Dialup Blues

A recurring problem that affected each product was configuring and reconfiguring laptops to make them connect via the LAN or via dial-up over the Internet. When the laptop was cabled via Fast Ethernet to the LAN, the laptop tried to dial out. When we had the laptop dial out, it couldn't find the Domain Name System server on our LAN.

We found success with Microsoft Corp.'s WINIPCFG program, which let us clear and restore the IP settings. It was brought to our attention that Symantec Corp.'s Mobile Essentials program and 3Com Corp.'s Dynamic Access Mobile Connection Manager can deal with these issues. Sadly, we didn 't find out about these products soon enough to test them.

We used the Windows 95/98 WINIPCFG program to release the LAN settings. We then used the Dial-Up Networking tool to manually establish our connection to our ISP and network, and then invoked the synchronization software. Attempts to use any of the synchronization products to directly establish the dial-up connection were doomed to fail. If you use connectivity options other than dial-up networking to the Internet, such as DSL or a cable modem connection, your results may differ.

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