Jorpho wrote:Oh, come on! High-pitched obnoxious modem noises were the bane of many a user's existence back in the day; I can even recall a column advising users to go in and snip the wire leading to the speaker if it couldn't be silenced any other way. If it was easy and feasible to route it through the sound card, I suspect it would have been done – after all, wasn't the whole point of a winmodem keeping costs down?
It wasn't the modems that were the problem, it was the sound cards. Back when winmodems were popular, the typical sound card had one digital-to-analog converter and one or two analog inputs, leading to a two- or three- input analog mixer. Mixing multiple digital inputs (say, a system beep and the modem dial sounds) had to be done in software, and prior to the widespread availability of DIrectSound in Windows 98, sound card drivers almost never supported this. Because modem manufacturers couldn't count on their sounds being played if they routed them through software, they either included a speaker on the card, or ran a wire from the modem to one of the sound card's analog inputs.
A software answering machine doesn't have this problem: you route the digital audio to/from the hard drive when a call comes in, then route it from the hard drive to the sound card at your leisure.