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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Dialup
The LINUX BARRIER: Dial Up Modems
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11121
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 16:51    Post subject:  

sling-shot wrote:
...you have mentioned that it may be dangerous to use it. Does it mean it will cause permanent damage to my harddisk/filesystem (windows) if there is some malfunction or just that it may destroy Puppy settings (if so that will be ok)???

I have two computers with Windows 2000 on them. I've booted Puppy from CD on both of them many times, even moved many files from Windows to Puppy, though never the other way, and nothing bad has happened -- Yet. Laughing

Most computers can run Puppy without a hard drive at all. I haven't seen anything in this forum that makes me think Puppy could harm your Windows installation or hard drive or other hardware even if you tell it to, but assuming you have enough RAM (I'm not certain of the minimum required but, say, 128 MB?) if you disconnect your hard drive and then boot the CD, Puppy should run just fine. I've done it myself, to test a new computer I hadn't yet installed an OS in.
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puppian


Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 538
Location: PuppyLand

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 17:01    Post subject:  

Sorry to say that, but IMO telling someone "your modem won't work in Puppy, save some time and buy an external modem!" is the same as telling someone "hey Puppy won't work for you, try another distro that's more popular!" or, "hey Linux won't work for you, use Windoz!"

If one gives up so easily, why so many of us are spending much time here discussing how to improve puppy?

I believe the "buy another modem" approach is not Barry's philosophy, if it is, he would have said "buy another moniter, keyboard, mouse, etc" and we won't have the puppy that we now have, which works for so many people. There will still be a puppy, a puppy that works on Barry's computer ONLY Wink

It's true to say that users (no matter regular or not) shouldn't spend much time just to get their modem works. If their modem works out of the box, their time is saved. Time is saved NOT because they have bought a new, extra piece of hardware (and buying something will surely take time too Wink). Time is saved because the existing hardware just works.

Btw, my modem DOES have a driver for Linux, just that it doesn't work very well here Smile

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Last edited by puppian on Fri 21 Oct 2005, 13:11; edited 1 time in total
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jcoder24


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 601
Location: Barbados

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 18:15    Post subject:  

jcoder24 wrote:
Puppy has quite a number of features working for it that can make PCs more cheaply available, can convert more M$ users to linux, can discourage dumping older PCs,.... All of this is done while still providing a positive user experience that Mr. Gates would be envious of.


Forgot to add...
Why should we not try to improve this with better modem support out-of-the-box?

sling-shot wrote:

But you have mentioned that it may be dangerous to use it.


Can you post the link that mentions it being dangerous? It was prob. so long ago that I forgot I said it.
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irvm
Guest


PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 18:52    Post subject: Nearly failed  

OK, I downloaded and booted Puppy just now,
and I'm posting this using it.
HOWEVER:
I use a bog-standard USRobotics EXternal
56k modem on dialup, and neither Gkdial nor
WvDial will work. Xeznet just barely works,
at about 1/10 the speed that I get on this same
computer/modem when using Mandrake.
These modems have been around for ever,
problems like this shouldn't happen.

Anyone have ideas on how to boost the speed,
and/or how to get the other dialers to work?

Irv
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aahhaaa


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 341
Location: Lower Michigan, North America

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 21:28    Post subject:  

well, Jcoder, I'd say go for it! Very Happy

I think the issue is more than saving a bit of time. The newcomer to Linux generally has a narrow path to walk for initial success- picking a distro, downloading, .iso burning, configing, etc. At each step we lose possible members of the Linux community, and create rumors of the difficulties instead of the beauties of Linux.

PUPPY solved all this brilliantly -but there's still that last step before self-teaching sets in for dial-up users who are willing to try 'something completely different'.

What I don't understand is why software modems are apparently intimidating to a group of people who can create whole OSs. It would seem to me that the less hardware, the more practical it would be. The basic COM protocols are old tech and a dial-up API for Linux -that could be used generically by all distros- should have existed for a long time. I'd go further- modem cards should meet a Linux spec, now that states & cities have opted for Linux. For Pete's sake, Linux has Windows emulators out there...

Guys, I'm not criticizing Puppy at all, but I am out there demoing it to people a lot. Faces beam and chuckles are heard as that ol '98 computer fires up the Puppy on the desktop. They like the software and can find their way around easily with almost no couching.

Then comes the dread question: "how do I pick up my email?"

Way more than half the people in my rural area are still on dial-up. If I could say "We install this $20 XYZ modem card, it's Plug&Play in Linux too", there'd be a 50+ person Puppy user group here in a month. If I could say "Click here" with reasonable confidence, it'd be more like a hundred. Smile
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aahhaaa


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 341
Location: Lower Michigan, North America

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 21:34    Post subject:  

ps Hi Irv & good work- a dial-up success story! Wink
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2005, 23:09    Post subject:  

A crippled, non-modem, Winmodem should cost ~10, 14 and an external serial modem <20, 28. The former has half the components. If you can't get those prices locally, try ordering from cclcomputers.co.uk, Komplett or Newegg. Better -ask a travelling friend to bring you one from Europe or the US. You misunderstand the use of external modems - one single unit can be used on all your PC s, either by plugging it into the serial port or by using an external switchbox and data cabling. It doesn't need to be selective about which PCI slot to use or even opening the box. It works on 'doze and all Linux distros without needing model-specific drivers. There are no 'issues' associated with SW.
Stop wasting your time on commercially rubbish and get the proper tool for the job! Winmodems are just toys.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11121
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 00:46    Post subject:  

Sage wrote:
...Winmodems are just toys.

