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HTTP/1.1 404 Object Not Found Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0 Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:47:26 GMT Cluster-Server: WEB1 P3P: CP="NOI ADMa OUR STP" X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Connection: close Content-Type: text/html

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HTTP/1.1 404 Object Not Found Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0 Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:47:26 GMT Cluster-Server: WEB1 P3P: CP="NOI ADMa OUR STP" X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Connection: close Content-Type: text/html

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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 6-29-99
   

No Cable in your area?

So you are stuck with a 56k analog modem, what now?

First, if you’re using a Winmodem on a P133 with 32 megs of RAM... buwahahahaha! Ok, sorry. The reason we laugh hysterically is because Winmodems are software driven modems. In other words, they use your motherboard's CPU instead of their own chips to run, slowing your system down and causing your games to lag. Therefore, weak machine + Winmodem = poor gaming. So please, just steer clear of Winmodems if you want to ever do some online gaming.

Now that's out of the way, you should check with your ISP to ask about their dialup support. Do they support v90 (technology that digitally encodes data downstream)? Do they have a separate 56k dial-in number? Some people have had 33.6 modem, then bought and slapped in a new 56k and kept dialing in to the old 33.6 number. They never realized their ISP has different dial-in numbers for each speed of service they offer. Also try and ask what kind of equipment they have, and if they heard of any other problems with online games (3Com for instance had a known problem with Quake on their Total Control hubs). ISPs may be dodgy on this issue, but try anyway. Now it's time to get your hands dirty…

Checking under the hood.

Before you play with all of this, lets start by monitoring your download speed. You may not have noticed, but Windows ships with some monitoring devices. Go to Start menu > Accessories > System Tools and run the System Monitor they included with windows. Choose DU Meter (this monitors your download speeds and will show you if you’re having improvement once you start playing with this stuff (if you don't have this program, go Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and add it).

Let's find out how your hardware is doing now, and make sure your modem is a good performer. First off, you need your Primary DNS number.Start Menu > Run, typing: winipcfg, and hitting "OK". Then click on More Info.. and see DNS servers, write down the IP Address from this (this is your ISP's IP address). Now go back to Start Menu > Run and type: "ping (the DNS server IP address) –n 100". Look at the numbers scrolling and make sure you notice two things:

  1. The numbers scrolling with "ms" next to them do not vary greatly in size. This is a sign of spiking (bad).
  2. That the numbers with "ms" next to them are not higher than 100 (worse).

Now, this is not a guarantee that the problem is your modem, but it is a strong hint; if you can’t get a decent ping even to your own machine, it’s probably a bad modem.

Next thing to do is to check for software updates for your modem. Yup, modems, like your other hardware devices, are also able to be updated. A great resource for looking up your modem to see if there is an update available is http://www.56k.com.




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