I used to use Minicom also. I used to do the following:
Start minicom and essentially follow your steps until I started getting the
gibberish - this is the two modems talking to each other.
At that point, hit CTRL+Q and hit enter. This gets you back to the command
prompt. Now type in "pppd /dev/modem" ( no inverted commas!). Wait a few
seconds (I used to count to around 5!!) and then try pinging a site that you
know the address of - ping www.apple.com - or something like that.
You should see the data coming back, giving the time taken, etc. CTRL+C will
get out of that.
You should now be connected!
Hope this helps,
p.s. - I think I'd go with something like WVDial - it's MUCH easier. No
messing around with commands, etc.
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