So the modem conflict was actually between my router that all my comptuers print from and the modem it self. If I unplug the computer from ther router, then the modem works. The router, when plugged in, writes its own DNS servers and wipes out the ones from my ISP. This doesn't happen with the Mac laptop.
So the next question is, how do I get the two to cooperate at the same time.
The Linux desktop, the mac laptop, and the printer are connected to the router. The Mac prints, but the desktop doesn't print.
Finally, if i connect to the internet on the desktop or laptop, is there a way to share the connection through the router?