Pace Micro Technology have at last produced a competitor to the WS4000, David Wallin examines the Linnet.
Pace's best known range of intelligent modems - The Series 4 - covers a spectrum of prices, from a couple of hundred pounds to over half a grand, but there is no really cheap model capable of rivalling other manufacturers modems such as the WS4000 and the AC 1000 To fill this sub £160 price tag me company has produced the Linnet Offering 1200/75 75/1200 and 300/300 (V21 and V23) with the full extended) UK Hayes command set at tne very least the modem has an impressive specification -and, I found, a performance to match Critics of the English language might ask how it is possible to nave a 'full yet extended' Hayes command set Well, a very brief explanation of Hayes it in order and will explain how this is possible Hayes was responsible for some of America's first modems. The company produced an internal language to make its use easier This meant that by telling your comms software to go 'on-line (send characters through the RS232 port) you could talk to the modem. Other command sets exist, but the Hayes is easily the most well-known and used worldwide.
The commands are in the format, AT (command) [Options], AT means attention, the command is usually a single letter and the options are any extra bits to go with the command For example, to dial Telecom Gold, the command is:
AT D P 01 583 1200
Attention Dial (Pulse) 01 583 1200
Hayes command set
The P is optional and tells the modem to use Pulse dialling rather than Tone (DTMF).
The command set was a revolution in the comms industry and gave a set of standard commands to talk to modems. However in the USA, 1200/75 is about as common as 4800/4800 is in the UK. This is partly due to the fact that America is swarming with PCs. which due to their hardware, cannot handle split speeds such as 1200/75. The result was that the full Hayes command set omitted 1200/75 commands. The UK version has this and is therefore an extended version of the full set.
Auto dial and Auto answer are both standard on the Linnet, and the baud rate in use is automatically selected on connection to the other computer. The computer can talk' to the modem at a different speed to that which the modem is operating at. ie if
you are dialling Prestel at 1200/75 baud, your RS232/computer can be set to 300/300 Split speed buffering, allowing a computer which cannot operate at 1200/75 (le. most PCs as stated above) to access viewdata systems, is fully supported
As I know the UK Hayes command set pretty well. I decided to use the modem without reading much of the manual first I checked the obvious things such as connecting the modem up (standard 25 way D connection to computer, mains lead supplied with transformer built into the plug), but not anything else Firstly I loaded up ChitChat and went into 1200/1200 baud terminal mode The modem responded absolutely fine, dialed correctly and logged onto the services dialed Next I tned to use COMM+ This worked, but not quite as well as ChitChat - th reason is that my version of COMM+ is specially configured to work with a Voyager modem and not a Hayes one However I still had a degree of success
The next thing I tried was using the built-in Hayes autodial facility within ChitChat Telecom Gold worked fine, as did Musical Plus, Musictel HQ, Prestel and a load of other services.
A 32-number store for commonly used phone numbers worked fine, and where Unnet scores far above its main rival, the WS4000. is in the fact that it is battery-backed If you disconnect the modem or have a power cut or power is lost from any reason, then your list of numbers is not lost with it. On the WS4000, all your work would be lost and you would need to enter the entire list again.
The battery back up also applies to what are called S-registers, S-registers are a central part of the Hayes set and allow a certain degree of modem customisation the user.
The Amstrad 8256, a perfect partner for the Pace Linnet
One good thing about having an intelligem modem is that if you have a computer such as the 8256 where very cheap/free comms software is available you will not need tc shell out up to £100 for good software MAIL232 with a Linnet would make a good set up Costing well under £150. it compares well with a manual modem and good software
The modem is slim and attractively packaged in a cream coloured, plastic case, with a grey and blue front Six red LEDs on the front indicate the status of power, on-line?, carrier detect, transmitting data?, receiving data? and carrier detected. Along with a small speaker, these enable you to monitor what s going on and I, like many, cannot stand using a modem without status LEDs.
Overall, I could find no problems with the modem The manual is fair, but a small amount of extra information would be useful At the price of £140 (+ VAT) it's good value, but with a current special offer it makes a great up-grade option. Pace is offering £50 trade-in value off the price if you return your current modem. Sending back your old modem, along with a cheque for £133.30 (inc. VAT) will buy you a Linnet.
Unfortunately, the offer is for a limited period so you'd better ring Pace first and check that the offer isn't over when you wish to order.
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.