Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Support section for FREESCO v0.4.x

Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:15 pm

Hello-

I've been trying to run FreeSCO in VMWare player in order to get channel guide data for my dial-up ReplayTV via WiRNS. This has worked a couple times, but the connect times are ridiculously long, and it fails more often than it succeeds. I've tried many different modem settings, as have other users trying to do the same thing.

I'm willing to try whatever anyone suggests to fix that, but in the meantime I tried running FreeSCO directly from a USB stick (I don't have a floppy), and FreeSCO doesn't recognize my modem. This is a Dell Latitude D800 with a Conexant D480 MDC V.92 internal modem.

Is there any chance of getting that modem to work in FreeSCO, or if not, does anyone know why the data transmission is so slow in FreeSCO running in VMWare Player?

Thanks-

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:33 pm

I have no experience with VMware and modems, however I can say that the modem you are using will not run directly with FREESCO because it is a WinModem and not a true hardware modem. For FREESCO and the computer you are using an external modem would be the best choice to get it to run directly with FREESCO. Which because it is a software modem it could also be part of the problem with speed. But I really can not speculate on what could be the problem. My only real question is how fast does FREESCO claim to connect at?

As a secondary and not a terribly important point. We never emphasize the SCO in FREESCO because FREESCO is a Linux system and has absolutely no relation to SCO and the name was derived from "Free Sisco".
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:45 pm

Hi Lightning-
Lightning wrote:I have no experience with VMware and modems, however I can say that the modem you are using will not run directly with FREESCO because it is a WinModem and not a true hardware modem. For FREESCO and the computer you are using an external modem would be the best choice to get it to run directly with FREESCO. Which because it is a software modem it could also be part of the problem with speed. But I really can not speculate on what could be the problem. My only real question is how fast does FREESCO claim to connect at?

As a secondary and not a terribly important point. We never emphasize the SCO in FREESCO because FREESCO is a Linux system and has absolutely no relation to SCO and the name was derived from "Free Sisco".

Thanks for the quick response. I picked up the bad spelling habit somewhere along the way; thanks for the correction.

Unfortunately, I don't know where to look for how fast FREESCO claims to connect. I'll ask over on the WiRNS and Planet Replay forums and see if anyone running it in VMWare player knows.

Thanks again-

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:04 pm

Unfortunately, I don't know where to look for how fast FREESCO claims to connect.

During the connection process it will be displayed on screen 3. It is also stored in the /var/messages file with the other log entries. As for the easiest way to check from a command line while the connection is up.

cat /tmp/connect

Also in the control panel under 'Link' 'STAT' in the dial-up section.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:49 pm

Lightning wrote:During the connection process it will be displayed on screen 3. It is also stored in the /var/messages file with the other log entries. As for the easiest way to check from a command line while the connection is up.

cat /tmp/connect

Also in the control panel under 'Link' 'STAT' in the dial-up section.

Hi Lightning-

I can't seem to work out any of those ways. Maybe it's because it's running in VMWare or maybe it's the older floppy .img used to create the .vmx file (version 032)?

There's no /var/messages file, nor a /var folder anywhere on my system. I do get a freesco.log file, but that's it. Typing
cat /tmp/connect
returns
cat: Can't open /tmp/connect

I also can't connect to the Control Panel following the instructions I found here: http://bakskuru.se/fredrik/freesco/afib/afib_03.html

Maybe it's a lost cause, since I have no experience with Linux nor FREESCO, so my troubleshooting skills are weak. I do appreciate your help, though.

Thanks again-

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Maybe it's a lost cause, since I have no experience with Linux nor FREESCO, so my troubleshooting skills are weak.
With regards to FREESCO, it is designed to be as simple as possible and it is a very good starting point for an introduction into Linux. Also everyone on this forum is accustomed to helping people who have very little understanding of Linux. We will continue to help as long as you want. The only thing that is ever disappointing to us is if someone just gives up rather than working through the various problems that come up from time to time. Reality is that you only truly learn from your mistakes, success may feel good but teaches you nothing.

To see the log live during a connection process use "ALT+F3" and to switch back to the main screen use "ALT+F1". There are multiple screens to use F2 is a second login shell, F3 is the primary logs, F4 is the secure logs and as my memory is poor I don't remember what others are available in 0.3.2 as to many years have past.

As for the files and such, they should be in the same place and have the same names even on a 0.3.2 system. Are you logged in as the 'root' user ?

Also as 0.3.2 is such an old version, I am curious where the VMware image came from because I could generate a new VMware image with the latest version of FREESCO in it without to much trouble.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Yes, I'm logged in as 'root'. It would be *great* if I could get a new image with the latest, just to make sure it's not a problem with the image itself, and since it is such an old version.

I got the VMWare image I'm using from the link here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthre ... st20661436

I've been trying to work out a solution for dial-up Showstoppers to continue getting channel guide information after the ReplayTV servers stop providing it at the end of the month. Most of the conversations on Planet Replay and AVS have understandably been about the newer RTV units that connect via ethernet, but there are a few of us diehards who don't want to give up our dial-up units, which are working perfectly otherwise.

I've been at it since the announcement was released about a month ago, and believe me, I don't give up easily! :) I tried the VMWare solution in the thread I linked above first since at the time I didn't have any way to boot into FREESCO (neither of my PCs has a floppy), but I was able to create a bootable USB stick and FREESCO runs fine from it on my laptop, it just doesn't see my modem. As you said, my modem might be the root of the problem in VMWare, too. There are RTV users running FREESCO directly and successfully with external modems. I have a friend in the same situation, and if we have to get external modems so be it; I'm just trying to convince her & myself that it's the only way to go.

