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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Dialup
Puppy and winmodems
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Telkwa

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 30 Nov 2009, 13:32    Post subject:  Puppy and winmodems  

I've got a half dozen winmodems scrounged out of various PC's that I considered worthless because Ubuntu doesn't want to have anything to do with them.

We've been talking about the sorry state of affairs in this thread
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1238954

I'm going to download Puppy today or tomorrow and give it a spin, testing each one of those loser winmodems, but I was wondering if anyone had a quick explanation as to why Pup can work with several winmodems and Ubuntu can't?

I always assumed it was just too much work to reverse-engineer decent drivers. But if the Pup devs did it...

EDIT: By the way, I was amazed to see a sub-section of your forum devoted to dial-up. What a difference from the Ubuntu Forums!
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1550
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon 30 Nov 2009, 15:24    Post subject:  

Telkwa,
Quote:
I was wondering if anyone had a quick explanation as to why Pup can work with several winmodems and Ubuntu can't?
Puppy creator Barry Kauler and I committed ourselves to making Puppy the distro of choice for users of dialup modems. Puppy has its own way of dealing with modems. I have acquired a variety of w/linmodems and focussed on getting them to work the Puppy way. The full results of my efforts are in the distro file: pup-431-intel_modems.iso, under "special-puppies", at the download site.

What modems do you have? I attempt to find all linux drivers available for the current level of linux. Some drivers are no longer maintained as of the beginning of the 2.6 kernels. U.S. Robotics and 2com winmodems have never had linux support, although any PCI "hardware" modems are handled as serial modems, but require you to "probe" for them in PupDial, before they are detected (as ttyS0, etc.).
Richard
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Telkwa

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec 2009, 09:47    Post subject:  

Hi, rerwin!
Thanks for the reply. I installed Puppy to an old PIII 1 GHz test box. It was an interesting experience. All I wanted to do was install it to a 120BG PATA internal. I felt like Pup was going, "Wait a minute, that's all you want me to do, is install on this huge HDD? What do I do with all this space?" Smile

I dug thru the parts box and only found two modems. Musta got rid of a bunch last time I went to Goodwill. A conexant modem (the chip says "RH56D"), which Ubuntu would have ignored, was a breeze to install. The other modem I found is an Intel 536. Not an Intel chip on somebody else's card, a genuine Intel modem. It was not recognized, but if I remember correctly this modem was acting flaky and I suspect it might be broken.

I ran a speed test (the one at u.s. netizen) and it was much slower than our main PC, a 3 GHz Dell Precision 470 running XP and an external USR 5686. I got about 17 Kbps with Pup and the Conexant and the old PIII, where the XP/USR combo we use for our main PC gives us right around 40 Kbps. Our ISP is Fry's.

Even though dial-up shouldn't require much processor power, it does seem to me that older, slower PC's give much poorer dial-up speeds than newer PC's. That's always been somewhat of a mystery to me but I've seen it several times so believe it to be true.

The Dell 470 is a dual-boot with XP and Ubuntu 9.04, so I've been able to do comparisons between XP with the USR and Ubuntu with the USR. Ubuntu always feels slower than XP, although the u.s. netizen speed test would report numbers that were close to XP. I tried re-visiting websites to allow for caching of images but that never got the Linux PC to feel as fast as XP.

I don't know why that would be.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I don't know how you guys have accomplished with a 100MB OS and a small crew what others can't do with much more, but it's appreciated.

Next I want to install Pup to a flash drive, plus scrounge up more modems for testing. Will report back with anything I find out.

EDIT: Wait a minute. Are you saying there's a download with MORE winmodem drivers? I don't know anything about the Pup way of doing things.

MORE EDITS: Built a Puppy USB flash drive and booted from that on the main XP PC. Went to u.s. netizen
http://www.usnetizen.com/
and ran their speed test. 42.91 Kbps. Whoa Daddy

We're flying now. This is on the Dell Precision 470, our main desktop PC, with a 3GHz Xeon processor and a USR 5686. The USR was recognized just as easily as the Conexant.

This is pretty cool.

