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So Verizon sends me an automated call yesterday to tell me that my DSL line has been activated. The written instructions that came with my DSL modem tell me to set it up by booting the CD that came with it and following the instructions there. I do, and the whole procedure was very simple.

One problem, though--Internet Connection Sharing doesn't work. And the available Help was absolutely no help at all. I looked around the 'net for some suggestions, using keywords such as Verizon, DSL, ICS. All I find are people bitching about how ICS doesn't work with DSL, how MTUs must be reduced from the 1500 default to 1492, and all sorts of useless stuff. Some people said that you have to put ICS on a Dial-Up connection with some made-up settings. That just didn't seem right. I didn't need to use a Dial-Up connection to activate the DSL modem, so I ignored all this advice. Next I go to Verizon's site to look for help and they indicate that if I want to do home networking I have to phone them to ask for special software on a CD. It is no extra charge, but I want Internet sharing NOW. And I don't believe that ICS cannot be used. So next I mess around on the network properties for a while and discover that Internet sharing is as simple as removing ICS from the Ethernet card and putting it on the Verizon Broadband connection. WHY CAN'T THEY JUST TELL YOU THAT!

Then, the test: how will everyone's connection speed seem, compared to our cable modem? Patrick reports that his download speeds for large files are a fraction of what they were with cable. In Internet chess, Mike reports a perceivable lag of a second or so. I go to some speed test sites and test both our server and Patrick's client. Download speed varied between 400-500 kbps. Not quite the potential maximum speed advertised by Verizon (but of course they don't guarantee the maximum speed). After consulting with everyone, we decided to reconnect to Adelphia with the cable modem. Did the speed test again and got speeds between 1500-2600. Everyone said that the line drops from Adelphia had virtually vanished, so it looks like we are probably going to stay with Adelphia and return the DSL modem to Verizon. But I am keeping it for most of our free month, just in case.

Maybe, just for kicks, I will try hooking it up to my old PowerMac 6100/60AV, which I have speeded up to 300 MHz with a card. It is running only OS9, which doesn't meet Verizon's requirement of OS 10, but what will be the harm of trying. Just because I can.