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USB modem bug in PB System
Blimey! This is a biggie!!

First, here's what happened: my blew up. I hadn't encountered the hint here that gives the easy fix (ie: grab /bin/tcsh from the Installer CD and chuck it in /bin - it seems that, somehow, things in /bin can get corrupted, which is very wierd, but that't another story!) so I reinstalled OS X. That worked fine and my was fixed.

Lo and behold, though, I now had a USB option available in my Modem Port choice in PPP Connect Preferences. I am 100% sure that it was not there beofre I reinstalled, because I was stuck using my old Motorola serial 28.8 modem (eeewww - slow!) under OS X but I could use my Swann MacSurfer V.90 under OS 9. So, I selected the USB option, and was able to use my V.90 modem under MacOS X. Great!!!

Ahh, but no! Here come the problems...

A couple of days later, I connect to a friend's ISP so that he can read his mail. All goes well, and when he is done, I reset PPP Connect to my settings. I also use the OS 9 connection for him so that he can print some of his mail, and then set them back to my settings - but I can no longer connect!!! Back in OS X, all is well, but in OS 9, I keep failing authentication... I reinstall drivers, try my old modem, all to no avail. However, in looking at my old Config PPP settings in OS 9 (in the connection script section), I see my password - I was using the wrong password!!! So, I set it and all goes well in OS 9.

Back in OS X, I am still able to connect using the wrong password!!! I try with USB and Serial, and the Serial fails authentication, but the USB connection succeeds...

After a couple of days of frequent connecting and disconnecting, I start getting weird problems, though. The USB modem connection is made, then seems not to work after sendig and receiving a few packets. Disconnecting seems not to work, too - the modem stays connected and PPP (the pppd) seems to go stale. It doesn't die, but it no longer passes data. kill -9 is needed to terminate it, bu the modem remains connected until you pull out the phone line for a while - it then manages to drop the connection.

Worse still, things no longer work under USB using the correct password under OS X. The problems are the same as outlined above.

Looks like USB support was sort of half-implemented in OS X PB (and they admit as much in the help and on the web), but I never thought that I would be able to connect to an ISP with the wrong password (how the hell did the ISP let that happen?!?!?!?) and I never thought that performance could deteriorate (I always thought that it would either work or not work, not that it could work and then get worse and worse until it no longer works!!).

Needless to say, I will report this to Apple on the feedback site.

I am now back to using my old Motorola Serial 28.8 modem. Boohoo!! :-(

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