I had a rather sobering experience last week. My ADSL modem burned out. No Internet access, I thought I would go and buy a cheap one until after Xmas. I bought a name brand modem from a nation-wide chain here and proceeded to connect it up here. No go, flick through the manual given, although you almost needed a microscope to read it, it said only works with Windows 2000, ME, 98. Great, on the outside of the box it said Windas XP. Took it back to the shop and tried to get a refund. "Sorry Sir you've opened it", was his reply. I said to the guy that it does not do what it states on the box it should do. I did get a replacement and took that home to try out. No Good, neither were the 3rd or 4th ones!. By this stage I was getting rather peeved. I said to the guy where is the manager and he went and got him. I told him what I thought of his company branded modems and he gave me a....... brand new DynaLink router worth 3 times the price of what I had bought. Came home here, hooked it up and configured it, so simple and I was back on the Net. It has to be said, don't buy store branded modems, I thought that there must have been a problem with my computer. Same side of the coin, I don't like it how Windas XP goes about installing hardware or software, it naturally assumes that if it can't find (not that it looks properly)what it wants on your computer, that it should look on the Net. Which is a fat lot of use if you are installing a modem and can't access the Net. Anyone ever struck this before?.
I had a similar experience with my router. I just moved in and got my cable internet. I needed a router, so I had my bro pick up a D-Link Residential Gateway (I guess it's the same as a router.)
Instructions were for 98, but I knew how to configure it with XP... in fact, my machine was already configured (enable TCP/IP, obtain IP address automatically.) It should have worked when I connected everythign and turned it on, but nothing happened. I could only sometimes log on to 192.168.0.1, but when i put my password in, it would time out.
Took it back for a refund, computer shop said no returns. They wouldn't give me an exchange because they said the warranty ran out. (I always thought the warranty starts when you buy it.) I'm out $20 right now, and I wont have cash til wednesday because I spent it all on moving. I'm gonna get the same Netgear wireless I had before... I had NO problems with that one. Also gonna buy it at Best Buy, even though it's a little extra, they'll take it back if it's broken.
It is a pathetic legacy of windows that it allows manufacturers to push "braindead" products out the door with partial chipsets because windows allows them to offload 1/2 the work to the software driver (and with a corresponding performance hit to your memory and processor). Perfect example is "Win-modems" which functioned only under windows but cost 1/2 the price of a modem with a full chipset on the board. Will this software emulation problem be fixed with windows vista? Who knows.. I guess we'll find out in 5 more years when MS finally release it I have bought store-brand ethernet cards before (aka Comp-USA..) but only after I researched the chipsets and figured out which ones would operate under linux, which usually meant that they were full comtroller chipsets, not ones that relied on windows "software emulation" of functions that should have been incorporated into the device in the first place (except that the manufacturer wanted to save a few bucks by using a cheaper chipset). I have never had an ADSL modem that was windows only- maybe I have just been lucky, but the ones I have gotten were platform independent and used a browser based configuration, which didn't limit me to windows only.
I guess my point is research your hardware. In my opinion, if a given piece of hardware functions under unix/linux, that makes it a "buy" in my book.. and if it is Win-only, I pass on it because I think it is a false economy to buy hardware that leaves you tied to one manufacturer's software.
Ryan, I couldn't agree more about them Win-Modem devices. When I first started building computers here in 2000-odd, that was pretty much the only sort of 56k Modem you could get locally. And what a waste of time they were, you had to have a half-decent processor on your motherboard or the computer would run at a snails pace. Speaking of trying to find a modem that will run on a Linux platform, this was the one thing that held me up from actually getting into Linux, it was so hard trying to find anything that would even work with any system that wasn't Windows. A lot of the Asian manufacturers only make devices that work within the Windows platform. I have heard that some devices on the market here do have Tux the penguin, but it's only for decoration, the actual device will not work with Linux.
Will this software emulation problem be fixed with windows vista? Who knows.. I guess we'll find out in 5 more years when MS finally release it
I have had a few headaches with the linux + winmodem equation too. On my own machine the solution was to buy an external serial-port modem. The setup from there was quite straightforward or at least as straightforward as anything is under Linux. In a mindless fit of bravado, I made the mistake of offering to install Suse Linux 10 on the home PC of a workmate. It turned out that his machine had a winmodem fitted, and one that linux just didn´t want to know about. So we got the PC shop to change his winmodem for something linux-compatible. Trouble was, that version of Suse Linux came without any non-GPL licensed bits, including drivers for modems that had worked on earlier releases of Suse. After much downloading and installing, we were forced to admit defeat. None of the driver packages for that modem would compile cleanly. At this point we gave up. Soon after, my friend upgraded to ADSL and getting Suse 10 to work with that was simple and painless.
printers and fax machines and "all in one" devices suffer from this a lot too. I used to think I couldn't go wrong with HP products, but boy was I wrong. The problem is price and uneducated consumers- they think HP is a good name and an HP product (for example, but HP is not the only offender in this regard) at a good price is a good deal. Not so! Even the better brands go the Win modem route and sell products at a great price, but with a dumbed down chipset and software emulation. The fact that they push them out the door at sale prices makes it more likely that the average, noncritical consumer will have one in their office or home. Anymore I really do my homework before I buy. I think of it as planning for the future when I get windows/linux compatible stuff. Although it might be far off in computer years, I think there will be a day when windows fades and linux becomes king. Call me a dreamer..
At this point we gave up. Soon after, my friend upgraded to ADSL and getting Suse 10 to work with that was simple and painless.
What brand ADSL modem/router did they get?. I've been looking for source code, if it can be done, with a Dynalink RTA 1320 Router. Cheap Asian rubbish here only works with Windas. I would however like to be proved wrong!.
Another weird thing about XP is that it installs with the updates a new driver for my wifi, it took me one day to find out why I`m not able to connect to my wifi, when I can see it on the available networks list. It was of course the new driver, so when I tried everything, and finally got to the drivers and made a "roll back", my ne was there again.
The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love
My experience of Windows XP is that it really does stand for eXtra Problems! I have couple of places that I maintain DOS software for which run XP, and I've had no end of problems interfacing to simple DOS applications. Heck, XP doesn't even have a direct "MS-DOS prompt" option any more; you have to select "Run" and then enter "COMMAND.COM" yourself.
As for those WinModems, I agree with the comments above. Horrible. I'd rather use my old Hayes SmartModem 2400 that I still have stashed away in a cupboard.
Sorry to hear of your problems with ADSL modem/routers. My friend Chris just got the standard offering from Telecom, and it worked as soon as we set up the ethernet connection in Suse and then set the internet connection to look at this for the connection. The only tricky bit was that you needed to know that the modem supplies the IP address to your PC and you need to set the PC to expect this. If memory serves me right, this was the default in Suse so we didn't need to change it. In a similar vein, just before Christmas we got broadband connected at home. Since we now have 3 PCs, we needed a router. Because I was not too keen on grovelling around under the floor installing cables, I bought a D-Link wireless router. Setting up my Linux machine was simple. I connected it to the router with an ethernet cable, and just as with Suse, Mandrake defaulted to the correct setup once I had enabled the ethernet connection and changed the internet conenction setting from serial-port modem to ethernet. The wireless caused a bit of fun though. 2.4Ghz radio may not be purely line-of-sight, but a 90 degree bend in the path caused enough loss that my Wife's PC, about 30 feet away, was getting a patchy signal with frequent dropouts. I cured this by fitting a 7dB dipole antenna which seems to have perked things up a bit. All is working quite well now. Isn't it astonishing how fast the data cap is reached? We settled on 5GB/month but we had used 4 of these within 2 weeks!