to put at least three partitions on a 1GB hard drive, the first
of which will contain DOS-Windows-OS/2, the second Linux, and the third
anything I may want to play around with later.

Naturally I want to get a modem which I can use with as many operating
systems as possible, but my computing background is mostly IBM
mainframes and Sun Sparcstations, and I know very little about PC
architecture or modems (yet!).

The IBM PC Direct catalog offers a DSP Modem and Audio Card which looks
very interesting.  It appears to be a fully upgradable Fax/Data/Voice
modem (with voicemail, speakerphone, fax-back, fax mailbox, and other
capabilities) and also a full-blown 16 bit multimedia sound card (MPC-2
compliant, wavetable MIDI, etc.).  The price, $235, seems quite
reasonable.  It uses something called Mwave Digital Signal Processor
technology (is that different from everyone else's DSP?), and the
catalog claims that since it is easily upgradable when new modem
standards come along, it could be "the only modem you may ever need".

Well, I guess that means they want me to buy it. :-)  But I have a
couple of questions first, which I'm hoping someone here will be able
to help me with.

One -- does anyone here have any experience with this card?  Does it
live up to it's billing as *both* a modem and a sound card?

Two -- is such a card likely to be used the same way by comm programs
as a normal internal modem?  IBM also sells plain internal modems, and
I'm wondering if this card is just two normal cards (modem and sound
card) combined into one, or whether it is something different.  If it
*is* something different, how would that affect me when I tried to use
it with a comm program?  Remember I don't know much about the PC
architecture.  I know there are such things as COM1 and COM2, but I
don't really know many details (any book suggestions for this?).

Three -- given that I am interested in running my PC under several
different operating systems, should I even be thinking about an
internal modem at all?  Maybe external modems, attached to the serial
port, are generic and all look alike while internal modems require
special software support.  Again, I just don't know.  Is it likely that
I will be able to use this modem under Linux?  Under other Unixes?

Any help on any of these questions, or any relevant comments or
suggestions, will be greatly appreciated!
--
John Brock

 
 
 

IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by Henry Dav » Tue, 07 Mar 1995 22:05:56



Quote:

>I am planing on buying an IBM PC 300 system from IBM PC Direct (I get a
>discount), and I am trying to decide what to do about a modem.  I'm
>going to put at least three partitions on a 1GB hard drive, the first
>of which will contain DOS-Windows-OS/2, the second Linux, and the third
>anything I may want to play around with later.

>Naturally I want to get a modem which I can use with as many operating
>systems as possible, but my computing background is mostly IBM
>mainframes and Sun Sparcstations, and I know very little about PC
>architecture or modems (yet!).

>The IBM PC Direct catalog offers a DSP Modem and Audio Card which looks
>very interesting.  It appears to be a fully upgradable Fax/Data/Voice
>modem (with voicemail, speakerphone, fax-back, fax mailbox, and other
>capabilities) and also a full-blown 16 bit multimedia sound card (MPC-2
>compliant, wavetable MIDI, etc.).  The price, $235, seems quite
>reasonable.  It uses something called Mwave Digital Signal Processor
>technology (is that different from everyone else's DSP?), and the
>catalog claims that since it is easily upgradable when new modem
>standards come along, it could be "the only modem you may ever need".

This card is built by Best Data Products for IBM. They sell the same
card (different set of S/W applets) for about $190 in CompUSA and
Computer City.

Quote:

>Well, I guess that means they want me to buy it. :-)  But I have a
>couple of questions first, which I'm hoping someone here will be able
>to help me with.

>One -- does anyone here have any experience with this card?  Does it
>live up to it's billing as *both* a modem and a sound card?

Yes. But you need to keep in mind that it is a WINDOWS oriented product.
DOS games run in a window. It works quite well for the vast majority of
games that I've tried.

Quote:

>Two -- is such a card likely to be used the same way by comm programs
>as a normal internal modem?  IBM also sells plain internal modems, and
>I'm wondering if this card is just two normal cards (modem and sound
>card) combined into one, or whether it is something different.  If it
>*is* something different, how would that affect me when I tried to use
>it with a comm program?  Remember I don't know much about the PC
>architecture.  I know there are such things as COM1 and COM2, but I
>don't really know many details (any book suggestions for this?).

