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Greek Modem Odyssey

Greek Modem Odyssey

Recently I took a one week holiday to the island of Rhodes in Greece. Not only was this to be a week of fun in the sun but it was also an opportunity to test out my HP 100LX and CompuServe access program acCIS away from home for the first time. Here's the story.

We arrived at the hotel about noon. After surveying the beach and having a cool one, I broke out my computer and modem. The phone in the room was hard wired to the wall outlet but there was a cover which could be removed. There was also what appeared to be an empty RJ-11 jack on the phone. This is going to be simple I thought to myself.

After much talking to the hotel technician and fiddling with the phone jack wires, I figured I was ready. With a smile on my face and visions of data streaking across the screen of my HP, I followed the step-by-step procedure I had developed for modem communications:

  1. 1. Put battery in modem.
  2. 2. Turn modem on.
  3. 3. Turn the HP Palmtop on.
  4. 4. Go to acCIS and enter the "online" command.
I waited for a while as the dialing screen displayed the number for the German CompuServe node. Finally, acCIS displayed... "Disconnect, no dial-tone." I picked up the phone in the room and heard what appeared to be a busy signal. Then I went down to see the technician again.

I told him about the busy signal -- he picked up the phone at the desk, listened for a few seconds and then handed it to me. I heard what sounded like a busy signal with longer spaces of silence between the tones. He explained that this was the normal dial tone on Rhodes. It definitely was not the dial tone my modem was looking for!

I remembered that there is an obscure modem command which tells the modem to ignore the dial tone. But with all my careful preparations, I didn't pack my modem manual!

Well, the sun was so nice, the beer so cold, and the scenery on the beach... I decided to save playing with the modem for another trip.

When I got home, I found that "X0" was the command I was looking for. You should remember X0 if you ever find yourself on the isle of Rhodes! Those two characters are the only thing that stood between me and the CompuServe node. I don't even like to think about it.

Casey McCullough

CompuServe ID: [100041,2130]

iPhone Life magazine

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