by March 1, 2001 0 comments

With the Photon Graphical environment, configuring your QNX box to access the
Net is a piece of cake. In this article, you’ll see how to set up a dial-up
connection and a direct LAN connection to the Internet. You’ll also see how to
use V-Mail, the e-mail client for QNX, and chat with your online friends using
PhICQ, the QNX, clone of ICQ.

Configuring dial-up

On the Photon toolbar, click on the ‘Network Cfg’ applet, and go to the
Network tab. Here, under the section Name Servers, enter the IP address of your
Internet service provider’s DNS server. For example, this would be
for VSNL, Delhi. Next, click on the Dial-Ups tab and click the Add button. In
Use Device, select the serial port to which your modem is connected–/dev/ser1
for COM1 and /dev/ser2 for COM2. Check the Default Dialup check box if you have
more than one dial-up account and would like to make the current account as the
default. Under the section Basic Options, enter the phone number of your ISP.
From Login Type, select ‘Interactive’ if you want to see a username and
password prompt after dialing in. If your ISP supports PAP (Password
Authentication Protocol) or CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol)
based authentication, you can select ‘Automatic’ and fill in your username
and password in the text field that will appear. This way, you won’t have to
enter these details every time you connect to your ISP. The third option is to
use a post-dial up script. In case your ISP supports only a terminal logon, you
have to fill in the username and password manually when you’re prompted to do
so. With a post dial-up script, the username and password will be automatically
filled in.

To set up the modem to dial in to your ISP, click on Advanced Options and in
the Modem Init String, enter specific AT commands to set the modem as per your
requirements. The most commonly used string is AT&FX1L3. This sets your
modem to factory defaults, maximizes the volume level, and sets it to dial
irrespective of line condition. Finally, click on Apply and subsequently the
Done button.

Now, click on the Dialer applet on the toolbar and click on Connect to dial
to your ISP. If all the settings are correct, your modem should be able to
connect to your ISP. So, now you can fire up Voyager, the QNX Web browser from
the Photon toolbar and go surfing.

Direct (LAN) connection

If your QNX machine is on a network that has a gateway to the Internet,
configuring the machine to get on the Net is even simpler. Fire up the Network
Cfg applet from the Photon toolbar. You’ll be able to see the name of your
Ethernet interface (en0). If your network is running a DHCP (Dynamic Host
Control Protocol) server, which automatically assigns an IP address to your
machine, select DHCP here. Otherwise, select Manual and give your machine a free
IP address and a net mask. Check with your network administrator on these. Now,
you have to enter your Internet gateway’s IP address on your machine. If you’re
using DHCP, this will probably happen automatically. Otherwise, enter the IP
address in the Network tab. If your network is running a proxy server, open the
Voyager Web browser and go to Edit>Preferences> Connection and check the
Use Proxy Server box. Now, enter the IP address of the machine running the proxy
server and the port number at which the service is running.


V-Mail is the mail client in QNX. You can start this by clicking the V-Mail
applet in the toolbar. First, fill in your e-mail information in
Edit>Configuration> General tab. Next click on the Server tab and in
Outgoing Mail Server, specify the name or IP address of your SMTP mail server.
For Default E-mail Server, enter the name or IP address of your POP3 or IMAP4
server. This is usually the same as your SMTP server. For Default e-mail
username, enter your login or e-mail ID. Select the Default e-mail protocol
(usually POP3). To check your e-mail, click on the Check button and you’ll be
prompted for your e-mail account password. To compose a new message, click on
the New button.

V-mail will, however, be discontinued in future releases and a new e-mail
client is under development.


PhICQ (Photon ICQ) is a clone of the ICQ instant messenger that runs under
the Photon graphical environment. We’ve given PhICQ on this month’s CD. To
install it, first copy the file phicq.tar.gz from the directory qnx/utils on the
CD to / (Root) directory using the Photon File Manager. Note that it is /
directory not /root directory. Now, click on the Terminal on the toolbar and
issue the following commands:

cd /

tar -zxvf photon.tar.gz

To start PhICQ, type phicq in the Terminal. This will bring up an ICQ-like
interface. Click on the PhICQ button and select Preferences. If you have an
existing ICQ UIN (Unique Identification Number), fill in the UIN, password, and
nickname. Else click on ‘Create a new user’ for registering a new UIN. Don’t
fill in the password in front of anyone, because PhICQ doesn’t show a * in
place of the typed password, but the clear text. In Preferences>Proxy, you
can opt for going through a proxy server. You can search for a friend using ICQ#
(the ICQ UIN), a nickname, first name, last name, or e-mail. You can fill in or
change your details like nickname, name, age, gender, address, phone, etc. from
the PhICQ> Preferences>Edit Info menu. The On tab in the main window of
PhICQ shows all online users. The Off tab shows offline users, the Msg tab shows
the messages sent to you, and the All tab shows you all of these. Enjoy instant
messaging on a real time platform and make some real friends in the virtual

Shekhar Govindarajan

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