Thank you very much for helping.
I'm not sure if this is a modem problem, or something else, but I'll start he.
My uncle's PC's modem suddenly stopped working. It would no longer connect to AOL. I took his PC here and found that the modem wasn't putting out tones, so I replaced the modem with another 56K modem (I forget the brand, but it was not(!) a cheap Win-Modem...it was a good quality one). Though I do not have AOL, I tried signing onto it as though I was signing up for it myself (just to see if it connected properly). Sure enough, I established an immediate connection (no retries) and stayed connected until I exited the sign-on process.
One critical point: he is in a different location and needs to use different AOL local access numbers than I do.
Anyway, to my surprise, he is having terrible trouble connecting. Often it takes him 4 or 5 retries before he connects (it says at 49333 kb when it does connect, so it appears to be fast enough). Also, once connected he can easily lose the connection.
Does anyone have any idea what I might do now for him? Could it be the telephone line? (he doesn't seem to hear ant scratchiness on the line).
Thank you soooo much! :))