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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Dialup
The LINUX BARRIER: Dial Up Modems
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rarsa


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

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 14:21    Post subject:  

Quote:
I think it is completely OK for one user to advise another user to buy a new modem
As far as I've seen, it's only been users in this thread sugesting it Smile

Barry is the only Puppy developer I know of. The rest of us are just users/contributors, some more technical than others, some more vocal than others, but we are all users.
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aahhaaa


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

PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct 2005, 19:32    Post subject:  

my Lucent Technologies winmodem works well under Linux with the Lucent Technologies drivers.

OK, now maybe we are getting somewhere!

JC, can you tell us exactly what model you have, & exactly what drivers? You're talking PCI right? is it the 56K V.92 Agere Chipset ? lo or full profile? has it been installed on an earlier distro?

Lucent never made a few of anything. Somewhere there is a bunch of them in a warehouse getting obsolete... I could try & get them for us? Very Happy

Here are some pages that discuss the Lucent modem & Linux:
http://www.modemsite.com/56k/ltwin3.asp
http://www.physcip.uni-stuttgart.de/heby/ltmodem/

I don't understand much of what they are recommending...

This one is a little sad, Richard was working on this prob back in '99-2000:
http://www.close.u-net.com/ltmodem.html

Sage- Personally, I'd trade the cpu overhead of a software modem for the overhead of Windows plus updates plus AV... anytime. Your desktop is cpu overhead too, as is the mouse & and any software higher than machine language. I agree with you in the abstract, but all I can ask is you go out & try demoing Puppy to ordinary dial-up computer users, and see what response you get at the 'how do I get my email?' Q. Confused
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sat 22 Oct 2005, 01:47    Post subject:  

Simple - take your serial modem with you!
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jcoder24


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 601
Location: Barbados

PostPosted: Sat 22 Oct 2005, 11:06    Post subject:  

sling-shot wrote:
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


I think you are referring to the disclaimer (the posted one said HCF but its the same for the HSF):

"WARNING: this is an EXPERIMENTAL BETA VERSION of the HCF drivers for Linux.
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! See the file /usr/lib/hcfpci/LICENSE for details. "

This is a standard disclaimer for beta software, in fact it is even a disclaimer for some offical releases as well. So far I haven't had any problems with it and I haven't had any complaints yet either.
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Guest
Guest


PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct 2005, 01:45    Post subject:  

aahhaaa said
Quote:
I agree with you in the abstract, but all I can ask is you go out & try demoing Puppy to ordinary dial-up computer users, and see what response you get at the 'how do I get my email?'


Sage said
Quote:
Simple - take your serial modem with you!


Sage I don't think this is the point here. I agree the best way may be for us to get external modems.

The issue is, the people we are trying to help experience linux, especially Puppy, have mostly bought low end machines that have all the nice things they want under windoz but still come with winmodems on board. We can demo on our machines ok but we need to demo on their machines and we need to give them a CD that they can use without more investment in hardware. Otherwise, it's just too hard.

I believe a lot of people like myself who have taken up the Linux "cause" are not all high tech but we have gained experience through the Home/SOHO/small business evolution and we can talk non-tech to the ordinary user.

If we can only have an answer to aahhaaa's "how do I (the user) get my email?" that does not include major fixes or the purchase of additional (relatively) expensive hardware, I am sure the Puppy revolution will take off like a rocket.

I'm not even sure that I can tell prospective Puppians that any external modem will do the job. Is this really the case?

As I said in my previous post, "don't downplay the marketing". This modem issue seems to me to be a major objection to the ordinary user giving linux a go. It would be great if Puppy could be the distro that solves the problem.
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bobwal


Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Queensland Australia

PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct 2005, 01:50    Post subject:  

Embarassed Sorry people that last post was from me - bobwal - had stopped for lunch and not logged back on.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct 2005, 02:50    Post subject:  

People who buy rubbish from the likes of Dell or PCWorld deserve all they get. It's no different from buying a TV, washing machine or even a house. If you don't research what you are buying with your hard-earned dosh you deserve to get ripped off. Even so, anyone who is conned into buying an internal Winmodem should be capable of removing the side of the case (two screws) and removing it (one screw) and lifting the lid on their rubbish bin (handle!). Their is no good reason to continue living with their initial mistake when rectification could be so cheap and efficacious. Just like the OS itself - what we are preaching is : there is no need to continue using Billy's bent and bloated SW when the remedy is free!
Any of those proverbial six year old children could assist in connecting an external modem to the serial port after they've finished programming the video/DVD recorder..........
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aahhaaa


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

PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct 2005, 10:31    Post subject:  

Bob- we are in full agreement! Very Happy
We can demo on our machines ok but we need to demo on their machines and we need to give them a CD that they can use without more investment in hardware.

