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Rage, What? No!

[Geek] Ah, Linux...

I. Hate. Modems.

So, after Antony had picked up all the computer parts he needed to build himself a low-cost Linux box on Saturday, he discovered that he didn't have a netinst image for Debian Sarge. So we downloaded that and burned it on my Powerbook before I dropped him at the efficiency for the night.

Only after I left did he discover that a) he had neglected to get IDE cables, and b) the used monitor he bought lacked a power cord. So this morning, he ran by Radio Shack to get IDE cables, and I brought him a power cord. Begin install process. Sarge installed fine, but we couldn't get the modem to dial... which means we couldn't get the last packages. After a bit of poking around, I realized that we didn't have the right driver. Hrm.

He ran off to meet with his recruiter, I came back here to do some things (including download Knoppix for Antony). We wandered around Fremont for a while -- saw the Fremont Market, had lunch at Roxy's, etc. -- and then we came back and burned the Knoppix CD. Knoppix, alas, didn't seem to have the drivers /either/.

So we came back to my place, found drivers -- which proved to be commercial, as it turns out the AOpen FM-56S and FM-56SV are two VERY DIFFERENT modems -- and took them back to his computer. Which, unfortunately, now refused to read CDs. Knoppix wouldn't even mount the Knoppix CD, now that it had been installed to HD. So we wiped Knoppix, put Sarge back on, and tried to install the drivers off of the CD I had burned.

Only to discover the drivers we had fought so long and hard to obtain... did not work on Linux 2.6.

I have never before been so glad that I converted to Mac as I was in that moment of sheer, blind frustration.

In the end, we gave up; it was getting on towards midnight, so we hooked up my Powerbook (which we'd finally thought to bring along this last time) and let him use my Speakeasy dialup to catch up on his e-mail and get the bus schedule.

He's going to go find some nice, sane modem tomorrow. And I am going to sleep.

Comments

Could be worse. I remember the time I tried getting my Dreamcast online by going from its modem, to an old Teltone TLS-3 test line simulator, to another (this one external serial port) modem, and from there use the broadband connection the school's network is hooked into. Needless to say, it didn't really work...
Hm. I wonder how hard it would be to port the drivers. Do you have the source? (Then again, I hate modems too, and I haven't touched them under 2.6, so I've no idea how they're handled. Porting might be more trouble than it's worth.)
The drivers are commercial -- you actually have to buy a license when you download them unless you plan to run it crippled, in 'FREE' mode -- so it's almost certainly more headache than it's worth right now.

I imagine they'll port them soon, since they are still supported. But it wasn't worth our time or trouble to play with it any more.
The One True Way to use a modem in Linux is to get an *external*... that way when the phone line gets all wonky you just power cycle the *modem*, and not the whole computer which also has a two-day OpenOffice session up... and they have nice sane drivers hardcoded into the main kernel.

You probably already knew that, but he probably didn't.
Actually, he does. ;) I'm fairly sure he's grumbling about having had to leave his existing external modem behind in Florida with me.
Oopsie. Yeah, I'll bet he is.
Yeah, he was. The problem is, trying to pick up a cheap computer all in one place... it's hard to find a simple external modem these days! The AOpen was the only one we found offhand, since we were in a hurry and didn't want to go hit Re-PC or one of those places.
I have a 3Com installed in my machine. It's great, except that it self-installs as ttyS4. Yes, that's right, 4. COM5: for you DOS-heads out there. Linux doesn't come with a lot of easy-to-use programs for setting up a dialup connection that include any references to anything higher than ttyS3. I eventually had to make a link at /dev/modem that pointed to it.

Why, oh, why is the syntax for "ln" backwards?

I finally got it working, but, well... the system has a startup script *somewhere* that assigns /dev/modem to something else, so every reboot erased my link. I wrote a script myself to rebuild the link every time, and put a call to it in my .login script. Finally it worked consistently.
*laugh* It's just some little blond Jedi girl that Eisu drew and animated. I liked it enough that I asked him if I could use it as a userpic. However, I suppose I can see that.
Looks like the character is shouting "Just STOP!"

Or that could just be me.
It's actually "WHAT?! NO!!"
So it is just me.

That is a great icon. And I typically hate animated icons.

It's almost...hypnotic.
On a side note, that icon is ubercute!