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Old 04-28-2003, 08:06 PM   #1
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Connection keeps dropping

Never been real sure if Networking was supposed to be for LANs or the internet, so I'm posting this internet-related post here.

I'm not very knowledgeable about Linux at all but, still, I try to do my best to help out on the one hand and ask as few questions as possible on the other. I try to figure out stuff myself, or just take chances. But when it comes to the net, I turn into a total moron.

Without going into all the history - you don't even *want* to know what crazy crap I did with partitions and booting - here's the current deal: got BasicLinux installed to the hard drive of a 486SX for the fun of it. Actually connected with this eznet thing with no problem. But it's too slow to be usable, of course. But I know the modem and my ISP and Linux and crappy computers get along well enough.

On the P100, I gave up on connecting with CORE and, since I got a new (used) monitor and external modem, I reinstalled Vector. Actually got my mouse and video no problem and have X for the first time in awhile. Now as long as my monitor doesn't blow up...

I should have taken better notes - I don't remember what all I did. During setup, you have a chance to configure your modem and ppp, which I did. That didn't work at all. With vasm, you get something very similar to the setup menu but with the option of configuring pppd or wvdial. I bounced back and forth between them getting lots of error messages until I finally got pppd to dial up. But my connection keeps dropping almost immediately. "modem disconnected" or something like. So I know I've got a Hayes 56K Accura on /dev/ttyS1 and I know the basic name/passwd/number/dns stuff that they want. I had to edit /etc/modules.conf for it to load the slip and ppp modules and whatnot. Think I got that right. Um... oh yeah, and I set dial-up speed at 115200 since that's how it connects in DOS and it is 56K so should be either 57600 or 115200, right? And I tried it with compression on and it's currently off since that didn't seem to work. Looked through all the /etc/ppp/* files and they look reasonable. So I'm lost. And *please* don't tell me to read this or that how-to or man page. I've read the PPP-HOWTO and man pppd and so on and it all makes me go cross-eyed and I risk dribbling brains on my keyboard.

So if somebody could walk me through this, I'd be eternally grateful. I know maybe 0.5% of what I need to, but just pretend it's a flat 0%.

BTW, WfW3.11 came out in 1993, DOS 6.22 in 1994, my computer in 1995, and IE4 (for the Shiva dialer)/Netscape 4.08 c. 1997-8. Isn't it... odd... that I can easily connect in *that* crap and not in a current Vector Linux release?
Old 04-29-2003, 06:05 PM   #2
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I'll try all that out. Thanks.
Old 04-29-2003, 06:18 PM   #3
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I'll try all that out. Thanks.
Look mate, through your entire post you
kept pointing out that you've done all the
reading and tried it all, what do you expect?

Sarcasm is not really appropriate here... as
you say: you can't remember all the things
you did, which leaves people in the dark
with what to consider... And "It's better to
remain silent and be assumed an idiot
than opening your mouth and prove it!"

And last not least, many things in trouble-
shooting are "inspiration" ... I couldn't possibly
think of all the various attempts I'd undertake
if I had hands-on as opposed to a fictitious
scenario where I depend on what you provide
me with...

There's still bunches of possible reasons
why it might not work ... maybe the ISP
uses CHAP while you try PAP.

Maybe your kernel is compiled for shared
IRQ's for the UARTS but the motherboard
doesn't handle that too well ..

Old 04-30-2003, 01:26 PM   #4
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My post didn't say I'd done all the reading and tried it all. It said I'd done all the reading I could and didn't understand it. And that I'd tried the basics, or at least some of them, but didn't know if I had that covered and knew I hadn't done any of the guru tricks at all. And I'd specified that I had a successful connection in Basic and at least established a connection in Vector, so obviously I know my ISP uses PAP.

