Psions now freeze when using the internet
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Thread: Psions now freeze when using the internet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
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    Unhappy Psions now freeze when using the internet

    Hello all,

    This thread is for discussing what seems to be a SERIOUS new problem with our
    Psions, or more specifically the ISPs we use to connect to the internet. Even
    if you do not understand all the technical issues, I request that you still post
    your own experiences & ideas :-)

    Description of problem
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    In addition to myself, many other Psion users have said they recently have
    problems using the internet for Email, Web, Opera, nICQ, etc. They connect OK,
    but after a few seconds or minutes their Psion freezes-up. Often the only
    solution is a soft reset.

    The problem covers all EPOC-based Psions (e.g. Netbooks, 5mxs, Revos) and even
    the Epoc Emulator. It only happens when the Psion actually dials-up the
    internet using a modem, whether this be 56K, 33K, or even a mobile phone (GSM).
    PCs, Macs, etc are not affected. Connecting to the internet through a PC, or
    via broadband, is unaffected (works fine). Only some ISPs seem to be affected,
    but it seems that more are being affected every week! :-(


    Results & ideas so far on the cause
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It has been suggested that the problem may be due to ISP upgrades to support
    V92, but this seems less likely given that 33K & even 9.6K (GSM mobile phones)
    are affected. Because all internet apps are affected, it seems unlikely to be
    anti-virus measures taken by the ISP, but obviously something at the ISPs end
    has changed.

    The fact that all Psion devices and even the Emulator are affected suggests that
    the problem occurs at a very high level in the EPOC OS, i.e. not a modem
    driver, but instead perhaps the TCP/IP stack itself.


    For myself, I have noticed that physically disconnecting the modem (PCMCIA) in
    my Netbook or switching-off the Psion (both Netbook & Emulator) unfreezes the
    machine. Unplugging the phone line does NOT unfreeze it. This seems to show
    that EPOC freezes-up when talking to the modem, and that only by physically
    disabling the modem will EPOC become unfrozen.

    While my Netbook seems to have frozen, the Emulator (on an 800Mhz CPU) is not
    *quite* frozen, so that if I am VERY patient, I can tell it to disconnect from
    the internet (Ctrl-U). Once disconnected, it becomes unfrozen. This suggests
    that EPOC is not frozen, but rather just "busy looping" to eat all the available
    CPU time.

    That the "busy looping" stops anything else from running indicates that the busy
    task is at a very high priority (part of the System kernel), and the TCP/IP
    stack would nicely fit this.

    So the TCP/IP stack, or a closely associated piece of the kernel, seems to be
    the likely candidate. The problem is that I am not technically knowledgable
    enough to make any further tests, or how we might fix it. If you know of an
    Epoc/Symbian wizard, get them to read this thread! :-)

    It would also be interesting to see if Symbian-based (ER6/7) phones, using
    dial-up rather than GPRS, are affected.


    It is also not clear whether this fault is truely down to the EPOC OS, or
    whether the ISP is doing something very bad which the designers of EPOC never
    expected.

    ---
    Chris Handley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom
    Posts
    155

    Exclamation Re: Psions now freeze when using the internet

    Hi Chris,

    This is happening on my 5mx, though it rarely needs a soft reset. Switching off usually seems to cure it temporarily. I didn't realise it was a general problem, I thought I was doing something wrong .

    My ISP is Tiscali. My (new to me) 3c doesn't seem to have this problem using the PsiMail eMail client nor does my Mac (which has always been a bit flaky anyway). That's partly why I thought it was me.

    I hope it's not a serious problem and that affected ISPs will resolve it but I'm not sanguine about it. Most will probably say it's our fault or that we should get more modern Micros**t computers (I jest not) .
    Happy Days,
    Phil.

    "Bibo ergo sum."

    Phil on the Web

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Stroud Gloucestershire
    Posts
    440
    Not really helpful but I Use claranet with netbook + mobile phone + and goldcard daily and have no problems.

    As it does it with the emulator also I imagine using "TheDialer" software to make the connection makes no difference.

    Keep us posted, hope you solve it as if it were something to start affecting all psion user that would be the death of us. Do I detect a conspiracy theory in there of MS realeasing an epoc virus getting us to ditch Epoc and all go out and buy a new netbookpro with windows. Paranoid of losing my safe psion, me, never.
    Kind Regards

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southport, England
    Posts
    551
    I first noticed this only this week when I was trying to send a mail with an attachment from Heathrow airport. I don't normally send attachments but this was a Word file I'd converted with nConvert. I assumed it was a problem with the attachment or the fact that it took me ages to get a connection to my ISP. Wasn't a big attachment, only 5k or so.

    Anyway, since then I regularly freeze when using my IR phone (Nokia 6210 on Vodafone) to check/send mail on my 7book. I use Tiscali by the way, one of the old "psion.net" accounts.

    Perhaps someone should compile a table of Machine/Modem/ISP etc to see if there is anything linking them?

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Petaluma CA
    Posts
    3,964
    I wonder if this a UK/European problem only or if it's more widespread? I use Earthlink in the US and, knock on wood, have had no problems with picking up my e-mail. I also have a Compuserve account that was working but now gives the same type of freezes you've all described. Knowing Compuserve and their propensity to change login scripts every week or so, I had written it off to yet another CS glitch but now I wonder. I see the same behavior on both my Mako and 5mx using the IR Travel Modem.
    Regards, Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3

    Angry Email Lockups

    Yes I have also been suffering this problem with both a mobile phone (Nokia 7110e) and a line modem USR Sportster Vi

    The machine logs in ok, and then will freeze most often when downloading the headers.

