DOS browsers Arachne and Bobcat (Lynx variant)

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 1 year ago
I am having trouble configuring my login for Arachne and Bobcat to start PPP. I can dial in and connect with an external modem on com2. After about 15 seconds it disconnects without recognizing a packet driver or getting an IP address assigned. I think something needs to be specified in WATTCP.CFG or ARACHNE.CFG that I don't have set properly. I'm hoping somebody out there has had success getting online with DOS and can advise me.
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb

Posted 1 year ago

  • 2
Photo of Tennille

Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

  • 15,524 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hello Dennis,  

You've posed a great question - we'll do our best to find someone that can provide a useful answer for you! 

Tennille 
Photo of Chris Chatelain

Chris Chatelain

  • 250 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Hey Dennis, 

Might be tough to find help for old software like that, all of the old mailing lists that used to specialize in that stuff have gone away. Just curious, what are you using it for?

Got any connection logs? Can you compare them to a successful dialup connection from a working computer? It might be hard to find someone familiar with your particular software, but at least from the modem side dialup is just dialup. You might get some ideas by seeing what's missing from the handshake.

--Chris
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
It is just a hobby. I'm exploring what I can do with a 486 laptop running MS-DOS 6.22. The log is useless because it only starts logging when the packets start flowing. An IP address is supposed to be assigned but it isn't. That is what leads me to think that I'm missing something in a configuration file. I used Arachne successfully a few years ago but I can't get it to work yet this time. When you set it up you are supposed to be able to configure everything with a built in wizard.
Photo of Graham

Graham, RF Engineering

  • 6,902 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I'll ask around the techie floor, no promises though, I admire your moxie!
Photo of CoryB

CoryB, Champion

  • 27,758 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
It has been a long time since I tinkered with that stuff. That said it was very difficult to get working back in the day. Considering it was coming along just as Windows95 was entering the market with much better support you could have quite the challenge to get it working. Worse, as you are looking for expertise in a product with limited support in its prime almost 25 years later this could heavily be something you need to work through on your own.
Photo of Clifford Lewis

Clifford Lewis, Champion

  • 27,088 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I  checked with our communication techs at  my work and could not find anybody that  knew anything  about that software, other than they said like Cory you may have to experiment with settings
Photo of Chris Chatelain

Chris Chatelain

  • 250 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Is there any way to see any of the modem commands? even just the initialization string?
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
The modem is an external GVC brand 14 400 bps V32 fax/modem. It is a real hardware modem not a winmodem. It is attached to COM2. There isn't much point in connecting a faster modem to this computer since the old UART chips are rated at only 9600 baud. I did try a 56K US Robotics v92 modem. It showed the same symptoms, connect but no PPP or IP address. The init strings I have tried include: ATZ, AT&F0, AT&F0&K3&D2&C1, and a couple of others. When it worked in the past I used AT&F0. They all connect.
ATDT2042254638 is dialed. I use my username@res1.mts.net with my password.
Photo of Clifford Lewis

Clifford Lewis, Champion

  • 27,088 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Don't know if you saw this but if not it may be of some help
http://www.kompx.com/en/arachne-installing-and-setting-up-dial-up.htm
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
I have this page bookmarked. In the past when you first ran Arachne you would run the setup wizard and if you answered all the questions correctly you would be online in about 5 minutes.
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
I don't know if any of you have heard of QNX. They have been around a long time and were recently bought by BlackBerry. Anyway, back in the 90's they put out a demo disk that squeezed the OS, a dialer, a browser, and a few other apps onto a single bootable 1.44 MB floppy disk. There was a network or a dial-up version. I found mine this evening and tried it. It dialed and connected but then timed out about 30s later; same as the other software. I'm beginning to think that MTS has set things up to only work with software of a certain age or newer.
Photo of Clifford Lewis

Clifford Lewis, Champion

  • 27,088 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Here is one site that has a number of GVC strings in it //www.modemhelp.org/inits/gvc.html
If you have already tried those  than I'm out of ideas.
(Edited)
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Thanks. I have tried many but not all yet.
Photo of CoryB

CoryB, Champion

  • 27,758 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Something that occurs to me is modems needed to be on isolated comm ports. They ran odd and even pairs. So you would say have a mouse on comm 1 and a modem on comm 2. If you put the mouse on comm 4 though you would have issues.
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
There are no conflicts. COM1 is not in use. The modem is on COM2 and the mouse is a PS/2 type with its own port.
Photo of Chris Chatelain

Chris Chatelain

  • 250 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
any chance it's on a phone line that also has dsl service? I wonder if there's some noise there that confuses the modem. Any chance you can try a newer computer just to eliminate the phone line?
Photo of Dennis Fenton

Dennis Fenton

  • 174 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
There is DSL service on the phone line. Two Windows 10 computers run on my home network with the WiFi router attached to the DSL modem. The other lines including the one to the dial-up modem on the old computer have DSL filters. I don't think that is the problem. It wasn't in the past.