From CC on Tue, 16 Feb 1999
My 4 year old 28.8 sporty has performed perfectly, it was a little cheaper but I don't know why you "diss" em. Still keeps up with the so called 56.6s, I dunno' I scored man.
The Sportster is simply not rated for the duty cycles that would be imposed by use on a BBS or ISP terminal server. I've managed a couple of large BBS systems over the years (the 100 line Symantec BBS a few years ago, and the 40 line McAfee BBS --- expanded to about 60 by the time I left).
Sportsters are a consumer/commodity product. They're suitable for a few hours use per day --- but they get unreliable when receiving calls and staying "live" for weeks on end (which is what happens at busy BBS' and ISPs).
Another problem I personally have with them is the physical shape. They are not "stackable" and the case design doesn't lend itself to good cooling.
I've found (for high density applications) that placing the couriers on their sides (not stacked "up" but arrayed like books) and placing some additional fans on the racks helps keep them cool and makes them MUCH more reliable.
I like "baker's" wire racks for these installations, about as sturdy as 19" racks and much cheaper --- they just don't look as "cool". One nice thing about baker's racks; you can pack them in pretty close to the walls and to one another (side to side) --- and (since they are on large locking wheels) still maintain fairly easy access to the back panels (to get at the wiring nest).
I realize these factors exhibit a "big installation" (glass house) bias. For my own home modems I have a couple of 28.8 Practical Peripherals (the "flat pack" model, not the hideous "brick") and a Zyxel. I just bought the Zyxel for some time when I get around to playing with vgetty's DTMF and voice modem support features (eventually).
I don't remember the context in which I "dis'd" the Sportsters --- but I'm not surprised I did. I've never been impressed with them. It's a personal bias. BBS Sysops often are extremely biased about their modems; I'm only moderately so.