Because the modem was not electrically connected, it was incapable of picking up, hanging up or dialing, all of which required direct control of the line. Touch-tone dialing would have been possible, but touch-tone was not universally available at this time. Consequently, the dialing process was executed by the user lifting the handset, dialing, then placing the handset on the coupler. To accelerate this process, a user could purchase a dialer or Automatic Calling Unit.
As early as 1964, Bell provided automatic calling units that connected separately to a second serial port on a host machine and could be commanded to open the line, dial a number, and even ensure the far end had successfully connected before transferring control to the modem. Later on, third-party models would become available, sometimes known simply as dialers, and features such as the ability to automatically sign in to time-sharing systems.
Since the interface is not RS-232, there is no standard for communication with the device directly. Instead, soft modems come with drivers which create an emulated RS-232 port, which standard modem software (such as an operating system dialer application) can communicate with. 2b1af7f3a8