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2.5 minute delay when telnetting

Forgive me for adding to the chaos, but I just subscribed yesterday, about
18 hours ago.  When I checked my mail today, I had 512 messages, and new
ones are appearing at a rate of one every couple of minutes.  Someone please
tell me this isn't normal!  How do you people cope with this volume of


I have one Debian machine on a network with three other machines, all
running win95/98.  All the machines have Realtek 8029 PCI cards (NE2000
clones).  They are all connected with BNC cable.

I have just managed to get the linux machine talking to the network, but I'm
having a problem: whenever I telnet in from windoze, the connection opens,
and then there's a big delay before the login prompt is displayed.  In fact,
I've timed this delay, and it is always more or less exactly 2 mins and 30
secs.  Once the login prompt is displayed, all is fine, any delays are
unnoticably short.  The network experiences only very light load, spending
most of the time idle.

It's fine when I telnet from the linux machine back onto itself, with
"telnet localhost", so I guess it's something with the adapter?

I think the same thing is happening with ftp, but my DOS ftp client seems to
timeout after 60secs, but this may be just misconfiguration on my part.

Using smbclient, I have transfered files (.deb) from win98 machines; there
is no strange delay, and the transfer speed is about 500-750K/sec (10Mb/sec
card on BNC cable remember).

What could this be?  Am I missing something in my startup scripts, or am I
missing a parameter to ifconfig?  I am using "ifconfig eth1 up".
I have tried changing txqueuelen and turning on promiscuous mode (I'll admit
I don't fully understand what they do, and I can't see how changing them
would help, but I've been desperate for anything to try).

Can anyone help me - two and a half minutes can seem awfully long!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help,


P.S.  If you reply, please CC a copy to benfold@btinternet.com, as I might
not see it in all this mess...

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