These are hastily-assembled notes. Please excuse the lack of polish.

Pac Bell takes the order in late February and says someone will contact me in 5-7 business days. 8 business days later, I call them and am told that it's really 7-10 business days. Eventually, I get a call in early March and they tell me that they strongly recommend that Linux users get their enhanced (read more expensive) service. I say I want to know why and they give me a technical support number. Their technical support people say "no, you can do it with our dynamic ip service and suggest I look at

From the roaringpenguin site, I downloaded rp-pppoe-1.6 and installed it.

After assuring myself that there was really no problem with the $40/month dynamic-ip version of Pac Bell's adsl service, I called them back and assured that I really wanted that cheaper service. After considerable delay and one changed scheduled installation date, they finally promised the install for April 14.

On April 12, a PacBell man came out and measured my line. He concluded that the line was good up to 1.5 Mb/s and that PacBell would NOT be clamping the speed to the guaranteed downstream speed of 384 kb/s. If the remainder of my Internet connection to another site is up to it, I should get up to 1.5 Mb/s. A service guy once told me I was 12,200' from my central office.

On April 14, at 8 am the installer called while I was in the shower, but called back 2 hours later from in front of my house.

He was hoping he could install a USB connection because they were running short of Ethernet equipment, but he still had one Ethernet unit on his truck and that is the style I had planned on (and was on the order).

He connected the splitter at my service entry and tested it with his dsl-in-a-box. After discovering an unexpected ground wire, it checked out. I told him that I would handle the tidy stringing of phone and dsl cables through the walls, and that we should just lay out his line to the DSL modem to my computer on the floor for now.

Next he connected the far end of the data wire line to a DSL modem next to my computer. The DSL modem has 4 lights. A power light, DSL line sync light, an ethernet link light, and activity light. The DSL line sync light lights when the modem is happy with the line from the splitter. The ethernet link light is happy when the ethernet card is powered up, i.e. when the computer starts up and the computer motherboard BIOS is doing its thing. Thus the ethernet link light appears to not be dependent on the operating systems setup details.

At first, we couldn't get the link light to come on and then when he suggested we use his cable rather than mine, I remembered I was using a cross-over cable. With his normal cable, the link light came on.

At this point, the installer had done all he could since he was not trained to handle Linux. After he gave me various numbers, ids, and password I would need for registration, I signed that I was happy and sent him off.

PacBell supplied an ethernet card (Kingston Technology EtheRx VP 10/100BASE-TX PCI FAST ETHERNET ADAPTER, Model: KNE110TX) as promised in my original ordering discussions with them, but since I already had a similar card installed with driver in my machine, I have kept their card for later use.

I am using Mandrake Linux and did the remainder of the installation from the KDE desktop. Using linuxconf, I selected Networking and then Basic host information, to give myself a host name, and to specify that my adapter card's details. I was told not to set the IP address, netmask, etc., because that would all be done by pppoe based on its negotiation with PacBell's server.

From the install directory of pppoe (/root/pppoe/rp-pppoe-1.6), I did "./go" and a script ran asking me for my adapter (eth0), primary DNS (, secondary DNS (, user name (initial one supplied by installer), and password (initial one supplied by installer).

The script ended up saying things looked good and that I should run "adsl-start" to start up the adsl. I did so, but after writing ".......", it said "TIMED OUT". It turns out that the PacBell Registration server was down. I tried again a couple of hours later and it hooked up promptly. Running ifconfig showed that ppp0 was up and running. Next, I fired up NetScape for the URL "" as instructed by the installer, and filled out some registration forms, using Service Order, Telephone Number, and Customer Code supplied by the installer.

During that registration session, I accepted a long legal form that I'll read later, and chose a user name and password.

I then ran "./go" again with the newly established personal user name and password. At first, it didn't seem to work. I then rebooted, and I was able to do "asdl-start" and surf with NetScape. Perhaps the reboot wasn't really necessary; PacBell's registration system may have needed a minute or two to contact their asdl server.

I am able to exceed the specified 384 kbits/sec speed, getting 145 kBytes/sec when downloading a 6 MB Adobe Acrobat file.

I still have much work to do to get mail, etc., going and to learn how to use their 3 MB personal www site capability, but I'm in no rush as I plan on retaining my old CompuServe capabilities for quite a while.

Craig Van Degrift / / revised April 26, 2000