New Web Sites Help Decipher Modem Kinks

P> Among the least understood, yet critical parts of your Internet connection is your trustworthy modem. Not surprisingly, most users are put off by the arcane verbiage and acronym-laden discussion that surround performance, purchase and installation issues.

Well, relief is on the Internet in an excellent World Wide Web site, Navas 28800 Modem FAQ ( modem/faq.html) created by John Navas of The Navas Group in Dublin, Calif. The 148k page is sparse in graphics but an absolute gold mine of data, a model of value-added information in a readily accessible form that any browser -- from Lynx to Netscape Navigator Gold -- can render. While this site is far from new, Navas updates it frequently; the most recent item is dated March 3.

After the opening section, "Breaking News," you'll find an extensive contents list. Among the noteworthy gems are:

- Why don't I get 28,800 bps speed on my connections?

- What's the difference between V.FC and V.34? What's next?

- What's wrong with my dial-up SLIP/PPP connection?

- How can I display the status of an internal modem under Windows?

- What are the best (data/fax) comm programs for Windows?

- Why do I sometimes have problems connecting?

- Why do I sometimes get abruptly disconnected?

- Why do connections sometimes seem to run slower and slower?

- What is ISDN? [updated 2/19/96]

- Any Windows 95 tips? What is TAPI? What is Plug and Play? [updated on 3/1/96]

- Any other sources of related information?

- How can I connect my modem to a digital phone system?

- What modem initialization string should I use?

- Which 28,800 modem should I buy?

- Which modem companies have a full Internet presence?

On another front, one of the newest sites on the Internet, continuing a trend of one-stop browsing, is Travelocity at http://www. The purveyors of PR claim, "The most powerful one-stop travel site on the net has arrived." Its focus is the traveler -- from soup to nuts.

You'll find real-time flight information under travel reservations, as well as information on destinations and interests, chats and forums, and travel merchandise. While an excellent start, it needs work, including some obvious coding errors.

Netscape users will want to scurry over and pick up the Java applet patch ( download.html). According to the company, "Responding to a recent discovery of potential vulnerabilities in our software, Netscape has released a Java Applet Security Manager patch for Netscape Navigator 2.0. Netscape also plans to soon issue a new version of Navigator that includes other improvements." Researchers at Princeton University uncovered the potential security vulnerability.

Americans Communicating Electronically gives snippets from the ACE Government Guide, 2nd Edition, a collaborative work ( 96.html). Included are federal agencies, government gophers, federal World Wide Webs, federal government lists, BBS federal, state WWW, CD-ROM and congressional addresses.

John Makulowich writes, talks and trains on the Internet. For information on his upcoming seminars in the D.C. area, send e-mail to; no subject or text needed. His home page is or

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