still can't get PPP working ... so close, though.
using martmart's advice about waiting for '~--', it now connects and doesn't die right away, but ppp0 is never created, and the phone disconnects in 10 seconds or so for some reason. but that's progress! wvdial seemed promising, but didn't work. i can use minicom I guess to read my mail, but I'd like a real ppp connection.
but PPP is the least of my troubles .... LJ is my main focus now. I'll deal with laptop stuff tonight I guess.