Back Online!

I’m back baby, and I take back all those bad things I said about DSL for now.
I guess the installer didn’t need to come out. They must have provisioned the line at the CO. My self-install kit came yesterday with an Efficient Networks Speedstream 5260 DSL modem, a NIC, and six or so line filters. I installed the modem per instructions minus the line filters. It powered up fine with the Sys and Ethernet lights green but I couldn’t get the ATM or DSL light to go green. That meant no phone connection and no data. So I went to bed. Always a good idea when faced with a baffling and frustrating technical problem.

This morning I installed filters on all the phone jacks and tried again. This time, all the lights came on solid. Was I provisioned overnight? Or do the filters do more than clean up the line for voice? At least I knew I had data. But I faced another baffling question. My ISP didn’t provide me with a PPPoE dialer. I knew I could download one, but instead I tried installing my new Linksys Ehterfast router and use its PPPoE dialer. No luck. I couldn’t connect. So I called my ISP (not PacBell – Sonic.Net, a small local ISP in my area) and surprise, surprise, surprise. They don’t use PPPoE! Just a static ADSL connection. That’s very good news. PPPoE is ucky.

I put in the IP address and gateway numbers and boom. I’m online!!! I’m going to patch the Airport into the Linksys to get the Macs online, too (I have a new G4 cube in addition to my old Powerbook) and I’ll be back to normal.

The speed is fairly good, too. DSL Reports is reporting 1240 kbps down and 80 up from its West Coast server and 1288/77 from its East Coast server. I was able to upload a large file to Leoville at 14 KBps (112 kbps) which is pretty much the same as I was getting on the cable modem. Knock on wood, it’ll stay that way.

45 Replies to “Back Online!”

  1. Rest and Hostess Cupcakes, a techie in trouble’s best friend–remember to catch your “ZzZzZz”‘s too, Leo!

  2. He couldn’t get cable because he would have had to dig a huge trench to the line.

  3. Rest and Hostess Cupcakes, a techie in trouble’s best friend–remember to catch your “ZzZzZz”‘s too, Leo!

  4. Alex,
    The reason Leo didn’t get cable access is because his new house is an old one that is far away from the road and has never been wired for cable. It’d be too expensive to run cable to his house and have it wired. If you read the blog more, you’d know that.
    Joseph Todd

  5. i feel so left out, i only have a 56k dial-up on this computer (my computer with broadband is getting fixed) so good luck leo!

  6. Leo:
    Dont forget some of the patches at speed guide..
    That will pull a few more horses out of your connection for you..
    But then again Im sure you have already done that!

  7. Congratulations on your DSL Leo!! I’m still waiting for my broadband. Great speed from your distance too. Good luck with the new house. And what happened with the well situation?

  8. Jeff is the man! He set me up with my dialup account over ICQ in about 10-15 minutes.
    ADSL is what I was supposed to be switched to before I lost my DSL sevice. I first had SDSL though. A nice 400kb up was great when i was uploading my web pages. I guess that SDSL is basically dead for the home user. Too many people running web and audio servers.

  9. Hey,Leo: Great to have you back! I’m glad to hear that you’re all settled, and up and running with the DSL. Just relax,and everything will be allright.Take care. XXXX,OOOO!!! 🙂

  10. leo the only question is why on earth did you ever switch to ads Hell from cable ????
    looking for a challenge or not enough stress in your life ?????

  11. Hey Leo –
    Great to hear that DSL is working. I’ve been working here at Tech Support for a while, and am really enjoying it. Let me know of any problems you have, k?
    Laportean for life baby!

  12. i still think dialup builds character, but if dsl is what it took to get you back on the boards than thank you!

  13. One more thing, is it better to leave broadband modems powered on all the time or turn them off when the computer goes off?

  14. Great news about your DSL! I’ve had mine for a few years and love it! It’s great to have you back ’round here, Leo!

  15. Good to see you back, Leo! I think the DSL line filters are simple LC circuits. I forgot to install mine before the answering machine. Phone and DSL worked but the answering machine never stopped recording after the caller hung up!

  16. Hey Leo –
    Great to hear that DSL is working. I’ve been working here at Tech Support for a while, and am really enjoying it. Let me know of any problems you have, k?
    Laportean for life baby!

  17. Perhaps Leo put a line filter in between the phone jack and his DSL modem the first time he installed the filters (hey, he was tired :))and then the next morning when he re-did everything he corrected the problem by NOT putting the filter on the computer line.

  18. Glad to hear you got rid of the 56k at last! We really missed having you looking over our shoulders.

  19. I just got an email saying that my DSL self-install kit shipped yesterday!!! I ordered AT&T and hopefully I should be up and running by either tomorrow or Wednesday. It shipped from PA and I live in Boston, according to UPS it takes 2 days for ground shipping. I can’t wait for broadband and I’m going to take Janice’s advice and be careful with those line filters.

