Crossing borders phone systems to CompuServe

Crossing borders phone systems

Crossing borders phone systems

If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll have to deal with the peculiarities of foreign phone systems. Many of them just aren’t as reliable as the systems in the U.S. And the less reliable the system is, the harder it is to get a good connection to CompuServe.

In addition, some phone systems just work differently from the ones here in the States. Wires
may be hooked up differently, modem commands may work differently, or the tone/pulse system may perform differently. You name it: anything you deal with can be different when you travel abroad. You may also have to deal with operator-assisted calls, strange dialing schemes, dial tones that sound like busy signals, or… well, who knows what you’ll encounter.
  • If you have to go through a human operator before you can connect your modem, use the Y-connector scheme described above. That way, you can talk to the operator through one leg of the Y on the telephone, and then—when the call is put through—you can activate your modem (and CompuServe) through the other leg of the Y.
  • Some foreign phone systems won’t let your modem automatically disconnect. That means that when you think you’re disconnected from CompuServe, you may still be connected! To be safe, check to see if you’re really disconnected by picking up the receiver of your telephone and listening for the dial tone.
  • In the U.K., CompuServe connections are best made using one of British Telecom’s PSS Dial Plus nodes, the Mercury system, or through CompuServe’s direct-dial number in London.
  • Foreign phone lines are often noisy. This can make connections diffi­cult and can even cut you off in the middle of a call. To ensure against such problems, use a modem with good error-correcting protocols, such as an MNP or V.42 modem. In addition, you probably want to connect at a lower speed, perhaps as low as 1200 or 2400 baud. (Higher-speed connections have more trouble with noisy lines.)