OK, I have some flavor of RH9; last i USED this box was Jan 1st, it had been doing RHN updates till then. I bought a Mac Powerbook that day, and haven't mussed with it since. Running 2.4.20-20.9 kernel. My RHN account/machine was deactivated, I let it lapse....oh well.

So I know this girl, she needs a pc, I haul my box out, get the thing dialing an ISP w/ my USR 56K (3040) external modem (advanced at string settings at&f1X3 works good...).

All is fine and well UNTIL I get a BUSY signal, which frankly i'd never GOTTEN before (now that i think about it --times have changed...).

Several things happen; it redials. I hit deactivate . Network Device control just LOCKs, as in I can CLICK deactivate but it doesn't. It just SITS there in active mode....

OK, I turn off the modem, and essentially have to restart X to recover control of the Network Device Control (NDC) application. Yuk. Girl isn't going to like THAT. I try a few more times; now it doesnt auto-redial (can't find any settings in 'configure that would make it autodial, much less anything to turn OFF. Why it STOPPED autodialing at that moment is a mystery). At some point the thing CRASHES (no, I didn't write the info down -sob!) and I figure i'll just REMOVE all the network devices (modem, eth0) and sort of start from scratch.

OK, upon reboot, NOW the NDC has no network devices and **won't let me ADD any**. Its TU completely....

Several questions:

does NDC have issues w/ busy signals? Was there something I could have done that would have made it gracefully handle busy signals?

Now that NDC is for all intents and purposes DEAD, how do I get it BACK? Is there an rpm to reinstall? I'm smelling slippery slope here...

Are there BETTER Linux dialers out there? I want it as easy as possible for this girl. I WAS able to get a shortcut to the desktop and get her to manually dial. The 'busy' problem really put a crimp on things; and w/ NDC DEAD, well....what good it the box? Do I need to re-install? At that point i'd look at other distros....

Deeper musings: i'm sort of turned off to RH these days, what w/ Fedora, plans, all the changes...I know this is a personal problem, but it makes me ask: would Mandrake be a better distro to shove in front of a non-technical sort? Better, more robust, easier to recover-on-busy dialer is the BIG thing....suse?

looking for ideas/directions/paths..

regards, and thanks,