Sage- People who buy rubbish from the likes of Dell...

You are talking about the majority of computer users here. Unless they own stock in TinyLimp, prob'ly most all would like to get off the plantation.
They have phobias tho, because they have invested so much time in learning the ins&outs of a couple programs, and have had such a bad time trying to cope with spam, updates, and the intentionally alarming messages from proprietary security software; not to mention real virus attacks & crashes. They are walking wounded, not enthusiasts, and should be treated with a bit more empathy.

I used the word snob earlier. Calling their computers rubbish makes my point- its just another version of RTFM,YA. Except there is no manual. Its what gives Linux its cult reputation. Its an enthusiast's attitude. It drives people away from Linux- including the makers of the hardware the mainstream uses- like Dell... when it will be a company like Dell (or emachines) that first succeeds with a mass market machine that includes Linux. Isn't that the threshold we are really shooting for?

AS I see it, the point of PUPPY is that it runs on almost any machine. Your solution only works for some. Many laptops no longer include any serial connectors; and just like the parallel port has vanished from many desktop mobos, USB is probably all we will have in the future. The software modem exists, and it is called a winmodem because the Linux community has made itself into the out group among many hardware manufacturers. We are talking about the future right? Getting PUPPY into the mainstream computers? So the grannies can get their family photos & emails? And the impoverished screenwriters can promote their work? And the little shopkeeper can send in his taxes? And the kids with an old hand-me-down box can learn Linux and write our future software?

Going back to the auto analogy, you seem to be saying to the guy with the flat tire that he should have bought a Lexis. I don't think that holds water. I've built a bunch of machines from scratch, and I find that full DUM setup can be the most difficult part without an autoinstall disk. But mebbe that's just me. Rolling Eyes

If the Linux world had a Nobel Prize, it should be given to whoever solves this problem. It is preventing millions of people from joining the community.
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rarsa


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

PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct 2005, 23:05    Post subject:  

Quote:
you seem to be saying to the guy with the flat tire that he should have bought a Lexis
Actually I read it differently:

If you buy cheap tires, you better (choose one or more):
A) learn to change them
B) Accept that you will be ripped of by the mecanic that know how to,
C) Accept that you will be without a car under certain conditions.

Puppy is not for everybody. Granted. It does not pretend to be. There are many other distributions and OSs as alternatives, both comercial and open source. The point here is not to "assimilate them".

Using Puppy requires some effort from the user's part. Granted. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Puppy is a small footprint distro. Why is it so difficult to accept? It can be better. Complaining won't make it so. Contributing may make it so.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 02:11    Post subject:  

I concur with rarsa. I try to avoid fitting Ford Focus parts to my Nissan Primera! However, my trailer fits both!
The external modem is the perfect trailer for PCs of all marques.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11120
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 03:11    Post subject:  

Sage wrote:
...The external modem is the perfect trailer for PCs of all marques.

I respectfully disagree! The back of my computer already looks like a Medusa head, with cords running every direction. Anything that will fit inside my computer, goes inside my computer.

Also, someone reading this thread is likely to wind up suffering some confusion about internal vs external, and soft- vs hard- ware modems. An internal modem can be either a soft- or hardware modem. I know because I happen to have an internal hardware modem. An internal softmodem consistently beat it in a direct comparison from the same phone jack, in the same computer with the same OS (Windows 2000) and ISP.

Lots of signal processing is being implemented in software. It offers considerable potential advantages over hardware implementation of a given scheme. It is easy to modify (within the limits of the hardware), cheaper, smaller, usually more stable, and can be self-tuning. I have some experience with analog computers and I can tell you that implementing all that with hardware is nearly impossible.

Your experience may be that external modems work more reliably in Linux than internal ones do, but that doesn't mean they have to, or that they are technically superior just because they are external modems. And saying that people who want to switch to Linux will just have to invest in an external modem if they also want to read their email doesn't seem like a strong sales pitch for Linux.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 03:45    Post subject:  

Once we remove the Beast of Redmond and his evil empire from the face of IT, perhaps we can all move on to a more rational approach. That's one of the great prizes offfered to humanity by open source and Linux, in particular. If you espouse greed and capitalism, you end up with all the strings being pulled by a few fat cats. This is no recipe for the advance of science and technology, let alone social harmony, peace and understanding. No good wishing for universality of HW until we root out the rot. Incidentally, internal HW modems can be just as much of a hassle unless they're mounted in PCI slot 4. Even then, they require the correct drivers. An external serial modem can operate as a three-wire device and can sign on as a 'standard' modem in any OS - don't come more economical and universal than that. No good wishing for things to be different than they are. Like the old (Irish?) joke in which the Dubliner ask for directions to London. In response to which, if I were going to London, I wouldn't start from here.........
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bobwal


Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Queensland Australia

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 05:56    Post subject:  

Sage Said
Quote:
An external serial modem can operate as a three-wire device and can sign on as a 'standard' modem in any OS - don't come more economical and universal than that. No good wishing for things to be different than they are.