    At first I thought it was the 'slow' response of my CF card compared to the internal memory, but shifting my message stack to C hasn't solved the problem.

    Sometimes disconnecting the modem or closing the call, solves the problem, but 9 times out of 10 it needs a soft reset.

    I even tried a full hard reset and restore the other day, but no change.

    I'm using BTOpenworld via either their PAYG number or their International Dial Up number (0121 478 9300)

    Likewise no problems when connecting to the net via my PC using Mocha PPP, which works very well.

    If any one knows of a solution to these recent lockups let's hear them... I'm getting tired of reseting my screen settings each time I do a softreset.....

    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3

    freeze

    Well it was me that started this on the Epoc Digest... we have a 5mx and a netbook and both freeze most times we try and use Freeserve Anytime (free 0808 number). However no problems with Freeserve No Ties (local rate number).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,308
    I have to say it seems rather bizarre that, all of a sudden, Psion users are having these connection problems with a variety of ISPs and with different modems - landline and mobile.

    So far, I have been unable to reproduce the problem and I've just tried "Tiscali" (one of the problem ISPs) with both IR Travel Modem and mobile GSM connection. It worked perfectly, but the one thing I have never used is Opera so whether having this installed could be a contributing factor, I don't know. There are certainly reported issues of being unable to connect directly from Opera, which does suggest it fails to integrate properly with the Psion dialup software.

    As a possibly futile exercise, can I ask those with the problem to try adding S10=50 to their "init (reset) string". What this will do is to prevent short bursts of noise on the line, or carrier interruptions, from forcing the connection to hang up and allow 5 seconds for things to return to normal. Doing this won't cause problems with your dialup - I've just tested it with both landline and mobile connections.

    ATZ would become ATZS10=50
    AT&F becomes AT&FS10=50
    Last edited by MikeMcC; 10-02-2003 at 09:53 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3
    Sorry Mike, crashed first time I tried the new settings... maybe I'll uninstall Opera and try... Simon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    2,308
    Originally posted by Simon Chadwick
    Sorry Mike, crashed first time I tried the new settings... maybe I'll uninstall Opera and try... Simon
    Oh well, it was worth a try. It was something I stumbled on in Tiscali's "help" pages but obviously the problem lies elsewhere

    Did it actually "crash" or did it "freeze" in the same way as it has been doing?

    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3
    No difference here either Mike. And for the record I'm not using Opera on my machine.

    I have discovered Sysback today though, which restores the system setting a lot quicker than I have been able to before

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    2,308
    No difference here either Mike. And for the record I'm not using Opera on my machine
    Well that at least rules out another possibility.
    I have discovered Sysback today though, which restores the system setting a lot quicker than I have been able to before
    I couldn't live without it

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom
    Posts
    155

    Unhappy Freezing Programs

    Hi,

    Just tried again (I'm a real glutton for punishment) - same story.

    For what it's worth my Psion sometimes freezes using:
    Email,
    Web,
    RMRFTP,
    Timekeeper,
    NetUtils,
    Opera and
    Snaffle.
    I haven't tried EPOCSync, WAP or XJMail. I don't know whether JTelNet or Hermes are relevant but I haven't tried them either or Comms.

    My ISP is Tiscali and I use a 3Com U. S. Robotics 56K Faxmodem and a landline. The same problem does not occur using my Mac with the same modem and line. As far as I am aware it doesn't happen either using my 3c and the Psion Travel Modem (it certainly hasn't yet but I rarely use the 3c as it's a reserve machine mostly).

    The Psion sometimes drops the connection and sometimes something in the OS closes so I have to reset the Psion (soft, thank goodness) to use it on the 'Net again. I can't remember what closes but the Psion does tell me and no I'Net program I've tried will work - but everything else seems to. I can't reliably recreate the problem - it seems to be intermittent. NetUtils froze on traceroute about hop 6 - a Tiscali address.

    I don't really understand I'Net protocols, etc., yet so this is very much a suck-it-and-see approach but it might help someone else.
    Last edited by PhilAP; 10-02-2003 at 12:39 PM.
    Happy Days,
    Phil.

    "Bibo ergo sum."

    Phil on the Web

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,308
    Phil,
    For what it's worth my Psion sometimes freezes using: Email, Web, RMRFTP, Timekeeper, NetUtils, Opera and Snaffle.
    The application shouldn't matter because they all establish the connection initially with the Psion's built-in dialup software - hence the reason "The Dialer" can be used to connect before launching any internet app.
    My ISP is Tiscali and I use a 3Com U. S. Robotics 56K Faxmodem and a landline.
    OK, I will give it another try with Tiscali and my "3Com U. S. Robotics 56K Faxmodem" and see what happens - that's the same external modem I have connected to this PC.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,308
    OK, I will give it another try with Tiscali and my "3Com U. S. Robotics 56K Faxmodem" and see what happens - that's the same external modem I have connected to this PC
    Worked alright - opened several pages with 'Web'; opened, checked and closed several mailboxes; retrieved an email from one mailbox.

    This was with Tiscali's PAYG number - 0845 661 4681

    Last edited by MikeMcC; 10-02-2003 at 01:39 PM.

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