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25 FreePPP and OT/PPP (Remote Access) Frequently Asked Questions (Internet Networking - Macintosh)


This article is from the Mac communications FAQ, by Bruce L Grubb BruceG6069@aol.com with numerous contributions by others.

25 FreePPP and OT/PPP (Remote Access) Frequently Asked Questions (Internet Networking - Macintosh)

As stated in the FreePPP FAQ
"FreePPP is a group effort, by the not so coincidentally named
FreePPP Group, aimed at 'unifying' the various enhancments to
MacPPP that have been released since 2.0.1 as well as
coordinating the efforts of the people making these enhancments."

There is a 2.5 version of MacPPP around that is reasonally stable but
it is recommended that FreePPP (currently at version 2.6) be used

* What things in MacTCP or TCP/IP do I -not- need to bother with?

You can safely ignore the IP address field, Gateway Address,
Subnet Mask, and generally the LCP and IPCP Options. These
will be set up by the server at connect time.

* How should I set the 'Obtain address' setting for MacTCP or OT

This should be set to 'server' The load on the Internet today
has rendered manual addressing virtually useless.

* Do I need to set the Domain Name Servers in MacTCP or the
Name servers in TCP/IP?

Yes. This information needs to provided to you from your system
administrator or service provider. Without this information
internet programs will not work correctly.

* Which Port Speed setting should I use for FreePPP?

If you are using a modern modem (e.g. V.32bis, V.34) then the
best setting is likely to be 57,600. This will give you the
best possible throughput of data. The Modem control panel of OT
selects the best port speed for you automatically.

* Which Flow Control setting should I use and
what modem initialization string should I use?

With a modern modem connected with a hardware handshaking cable
(see [1.2]) set this to 'CTS & RTS (DTR)'. While the exact
modem initialization string will depend on which modem you have
(Consult your modem manual or local systems administrator for
advice.) some genralizations can be made.

The modem must be configured to match the Flow Control and in
addition the modem must be set for 'DTR override' (&D0) in your
initialization string. Many modems have at least one factory
defalt setting (&F) that can be used as a starting point.

* Should I specify my username/password in the
Accounts/Connections box?

These Authentication Dialogue boxes are only for use if you
are connecting to a PPP server that supports PAP. If setting
your username and password in the Accounts box does not result
in a successful login, and you are sure that the information
is correct, and you have ruled out any other problems, then
you should not use this part of Accounts box; its fields must
be left blank.
In this case use the Connection Script dialogue to build a script
which includes your username and password. If you do not know
whether your PPP server supports PAP, check with your service
provider or System administrator.

* Do I need to specify a connection script?

If you are connecting to a PPP server which does not support
PAP, then you must specify a connection script rather than using
the Authentication Dialogue box (see above). The connection
script must include your username and password. If you want to
"watch what happens" in order to develop a connection script,
both FreePPP and OT/PPP have a Terminal Window option. Note,
however, that if the Terminal Window box is checked, FreePPP
will ignore your modem initialization string and telephone
number. You will have to issue the modem commands by hand to
establish your connection. You may need to include a command to
start PPP at the remote end (this often happens automatically) -
if you need to, put this command at the end of your script.

* Can I control FreePPP or OT/PPP using AppleScript?

Yes, this ability is allowed by the FreePPP Control add on whose
homepage is <http://www.snafu.de/~sebastian.kloska/> OT/PPP
supports AppleScript directly and comes with documentation and
example scripts.

* How do I make a FreePPP or OT/PPP Connection Script pause?

You can build a pause into the connection script using the '\d'
special character in an out string. '\d' represents a 1 second
pause. If you need a 5 second pause use '\d\d\d\d\d'.

* FreePPP or OT/PPP drops the line after a few minutes.
What's wrong?

This phenomena has a number of causes.

1) One cause is not setting your modem for DTR override when
using 'CTS & RTS (DTR)' or 'RTS (DTR) Only' Flow Control. Mac
hardware handshaking cables have the hardware line from the Mac
wired to both the RTS and DTR lines of the modem. This means
that when the Mac drops its handshake line to stop the flow of
data from the modem, both RTS & DTR are dropped at the modem end.
Dropping the modem's RTS line is fine because that stops the
flow of data to the machine (until the machine is ready,
whence the line is raised again and the flow of data
resumes). However, if DTR is dropped, the modem will hang up.
To avoid this, configure the modem for 'DTR override' by
including the appropriate setting (&D0) in your modem
initialization string.

2) If you have selected an Idle Timeout, then FreePPP or OT/PPP
will seek to drop the connection when there has been no traffic
for the period you have specified. A dialogue box will
appear alerting you that PPP is disconnecting.

3) Some PPP servers will cut the link after a number of minutes
of inactivity. This is to stop you tying up a network line if
you are not making use of it. If you want to defeat this you
will need to generate some network activity every few minutes.

4) A significant drop in the quality of the connection. To some
degree the higher the modem connection is the less tolerant
it is of connection quality variation. This cause is the
least likly but does occur often enough that it should be

* When I have closed FreePPP or OT/PPP but leave some Internet
programs open I discover that after while it will attempt to
reconnect. How do I stop this?

With FreePPP select General in the FreePPP Setup application
uncheck the 'Allow Applications to open connections' box.

With OT/PPP click Options, select connection, and uncheck
the 'Connect automatically when starting TCP/IP appplications'


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