Are you saying that any/all external serial modems are compatible with Puppy?

If what some of you are saying that internal modems are rubbish is right, then is this the only message we can give to the people - who own the crap computers - we are trying to get to use linux, especially Puppy?

"Buy a XXXXX external modem and I guarantee it will work."

This is the question I have been asking - can someone answer Yes or No?

Do any manufacturers of ext. modems falsly state their units are "serial" when they are not? Are all usb external modems correctly marked?

I believe that Puppy has tremendous potential to forward the Linux cause and I agree that its small size is it's strength. I also happen to believe it should be supported by internal modems.

You want contribution - OK - Can the Puppy Community
1 Identify a suitable modem manufacturer
2 Commence an email lobby of that manufacturer to provide a modem that will support Puppy?

I doubt we can overturn Redmond, (it may do this itself before long) but we may be able to do our bit from the bottom.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4797
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 07:35    Post subject:  

So far I haven't found an external serial modem that doesn't behave as a bog standard modem on any machine with any OS. I only buy cheap Chinese clones - no point paying extra for all that advertising and fancy artwork on the badge. So your answer would appear to be YES!

You can easily identify a serial modem - it has a D9 or D25 port on the rear and comes with a complete array of signalling l.e.d. s, so you are in full control of what you send, and more importantly, receive. Most have a power on/off switch, too. The value of this cannot be overstated. On the one hand, if you get a d/l crash ('doze users will know that it's a question of when? not if?!) you can often clear it by switching the modem off. Obviously, this isn't possible without a hard reset of the whole PC with an internal modem. On the other hand, if your RD light is flashing and you have not issued a download instruction, you can bet some virus or malware is trying to infiltrate your system - again, use the modem on/off switch. This is a distinct advantage conferred by DUN as opposed to broadband, too.

External USB modems are a special class of Winmodem. They work very well with 'doze. They can suffer all the same idiosyncracies of internal Winmodems for non-'doze OSes, although USB can be more forgiving in certain configurations providing drivers are available. Best avoided for Linux. There is little cost advantage over external serial modems, anyway.
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aahhaaa


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

PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2005, 07:39    Post subject: A Solution & a Source  

if you've made it this far in this thread Shocked

I said I'd go looking; well, here's a little progress for some of us. As mentioned above, there is a 3rd kind, the internal hardware modem. While not solving the problem of using existing installed modems, they do provide a cheap solution that will run under both Linux & Windows from a PCI slot inside the machine.

I contacted a reputable modem seller on eBay, somebody who has been around a while and knows Linux. Here's what he said:

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but I just got Fedora Core 4 disks today and couldn't wait to try it out. I have been experimenting with Conexant/Rockwell winmodem installations under the various versions of Fedora. For Puppy I believe you want to stick with a hardware modem whether it is a external or internal PCI. That way you avoid having to worry about having a specific driver for you modem and OS. I see that rarsa posted a link in your forum that lists some of the hardware PCI modems still available. The 3Com 5610 on the list is a V.90 version of the modem I'm selling. These will install like an external hardware modem since they work like a generic serial modem. I myself connect with dialup and sympathize with individuals that want to run Linux and are stuck with dialup. I wouldn't mind trying Puppy to figure out the exact installation steps if you are interested. It would not be until next week though since I would download it through my work's broadband then bring it home. If you miss out on the current auction don't worry. I have over a hundred of these modems and will be continually listing more.

In a follow-up email he said:

I downloaded Puppy last night and got it running after a little challenge. The machine I wanted to try it on would only boot from floppy. Anyway, I got the USR modem to work. It is actually quite easy to set up.

The modem I was inquiring about was listed as: US Robotics/3Com 56k V.92 PCI Hardware Modem Win/Linux eBay Item number: 6813445661

It sold for $16.50 and no outrageous shipping. For the record, I have no relationship with this seller other than having bought from him before. I hope he doesn't mind my quoting him, and that he will consider posting here! Wink
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