The question comes up at talks and around the office, “Is this really a modem though? Isn’t it a router?”

The primary function of ManaOS is to add artisanal imperfection to your perfectly good internet link to emulate all of the crazy latencies users encounter around the world. This certainly fits in the routing domain, as it’s a specialized case of traffic policy and shaping being applied based on real world experiences. It even helps that the OS is normally running on router hardware.

Things got more interesting when the team met to try and name the project. The then-named “WorldWRT”, calling to its roots on the ASUSWRT / DDWRT firmware build wasn’t really catching on and ended up being a mouthful to say. One of the data scientists who was groking the concept said, “so you just take this real world data, load it onto this magic modem, and then it puts the developer anywhere in the world?”

Torio, you genius you. Rather than continuing to struggle with naming the device (naming is hard!), it was easier to just add a modem to the device and make the statement true.

Included in every ManaOS boot is a Bell202 compliant 1200bps softmodem that modulates then demodulates a message and writes it to the kernel log. It looks like this:

[    2.556590] ### CARRIER 1200 @ 1200.0 Hz ###
[    2.557100] This is the Magic Modem
[    2.557420] 
[    2.557563] ### NOCARRIER ndata=24 confidence=4.877 ampl=1.001 bps=1200.00 (rate perfect) ###

Naming solved!