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Obtaining a reliable connection, in the early days of modem communications, was one long nightmare. The computer hardware would communicate via a UART with a Comm Port which interfaced with the Modem controller which then communicated through a DSP and then a Line Codec with the DAA which allowed access onto the telephone line across and through another modem's DAA, Line Codec & DSP to it's controller. If any one part couldn't talk with the next part, then the whole chain snapped & somehow you had to work out where & why then fix it. And none of this includes getting the communication protocols correct, of which there are perhaps 5 different parameters - each of which needs to be right - or nothing will happen even if all the hardware is OK. Aaargh! (Excuse me while I go & get a cup of tea.)
Well, OK, that was the past. In these modern days all of that is gone & forgotten, right? Well, no, actually. Everything in the paragraph above still exists - it has simply got smaller, faster & costs less. It has also become much better understood, and the war of competing protocols has mostly vanished in the face of Time & the ITU. In addition, there has been some advance in putting an easy-to-use interface between the pudgy idiot known as a user & the technological marvel known as a modem (irony) - but not much (just look at what it takes to change the Country setting).
Modem Connection Properties (win95/98/Me/XP)To open the dialog as at right:
open Control Panel
(Me: click on Show more)
(XP: switch to Classic View)
(XP: open Phone & Modem)
(XP: click on Modems tab)
press Properties button
press Connection tab
For now take any ticks out of 'Only connect at this speed' (General page, 'Maximum speed), 'Distinctive Ring' or 'Forwarding'.
Advanced Connection Properties (win95/98)Press the Advanced... button on the dialog above right (with XP it is a tab) to display the famous Extra Settings box as at right:
Use error control
With some modems - USR are a good example - entries into the Extra Settings box do not need at at the beginning of the string of letters/numbers, whereas other modems need the string to be prepended with at.
The way to find out if unsure is to omit the at at the beginning and, if the modem locks up when a connection is attempted, put them in. The modem will remain unharmed if the wrong string is used.