SOLVED! Thanks -Changed modems and dial up slowed to a craaaawwwwl
Running Fedora Core 3 on a Compac Armada 1750 with surprising success - about 6 months in and I'm devoted to linux!
Anyway, I spilled wine on my modem. I know. :-\ It's dead. And I liked it. It was blue.
So I purchased a refurbished US Robotics Courier V. Everything on eBay. Software upgraded to v.92, so it should be "up to speed." 12 hours, two temper tantrums, and one full operating system reload later, and it's working! But it's very, very slow.
I've changed, I think, the speed settings for both the modem and the serial port using minicom and kppp. I googled and found out how to check the serial speed, thinking this might be my trouble, got:
[root@localhost betsey]# setserial -a /dev/ttyS0
/dev/ttyS0, Line 0, UART: 16550A, Port: 0x03f8, IRQ: 4
Baud_base: 115200, close_delay: 500, divisor: 0
Flags: spd_normal skip_test auto_irq
which I think looks fine. This is just normal old 56K dial up, the ONLY thing available at my lovely home in the pastoral middle of no-blooming-where.
And please, be nice to the newbie and if you give me instructions make them very clear. Please do not assume that I know anything. Thanks for your help!
Oh -- and I have tweaked Firefox with changes to the config thingy (pipelining & requests), with no discernable difference. I see a big slowdown in both browser and email (Thunderbird).
kppp says I'm connected at 9600 bpm.