I have to disagree. I've had them outperform hardware modems. The problem with Winmodems as you well know is the programs that make them work are almost exclusively written for Windows. I can understand why. Unlike Windows, Linux is evolving (apologies to the "intelligent design" crowd Smile ) with no apparent direction and only the vaguest guiding authority, so developing softmodem drivers for Linux is probably somewhat risky from the hardware manufacturer's point of view. Too bad. Softmodems really work quite well in my experience.
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rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 01:09    Post subject:  

Quote:
The problem with Winmodems as you well know is the programs that make them work are almost exclusively written for Windows

This thread is getting funny.

I'll give you a clue why winmodems work almost exclusively in Windows. The clue has to do with the first three leters of the winmodem names 'W', 'I', 'N'. Any more clues?

Winmodems were designed to work under windows. Making them work under linux has been a hack at best.

Recently vendors are already opening their design for Open source developers. But it's absurd to pretend that there will be the same support for linux drivers as there is for windows drivers.

Anyway, to bring something else constructive to the talk, here is an interesting link http://linmodems.org/
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puppian


Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 538
Location: PuppyLand

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 01:22    Post subject:  

jcoder24 wrote:
Why should we not try to improve this with better modem support out-of-the-box?

Exactly!

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11121
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 01:40    Post subject:  

The only thing I can think of that might do that is if the Linux community began a campaign of writing (respectful) letters and emails to modem manufacturers, asking them to provide Linux drivers for their hardware.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 04:47    Post subject:  

100% correct, rarsa.
The other correspondents are either misguided or not listening.
If you use a SW modem, it also soaks up cpu cycles causing a decline in overall performance.
Toys!
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sling-shot


Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 109
Location: India

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 12:49    Post subject:  

jcoder24 wrote:

sling-shot wrote:

But you have mentioned that it may be dangerous to use it.


Can you post the link that mentions it being dangerous? It was prob. so long ago that I forgot I said it.


Although it is irresponsible of me to say i cant remember where exactly i read that, it is indeed true. Actually that is the only thing i remember reading in that thread. on second thought i feel may be it was not your post .. ?
Apologies

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puppian


Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 538
Location: PuppyLand

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 13:04    Post subject:  

It seems that two very different things are being discussed here.

The first one is from the user's point of view. I think it is completely OK for one user to advise another user to buy a new modem (or other hardware) if the existing one doesn't work. That's nothing wrong with that (thou the new user who are desperate for help may be disappointed Smile)

The second one is from Puppy's or the developer's point of view. A successful OS won't (and shouldn't) tell its users to buy a new piece of hardware just to use the OS. Otherwise that OS will never become successful (you can't detect my hardware? then I will use another OS that can). If you want people to use your OS, it should have better hardware detection than its competitor. And I think Puppy is doing a great job at that.

IMO the reason for starting this thread is to help Puppy (and Barry) to do that even better and I can't think of any reason for anyone to object that. I admit that it's difficult to get some hardware, winmodem especially, to work in Linux (for different reasons like the 'market forces' mentioned by rarsa, etc), and that's already stated in the topic (The LINUX BARRIER: Dial Up Modems). But I believe no matter how difficult a thing is, there's still something that can be done. For example, at least for hardware/modem that HAS Linux drivers availble, they should be made to work out of the box (I know Barry is already trying very hard at that, but the time one person has is limited Smile)

In short, I don't see any conflicts between the different points of view above.

Sage wrote:
The other correspondents are either misguided or not listening.
If you use a SW modem, it also soaks up cpu cycles causing a decline in overall performance.
Toys!
I know "it also soaks up cpu cycles causing a decline in overall performance", but as long as it's working on my Windows, I won't consider it as a toy Smile Again, I think it's OK to tell someone that his/her hardware is not the best out there (the user's point of view). However, for Puppy to be successful, it shouldn't (and has never Smile) tell its users: hey your printer (modem, monitor, etc) is a low quality one and so we are not supporting it! (the OS point of view)

Hope the above make some sense Smile

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Last edited by puppian on Sun 23 Oct 2005, 13:42; edited 1 time in total
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jcagle

Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 634

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 13:52    Post subject:  

Fortunately my Lucent Technologies winmodem works well under Linux with the Lucent Technologies drivers. It seems to serve it's purpose as a modem just fine. I'm actually able to download stuff a bit faster under Linux than under Windows.

I've not been the biggest fan of winmodems, or internal modems - period, myself. I've only had success with 2 internal modems in my life, and that was before winmodems came out. They were EISA, not PCI. At one time I was using Windows 98 and in 1998 and 1999, I tried several different internal modems, and I couldn't even get them working properly in Windows. The first session in Windows with the modem would work fine, then when I rebooted, the modem didn't work anymore. It would work again after running without the modem and then reseeding it. This happened with SEVERAL internal modems I had. This wasn't even in Linux.

This is somewhat off topic, but I had an interesting experience with a video card I got for Christmas a few years ago. The box said it was compatable with Windows. There was no indication that it was Linux compatable. The funny thing was I couldn't get it to work in Windows, but it worked very well under Linux. Kind of strange, isn't it? Something that was designed specifically for Windows worked in Linux but not Windows.
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