How to set up your Modem on OS/2 and eComStation

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By Jonas Buys & Doug Bissett

From the very beginning, OS/2 Warp came with out-of-the-box modem support for a very diverse set of modems. Despite what Internet Service Providers claim, newer technologies like DSL and cable access have not killed modem Internet connections. However, many of the older, OS/2 supported modems, are no longer available today, and newer and faster modems have come, as replacements, for the older ones. Of course, a lot of these newer devices are compatible with OS/2 and eComStation, and, hopefully, you will find the required information to get them going here.

Modem-1.jpg

Normally, you'll use the IBM DialUp for TCP/IP utility to connect to your Internet Service Provider when you use a modem. This utility resides in the Internet (Modem) folder within the Programs folder on the desktop. In eComStation 1.1, it resides in the Internet folder on the desktop. In order to correctly configure and later establish your connection with your ISP, you must dispose about all the required and necessary information. Normally, your service provider should inform you well about all these settings.

When you start the IBM DialUp for TCP/IP utility, it displays a similar window like the one at the right. Please note that this image has been captured on eComStation 1.1, so it might slightly differ from your. Eventually, all field and methods described here are equal to regular IBM OS/2 Warp. From this window, you must configure the settings correctly the first time you start the utility before you can dial in to your ISP. To do so, click with the mouse on the Add Entry icon to configure a dial-up connection for your internet service provider. Notice that you can configure multiple configurations to use for different accounts, or for different modems. Clicking the Add Entry icon will cause to appear a dialog box as showed in the lower picture:

When you have configured a connection, you need to dial in (in fact you make a telephone call to your ISP and the information from and to the Internet is sent over telephone wires like spoken words and phrases). To dial in, click the the appropriate entry in the main window (the middle field, here you can choose between Modem1 and Modem2), and then click the Dial icon (you can also select Connection from the menu bar, and then Dial). To terminate the connection, click Connection from the menu bar, and then Hang up.

Modem-2.jpg

The first set of information that you need to provide defines your user ID, password and other properties of your computer. This information must be entered in the first tab of the Add Entry dialog box, labeled Login Info. In this tab, you must provide a name for the connection in the Name field (and this name will appear in the list in the main window of the previous image). You also need to enter information about your Internet Service Provider and account, including the provider's telephone number for connection, your login ID and password, if required.

Description: This is a description you can give to the name you specified in the Name field as a heuristic. This description will be listed next to the name of the connection itself.
Login ID: Here, you must specify the login (user ID) that you have been assigned by your service provider.
Password: Enter the password that your service provider has set up as a check before establishing the internet connection. The check-box Required to the right will make sure that if you don't enter the password, you'll be automatically asked for it. Thus, if you use a computer with more than one people, and want to prevent other people from using your Internet connection, don't enter the password, and check this check box.

Phone number: This is the phone-number of your Internet Service Provider. Normally, your ISP will have given you a list of POP (point of presence) telephone numbers. It is recommended for performance reasons to dial the number of the nearest POP.

The Login Sequence field is a place where you normally specify the name of the login script for your ISP. A login script is a file that contains the necessary commands and expected responses to complete the login. Since different service providers will have different login procedures the login script will typically be different for each provider.
Select the type of protocol you wish to apply (of course your choice must be supported by your provider) in the Connection Type field. You have only two option: PPP or SLIP. PPP generally offers better performance than SLIP, but sometimes on bad and degraded telephone lines, you are obliged to use SLIP.

Minutes to Wait before automatic Hangup: Specifies the number of minutes during which the connection may remain inactive (time must be entered in paces of five minutes). If there are no data transmissions nor receives during the time, the connection will be broken automatically. Some minutes before the connection is broken, the following notification box will be displayed:

!!!!XXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!
Modem-3.jpg

As well as information about your user account and computer, you need to specify details of your service provider's system, so that the IBM DialUp for TCP/IP utility can correctly configure itself to communicate with your ISP.

Your IP Address: This is the IP address of our system. Should this address be assigned dynamically (automatically) to our computer, then we need to make use of response file or REXX-script.

