Summary: modem query

From: David LeVine (
Date: Mon Aug 19 1991 - 14:16:02 CDT


First, apologies for this summary being as late in coming as it is.

Here is my original question:

> For various reasons, all of our modems have been moved to a terminal
> server rather than being directly attached to Suns. Dialing in is
> not a problem. Our difficulty comes in dialing out with the intent of
> transferring files. To access a modem, one must first telnet to the
> terminal server. Once connected, the normal Hayes command set works
> fine. The problem is that the normal file transfer programs that people
> use here (like kermit) only know how to access a direct line -- they
> don't know how to access a line via a telnet connection.
> Is there any software out there that can do this (open a connect with
> a telnet command and then issue modem commands) to support file transfer?

I received responses from the following people:

        Chris Mackerell <>
        wallen@cogsci.UCSD.EDU (Mark R. Wallen)
        sybase!sid@sun.Eng.Sun.COM (S. Cowles)
        Alastair Young <> (John Marsh)
        "Michael L. Squires" <sir-alan!>
        Mike Raffety <>
        glascock@mayo.EDU (Don Glascock)
        "Manavendra K. Thakur" <> (Alexander Dupuy)
        Frank da Cruz <> (Robert Andersson) (Alan Carpenter/casaba) (John Stiles)

The first question that some people wanted to know was our configuration.
We have a Xyplex terminal server which currently has 32 ports. Of these,
16 have Telebit T2500 modems attached to them. Each modem/terminal server
port combination is set up to be bidirectional.

Now for the suggestions from people. There were three different approaches
suggested. One was an ugly sounding link between the two serial ports on a
given system: wire them together, tip to one (and out the other) and then
telnet to the modem server. Everyone who suggested it didn't really like
it as an optimal solution.

The second solution was a piece of source code to modify some particular
version of kermit. Not enough information was provided to make this very
useful. The third suggestion was to obtain a copy of the latest version
of Kermit, C-Kermit 5A, which is still in alpha-test state but reportedly

I pursued this last solution. The code compiled cleanly but connecting
directly to the terminal server still is not working as expected. What
we are doing for now is connecting to another host from inside of kermit
and then using telnet to get to the modem server. I've requested additional
input from the Kermit folks but haven't received any feedback. It looks like
we should be able to work things out eventually. If you want kermit ck5a,
it's available via anonymous ftp from

Thanks to all who responded.

        David LeVine

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