That's why being able to see those stats and messages you mentioned would be so helpful, and I don't know why those files aren't being created. I'll definitely try ALT+F3 next time I try the connection. Edit: I understand how I can see those files now -- I was looking for them outside the virtual machine.

Trying just now, pressing F3 or F4 doesn't do anything, but F2 does open a new shell login. I'm not near the unit right now to try dialing in.

Also, any idea why I can't access the control panel? I don't know how important that is, but I just get a timeout using either my FREESCO IP address with :82 appended or http://router.inet:82.

Thank you so much for your patience and help!

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:00 am

Trying just now, pressing F3 or F4 doesn't do anything, but F2 does open a new shell login. I'm not near the unit right now to try dialing in.
You must hold the "LEFT" keyboard "ALT" key down at the same time as you press F2, F3, F4..........
Also, any idea why I can't access the control panel? I don't know how important that is, but I just get a timeout using either my FREESCO IP address with :82 appended or http://router.inet:82.

Run "setup" from the FREESCO command line and check the following settings

[FREESCO] setup -> a -> 45 -> s ->82 -> ???? -> ????? -> x -> s

The above question marks are for the time server address which is fine left alone and your manual offset from UTC
The server should already be set in 's' mode but if it is not then change it to 's'. After the above is finished type

rc_httpd restart
ifconfig

Make sure that the IP address you are trying to access is the same IP as what is shown with the 'ifconfig' command. Then from a Internet browser use

http://xx.xx.xx.xx:82/

and you should see the web control panel. Login as 'admin' and what ever password you have set for that user. You MUST use just the IP address because the name 'router.inet' will not resolve unless FREESCO is your Internet gateway and DNS server for the local network. Which in this case it is not configured in that manor.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:14 am

I just downloaded the VMware image and I have discovered a number of issues. The first and most important issue is that this image has no ethernet networking because they failed to install the pcnet32.gz driver into the image. Which that driver is a required item for VMware. So the web control panel can NOT be accessed without it.

I strongly suggest that you try this using one of the 04x versions of FREESCO which has the driver for VMware built in.

I will create a image you can download.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:15 am

Lightning wrote:I will create a image you can download.

That would be great, thank you very much!

I can see the contents of the files you mentioned now, so those together with the control panel and other diagnostics should help tremendously.

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:55 pm

http://lewys-spot.dyndns.org/test/

Here is a new 0.4.3 VMware test system. I am not entirely certain exactly what options are needed to make what you need. But it is the basic system that should be enough to configure what is needed. But if it needs something different just let me know. I configured a serial port and three network interfaces in various connection modes as bridged, NAT, and shared so no matter what it will have some ethernet networking for an internal connection. It also has a IDE hard drive capability if that is ever a necessary item for expanding past the floppy image. Most likely you will want to configure the system as a "server", but I really don't know exactly what the final purpose for the system will be. So I let the system completely unconfigured.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:09 pm

Lightning wrote:http://lewys-spot.dyndns.org/test/

Here is a new 0.4.3 VMware test system. I am not entirely certain exactly what options are needed to make what you need. But it is the basic system that should be enough to configure what is needed. But if it needs something different just let me know. I configured a serial port and three network interfaces in various connection modes as bridged, NAT, and shared so no matter what it will have some ethernet networking for an internal connection. It also has a IDE hard drive capability if that is ever a necessary item for expanding past the floppy image. Most likely you will want to configure the system as a "server", but I really don't know exactly what the final purpose for the system will be. So I let the system completely unconfigured.

Got it, thanks very much! I'll try it ASAP and let you know how it goes.

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:41 pm

Hi Lightning-

I'm getting errors trying to load the .vmx file. Here's the part I could capture:

Image

I bet it's the version of VMWare Player I'm using -- I couldn't install the latest, since I got "Error: This product can only be installed on a machine with CPU support for CMOV, PAE, TSC, and FXSAVE instructions.", so I'm using 2.5.5 instead.

I just remembered this, and now I feel awful that I probably wasted your time, assuming that's the problem! :oops:

Thanks-

-Susan
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Lightning » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:48 pm

There has been issues with specific players and later models of FREESCO and NEWER VMware systems. However I just created a new VM machine with all of the various compatibility modes enabled. So hopefully this will run on your player. I have tested it on VMware player v2.0.0 and it is configured compatible for these as well

ACE 1.x
ACE 2.x
ESX Server 2.x
ESX Server 3.x
Fusion 1.x
GSX Server 3.x
Server 1.x
Workstation 4.x
Workstation 5.x
Workstation 6.x

http://lewys-spot.dyndns.org/test/

If this version also gives similar types of errors try and find an OLDER version of VMplayer to install.
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Re: Modem questions -VMWare player and standalone

Postby Susan G » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:22 pm

I get this now:

Image

BTW, there was no .vmdk file in that zip, should there be? There's a line that reads:
scsi0:0.fileName = "FREESCO.vmdk"

I tried copying the .vmdk from the previous .zip, but that didn't make a difference. Also, I don't have any SCSI devices in case that matters. There are some other settings I don't have in my old .vmx, but I'll wait until I hear from you before I start editing the new one.

Thanks-

-Susan
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