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I can't help it, I'm so frickin happy I could burst.
Was running Windows 98, when the PPP connection became slow as molasses. Was thiking "Well, time for another re-install". But then I said to myself, "Microsoft, bite me!" and got some Red Hat discs.
Got Red Hat up and running, but still problems with the modem. Pinhead that I am, I did not put two and two together... problems with modem in Windows, problems with modem in Red Hat... no, not me, I'm too simple to make that connection.
Went to the linux documentation project stuff. Well, seems like every path that is specified in the documentation, is not in Red Hat. Red Hat is great, I am sure, but what's with their tendency to deviate from the standard paths?
Anyway, I got slackware. Of course, same frickin problem with the modem. Finally, it dawned on me. Hardware problem. Either the modem, or the serial card. Dug up an old ISA modem card. Ran it in windows with a generic driver... not a win modem!
Back to slack. Not recognizing the modem. Googling. Found some cat who had the same card, described what to do. After a pnpdump, a setserial, yadda yadda, the modem is recognized!
I go to KPPP... enter the stuff... by now I could do that in my sleep... baddaboom baddabing I'm doing 50K plus on the modem, after a week of struggling with 30 bps connecions, man page reading, bookstore shopping, distro buying, I'm back on line, and with slack!
Don't get me wrong... I like Red Hat. But slackware.... I get the warm and fuzzies running it. This is the real deal, baby, and I'm amped. I am so psyched that, now, when I read the Linux Documentation Project, and they talk about a path or a file, it'll be there, rather than some funky Red Hat thing. I'm glad I could not get my modem worknig in Red Hat, and took the slackware plunge.
Slackware 9.0 was VERY easy to install. It helped that I already had the partitions done with Red Hat, but I was expecting an ordeal which never happened. I mean, after I installed all the packages, I was thinking, OK, now I got to configure X.... but on a hunch, I just typed "startx" and the thing started, without me entering idiotic refresh rates, et al. I was pleasantly surprised, and I'm a slack convert for life, the way I'm feeling now.