Maybe your kernel is compiled for shared
IRQ's for the UARTS but the motherboard
doesn't handle that too well ..
Now, I suspect that would preclude any connection as well, but maybe not. That's the sort of thing I was looking for in part. I didn't compile this kernel - all the ISP stuff seems to be freaking modules, when I'd compile it in. But it's that sort of thing... I have a 56K modem which is excruciatingly slow on the 486 - I think this is because of really slow old UART chips. I don't fully understand stuff like this, but I think that's what makes the 486 unworkable. But as far as shared IRQs - is that something like a kind of plug'n'play thing where the kernel assigns IRQs randomly to processes? Stuff like this I don't get and explanations of that would be great.

But 99% of the people here have connected with Linux. Anyone could have posted what I was primarily looking for. If I'd been asked my own question I might have replied something like:

Well, I understood Compuserve (aka AOL) software to be unworkable or problematic, so I switched ISPs. Then I knew winmodems were problematic, but knew there was some support for Lucent, so I tried it. Vector didn't work because the modules wouldn't compile against a mismatched kernel (compiled with GCC3x) and shipped compiler (GCC2x)... didn't have space to upgrade GCC or compile a kernel, so formatted it off and installed CORE. The kernel and drivers compiled successfully but I was thinking I could figure out dialing up and realized I couldn't. CORE provides zip de nada for scripts and interfaces - it's all pppd and chat and handwritten scripts. So I tried to compile wvDial and, though kernels and modules and mc and a bunch of other stuff compiled perfectly, wvDial's library (wvStreams) ironically was compiled against GCC2x and either finds a bug in GCC3x or 3x finds a bug in it - either way the library wouldn't compile, so the app wouldn't compile. So, *again* I formatted CORE off, installed Vector and hooked up a 56K Hayes external modem. That way I didn't need the drivers and had wvDial precompiled. So I used the setup menu to try to configure it - but no wvDial there - just 'pppsetup'. And when I came out of the install, it didn't work. I'd gotten my ISP number, DNS, screenname, password, found out about the authentication (PAP) and that was all I needed to fill in to the interface. Yet it didn't work. However, after setup, there was a 'vasm' menu I could launch and that included both wvDial and pppsetup interfaces. (Why Vector does it like that, I don't know.) Tried the wvDial and *that* didn't work. Tried pppsetup *again* and ironically, it did. However, though I could establish a connection, I'd get a 'modem hangup' message after a minute or two. Thoroughly pissed off and frustrated, and just sick of it all, I cast a desparate plea to the board and didn't get a response after about a day. So I posted a bit of sarcasm, intending to leave Linux forever. However, the next day I woke up and massochistically went in for another round, and after another bout with the search engines, I figured out what my problem might be - the timeout in the /etc/pppscript file was set to something too short. I tried different number combinations, not really knowing what I was doing and nothing worked. Since I got different error messages, as though it weren't dialing correctly at all, sometimes, I used the Windows trick of rebooting a lot. I know there's a Linux way to reinitialize the ppp daemon or module or whatever was getting confused, but rebooting reset stuff at least. *Finally*, I just deleted the damn timeout line altogether. And whaddayaknow? It worked. I didn't get disconnected for about half an hour or more. And so I fired up X and happily went to the board to share this, using evil Opera because Dillo's a little buggy and the net can be unkind to Lynx... and every page I clicked on resulted in a 'not logged-in' message. And so I spent half an hour killing Opera and all of X trying to play with the cookie settings and nothing worked. So here I am *again* posting from the damn XP and my beloved Mozilla which works just fine. But my connection nominally *works* in Vector now. Except that I have to dial up and surf as root which I don't want to do, but don't even know what files I need to change permissions on, or how to change them. I have a minimal grasp of chown, but I don't think I need to outright change permissions like that. Something to do with sudo or suid or squeal or something.

I'd be a lot less digressive and a little more specific on the elements, but that's the idea. I asked somebody to just walk me through the steps they took to get connected. Tab A into Slot B kind of stuff. Doesn't matter if it worked or was on target - it worked for *them* and would have given me something specific to try and maybe would have educated me instead of me flailing around randomly deleting lines of scripts and rebooting a lot.

*cough* So. I don't suppose anybody knows how the damn cookies in Opera work? Just kidding. Never mind - I'll just see what files I can delete from Opera.


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