[SATLUG] Re: New user requests advice.

cdv7 at sbcglobal.net cdv7 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jun 5 18:30:41 CDT 2009

Charles Hogan wrote:
> 1. When I worked as tech support for a dial-up ISP back in the late 
> 90's, 2 of the biggest problems we had with connections were incorrect 
> line polarity and poor line quality.  For the polarity issues, I 
> carried a line tester and would correct the issue at the jack if it 
> were present, (some modems are/were sensitive to phone line polarity, 
> this was my first, and often times only, corrective action).  Altex 
> has a couple of line testers*, both under $10.00.
> As for line quality, well, that can run the gambit.  I remember 1 
> customer that couldn't connect no matter what.  I plugged a phone into 
> the jack they were using for the computer, and could barely hear the 
> dial tone over the static on the line.  Customer's reasoning, "We use 
> that jack for the computer because we can't hear who we are talking to 
> if we use it for the phone", sometimes you just want to slap the 
> stupidity out of people.  Plugged them into a different jack in the 
> house, and surprise surprise, no problems connecting or staying 
> connected.  No surprise that they didn't like my pricing for running 
> new wire to the jack, so fortunately, they were left to their own 
> devices on figuring that one out.  We had another customer with line 
> quality issues, no static, but a bad line, where someone digging had 
> cut through the phone lines, and the splice putting them back together 
> was done poorly.  That was a telco issue somewhere up the line on 
> their side of the demarc.
> If you are unable to connect, and suspect line quality issues, try 
> plugging straight into the demarc if you can, and see if you can get a 
> connection from there.  If so, you will probably want to run a new 
> line from the demarc to wherever you are plugging the computer to the 
> phone jack.  I doubt that there will be any issues with that if you 
> are able to currently get DSL through the line.
> 2. Can't help with that one, as I am a Fedora user.  I am sure that 
> someone else here can help with that.
> 3. It would be helpful to know what e-mail client you are using.
> *line testers at Altex:
> http://www.altex.com/Triplett-Line-Bug-4-Phone-LAN-Line-Tester-9615-P145000.aspx 
> http://www.altex.com/Telephone-Line-Tester-75-4650-P143540.aspx
> Hope this was of some help.  I'm off to my new weekly habit of drinks 
> and jazz at The Landing.
> Charlie
> cdv7 at sbcglobal.net <mailto:cdv7 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> Before I attempt to switch from DSL to Dial Up I need to know several 
>> things:
>> 1. When I first tried to connect to the Internet in 2005 (I had 
>> Windows then) I tried several Dial Up ISP's but could never make a 
>> connection. I was told the wiring is too old. (My house was built 
>> pre- 1950's but was remodeled during the 1980's , some of the wiring 
>> was changed then.) How should I address this possible problem? I hope 
>> its resolution will not be prohibitively expensive.
>> 2.  It has been recommended that I first update to the newest version 
>> of Ubuntu but I am unclear about the recent crash of Ms. Holmes. I am 
>> concerned I may have a similar experience, as I would not know how to 
>> avoid it.
>> 3. I need to know how to transfer all my e-mail -not just my Inbox 
>> but my Drafts and Sent boxes too. (I ran into this problem when I 
>> transfered from Suse to Ubuntu.) I transfered the contents of my 
>> desktop by putting them on a flash drive. However, some of the e-mail 
>> (such as the Drafts Box) was transferred one message at a time. 
>> Please tell me if there is a more efficient way to do this.
>> Also,if there are other important things I need to know before I make 
>> the switch, please let me know.
>> Thank you very much for your assistance.
>> ~ cdv
Greetings Mr. Hogan,
Thank you for the useful information. I assume the line tester at Lowe's 
will do just as well as the one from Altex?  (Please bear with me, as I 
have no experience in this area.) I took this opportunity to test all my 
jacks - which I know of.

The results of the test:

Interior Jack #1
(The oldest jack, it came with the house. Only one phone is plugged into 
it.)  - Red Light. Line reversed.

Interior Jack#2
( Installed in 2005. My computer and one other phone are plugged into 
this jack.) - Amber Light. AC voltage present.

Exterior Jack
(In the gray Telephone Network Interface box.) - No light. Dead Line.

I found the following instructions on the web. Let me know if this 
applies to my situation. It seems to be applicable to the interior jacks 
but I am uncertain about the exterior one.

“Since you have a polarity tester, simply reverse the two wires at each 
box showing reverse polarity. It sounds like you just split off at some 
point and attached the B & Y to a R & G, right?”

    “Simply remove the box
    cover or anywhere along the line, and interchange the two wires
    connected. Black will go where Yellow was and Yellow will go where
    Black was. Same with the Red & Green.”

Also, I was told by a person from Lowe's that sometimes a DSL filter can 
disrupt the phone line. Both interior jacks have a 2Wire DSL Filter but 
of course, these were not in place in when I first attempted Dial up.

To answer the question from your last e-mail:
The e-mail client I am currently using is Thunderbird.
Also, what is your opinion of web based e-mail or G-Mail? From the 
This site recommends Opera as the best choice for a dial up browser. 
Again, my thanks.

This is a resend. 
I responded to your message on May 31^st  and then again on June 2nd 
but I received failure notices for both. 
Based on the notices of 6-2-'09 I am hoping the problem has now been cleared up. 
Please respond if you are able to receive my message.

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