[SATLUG] New user requests advice.

Charles Hogan cd_satl at futuretechsolutions.com
Thu May 21 21:08:57 CDT 2009

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:

Hope this was of some help.  I'm off to my new weekly habit of drinks 
and jazz at The Landing.


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

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