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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?) Another Damn WinModem

From Mark F. Johnson on Mon, 04 Jan 1999

(?) Greetings Honorable Answer Guru,

I have been helping a friend of mine set up RedHat Linux on his system (dual-boot with Windows98). He has a Diamond Supra PCI Voice modem, which is set up on Com 3 but has an IRQ of 11. (I know, I know, it's bizarre, but that's the way it is.) His modem works fine in Windows, but Linux wants to assign it IRQ 4, of course. The modem is apparently configured to use IRQ 11 and the IRQ can't be changed in Windows. I have tried using the "setserial" command and was successful with changing the IRQ, but the modem still won't initialize, and rebooting the system resets the IRQ to the default. I've only been into Linux for about a month, so I'm no expert in the fine art of script writing. I am willing to try, if someone like yourself might give me a starting point and head me off in the right direction. Any ideas/suggestions wil be greatly appreciated.

(!) Last I heard the Diamond/Supra PCI modems were of the "winmodem" variety. They don't work under MS-DOS, or Linux (only under Windows --- probably only under Win '95 and Win '98, maybe they have an NT driver, too).
So you should probably return it. Then go back through last year's "Answer Guy" and search for the word modem. Almost ever problem that has been reported about any internal modem as been that it was a winmodem.
(If Diamond claims it is not --- then boot from a plain old DOS floppy and get it to to dial the phone using an old shareware copy of Telix, Procomm, QModem, or any other MS-DOS program. If that works, there's hope. Otherwise BURN IT!)
(If it really isn't a winmodem then try disabling "plug and play" in your BIOS and/or play with the pciutils package (available at Linux sites --- search http://www.freshmeat.net for that).

(?) Modem Recommendations

From Mark F. Johnson on Fri, 08 Jan 1999

(?) Greetings Once Again Honorable Guru, You were, of course, right on target with your previous assesment of my modem woes in regards to what was indeed a WinModem. I had my friend go to the same dealer from whom I bought my modem, an A_Open FM-56. He bought an installed what was supposedly the same modem, but again, no joy. Come to find out that A_Open's current line of PCI modems, including both FM-56 models, are all WinModems. The DOJ may be on to something afterall. To make a long and boring story short, my friend is going to buy an external modem. To save time and continued harassment of your Honorable self, may I implore you to recommend a moden that will work equally well with Windows and Linux? Much appreciation for your assistance.

(!) Any external modem should be O.K. --- I use an older Zyxel 28.8 --- and I've had good luck with the old Practical Peripherals 28.8 fax modems.
However, the model change so fast, and the companies merge and die so often that this is another of those areas where look at the latest Hardware-HOWTO and a poll of your favorite users group, newsgroup or mailing list is probably your best bet.
(I like U.S Robotics Courier series --- but they are expensive. I detest their less-expensive "Sportster" series --- too cheap).

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 37 February 1999

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