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Long time ago I installed Ubuntu [can't remember the V]. Unable to get online using dialup so never continued to learn. Have always wanted to find an alternative to Windows that I could easily use. Any suggestions on what I should now try.
The reason why Ubuntu doesn't support dial-up is probably because it comes on CD and assumes that you will be wanting to get more software over the internet; you really don't want to download something like Gimp over a dial-up connection! Even when a CD distro supports dial-up, like Puppy, you may still have the problem of a software shortage.
It's not just a question of modem support; many distros lack wvdial. That being said, getting support for a winmodem is always difficult and sometimes impossible. You need a proper hardware modem that plugs into a serial port.
I've used Fedora with dial-up in the past, and it still has dial-up support built-in. Send off for the DVD version, which is easy to install and has masses of software.
What I would do in your situation is to find the make of your modem and find out if their are general linux drives for it, if there is then you can download that to something (E.G. USB Flash stick) and after installing linux, you can install the drivers. If you are unable to find anything related to your modem then probably not a good idea. If you can post the Modem that you use here we can try and point you in the right direction. I would also suggest if your machine has high enough specs you could try the Virtual Machine route within windows, something I have tried myself with VMWare Player which works well, there are also other options available.
It's kind of expensive, but use an external modem, plug it into a router and then you won't need to bother with configuring a modem as it's all done thru the web interface of the router. Using Synaptics download script, I can use wget on a PC (even Windows) with broadband to pull down large files.
My solution to dial up was to buy an old USRobotics Sportster and flash it to 56k . My Ubuntu 9.04 machine had no serial modem port so I had to use a rs232 to USB converter. All together it cost about 25.00 . It was necessary to run set serial and nuke the network manager. That was the biggest problem. Once I nuked Network Manager and installed the Gnome-PPP dialer it was simple.
Then I tried Puppy Linux and it found the winmodem and in fact found 4 of the 9 old winmodems I had laying around. During my research I learned Dell supplies full speed drivers for their machines that are available with Ubuntu and I can connect Ubuntu now with the winmodem.
Either way puppy is faster and easier to set up on dialup and the software packages are designed to be easy to download on a broadband connection and then a 2 click install on the dial up machine and it absolutely flies . Ubuntu is designed to install over broadband so you have add the dependencies manually on dial up . Rarely do you have to do anything to a Puppy Linux package "*.pet" but in the rare cases you do it will find them for you and automatically download and install them . One disadvantage to Puppy is printers can be a pain with Puppy so check first if yours is compatible. Newer Epsons , even the all in ones have worked well for me and most HP's , brothers and Cannons . Epsons print better under Linux I think . You can download Puppy and see if it finds the windmodem without installing it . Stick with version 431 or earlier as the new lucid puppy, vs 5, is not ready for prime time.
Ubuntu is a good program and it is easy to install printers and such but it is big and slow, when you get used to the speed of Puppy Linux you get spoiled.
Appreciate all the suggestions. Unable to find the modem in my Compaq Presario CQ61 laptop, even using Speccy. Will be installing sat BB next month. After this has been mastered will then consider a Linux distro. Again, many thx for suggestions.
wvdial or pon/poff is how I did it. modem drivers are a bit more common these days. lin-modems.org (or something like that). Connexant ones are usually on linuxant.org, but you have to pay for the non-crippled drivers. Lucent varies, I've used the mars drivers with good enough success and decent connect speeds. martian something or other. Basically you don't have to have a hardware modem anymore these days. But it can still be a bit quirky if you have no previous network experience to know where to start. And you'll need a voice modem if you want to turn your computer into an answering machine. Most of the win-modem varieties are only data modems.
You pretty much need to know what you have to know what you need.
$ lspci -v | grep -i "modem"
$ lspci -n
$ ifconfig -a
Depending on your distro, you might have a gui network manager application. And other means to an end.