  20. Hi,Leo. I’m glad to hear that you’re back up and running again. I know what you mean about knocking on wood that the DSL is working. We just got DSL installed about three weeks ago, and I love it.:) The download speed alone is much faster than our old 56K dial-up. No more sitting and waiting for things to load! Hurrah! I now enjoy the internet and surfing more,because I can move around faster. Hopefully,it stays this way for awhile. Good luck,and enjoy!

  21. Leo,
    Glad you got your DSL working. I have been on BellSouth DSL since Thanksgiving and just went to DSL reports and got 1254/195 and my speed is usually in this range when I run the test. I have absolutely no complaints about DSL and feel it has gotten a bad rap! My local cable company is so unreliable and if we get a storm, the cable is the first thing to go out. I am not willing to risk my internet connection to the whims of the cable company!
    Welcome back on The ScreenSavers. You were missed.

  22. Great to hear about you on! I am also on…though dialup due to my DSL woes. Supposedly when they put the repeaters in near me early next year or so according to our mutual friend, Jeff, I’ll be able to get DSL too if I am still at this address.
    I have to stress this most, and I see that leo might agree… If you have a choice in ISP’s you can’t go wrong by going with a smaller company (especially for dial-up). If there is a problem, often there will be people there who take the time to help you. If you go wuth the big impersonal supplier likely you’ll end up going through and elaborate telephone menu sysyem and listen to “Muzak” for an hour before you get a real person. And even then they are often people just trained to answer questions with a pre-written and crossreferenced guide of answers. The people at these local ISP’s often have people there who are much more familiar with the business than the trained phone jockeys of the mega ISPS.
    Leo, it’s probably likely you installed everything right the first time. Probably when your DSL was turned on it wasn’t a manual thing. Probably an order in a computer that was made to execute at a given reset time. Who knows.

  23. Leo…
    You lucky guy you. Not only do you get to enjoy the country life..but DSL too. I’m jealous.
    We live about 3 miles from town and cant get cable or DSL. We are thinking PCDirect, but boy is it expensive. Any ideas for me on fast methods of surfing????
    I’m glad your’e back. We have all missed you.
    How’s that chicken coop?????

  24. Hey Jeff! I forgot that you were working at! I have to say I’ve been very impressed. Not subjecting me to PPPoE is just one more reason to like them.
    No I didn’t put the line filter on the DSL connection. I didn’t put in any line filters at all. I have to say I’m very pleased to be getting such good speeds. I’m right at the theoretical limit for distance from the CO – something like 12,000 meters. It’s ADSL and it works very well. Not quite as fast as my old cable modem, but plenty fast enough.

  25. Mr. Leo,
    Glad ta have ya back!
    hope that the move went smoothly and that the DSL problems were the worst of your worries!
    oh and what was one of the 1st things you did? Set up the spy cam!
    Major thanks
    PS would like also to see what the new abode loos like i have old house as wallpaper and would like to change it!

  26. Leo,
    So now that we’ve covered the broadband thang – how is the rest of it going? How are the kids adjusting? Did you get the treehouse built? Do you now need a helicopter for your commute? Did you make any highly interesting discoveries on the property once you got there? (including but not limited to secret passageways, historically significant fossils or other remains, hitherto undisclosed eccentricities of plumbing, etc.) Or maybe you’ve been too busy with the book to sniff around . . . Actually, if there are any highly interesting things to discover, the kids will probably take care of that for you. That’s one of the advantages of being lower to the ground, you see more of what’s there! 😉
    So very, very glad to have you back, and you’ve got your SSL service installed as well.
    (That’s your Smooches Subscriber Line – unlimited speed and uptime!)
    X’s & O’s

  27. 1938/259 from Los Angeles to the East Coast server on Linksys wireless LAN. $39.95/mo. Gotta love those cable modems (when you can get them).
    Agree about the comment posted regarding 56K building character. Just returned from a stint in Europe, and it was a nightmare connecting from the hotels. Still was able to use ivisit to videoconference with my wife and kid from Spain. Not too shabby.
    Glad to have you back Leo. I start to feel withdrawl symptoms when away from the net for extended lengths of time. 😉

  28. Leo baby! You are the man. When there’s a will, there’s a way. Everything works for you, and you know what. When I read this I was sick to my stomach. I was real mad. I then went to DSL reports to check if our lake house had DSL, very unlikely.
    To my suprise we did!! One problem, there was an unknown distance so I really didn’t know if I could get it at all. I looked at the location of the CO and found out that it was on the same street I am on. I was soooo jazzed. I immidiately went and signed up. I signed up with DSL Extreme, they had the highest rating at DSL Reports. For $49.95 I was promised 1600/384. I went throught the license agreement and read that it was 384-1600/384 that still isn’t bad and with 384 I would still be happy. But I think that I am going to get pretty good service because i am less than a mile away from the CO. Man I can’t wait till they call. I have been suffering from broadband fever for the last, well as long I can remember.
    I hope everyone invites me to the broadband world with arms wide open. 🙂

  29. Sounds great Leo!
    I have a question, and this is to anyone else who might have DSL with a self install kit also. Ive had DSL for over 6 months with a regular installed DSL line, now that all went down. So I ordered DSL through Ameritech and they are sending me one of these Self Install kits that I supposidly hookup to a normal phone line ! Whats the deal? Do I hook it into a regular phone line? And if so, can I still use that same phone line in a different location for voice/data? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks !

