[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Dead modem, and other newbie install gripes


I just finished installing potato on my StarMax 3000/160, but when I
unpacked and configured all of the packages, the modem stopped working!
That is, "chat -v '' ATZ OK ATDT3546534" just gives "ATZ" and waits for
the timeout, and pon writes the following to /var/log/messages:

chat: send (ATZ^M)
chat: expect (OK) [waits for the timeout period]
chat: alarm
chat: Failed
pppd: Exit.

This is potato as of Friday morning (Std package set without conflicting
perl-5.004 stuff, dpkg-ftp, and texinfo because of the conflict with
tetex-base), using stock 2.2.10 built under LinuxPPC R4.  (Because of
perl breakage, I couldn't get the kernel tools and 2.2.9 PPC patch or I
would have tried that.)

Other notes on the installation:

1. I LOVE APT/DPKG/DSELECT!!  This is my first time using Debian, and it
is the most wonderful, truly amazing quantum leap in software management
there is anywhere!  Outstanding job, congratulations to everyone
involved in that system.

2. More praise: pppconfig/pon/poff is the first ppp package I have seen
which works out-of-box.  The ppp-on/ppp-off scripts buried in R4
/usr/doc needed some non-obvious config changes which took a couple of
hours to figure out, and kppp was a two-day nightmare that never did
succeed.  But the first time I tried pon it worked.  Awesome!

3. Downloading a system over a modem takes a Very Long Time, which is
okay, but causes an interesting problem with an unstable distro.  (Even
at 56K, but this is partially because of the wife's phone/net needs,
which interrupted the download several times. :-)  The first time I
tried the Install step, about six packages failed to load because they
were obsolete by the time I loaded them!!  It would have been REALLY
NICE if dselect/apt had TOLD me this and advised me to iterate on the
Update/Select/Install procedure until achieving a complete system.
Instead I figured ftp.debian.org was just missing the files, and tried
changing the apt source, which trashed the 56 MB of packages I had
downloaded!!  This problem is highly non-obvious and I think makes for a
required change in apt's error reporting, especially for modem users.

(On the second try, about three files failed, but they were a different
three, so I manually ftp'd in, figured out what had gone wrong and did
the iteration- and had to download about 10% more material than would
have been necessary if it all came clean the first time- packages were
reving *that fast*!  Ah, life on the bleeding edge... :-)

4. base2_2.tgz has a whole lotta man pages- BUT NO MAN!  Whose idea was
that?  I mean, gzip -dc | more works, but again is non-obvious, and a
bit ugly.

5. Any idea on how long it will take for this perl5 business to get
straightened out?  I mean, I expected unstable, but with so many
perl-dependent packages, potato (and hence Debian PPC) is truly unusable
in its current state.  Too bad I trashed my R4 partitions to install it-
but then, that's my fault for going with an unstable system. :-)

Looking forward to a stable Debian with a functional modem, and to
working with you guys to make it happen on PPC!


-Adam      "...the firmament sheweth His handywork" (Ps 19:1)    ///
............................................................__  ///|
Adam "Cold Fusion" Powell IV Firmament Science & Engineering\\\///_|
http://lyre.mit.edu/~powell/ Standing on the Solid State Rock\XX/  |MIGA

Reply to: