I'd like to know how to connect to the internet over a phone line manually, without the laptop actually dialling the number. It was possible on my WinMe laptop (there was a "manual / operator assisted call" option for every network connection) and seems to be impossible with my current Vaio WinXP Pro (no such option).
Is it a restriction of WinXP? Is there additional software that would allow me to do that?
Allowing to connect to the internet manually can be useful for a case where the laptop wrongly assumes that the number dialled is engaged, and disconnects as soon as it has made that assumption. I had that problem in several hotels in Australia.
It also makes it possible to connect when using an old impulsion (not tone) exchange, and I still occasionally stay in hotels which use this type of exchanges.
On my old WinMe laptop, I was able to dial the number of my ISP on the hotel's telephone and, as soon as I heard the squeeks and scratches of an internet connection, plug the telephone cable into the laptop for the connection to the internet. It seems to be impossible on my Vaio XP Pro.