Several questions

Tim Chase blinux.list at
Wed Oct 19 20:34:32 UTC 2005


While I don't have an answer for your first two questions, I can
try and tackle the second two questions.

> 3. In which file can I save the system prompt settings?

Usually such changes go in your ~/.bashrc file, though they might
also work in either  ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bash_login though I
think those two just apply to login shells.  Simply set the
PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4 variables as you want them and export their
values, such as

	PS1='\u@\h \w\$'
	export PS1

should make your prompt "username at hostname /current/working/dir"

> 4. Is it possible to connect to the internet using modem under
> the linux system? I heard, that linux handles the usb modems.
> Is it true? What types of the modems are handled by the linux
> system?

Yes.  Linux can be ornery if you've got what's referred to as a
"WinModem", as one often finds on laptops and some internal modem
cards.  Almost all external serial modems should work fine.  I'm
not so sure about how well USB modems work, having never tried
one.  If it shows up as a generic serial port, then you may be
good to go.  If it's got a host-based controller, it's just a
glorified WinModem, and may not be good for much.  There are a
handful of WinModems that Linux can handle, though I've not
struck it lucky with any of the laptops that I've used.  I've
just resorted to using my Xircom PCMCIA modem in my laptops.

Janina, here on this list, turned me on to using wvdial.  It's a
heckuva lot easier than bunging with your ppp/chap/pap/secrets
files and the like.  You run "wvdialconf" in your home directory,
passing it the parameter of the filename for the configuration
file it should generate.  IIRC, this is best set to ".wvdialconf"
or ".wvconf" (I'm away from my Linux box at the moment...check
the man pages to be sure).  It will then scan your various serial
ports for a modem, starting with whatever /dev/modem is linked
to, and then trying various other serial ports.  If /dev/modem is
properly set up, it should find it quite quickly.

Once it's created the config file, edit it in your favorite
editor, changing the three locations where it indicates to:  the
place for the number to dial for your ISP, the place for your
user-name, and the place for your password.  This file should
have permissions set that only you can read it ("chmod go-rwx
.wvconf") but I think that's the default.

Oh...and of course this presumes you have a good ISP.  I don't
know who you have, but I use (which, not
surprisingly, charges $6.50/month) and Linux works nicely with
them.  I've heard of folks having trouble with AOL not playing
nicely with Linux.  Pretty much, as long as they support the
standard PPP connections, which most ISPs do, you should be fine.

Then simply start "wvdial" in the background.  It should connect
and stay connected until you kill the process (just a control+C
should do the trick).  I usually start it in a "screen" session,
and then work in my other "screen" windows.

To test it, once you've got indication that wvdial has connected
you can do network related stuff, like "ping" which 
report that it can see Yahoo.  Then you should be good to go. 
Lynx (the cat) and Links (the chain) are both nice console-mode 
browsers.  I haven't played with w3m or whatever the browser 
that's built into Emacs is, but I've heard other folks swear by 
them too.

Hope this gets you up and running.


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