Frequently Asked Questions about configuring a Macintosh
FAQ - Configuring Macintosh

I have Max OS 8.x, are there any special settings for me?

If you are running Mac OS version 8 or higher, it comes with everything needed to get on the Internet. (Netscape 3 and an Internet Setup Assistant)

Double-Click the Hard Drive icon on your Desktop. Double-Click the Assistants Folder. Double-Click on the Internet Setup Assistant to setup a new connection. Click on the Update Button. Click the Next Page arrow. Select Add Internet Configuration, then click the Next Page arrow. Enter a connection name, E.g., Comcation or ComCAT, and make sure the Connection Type has Modem selected. Click the Next Page arrow. Enter a local access number, your username, and password. (if the password is not entered here you will be prompted for it each time you connect). Click the Next Page arrow. Select No IP, then click the Next Page arrow. Enter the following DNS numbers:, (return) and as the Domain Name, then click the Next Page arrow. Enter your Email address and your password. (if the password is not entered here you will be prompted for it each time you check for new mail). Click the Next Page arrow. Enter your username, and the Mail Server name; and click the Next Page arrow. Enter the News Server name; and click the Next Page arrow. Click the Go Ahead Button to complete the Setup Assistant and save the new settings.

How do I setup my MacPPP?

1. Open up the control panel, Config PPP. Version 2.2.0 will look like this. Notice that PPP is "down" which means you have not made a connection. Choose the modem port or printer port depending on where you've plugged in your modem. Set an idle timeout if you wish. Comcation's server has a 20 minute timeout so just you can set this to NONE.

macppp1.gif (3871 bytes)

2. Click on the Config... button. You get this window below. Enter the full PPP server name as shown. Set your Port Speed to 57600 or whatever maximum speed your modem is. Note that older Macintosh's have serial ports with a limit of 57,600. If you have a newer Mac, you can push this up to 115K. Also, a 14,400 baud modem can send information at 4x that rate = 57,600. So, a 28,800 baud modem can send (using compression) at rates of 115,200 baud. Use those as maximums.

Set the flow control to CTS&RTS (DTR) if you have a high speed modem with hardware handshaking (see your modem manuals). Otherwise, use nothing. Enter the phone number. The modem init string depends on your modem. A list of some modem strings are appended to this document. I don't give any guarantees on them. Use the Modem Init, ATZ, if nothing works. I've noticed that many modems have an excellent default init string of AT&F1, which will set all of the flow control and error correction to the best possible for a PPP connection.

macppp2.gif (4214 bytes)

3. To dial in automatically and you're not worried about other people getting on your computer while you're not there and doing something evil to your computer, enter the Authentication. If you leave these blank, then you must enter the username and password each time you access the internet. Enter stuff here to save time. Replace "joeuser" with your username. Enter your password. Be sure to use UPPER and lower case as appropriate.

macppp3.gif (2779 bytes)

Connecting ... at last

Select the button named "Open" from the Config PPP control panel or open any program that uses the internet. For example, ask for your mail or ask for a web page. Any call that tries to make your computer talk to the internet automatically opens a PPP connection.

There are special little helper programs (e.g., PPPop) to make opening and closing a PPP connection easier than going directly to the control panel. You can download these as needed.

When you are done, select Soft Close or Hard Close.

Problem: If you have a newer Mac (7500, 8500, 9500), you may notice that if you connect once and disconnect, then only way to reconnect is to restart your computer and try again.

Problem: If you are connected but the Config PPP control panel won't let you Hard Close or Soft Close, then you probably have a conflict between MacTCP and Open Transport Protocol. Unplug the phone line from the modem and restart the computer. Then try again, but making sure that you have moved the appropriate files from the Extensions folder or the Control Panels folder.

(c) 1995 Matthew C. Hutcheson

What are my settings for TCP/IP?

Open the TCP/IP control panel and you will see its window as shown in enclosed OT_TCP/IP.tif file. If you set yours to match the below graphic (The important settings are "Connect via:" set to MacPPP, "Configure:" set to Using PPP Server, "Name Server addr.:" set to, "Starting Domain Name:" set to, "Ending Domain Name:" set to, and "Additional Search Domains:" set to then you should close the TCP/IP control panel and restart your MAC.

mac4.gif (8110 bytes)

Once restarted, depending on if you have if you have set PPP to auto connect or not you can either launch any program that needs TCP/IP or first open Config PPP control panel and press the open button to open your net connection to the provider and then launch the programs.

How do I setup my FreePPP?

First you need the latest version of FreePPP the PPP connection software. It is freely distributable archive called FreePPP105sit which includes documentation and instructions.

FreePPP should be installed as instructed. Then restart the MAC and open Config PPP in your control panel and set it to match the graphic below, the settings being "Hangup on Close", "Quiet Mode", and"Port Name".

mac5.gif (5687 bytes)

Then choose button "New..." and set it to match the screen below, the settings being "PPP Server Name:" set to "", your modem will determine the rest of the settings "Port speed", "Flow Control", "Tone Dial/Pulse Dial", and "Modem Init". The "Phone num" should be your local
access number.

mac6.gif (5074 bytes)

And lastly for PPP your ID and password should be entered into "Authentication..." so that your logon will be automatic.

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