The DSP Modem has the equivalent of COM1...COM4 so the product looks
like "an ordinary modem" to the software. It DOES NOT have "two normal"
cards jammed together. There is one DSP that is shared between tasks.

Quote:

>Three -- given that I am interested in running my PC under several
>different operating systems, should I even be thinking about an
>internal modem at all?  Maybe external modems, attached to the serial
>port, are generic and all look alike while internal modems require
>special software support.  Again, I just don't know.  Is it likely that
>I will be able to use this modem under Linux?  Under other Unixes?

Unless you can run under Windows (or equivalent)the product won't run
under other OS's yet.

>Any help on any of these questions, or any relevant comments or
>suggestions, will be greatly appreciated!
>--
>John Brock


Henry

 
 
 

IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by Jeff Bry » Sat, 11 Mar 1995 08:30:30




>>The IBM PC Direct catalog offers a DSP Modem and Audio Card which looks
>>very interesting.  It appears to be a fully upgradable Fax/Data/Voice
>>modem (with voicemail, speakerphone, fax-back, fax mailbox, and other
>>capabilities) and also a full-blown 16 bit multimedia sound card (MPC-2
>>compliant, wavetable MIDI, etc.).  The price, $235, seems quite
>>reasonable.  It uses something called Mwave Digital Signal Processor
>>technology (is that different from everyone else's DSP?), and the
>>catalog claims that since it is easily upgradable when new modem
>>standards come along, it could be "the only modem you may ever need".
>This card is built by Best Data Products for IBM. They sell the same
>card (different set of S/W applets) for about $190 in CompUSA and
>Computer City.

If you want more information about the Mwave DSP, you can find it
on my WWW site.  The URL is http://watson.mbb.sfu.ca/

Quote:>>Three -- given that I am interested in running my PC under several
>>different operating systems, should I even be thinking about an
>>internal modem at all?  Maybe external modems, attached to the serial
>>port, are generic and all look alike while internal modems require
>>special software support.  Again, I just don't know.  Is it likely that
>>I will be able to use this modem under Linux?  Under other Unixes?
>Unless you can run under Windows (or equivalent)the product won't run
>under other OS's yet.

Just to add to this.  Every Mwave based card has Windows drivers.  Some
of the cards have OS/2 drivers and the OS/2 drivers for one card may
work on another card (that's one of the beauties of Mwave).  As far
as support for any other operating system (ie Linux, Win95, WinNT, etc),
there is absolutely nothing available for any of the cards.  As far
as Linux goes, I don't know of any company who officially intends
to support Linux.

And just to make one point clear.  Mwave based cards use a DSP.
Simply put, without drivers the card cannot do anything.  For example
to use the card as a modem, you have to first load the modem drivers
on to the DSP therby enabling the card to function as a modem
(the speed of which depends on the software - great for upgrading
to faster speeds) and then you can use your communication software.
Without the driver, the communication software will fail to find the
modem.

Jeff Bryer

 
 
 

IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by Robert Van Za » Tue, 14 Mar 1995 08:36:29


: as Linux goes, I don't know of any company who officially intends
: to support Linux.

     Is any kind of development kit or programming info available for these
cards?  Or can we add them to the list of useless hardware to boycott due to
NDA's.

rvz
--
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IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by David Chamberl » Thu, 16 Mar 1995 03:40:48


:      Is any kind of development kit or programming info available for these
: cards?  Or can we add them to the list of useless hardware to boycott due to
: NDA's.

Kind of pricey (~$400), but it exists.  In fact, it's a pretty good
development kit (IMHO).  

-

Dave

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IBM DSP Modem and Audio Card?

Post by Kurt Klingbe » Fri, 17 Mar 1995 19:05:21



>Kind of pricey (~$400), but it exists.  In fact, it's a pretty good
>development kit (IMHO).  

Unless you want to develop outside of windoze, like on a real OS ;-)