Listen, O Prince, and know of times in the distant past:
It was the days of punchcards and cables; of university, military, and government dollars; of teletypes and amber screens; of tractor-fed paper and resultant cruft; of eight inch disks and the need for tape archives; it was the good old days.
Time passed, as is its task, and new things arose- the beasts known as Amiga, Apple, Commodore, IBM, and TI. In those days, the beasts never talked to each other, all was different and confusing, full of sound and fury, signifying less than Babel; and men were torn apart just the same. Because each beast was unto an island each, scores of others were able to find a niche on the backs of these beasts, each doing the same thing for different masters. And that is how we came to have money, and Microsoft, and Unix, which gave rise to Linux.
And one man, cleverer than the rest, came upon a thought as he held his telephone, and thought of his wife many leagues away. "My voice," he reasoned; and reasoning is better than spears to settle arguments, O Prince, for thoughts do not cause bloodshed until they may be released, "My voice can reach my wife whom I love more than light- the Mother Bell turns my voice into electricity, slings it miles distant, and then makes its way to my house, to my wife, to her ear and her heart, as though we shared a bed in the small hours of the morning, and she is comforted."
"If I had a device," he further reasoned, "A device between my computer systems and a telephone to transform electricity into electricity with a speaker, and a microphone, and other small devices within both (for you see, O Prince, that we have lost some of the Language of Engineers), then I could provide ways for distant computers to talk to each other, comforting and sharing their data and processing times, to supercede the need for commuters, so I could talk to my wife while my computer talks to my job." For that is how they talked in those days.
And when three hundred baud or twelve hundred BPS became normal, and 2400 baud was only the domain of the 3l337, the modem was the cause and the dream, the veins and sinews and capillaries of the infant Internet and the basis for our own understructure; O Prince, A modem is better than nothing.