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Re: Newbie comments & queries


You've probably got past this stage by now, but anyway:

> Facts:
> Microcom Deskporte 28.8P modem was working minutes before I took it into 
> my hot waiting hands.

When it was working, was it plugged into the serial or parallel

> The modem is switched on.
> The correct light (HS) is on after switchon and initialisation

Hmm, I have 7 lights on my external modem (a US Robotics Sportster):

AA    CD    RD    SD    TR    CS    ARQ/FAX

AA = auto answer
CD = carrier detect
RD = receiving data
SD = sending data
TR = terminal ready
CS = clear to send
ARQ/FAX = error control/fax operations

When I turn on my modem (but not the computer) the CS lamp is on:
aa    cd    rd    sd    tr    CS    arq/fax

When I turn on the computer (and the computer serial port is connected
to the modem) the TR lamp goes on.
aa    cd    rd    sd    TR    CS    arq/fax

After the computer connects to the isp, the ARQ/FAX and CD lamps go
aa    CD    rd    sd    TR    CS    ARQ/FAX

The RD and SD lights flicker as data gets sent through the modem.
aa    CD    RD    SD    TR    CS    ARQ/FAX

So, do you have a Terminal Ready lamp?  It should turn on when your
computer is talking to your modem (even if you haven't called out

I have found that the lamps behaved the same in the olden days, when I
used to dial out from DOS.

> The modem is connected to the serial port
> The serial port is connected to the board and in dos msd reports OK

You mean, an AT command from your machine in dos makes the modem
answer "OK"?

> The phone line is plugged in
> Action
> am running the command line:
> $wvdialconf /etc/wvdialconf
> "Sorry, no modem detected. Is it in use by another programme?"
> "Did you configure it properly with setserial?"

Hmm.  Could be the permissions problem mentioned by other people.
Or your wvdial is talking to the wrong device.  Here's my
wvdial.conf file:

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyS0
Baud = 38400
Phone = my_isps_phone_number
Username = bjb
Password = my_dialup_password
New PPPD = yes
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 S11=55 +FCLASS=0


> Also, the modem is one of those that would connect via a parallel port.  Any 
> ideas how to do that?
> Could this be something with the serial port settings?  If I run set serial with 
> no switches or device, the info runs off the top of the screen and it cannot be 
> piped thru 'less' or 'lpr'. Dos msd shows for S0 (COM2) at 2400 baud

Ah, perhaps the info is going to stderr.  It can be piped to less.

command 2>&1 | less

programs have two output streams by default, one called stdout and one
called stderr.  When you pipe output, or redirect it into a file, you
are redirecting only stdout.  stderr still goes to the console.  If
you want to catch stderr as well, you have to say so, as above (what
the above says is "send stderr to where stdout is going").

File descriptor 0 is stdin (standard in), fd 1 is stdout, fd 2 is

> Now I am getting desperate, clutching at straws.
> A couple of other small frustrations.
> The up and down arrows on the keyboard recall previous commands at the 
> prompt.  Trouble is, the latest ones, as used above, do not survive a reboot, 
> recalling only older commands. (Used to, I am sure, or where does it get all 
> my old ls commands from now?)

Old commands get saved in a file called .history in your home account.
This is a per-user thing, if you logged in as root, your commands
will be saved in ~root/.history; if you logged in as ian,
your saved commands will be in ~ian/.history.

Oops, according to the bash man page it's $HOME/.bash_history,
if you haven't changed it to something else.

Oh look:  Talking about the environment variable HISTFILE:
              The name of the file in which  command  history  is
              saved  (see  HISTORY  below).  The default value is
              ~/.bash_history.  If unset, the command history  is
              not saved when an interactive shell exits.


> My modemless friend on her way to Florida donated her cat to me.  I must 
> remember to borrow the vets thick leather gloves on Monday ..... It hisses 
> everytime I go near it. My male mog stared at it and just walked off, probably 
> thinking that she is menopausal (male chauvinistic pig that he is).

Ah, can't help you here :-)  My sympathies, however.

> My hdd on dos machine had a fit and have lost 15 years of addresses and 
> other data while it was backing up!  Alleyula!

Oh dear.  More sympathies.  (Wow, 15 years of data.)

> Regards and a plea for help as have switched hephaustus off with not an idea 
> what to do now. 

Welcome to the GNU age!   http://www.gnu.org

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