I've gotta ask this because I think I understand caching but not absolutely sure. Since I'm running off a flash drive, there won't be any caching of web images and such, right? Websites will always load up like if it was the first time you'd visited them?
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1550
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec 2009, 23:35    Post subject:  

Telkwa,
Quote:
The full results of my efforts are in the distro file: pup-431-intel_modems.iso, under "special-puppies", at the download site.
Quote:
The other modem I found is an Intel 536. Not an Intel chip on somebody else's card, a genuine Intel modem.
Quote:
Are you saying there's a download with MORE winmodem drivers?

Assuming you installed the standard pup-431.iso, yes. As the name implies, the special version adds all of the Intel 536/537 support. Barry created this because the Intel drivers are huge, adding too much size to the standard puppy. And the proportion of users with those modems is probably small. Don't give up on your Intel modem until you try it with the special distro.
Richard
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Telkwa

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 05 Dec 2009, 00:18    Post subject:  

OK, I finally found the intel version.

Thanks
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Telkwa

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 05 Dec 2009, 16:52    Post subject:  

Spoke too soon.
I found the page that talks about some of the variations
http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/puppylinux/puppy-4.3.1/readme-files.htm
But can't find the actual download. I'm sure this is really simple but I'm not gettin' it!
Some help for a newb please...
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1550
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sat 05 Dec 2009, 23:04    Post subject:  

Telkwa,
You are oh-so-close! Look down two lines and click on "special-puppies"
ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/puppylinux/puppy-4.3.1/special-puppies
The file you want is: pup-431-scsi-intel_modems.iso
Just single-click on that name to start the download.
Richard
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Telkwa

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec 2009, 10:22    Post subject:  

Thanks for your patience with my newbie questions. And for spoon-feeding me when all else failed! Embarassed
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dialeddown

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr 2010, 11:33    Post subject:  

rerwin wrote:
Look down two lines and click on "special-puppies"

Hello. Is there a special puppy for agere winmodems? I did not see one.

I have this agere, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=54805 .

Thank you.
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1550
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed 12 May 2010, 20:20    Post subject:  

dialeddown,
Sorry to take so long to respond. I just now spotted your posting. There is no special puppy for Agere modems. Everything is in 4.3.1 and later, but a user should upgrade 4.3.1 with two packages (pup_envent... and modem...) downloadable from here:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=388235#388235
Many (most?) Ageres do not require the driver discussed above. As far as I know, the only Ageres not supported are the HDA variety, for the reasons I gave above.

Please try 4.3.1 and the packages, or Quirky or Wary. If things don't work, you can send me a set of diagnostic info that I can use to sort out your particular situation. Thanks for posting your question.

Uhh - I just checked your link and see that you have one of the problem modems. So, I am not able help at this point. You might substitute a USB or serial modem, if you need a modem now. Puppy supports "DGC" and SmartLink USB analog dialup modems (and lots of USB wireless (cell-phone) modems). Serial modems require blacklisting the sound card modem (and sound) in order to be seen, so are less of an option. Sorry for the bad news.
Richard
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Bligh

Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 484
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu 13 May 2010, 02:27    Post subject:  

Thanks, for your work on this issue. I have digital at home, but have always used dialup when away from home. I have numerous winmodems and an ext modem which is serial. Usb dongle to serial got the ext working. I am going to try Pup with some of my modems. I dislike using wireless even if it is available. Modems seem to have been a weakness in linux, but that is changing thanks to efforts like this.
Cheers
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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1550
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri 14 May 2010, 14:35    Post subject:  

Bligh,
Thanks for your comments. They validate my conviction that analog modems are still worth supporting.
Quote:
Usb dongle to serial got the ext working.
Did you have to do anything unusual? What device got detected (ttyACM or ttyS0)?
Richard
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7099
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri 14 May 2010, 21:08    Post subject:  

Hi guys,
Quirky-Retro 1.1rc is now available, soon to become 1.1. This is the latest Quirky Puppy -- meaning built from the latest Woof with rerwin's most recent modem update -- same as Quirky in all respects except using the same 2.6.30.5 kernel as in Puppy 4.3.1 -- so has all the same modem drivers.

Quirky-Retro is great for analog modem dialup, but recommend the "normal" Quirky Puppy or Lucid Puppy (also just about to be released) for 3G modems as they have a recent kernel, 2.6.33.2 and so more up-to-date drivers.

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=55351

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