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Why do so many distros (most?) not include a dial-up GUI ? (Even among those that are otherwise GUI-intensive and "newcomer/user- friendly") And why is it generally so difficult to ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! Digital_Resistance's Avatar
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    Dial-Up Users Left in the Cold: Why?


    Why do so many distros (most?) not include a dial-up GUI? (Even among those that are otherwise GUI-intensive and "newcomer/user- friendly")

    And why is it generally so difficult to even find-out whether or not a distro has a dial-up GUI in advance?

    With one or two notable exceptions, I have found that even for those distros that do come with a dial-up GUI, any mention of it is hidden pretty deeply-- if even present at all.

    This is quite frustrating for anyone who would like to know such simple, basic information about a distro before going to the trouble and incurring the expense of ordering a disc or bothering a friend or relative who has broadband.

    Yet, most of the release announcements that I have seen for various distros do make some mention of one or more broadband/wireless tools/features.

    Couldn't a brief line such as,
    <GNOME or K or whichever> PPP for dial-up
    simply be added to such announcements?

    What about adding this to the spec lists at Distro Watch?

    Or a centralized listing, somewhere, of distros that come with a dial-up GUI?

    Although dial-up users may be a dwindling minority, more than a few of us do still exist.

    (In addition to those in remote areas, there are also more than a few -- even in major cities-- who either remain with or even have gone back to dial-up, which in many areas of the U.S. at least, is still available for a fraction of the cost of broadband or even completely free)
    Last edited by Digital_Resistance; 04-21-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Addition and change

  2. #2
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    I'm not sure which distros you've used, but most modern distros use NetworkManager for dialup (and all other types of networking). Most include the GNOME or KDE versions of the NetworkManager GUI. I personally prefer KPPP, so thats what I usually install.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Dial-Up Users Left in the Cold: Why?
    Not from my experience.


    And why is it generally so difficult to even find-out whether or not a distro has a dial-up GUI in advance?
    It was pretty easy for me to find under release notes on the main page.

    Main Page - antiX

    This release defaults to a fully customised icewm desktop (fluxbox, wmii and dwm are also installed) using a SimplyMEPIS 2.6.32-11 kernel, tweaked MEPIS Assistants for better compatibility in antiX and the usual range of applications for desktop use. Iceape for internet needs, Abiword and gnumeric for office use, xmms and goggles music manager for audio, gxine, mplayer and gnome-mplayer for video, gppp (dial-up), wicd and ceni for network connection
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    Just Joined! Digital_Resistance's Avatar
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    Are we Talking About the Same 'Dial-Up'?

    Quote Originally Posted by daark.child View Post
    I'm not sure which distros you've used, but most modern distros use NetworkManager for dialup (and all other types of networking). Most include the GNOME or KDE versions of the NetworkManager GUI.
    Might we possibly be referring-to two different things as dial-up ?

    I have always taken dial-up to refer to a connection over an ordinary telephone line at 56k or less.

    But I just saw a post somewhere where someone used 'dial-up' to refer to ADSL, so I wonder.

    Distros that I know for certain do not include any dial-up GUI out-of-the-box, include Ubuntu as well as the main edition of Mint.

    If I were to take the time, I could list quite a few more for which I am at least all-but-certain.

    Distros which I know for certain do come with a dial-up GUI include:

    - PCLinuxOS (at least the main KDE edition)
    - SimplyMEPIS 8.0.12
    - antiX MEPIS (see below)
    - Mint 7 xfce
    - Puppy Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
    It was pretty easy for me to find under release notes on the main page.
    anticapitalista added that right after I posted suggesting it at
    antix.freeforums[dot]org/antix-m8-5-marek-edelman-released-t2322-15.html

    Thanks for the replies.

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    Just out of interest, why would you want to use a dial-up connection of less than 56Kbs? I'm assuming there is a good reason!

  6. #6
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    I have always taken dial-up to refer to a connection over an ordinary telephone line at 56k or less.
    The same apps used for 56K modems (and lower) can be used as dialup tools for ADSL, mobile broadband etc.

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    Just Joined! Digital_Resistance's Avatar
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    Not Everyone Has the Luxury of Broadband

    Quote Originally Posted by samsonite2010 View Post
    why would you want to use a dial-up connection of less than 56Kbs?
    As I noted at the end of my post, there are still areas where broadband is not available as well as people who choose dial-up for economic reasons.

    If one's usage is mostly limited to the likes of email, forums, reading news articles, research, etc., then dial-up can be quite manageable. For files up to a certain size, allowing them to download overnight or while one is away can be a viable option for dial-up users who do not have usage limits or connection time-outs.

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    I guess everyone has different circumstances. For me, dial-up is not the cheapest option because you have to rent a phone line which costs more than many broadband packges and even mobile access (either a 3G card or using a mobile for dialup). I don't have a landline as again it is cheaper to use a mobile in this day and age.

    If you already have a landline and there are no costs for dial-up (and you can put up with the speed), then ok!

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    Linux Guru D-cat's Avatar
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    Hehe, my parents are so remote that mobile phones are unreliable (last year there was no service period, but they got a new tower next mountain over). Dial-up is the only option. I set them up with a distributed WiFi (in-line with ICS on the dial-up machine) and Opera browsers on the clients because of the Turbo option. Amazingly, I haven't had any complaints yet.

    I actually wish the dial-in machine was Linux (it isn't), it would have been easier to set up a remote dial-in script. Right now I have them VNC to the "Server" in order to dial out the connection. I kept it manual because they only have one phone line and they don't need all these apps checking for updates randomly keeping the line busy on them. VNC is S-L-O-W to update until an Internet connection is made, PITA (another discussion).

    Point, yeah, there are people still too remote for affordable and reliable broadband. Of course there's satellite, but they can't justify that cost.

  10. #10
    Linux User TaZMAniac's Avatar
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    I was doing research on another subject and came across this article;
    Life without high-speed Internet for 40 percent of Americans - San Jose Mercury News

    It says that 40% of Americans don't have access to high speed internet due to either economic status or because it's not available in the area where they live.

    So to assume that everyone has high speed internet is a fallacy.
    After reading that article I consider myself fortunate to have access and the ability to afford high speed internet service.
    I also remember the days of dial-up service. UGH!

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