Baud Barf

What is Baud Barf?
Baud Barf is a term used for seemingly random or illegible ASCII characters created by line noise or other means. These characters would appear on a screen during operation of a 1990s modem. The term 'baud barf' is mostly associated with dial-up Internet situations where computer telephones share the same telephone lines.

In a typical baud situation, someone using dial-up Internet was using a computer with a PC-DOS display or an early Windows display. When someone picked up the phone and the line noise came in, it would appear on the screen as a series of unreadable characters. This would often be accompanied by a series of noises indicating incoming messages that are incompatible with the intended use of the interface. People called this baud barf because the screen was this useless String seemed to 'spoil'.

Like Baud modems, Baud Barf is now largely a thing of the past. People rarely use dial-up Internet, where computers and phones share the same lines. The decline of landline telephone systems made baud barf an archaic phenomenon, among other things.

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