[sf-lug] AT&T DSL in Marin

Rafael Vanoni rafa-el at att.net
Tue Mar 16 23:21:01 PDT 2010

I had the same 'experience' about a year ago. For future references, the 
address is


On 03/16/10 10:59 PM, Chris Mason wrote:
> Hi,
> I know this is the SFLUG, but I'm sure I'm not the only one from the
> other side of the Golden Gate.
> I recently finished helping my friend build his computer, installing&
> configuring Ubuntu, etc.
> Then came the task of getting him set up with DSL service from a
> company that doesn't officially support it, AT&T.
> By default, before registering a username/pass with the modem they
> provide, your web browser redirects you to a "register your service"
> type webpage.
> "Welcome bla bla click next" ->  "Select your operating system"
> If you click "Apple OS 9 or Linux", the next screen basically tells
> you to insert the Windows install CD and follow onscreen directions.
> Alternatively, it prompts you to download a setup.exe thing. Not very
> helpful. The Windows option also tells you to download a windows .exe.
> Again, not helpful. We all know that you don't need OS X or Windows to
> connect to the internet via DSL, but the impression being generated is
> that you need one of the two to _register_. This sounded absurd to me,
> and I'm pretty sure it's a recent development.... I did see some
> Yahoo! branding, and new AT&T accounts apparently have their official
> e-mail address associated with Yahoo! Mail... but I'll keep the
> conspiracy theories to myself.
> Connected to the provided router by putting it's IP in the web
> browser. There where a few blanks I couldn't fill in on my own (user&
> password wasn't registered yet, so didn't have one to put in, etc)
> Soooo I called them up. Played the button pushing game on the phone,
> finally got a human.
> I asked the person if they could walk me through the web-browser-based
> process of registering, because I didn't want to install their
> software (100mb!) on my computer. She said yes. Worked fine. I was
> tempted to toss a "muahahaha, so you DO support Linux!" at the end,
> but thought better of it.
> Just food for thought in case anyone else encounters this when signing
> up for internet service without a Windows or Apple computer laying
> around: worry not, there is a very good chance you can just call and
> ask to be walked through the same registration process through the web
> browser. Make no mention of Linux, and let them assume what they will.
> They may say something to the effect of "start Internet explorer and
> go to" or whatever.... and as far as they know, starting
> IE is exactly what you did.
> And, in general, I intend to keep this "web-browser-back-door" thing
> in the back of my head as a workaround for artificial barriers placed
> in front of me as a Linux user. Printer companies, for example, may
> not officially support Linux... but what if I call them asking for
> help with the CUPS web interface? Macs use CUPS, as I recall. If one
> can get the printer driver and CUPS installed to the point that they
> can get to the web interface and see their printer listed (even if not
> functional yet), perhaps we can simply call up HP or whomever and ask
> _specifically_ for help using that _specific_ tool to configure our
> printers? "Oh, I would just prefer to use the web interface to manage
> my wonderful new HP printer. I'd hate to have to return it. You _do_
> support Macs, right?"
> Thoughts?
> Chris
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