  30. Hey Leo –
    I am not quite sure what the line filters do – but I know that they HAVE to be on every jack the the DSL telephone line is on, for DSL to function. Except, of course, for the one that the DSL Bridge (Modem) is plugged into. That could explain why it didn’t work right off.

  31. I’m glad to hear that your DSL is up and running. I can tell you from past experience that those line filters can create a lot of havoc if 1) they are not installed or 2) they are not installed correctly. When I first set up my DSL (I didn’t wait for any technician) I put in one of the filters wrong. DSL didn’t work. Amazing how it worked when I installed them correctly.
    Glad to see you back.

  32. How’s the 5260 modem working for you Leo? That’s the same one that I’m getting (hopefully today or tomorrow) with my AT&T line. You’re getting twice the speed that I will get because my deal is 608/128 for $49.95, not such a deal compared to yours, but it was my only choice. Better than 56k anyway. I’ve never had broadband or used it and I can’t wait and don’t know what to expect. My install kit comes with only 4 filters and I need to buy some more. Would Radio Shack have them? And about how much are they? Thanks.

  33. I’ve had ADSL for about two and a half months now, as soon as BellSouth said it was available in my area. It definitely has 56k beat by a long shot! Like you, the green indicator light wouldn’t come on until I made sure every phone line in the house had a filter on it, except the line going into the computer. The self install was relatively easy…I figure if I can do it, as “non-technical” as I am, anyone should be able to do it on their own. No need to give an installer $150 to come to your house!
    Oh, hope you are feeling better. I noticed Martin got “called in” to work on the “Screen Savers” last night, and he said you were sick, and he hoped it wasn’t what he had sprinkled in your coffee that caused the illness…Get Well!

  34. I installed my parents Bell South DSL about 4 months ago. Very straight forward install. Also got mine about 2 months ago when it became available. My kit, however, did not have the with the mail server addresses or the news server addresses. Luckly, I did remember what the outgoing server was, and since I have a domain, I knew my incoming. Just set it up and emailed my parents to email me the news server address. Haven’t had any problems with either account, however, my parents are not online as much as me.
    Good thing is that Bell south allows you 20 hrs of dial up a month in case it does go down. I just use it for my laptop when I go out.
    By the way, I downloaded Greymatter, and tried it out. It is really cool. Noah Grey should be selling it!

  35. I just got my DSL working!!! The self-install kit came after 13 days and I had it running within 20 minutes. I got it from AT&T and it uses DHCP so no PPPoE crap. I’m getting about 500/110 and I’m paying for 608/128 so not too bad. I wanted 570 but it beats a 56k anyway.

  36. Hi Leo,
    I have the same isp and modem you do. Just for info there’s no need for the linksys router to share the connection. The speedstream modem you have is a router and all u need is a hub. You use the provided xover cable to uplink the speed stream if the hub is not switched , the standard cable if it is. PPPoA is great isn’t it?
    I also started with the BEFSR41 onmy connection and the best thing about the PPPoA is that I didn’t have to configure a single setting from the way it is out of the box to make it connect/share. Them little blue boxes are awsome huh? Thanks for talking about em when i needed the info about a year ago.

  37. Hey leo! You should have gone for the cable. I have it, with the max IP addresses that AT&T Broadband allows. We have it routed, it is excellent, no quality issues and it rarely goes down. Just got a new modem as well and we are buying a new firewall soon. The only thing that my we dont like about the Cable, is that they are threatening to force everyone to go DHCP, and then, we would lose our email, since we have an exchange server routing mail from the domains. Although, we were told, that if we put this modem in, we had to call them, to get something configured, they meant turn us into DHCP. As it turns out, we dont need them, all we have to do is plug it in, because a business associate of my dad, has the same modem.
    A funny thing is, that i finally talked my grandmother out of getting DSL, and into getting cable, when it is deployed in her area, in a few months (she was with comcast, and they were bought out by AT&T).

  38. Mr. Laporte,
    Hope you enjoy your DSL. For the past 4 years I’ve had nothing but a 56K modem – but in a week or so I will be up to pace with the majority and have cable installed; I can’t wait! I’ll be listening to you on Sunday, good luck!
    -Shayne W.

  39. Leo,
    Now that you are all back to normal… computer wise anyway, show us a picture of the new house.
    Also, I just got my Canon Powershot S300 Digital Elph, its a great camera, I have had my eye on it ever since you mentioned it in your weblog a couple of months ago. Checkout some of my pictures by going to and clicking on Photography.
    ~Kenny Holtz

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