serial port handshaking

serial port handshaking

Post by Burke Murr » Sat, 25 Feb 1995 00:28:22

I can't offer any specific help with this problem, but I can
sympathize.  I find that hooking up modems to UNIX machines (including
SGI platforms) is a huge pain.  It seems that the computer makers
assume that everyone will be networking using ethernet and that the
poor souls who have to use modems are not worth dealing with.  My
problem is that I have lots of other jobs besides system
administration and I don't have 3 or 4 days (all day every day!) to
spend setting up and debugging a modem connection.  And I don't have
the specialized hardware needed to really get in there and figure out
what is going wrong if there are problems (which there always are).  I
am referring to original poster's question about hardware handshaking.
I suspect that he is correct about this not working, but again you
need an expensive piece of equipment and plenty of time to figure this
out.  Plus, of course, there is a complicated interaction between the
hardware and the software, so SGI is saying "It's not our software; we
don't support it; so tough luck!"

What I would like to see SGI do is to provide a built-in modem as a
hardware option (or even if it wasn't built it, it could be sold with
the machine AND IT COMES WITH THE RIGHT CABLE!).  The modem could be
set up by SGI to work with the machine.  In addition, I really think
that SGI should supply the software that people want (news, kermit,
mail, etc.) AND SUPPORT IT!  I work for a software company, so I
realize that this costs money, but I really think that people would be
willing to pay for the convenience of having the software they want
supplied with the machine.  That is, if you buy the modem option, you
pay are also paying for the cost of supporting the software.  What I
want, and I think that most people want, is to just plug the phone
line into the back of the machine and turn on the features I want
(news, etc.).  I DON'T want to search for and download the news
software (sources) from the net and spend two days compiling it and
testing it (like I am doing now).  I want to use the computer to do
something interesting instead of messing with it trying to get it

This is also inhibiting people who would like to buy an SGI machine
for their use at home.  How many people will really be putting a T1
line into their homes for networking?  I would like to see SGI
penetrate the home market; the machines are excellent in many ways.
But as it stands, only a techo-geek will be able to get a modem
connection installed and working.  I know that ISDN and other
technologies are coming, but modems are still the workhorse networking
tools for now and I think that SGI (and the other guys) are making a
mistake by abandoning us already.

Burke Murray


serial port handshaking

Post by Paul Jacks » Sat, 25 Feb 1995 06:19:46

|> It seems that the computer makers
|> assume that everyone will be networking using ethernet and that the
|> poor souls who have to use modems are not worth dealing with.

As I recall it, modems were a pain even before ethernet was
popular on Unix.  So I suspect that this is more of a case of
"that's the way it's always been" rather than a pro-ether
*.  Not that this helps much.


                                I won't rest till it's the best ...
                                Software Production Engineer


1. Serial port handshaking.

Hello everyone,

How can one verify that the hardware handshaking at the serial port is
working correctly on an Indigo2 - IRIX5.2?

I'm getting a transmission loss over a modem dialup link and I've nailed
it down to SGI or the modem; now the same modem works great on HP 715 using
hardware handshaking. This loss occurs when SGI sending a lot of data to the

When I asked the SGI support line how to verify h/w handshaking when I use
x/y/zmodem or kermit to send the data, I got "unsupported" configuration
as a reply... When I asked which component is not supported, so I can get
the supported one, I got no reply....

Pretty typical tech support approach, isn't it? ....blame it on the other guy.

Is there any test I can do? Getting a break-box?

Ron N.
     |o+------------------------+                                       |o|
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     |o+------------------------+               William Shakespeare     |o|

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