Dial Up Connections


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 Gearbox Installation, Setup, & Configuration

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Gearbox is a software program that acts as a Dialer and sets up a browser and email & news clients.  It automatically configures Dial-Up Networking for Win9x/ME/2000/XP, as well as RAS for Mac OS 8/9.  It will also automatically configure Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Outlook, and  Netscape.  It eliminates the need for special knowledge of specific Internet applications and DUN configuration. 

Warning: Please disable any pop-up blockers prior to installing this software. You can re-enable the pop-up blockers after installing the software but these programs can interfere during the installation process. 

Links on this page:  Dashboard Overview | Dashboard Preferences | "Mobile" Dialing Screen |


The Dashboard:  Gearbox's Main Screen:

Gearbox's main screen is called the Dashboard.  To open the Gearbox Dashboard, look on your main desktop for an icon (picture) that refers to our ISP.  Click that button to get to the Gearbox Dashboard.  

You can also open the Gearbox Dashboard from the System Tray (bottom right-hand corner of your computer screen, next to the clock).  Use your right mouse button to click on the icon that refers to our ISP and click on the  'Open' Option.  The following Gearbox  window, or 'Dashboard', should pop up. 

This is the main screen or Dashboard for Gearbox.  The Options menu allows for Mobile Dialing, a feature for people bringing their computers when they travel.  The Tools menu is where you can change your Preferences, which include the Phone Number being dialed.

Click on 'Connect', and Gearbox will connect automatically.  You will notice the following messages appear on the Status Bar (the bottom left-hand corner of the Dashboard) during the connection process:

Validating connection information...
Dialing 555-1234...
Sending name and password...
Checking for new e-mail...

Note:  If you prefer to view your dialing information before connecting, see Mobile Dialing.

After connecting, open your web-browser, e-mail or newsgroup client from the top left of the Dashboard.  The Status Bar (bottom left of the Dashboard) shows how many new e-mail messages are waiting for you.  

If you have new messages, a notification screen will pop-up.  Click 'Yes' to open your email program and download and read your e-mail.  If you click 'No' or 'Don't show this again', you can still get your email by clicking on the 'Mail' program along the top toolbar.

To check for new messages, click on the envelope found on the bottom left corner of the Dashboard.  You can also set the Dashboard to check for new messages every 10 min (See below for instructions).

When you are finished using Gearbox, click on 'Exit' from the 'File' menu, or click the in the top right-hand corner.


Dashboard Preferences:

Clicking on Tools -> Preferences gives you several options:
    1. Change your default Web, Mail, and News programs located at the top-left of the Dashboard.
    2. Add extra shortcuts to the top toolbar of the Dashboard.
    3. Check for e-mail automatically every ?? minutes.
    4. Auto-connect options.
    5. Two features covered on the Internet Connection Properties page: 
            Phone Number and Default HomePage.

Tabs:  Dashboard Preferences | Applications | Connections & WWW |

Click the Tools menu, then Preferences.

Click on the 'Tools' menu, and select 'Preferences...'.  The following window appears.


'Dashboard Preferences' Tab:

The 'Dashboard Preferences' allows you to change the look and behavior of the Dashboard.

If 'Connect automatically' is checked, the Dashboard will dial up automatically; you won't need to press the 'Connect' button.  When you check 'Disconnect automatically', your Internet session ends when you close Gearbox.  

To add programs to the Custom Launch Bar, drag shortcuts from your desktop into the 'Toolbar Custom Launch Items' box, as shown in the screenshot above.  This allows all the icons to fit on the toolbar, as seen below.

Note:  You can add up to 5 items to the 'Toolbar Custom Launch Items'.  Change the name of the shortcut to be under 10 letters before dragging it to the 'Toolbar Custom Launch Items'. 

The picture above shows the Dashboard with extra programs added to the Launch Bar.

'Applications' Tab:

The 'Applications' Tab allows you to change your default browser, e-mail & newsgroup clients.  To change one, click on the down-arrow and select the desired program.

Connecting Tab & WWW Tab:

The Connecting Tab and the WWW Tab are covered on the "Internet Connection Properties" page.


Mobile Dialing:

Gearbox has a Mobile Dialing option that makes it easy to access the internet when traveling with your computer.  You can also enable Mobile Dialing if you prefer to verify your username/password and dialup number before dialing. 

Simply click on the 'Options' menu and choose 'Use Mobile dialing'.  When you see the check-mark, that means Mobile Dialing is enabled.  Now when you click on 'Connect', Gearbox will not dial automatically.  Instead, the following screen will appear.

From the 'Mobile Dialer' screen, you can temporarily change your username/password, dialing location, and dial-up phone number.  If you want to permanently change any of the phone number info, go to the Connecting Tab, described on the Phone Number page.  If you want to permanently change the username/password, go to the Account Tab of the Internet Properties.

You can find other numbers provided by our ISP by clicking on the yellow phone book button.

If you spend a lot of time in another city, it might be a good idea to create an extra Dial Location so that you can choose it in the Mobile Dialer in the 'Dialing from' field.  Changing the number in the 'Dialing' field would be less of a hassle.


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