Destination IP Address: This is the IP address of our service provider.

Netmask: Here, we specify the net mask of the subnet on which we are connected (you needn't enter information in this field). If we use a REXX-script for a SLIP connection, then the address masker is defined in this script. The address masker of 255.255.255.0 is correct in most cases.

MTU Size or MRU Size: With a SLIP connection, MTU is the Maximum Transmission Unit. This is the number of bytes per IP packet that is being sent. Leave this value to the maximum of 1006 (unless your service provider tells you to use another value). Using a PPP connection, MRU is the Maximum Receive Unit. This is the number of bytes per incoming IP packet. Leave this value of 1500 unless you service provider tells you to use another value. Possible values lie between 256 and 2048.

VJ Compression: The Van Jacobson compression is meant to compress the TCP headers. This is usually used in Telnet sessions, since every keyboard slam results in sending a complete IP packet. Preferably check this check-box, thus enabling Van Jacobson compression, unless your ISP doesn't support this (Note that a SLIP connection with VJ Compression enabled is often called a CSLIP connection).

Domain Nameserver: Specify in this field the IP address of the DNS (Domain Name Server). This address will be given to you by your ISP.

Your Host Name: Specification of information in this field is optional and thus needn't be entered. Mentioning a host name is only of importance when we're connected to a local network with TCP/IP connections, or if we have a fixed connection to the Internet and using that connection offering services ourselves. If the latter is also the case, then we will also dispose about a fixed IP address.
Your Domain Name: This is the complete name of the domain where we are part of. As stand-alone user we may enter every name in this field. If you have an e-mail address, then you enter the name of the domain in the e-mail address.

Modem-4.jpg

The third page of the Add Entry dialog box allows you to specify information about your ISP's servers.

News Server: This is the name of the server that serves us from Netnews.

Gopher Server: The name of the default server that will be used by a Gopher client application. We can choose any Gopher server in the world, and thus we needn't enter the Gopher server of our own ISP. Please note that a lot of ISPs don't offer Gopher server services anymore.

WWW Server: Specify the name of the World Wide Web Server in this field.

POP Mail Server: If we have an e-mail address, then we must enter in this field the name of the POP Mail Server that deals with our e-mail. The ISP should give you the details. Notice that some service providers charge extra fees for an e-mail service.

Reply Domain: This is the name from which the POP Mail Server is part.

Reply (Mail) ID: This is the first part of our e-mail address. If the e-mail address is user.abc@isp.be, then the Reply ID is user.abc.

POP Login ID and POP Password: These are the user ID and password combination required for our POP client to log in into the POP Mail Server. Via this security measure we can prevent other people from fetching our e-mail from the Mail Server. Notice that the Reply ID and Login ID are the same in the screenshot above. This needn't always be the case!

Please reply that all settings about e-mail are not required. If you use an application like PMMail/2 as e-mail client, then you can skip the field about e-mail settings.

Modem-5.jpg

On the fourth page of the note block we encounter the modem settings.

Com Port: This specifies the serial port to which the modem has been attached. XXXX88888 USB 8888XXXXX

Speed (Baud): This is the communication speed between modem and PC. This is however NOT the speed at which a modem communicates with another one. Keep in mind possible data compression. For example, a V.32 modem with V.42bis compression should be assigned a minimal speed of 19200 bps.

Data Bits and Parity: For correct settings, please consult the data you received from your service provider. Generally, the setting of 8 is applicable for Data Bits and None in the field Parity.

Prefix: This is the modem command that is being used while calling in. Please consult the modem's documentation if your phone service includes call-waiting.

Initialization String 1 and 2: These are the modem commands used to initialize the modem. This information should be contained in your modem documentation.

Call Waiting: If your phone service includes call-waiting, you will want to disable call-waiting while you are using your modem. If you disable call-waiting, you must also specify a Disable sequence. To prevent STORING to the phone line, we can disable this option before a modem connection. The field Disable_Sequence can be used to enter the code with which the call waiting function can be disabled.

Mode: Normally, this should be Dial.